Edderkopper over on Tumblr brought up some interesting points in response to my post on Hvergelmir.

I found it kind of surprising that out of all three wells, you view Hvergelmir as the representation of aspects that are ingrained and unchangeable. I’m not saying you’re wrong or anything, because as you said, that’s the nature of UPG. I’d be curious to hear more about the thought process that led you to that, though, if you’re willing to share.

My personal take is that out of all the wells, Hvergelmir is arguably the one most associated with flow. It gives rise to all the waters of the world. Nidhogg, a force of primal chaos, churns the waters. It’s a font of change, insurance that nothing is truly immutable. Which still oddly fits with the idea of it being a mortal wound. That’s an interesting take.

Expanding on that with my filthy Manannán-tainted hands, I guess you could say I view Hvergelmir as the opposite of–or maybe the complement to–Mimisbrunnr. The wisdom and other offered treasures (and miscellaneous body parts) that Mimisbrunnr catches, it keeps, for all eternity. It is water in its role of symbolizing the hidden and otherworldly and unknown.

But Hvergelmir flows outward. It permeates everything in the form of mist. It nourishes the worlds, and bestows the wisdom that drips down from Valhalla onto everything…though because of the constant churn, it’s a more earthy wisdom, the stuff that gets passed along rather than hidden. And there’s the beautiful, terrible paradox that we see so often in Norse myth: the same forces that nourish the world also drive its destruction.

This is a very interesting take — and one of the reasons I do enjoy engaging with people online. Edderkopper’s manner of thinking of Hvergelmir is different than mine, but is in no way “wrong”. I can absolutely see why they think this way, and I really appreciated this view point because it made me evaluate mine. Some of the wording in here is just… so true as well, especially “the same forces that nourish the world also drive its destruction”. Very poignant, and true to what information we have retained about the lore.

I responded to Edderkopper with why I think of Hvergelmir as being unchangeable. I view Hvergelmir as being so unchangeable because I heavily link it with the past — things that have already happened. The past feeds the present, and the future. The past permeates everything that we are doing or will do, whether or not we realize it. Because I associate Hvergelmir with primal waters, I also find it possible to think of it as the past that is beyond personal memory. This could simply be things that have slipped from our minds, in that memory is so permeable, or it could go back into the concept of genetic memory. This would also be things that are taken as “common knowledge” with no clear point of conception or why it is considered to be so.

I do not associate it with personal or more present memory because of Mimisbrunnr, which I’ll get into in the next Deep Waters post.

Thank you, Edderkopper, for the discussion.


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