The Maier Files | The well of Urd
Urd, norns, Yggdrasil, Germanic, myth, mythology, time, concept
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The Well and Maier Files

The Well Urdhr

17 Oct The Well and Maier Files

Some tidbits and reverie about the origins of Maier Files.
“Present day” individuals usually have a thought of time as a line, from the past to what’s to come. The substance of the past is gone, exhausted out, offering route to a future that doesn’t exist yet. Just the thin, tearing present is genuine. But both time and memories which lend it apparent substance are more slippery than we like to think. It gives the idea that the brain mechanisms we use to retrieve and relive memories of ourselves serve as the basis of future thought too. We fill our imagined future with remembered visuals and emotions. Our future is imagined using the raw materials of the past.
The past is also more complex than that. What we are reviewing is not a blurred photo but rather a composition, various perspectives of the first occasion and its ensuing recallings, layered until the first memory is most likely undetectable under the overlays.
It seems that we change and develop “the past” with narrative, and we create “the future” by re-mixing the stored elements of that narrative in order to continue it onwards. Our past lives on in our present time too, with old imprints and memories colouring and shaping our present reality. All the verbal tenses cluster around the same mighty place. The old Germanics had a name for this place: the Well of Urdhr.


Urdhr, is one of the three Norns of destiny, Urdhr, Verdhandi and Skuld, who group around the Well. These Norns are mighty beings, beyond and above the gods, in the sense that they are eternal and know the fates, the rise and the fall, of the gods themselves. They work at a level some call the transpersonal. They are watchers of the Well and helpers of the Tree. Everything originates from the Well, all the past and what’s to come.  The Tree, which contains all the universes in present time, all the branches of the Now, is sustained at its underlying foundations by the Well’s water.

 

As Bauschatz points out in his landmark study “The Well and the Tree: World and Time in Early Germanic Culture” (1982), Yggdrasil and the Well of Urd correspond to the two tenses of Germanic languages. The past and the present, even modern English, a Germanic language, still has only 2 tenses. Time is cyclical rather than linear. Simply imagine the Well of Urd as the past tense. It is the reservoir of completed or ongoing actions that nourish the tree and influence its growth. Yggdrasil, in turn, corresponds to the present tense, that which is being actualized here and now. What of intention and necessity, then? This is the water that permeates the image, flowing up from the well into the tree, dripping from the leaves of the tree as dew, and returning to the well, where it then seeps back up into the tree.
In this way the present returns to the past, where it retroactively changes the past. The new past, in turn, is reabsorbed into a new present, whose originality is an outgrowth of the give-and-take between the waters of the well and the the waters of the tree. This provides a framework within which we can understand the Germanic view of destiny. The residents of the Well of Urd, the Norns, design the earliest form of the destinies of all of the beings who live in the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil, from humans to slugs to gods to giants. In contrast to the Greek concept of fate, however, all beings who are subject to destiny have some degree of agency in shaping their own destiny and the destinies of others – this is the dew that falls back into the well from the branches of the tree, accordingly reshaping the past and its influence upon the present. All beings do this passively; those who practice magic do it actively. 😉

In  our present culture, we have no time anymore for tales that might inspire us with values beyond plain acquisition of more consumer junk. Our collective sense of history is degraded and is deteriorating. Our roots are removed, our Well is contaminated with unimportant gibberish and nonsense that’s completely irrelevant to our survival and fulfilment and is not designed to inspire honorable or exceptional behaviour.

Dietrich woke something. He putted on a quest by sharing his bizarre story.  Maier Files series consist of hidden layers of themes spread over 13 episodes, whose twinkle caught my eye when staring in the amazing Well of Northern and Germanic tales. At Maier Files we hope to convey some of the thrill we get out of understanding the ancient ancestral legends. If anyone is fired up to go back to the old Sagas and read with fresh eyes until these myths come to life again then we will have succeeded. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue bringing the entire series. Slowly uplifting the veil of those hidden layers … and a hidden history …

 

 

The Well Urdhr

 

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