World tree

The tree, with its branches reaching up into the sky, and roots deep into the earth, can be seen to dwell in three worlds - a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. It is also both a feminine symbol, bearing sustenance; and a masculine, phallic symbol - another union. For this reason, many mythologies around the world have the concept of the World tree, a great tree that acts as an Axis mundi, supporting or holding up the cosmos, and providing a link between the heavens, earth and underworld. In European mythology the best known example is the tree Yggdrasil from Norse mythology.[5] The world tree is also a central part of Mesoamerican mythologies, where it represents the four cardinal directions. The concept of the world tree is also closely linked to the motif of the Tree of life. A phallus is an erect penis, a penis-shaped object, or a mimetic image of an erect penis. Any object that symbolically resembles a penis may also be referred to as a phallus; however, such objects are more often referred to as being phallic (as in "phallic symbol"). Such symbols often represent the fertility and cultural implications that are associated with the male sexual organ, as well as the male orgasm. The world tree is a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the world, and, through its roots, the underworld. It may also be strongly connecte to the motif of the tree of life. Specific world trees include vilagfa in Hungarian mythology, Agac Ana in Turkic mythology, Modun in Mongolian mythology, Yggdrasil (or Irminsul) in Germanic (including Norse) mythology, the Oak in Slavic and Finnish mythology, and in Hindu mythology the Ashvattha (a Sacred Fig). In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil (pron.: /?dr?s?l/; from Old Norse Yggdrasill, pronounced [?y?drasil?]) is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, on which the nine worlds existed. Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at their things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Ur?arbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mimisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm (dragon) Ni?hoggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dainn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Dura?ror. Conflicting scholarly theories have been proposed about the etymology of the name Yggdrasill, the possibility that the tree is of another species than ash, the relation to tree lore and to Eurasian shamanic lore, the possible relation to the trees Mimamei?r and L?ra?r, Hoddmimis holt, the sacred tree at Uppsala, and the fate of Yggdrasil during the events of Ragnarok.