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Time / Wurt / Urlag
(part 2)

By: Hjuka Harugari



The Germanic perception of time fosters and interactive and influential role of not only time, but those actions and deeds which are manifest within that 'time' from one state or condition to the other- the Past directly influences the Non-past, just as the Non-past directly influences or shapes a continuously growing Past. What further establishes the importance of the ever-growing, ever-expanding past for Irminen is the phenomena of urlag and wurt -what each is, how they work, and how they act in the Being of all that is, and what is taking shape. The foundation to our understanding lies within the cosmological wisdoms encrypted (and so, preserved) in Germanic mythology. In the nineteenth and twentieth stanzas of the Voluspį, we are told:

I know an Ash that stands   called Irminsul (Yggdrasil)-
High boughed,   wet with white water:
From there come the dews   that fall in the dales;
It stands ever-green   over Urdabrunno.

From there come the maidens,   great in wisdom-
Three from the sea   that stands beneath the tree:
One is called Urda,   another Werdanda,
Sculd is the third:
There, they scored on slivers of wood,
They laid laws,
They chose life   for the children of men,
and spoke urlag.

And in Grķmnismįl (st. 26),

Eihthorn, the hart is called   which stands upon Herifater's hall
And eats from the Irminsul's limbs;  [In the original, Lęraš]
Moreover, drops from his horns
Fall into Huergelmer-
From there, all waters rise. [JHC, Edda]

Snorri elaborates a bit further in his Gylfaginning, Telling us that each of three great roots of the mighty Irminsul stand over one of three levels or aspects of Wurt's Well, and he likewise places them within particular realms or worlds of the Germanic cosmos: Urdabrunno lies within Hellaheim, Huergelmer within Nebulheim, and the third- Mīmesbrunno, lies within Rīsiheim. All three act in accordance to one another, though not necessarily conterminously, as each respective well/aspect of the Well has a certain function or property peculiar to itself.

Huergelmer is the oldest component of the three. It is the source of the primordial rivers which flowed out of Nebulheim into Ginentigruba{An Ginungagap} at the dawn of creation. Huwergelmer's name is formed from a compound of hwer (huuer)- kettle, and gelm (from gellan): to resound loudly or roar. and so, is the Roaring or Resounding Kettle. Because of its great age -having existed since before the creation of the cosmos, the ordering of Being- it is also known as The Old Kettle. In a manner of speaking, Huergelmer the origin of the primal waters which work upward into the other components/aspects of the collective Well of Wurt, and is the source of the upward momentum also found within those same components, or as embodied within the collective whole. Huergelmer directly feeds into the motion or turning of wurt itself, lending the very power or force needed to generate 'becoming'.it is the spring from which the waters of life and generative force/momentum flow.