Detail of a memorial stone, dated from about A.D. 500, found
during the restoration of a church at Sanda in Gotland. The tree at the center
of it symbolizes the Viking concept of the universe.
Click on image for full size
Image reproduced by courtesy of Gotlands Fornsal, Visby.
In Norse mythology, Midgard is the Earth. It was created when the supreme
god, Odin and his two brothers slayed a giant. The roots of the tree
reach into the underworld and up into the land of the giants. Midgard
is surrounded by the ocean where a giant snake lives.
Asgard, the home of the gods, was joined to the Earth by a
bridge called Bifrost, symbolized by a rainbow. Odin, the supreme
Norse god, is able to look down over all that he rules.
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