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The name given in Seandinavian mythology to the greatest and most sacred of all trees, which was conceived as binding together heavens earth, and hell. It is an ash, whose branches spread over all the world, and reach above the heavens. It sends out three roots in as many different directions: one to the Asa-gods in heaven, another to the Frostgiants, the third to the under-world. Under each root springs a wonderful fountain, endowed with marvelous virtues. From the tree itself springs a honey-dew. The serpent, Nithhoggr, lies at the under-world fountain and gnaws the root of Ygdrasil; the squirrel, Ratatoskr, runs up and down, and tries to breed strife between the serpent and the eagle, which sits aloft. Doctor Oliver (Signs and Symbols, page 155) considers it to have been the Theological Ladder of the Gothic Mysteries.
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