Nine Worlds

There are nine worlds mentioned in the lore. There is Asgard and Hel or Helheim, Vanaheim and Jotunheim, Muspellheim and Nifelheim, Lossalfheim and Swartalfheim, finally Midgard. Each of these nine worlds have corresponding elements and attributes and parts of the body.

The pattern of the nine worlds is an axis of five worlds up and down with four worlds spreading out into the four directions from the center.  The center is Midgard. Above Midgard is Lossalfheim. Above Lossalfheim is Asgard. Below Midgard is Swartalfheim. Below Swartalfheim is Hel or Helheim.  Parallel with Midgard to the north is Nifelheim, to the south is Muspellheim, to the east is Jotunheim, and to the west is Vanaheim.
The center axis of the five worlds also corresponds to the chakra patterns of Asgard being the top of the head and forehead, Hel being the genitals,  Vanaheim  being the right arm pit, Nifelheim being the Left arm pit, Muspellheim being the right thigh, Jotunheim being the left thigh, Lossalfheim being the mouth or throat, Swartalfheim being the belly or gut, and Midgard being the heart or chest.

 

Asgard

Element = Life
Attribute = Consciousness
Body part = Top of the head & Forehead

Home of the Aesir gods and goddesses. The name literally means “Garden = guard” of the “Aseir = As.” These are gods and goddesses of the soul or inner man. The assembly of the gods and goddesses of Asgard and Vanaheim gather here in the hall Gladsheim for community counsel.

Helheim

Element = Death
Attribute = Unconsciousness or Subconsciousness
Body part = Genitals

Home of Hel, the daughter of Loki and Lordess of the underworld realm of the dead. She is said to be half alive and beautiful  and half dead and hideous. This is where the dead go for judgment by the assembly of the gods and goddesses at the Well of Wyrd called the Thing-Stead of the gods.  Those who meet the approval of all the gods and goddesses may go to Valhalla, the hall of Odin in Asgard, through the gate called “Valgrind.”  Those who do not meet full approval are advised to return to Earth to fix their shortcomings by being reborn into their family line. They must pass through the gate called “Helgrind” to return to Earth or Midgard. Those who refuse to return to fix their short comings have the alternative choice of going to Nifelhel, a place of darkness, fog and cold until the time of the last battle, called Ragnarok. Ragnarok will be fought by the gods of Asgard against the forces of Hel led by Loki and those giants of Muspellsheim and Jotunheim.

Vanaheim

Element = Water
Attribute = Natural Order
Body part = Right arm pit

Home of the Vanir gods and goddesses. The name literally means “Home = heim” of the “Vanir = Vana.” These are gods and goddesses of nature and the body. They are the “good = god” of nature.  Njord, the Vanir god of  natural prosperity and abundance of the watery coastline came from here. He is the father of Frey and Freya. Frey is the god of natural prosperity and fertility of the land. Freya is the goddess of natural beauty and pleasure. These three are Vanir gods and goddesses who were from Vanaheim, but now dwell in Asgard with the Aesir.

Jotunheim

Element = Wind
Attribute = Chaos
Body part = Left thigh

Home of the destructive land giants called Jotuns. These are the destructive forces of nature that manifest in chaotic events like floods, storms, earth quakes and other natural disasters. They are often portrayed in the lore as big and dumb but very powerful selfish forces that are against the natural order.

Muspellheim

Element = Fire
Attribute = Energy
Body part = Right thigh

Home of the destructive fire giants, also called the sons of Muspel. These are the destructive forces of the soul or inner man. In the Teutonic mind, they are the energy that melts form. So there can be a useful aspect of change that they bring about if guided by the good will of the gods. However, without that goodwill or intention, then fire is just destructive in its energetic consumption. The Lord of Muspelsheim is Surt. His wife’s name is Sinmara who guards Surt’s terrible flaming sword that he will destroy the world with in Ragnarok. He is a primordial giant, known as an Etin. These are very intelligent giants who often know as much as the gods, but use it for selfish purposes. They are against the good order of the gods that limit selfish interests in consideration of others and nature in promotion of life.

Nifelheim

Element = Ice
Attribute = Form or Structure
Body part = Left arm pit

Home of the destructive frost giants, and origin of the grandfather of the gods, Buri who was buried in the ice of Nifelheim. Once he was revealed from the ice, he sired Bor who in turn with his wife Bestla bore the three ruling gods: Odin, Villi and Vey that created the worlds. “Nifel” is related to the Norse word “cloud” or “fog”. So it is seen as a frozen foggy wasteland.  The ice it contains represents form, the form or structure of all things. Form can be used to create things good for life. However, freezing form stops progressive change. So the frost giants try to destroy by keeping things the same when they should change for the benefit of life.

Lossalfheim

Element = Light
Attribute = Intelligence
Body part = Mouth and Throat

Home of the light elves. Lossalfheim literally means, “Light = Loss, Elf = alf, Home = heim.” The Light elves were seen as intelligent magical “fairies” who were assigned to individuals of mankind to guide them to the good wyrd or good destiny of the gods. The lore states that Lossalfheim was given to the god Frey as his toothfee.  That is, when he cut his teeth he was given Lossalfheim as an inheritance. This is the origin of the tooth fairy tradition. Frey is therefore seen as the Lord of the Fairies or Light Elves.

World Elements
World Element Attribute Body Part
Asgard Life Consciousness Top of head and forehead
Helheim Death Unconsciousness and Subconsciousness Genitals
Vanaheim Water Natural Order Right arm pit
Jotunheim Wind Chaos of Wild Motion Left thigh
Muspellheim Fire Energy Right thigh
Nifelheim Ice Form or Structure Left arm pit
Lossalfheim Light Intelligence Mouth and Throat
Swartalfheim Darkness Emotion Belly and Gut
Midgard Earth Balance Heart and Chest