In Norse mythology and in contemporary Teutonic-Nordic Paganism, a sacred ash tree, the world tree, located at the center of the universe and uniting it.
Yggdrasil unites Earth, Heaven, and the Underworld by its roots and branches.
Yggdrasil is regarded as the great tree of knowledge and is a symbol of the generation of life.
The seeress who is the speaker in Völuspá devotes a stanza to this tree, stanza 19 in the usual editions:
"I know an ash tree that stands, called Yggdrasil,
A tall tree, sprinkled with white mud;
Thence come the dews that run into valleys,
Forever it stands green over the Urdarbrunn."
Grímnismál also has a good deal of information about Yggdrasil, all of it, according to the conceit of the poem, spoken by Odin as a kind of vision of holy cosmography.
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Sources: (1) Daly, Kathleen N., and Rangail, Marian, Norse Mythology A to Z, Facts on File Publishing; (2) Evans, Bergen, Dictionary of Mythology, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; (3) Lindow, John, Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, Oxford University Press; (4) Dunwich, Gerina, Wicca A To Z: A Modern Witch's Encyclopedia, Citadel Publishing.
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