Yggdrasill translates as "the one who demands reverence" (but is most often simply translated as "the terrible horse"), and is another name for the deity Heimdallr ("world tree", "tree above the bed"). This tree of life is located on the burial mound; the crown stretches into the air, the realm of spirits (Âsgarðr), and the roots down to Hel; the stem is located in the Middle, in Middle-Earth (Miðgarðr). There are three roots, each drinking from a sacred well, one for each. These wells are called Urðarbrunnr ("the well of honour/esteem"), Mîmisbrunnr ("the well of memory") and Hvergelmir ("year old draft", "year-old current of air" or more likely "draft from the past" or "air current from the past").
The grass was not cut, no herbs were gathered and no trees chopped down on the burial mounds, and no animals were allowed to grass there. The mounds were fenced in to keep the animals out. This was a sacred place, in between the world of the living (Âsgarðr) and the world of the dead (Hel). It was the Middle Earth (Miðgarðr).
Yes... the scholars haven't figured out that yet; Âsgarðr is of course our
world. We are the deities! Miðgarðr is just a name for the burial area, located inside the fence, where man is held m between death and life; waiting to be reborn. The inside of the burial mound is called Valhöll; the hall of the chosen/fallen.
A good, strong tree of life was probably seen as a good thing. The taller, the older and the bigger the tree, the more important the man inside the grave would be. The older he would be. The more times he would have been reborn. The more honour and esteem he would have been able to accumulate. The more memories he would have left behind. The more "draft from the past" would you be able to inside the mound.
His bed under the tree was Valhöll the hall of the chosen/fallen, and this is as we know Ôðinn's hall. All he three roots and all the sacred wells are located in Valhöll. Just like Þôrr is known for his hammer, flying through the air, in symbolism often depicted as a hooked cross (Sanskrit; Swastika), Ôðinn is known for his treskilon, alias
(from modern times) the Valknot; a picture of the three roots, the three legs on which the tree of life stands, the three wells or the three sacred sources.
There is a runestone in Denmark, the Snoldelev Stone, known for its Ôðinnic symbolism and the text; kunuAlts stAin sunaR ruHalts þulaR o salHauku(m)
, which by scholars (...) has been translated as "Gunnvaldr's stone, son of Hrôaldr, reciter of Salhaugar". This should however probably be translated like this instead; "Gunnvaldr's stone, son of Hrôaldr, the sage of the (burial) mound hall". Gunnvaldr, son of Hrôaldr, was in other words a man with a hamingja
and was located inside burial mound. The runestone was his Yggdrasill; the landmark showing others where he was buried and how honourable he was - possibly just showing the way to his grave.
, proto-Nordic þulaR
, was a sage, a scald a wise man, but the word originally means "speech" or "long string of words", which of course would fit like a hand in a glove if you consider how the rite of passage was conducted. They needed to learn a long string of words, the sacred songs, and to understand them in order to pass the test (i.e. and thus become a þulr
). So, the honourable Gunnvaldr was now himself lying inside, waiting to be reborn, by a man who could pass the test.