Today, for our Easter Moon issue, we publish the second part of Dave Lee’s interpretation of the Germanic creation myth. The Germanic peoples, like all ancient pagan cultures, believed that every creation is followed by a destruction, after which rebirth – we’re reminded of the rune Berkano – and recreation take place: spring, Ostara, light, life, liberation. In these days though, during the Corona panic pandemic, we experience the power of destruction, Ragnarök, dissolution, chaos. But I am reminded of Dave Lee’s words: “Spring-tide is the tide of Chaos. True magic appears as everyday life becomes transparent, open to endless becoming.” In these times of chaos, look deep inside and find the dragon eye in the void, where recreation and endless becoming give birth to new possibilities and potential futures. These principles are also echoed in the following text about the process, in which the world(s) came into being.
An Evolving Creation.
Act 3: The Giants
Ymir inherited the fertility of the Gap in a different way to her. Sucking in its vast free lunch, he lived and prospered, a sublime, grotesque, unconscious, automatistic perfection. His organs mated as he slept and sweated, slept in a lumpy void with no particular up or down, slept with a Möbius strip as a pillow.
Ymir, the sloppy, dirty supergiant, already his parts have fucked, one with another, and bred giants. Each of his brood, stemming as it did from a burned-out completeness, a husk of an old flower gone to seed, took with it part of his form and power and wandered off to do giant things.
Act 4: The First Mind
Audhumla lay down in the dim red light, licking her way further into the wall of cosmic ice. The third being came as no surprise for her. Cows are not equipped for surprise, and when a half-grown, unthreatening life form appeared in the ice she just kept on licking. It grew towards her warmth, her udders swelled with expectation, and she mooed softly in pleasure at this Other to love and nurture. It looked like a man.
And the man-being bred with a giant, and the universe’s etin-genetics reshuffled once again – giving rise to Odin.
Maybe that, then, is why Ymir, the unconscious universe, went to sleep: because consciousness had arrived. Odin immediately gets a grip on the situation and out of the pre-conscious chaos slumbering around him he hacks a meaningful world.
Act 5: Time Begins With A Murder
Ymir is a grimy slob, his beer belly hanging over the edge of the greasy settee where he has snoozed for millennia, one leg fucking with the other, entities crawling out of his armpits. This is the dregs of a previous cycle of time, of evolution, as witnessed by the new stage – consciousness, Odin.
Odin walks in, and with aristocratic contempt, says ‘Look at this fucking mess’, and proceeds to make a universe from Ymir’s body and blood and hair, his empty plastic takeaway containers, cans and fag ends, the leavings of that former perfection.
It is a triumph of consciousness, not because the pre-conscious, Ymir, is evil – but because that is what consciousness has to do – that is what this tale tells us: Undifferentiated unity must be broken for individual consciousness to arise. Or, time begins with a murder.
Now the TV is on a dead channel, the 3.5 Kelvin background grime of the cosmos fizzing on a grainy screen. The eruption came and went and still just crackles on as new awarenesses gape with awe at its incredible velocity and ferocious meaninglessness. That is what it’s like at the beginning of time.
Act 6: Subcontract, Automate, Devolve Power: The Dwarves
The orderly dwarves built the hierarchies within which they live, built the whole world of perception, opened the eyes of the world… and eventually united with its light and life, when the Lady came to love them; but that is another tale, for another time.
You can find the secret powers, still at work in the world…
Act 7: The Gift Of Self To Self
Consciousness has arrived. The god has acted; what does it mean? He is alone in a universe that he has set in motion. He will wrest meaning from it by an act of sacrifice, in order to interact with the only other thing he can possibly interact with: the totality, all that he is not: the cosmos.
So, Odin met the Other, and gained the runes.
Act 8: And Here We Are!
The god has encoded the keys to consciousness in the runes. Now this pattern must be passed on to other sentient life.
So we come to the creation of humans, to the part of the story where we try to explain ourselves to ourselves, to understand what kind of being we are. The story of the three brothers ensouling us gives three forces, three centres, three ‘brains’.
Act 9: Deals, Ends, Beginnings
The realm of the gods is established, and now the Aesir, the tribe of Odin, the gods of conscious life, enter into relationships with the other entities that inhabit their universe. However, the deals they make are subject to the laws of that universe, its ancient layers, and the seeds of its downfall are sown at the same moments as many of the actions that create and sustain that world.
The Ragnarok is the tale of the completion of the processes of creation, the return of the cycle to its origin-point, the end and a new beginning.
Adapted from Dave Lee’s ‘Bright From the Well’.