Midgard is one of the most heard words when it comes to talk about the nine cosmic worlds of the Norse cosmology, as Yggdrasil is the spiritual connection between out world and the next, so is Midgard.
Midgard is often refered as being our very world, the plane we inhabit, which isn’t incorrect because from an ancient point of view, our world was indeed thought to be in the very center of the universe and all the other spiritual worlds and physical worlds were scattered around our very own.
After some years of research, anthropological work with Norse/Germanic shamanic cultures still around and also after a lot of shamanic/spiritual work, we know now that Midgard is also the name of a spiritual world which is included in the group of the nine cosmic worlds of the norse spiritual beliefs. As I have said before, the spiritual plane is so vast that shamans believed to be divided in many worlds because when they came to one place to work with the spirits the landscapes were so different of the ones of the other places they visited, and seldom there is the chance to travel from one place to another in the spiritual world because of its vastness, but in truth it is one huge spiritual realm and Midgard lies in it. So now we will have to leave behind the historical concept we know about Midgard and focus on the spiritual Midgard, that is what I will be writing today.
The spiritual world of Midgard is very much like our own was many centuries, I even dare to say a few millennia ago. It is a vast plane in the spiritual world with the seasons similar to ours, in fact the seasons vary depending on the place you are on that continent as you might imagine. Think of it as traveling from the Northern parts of Europe to the Southern parts in the mediterranean and going all the way to the east to the end of Siberia, as you might know, the weather varies a bit bit still, in winter there is snow and it is very cold especially in mountainous terrains and at the summer is hot, but in some places its hotter than others. The spiritual Midgard is a place where people some times make a spiritual journey without even noticing it, and it is some much similar with our world in terms of weather, nature, atmosphere and landscapes that it will be even harded to know if we are indeed on another world by means of out of the body experience. Most of us if not all, have spiritual journeys, some more than others, it might only occur once every year, but in truth we have, and it is because of the similarities between Midgard and our mortal plane, that we may easily travel there unconsciously than traveling to anyother spiritual continent/place/realm.
Midgard is surrounded by a vast ocean receiving the waters of the many rivers that exist in this continent. To reach anyother realm, be that Asgard, Jotunheim etc etc, from Midgard the journeys are only made by sea, there isn’t any part of the continent that is connected to the other realms by land. However, the ocean surrounding Midgard has a lot of small islands. To the north-east of Midgard the division between Midgard and Jotunheim is narrower and the ocean enters into that passage creating the Great Salt River of Elivagar that runs to the south, creating the eastern boundary of Midgard with Jotunheim. To the west lies Vanaheim and in the south after passing the cold ocean one might reach to the shores where the dark forest of Myrkwood lies which is part of Midgard and the boundary to Muspelheim.
No one is certain if Myrkwood really belongs to Midgard or if it is part of Muspelheim since it lies on that flaming continent.
Myrkwood is a dangerous place, a vast dark woodland where a lot of feral creatures live.
In the introduction of the poem Völundarkviða, it tells us about a place called Ulfdalir and the brothers
Slagfiðr, Egil, and Völund lived there in a house near the shores of the lake Úlfsjár, some people who travelled to the northernmost parts of Midgard tell us of a place called Ulfdalir that also has a lake, another dangerous place where outlaws and outcasts live, but in my opinion those people might be guarding this place because it is said that in Ulfdalir lies an entrance to the realm of Helheim, if this is true, I know not.
There is also a fortress called Ysetur near the borderlands to the North-east between Midgard and Jotunheim. A fortress built by the Aesir to keep an eye on the Jotnar, but I think it might have been abandoned, or it might be the house of other folk because the Aesir gods no longer have any member there. It is said that Thor lived there for a time.
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