The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book Evergreen Trees: The Mythic Spirituality of Draug, by Geirulf Odinsson:

Dreams are attempts made by the Otherworldly unconscious to communicate with Midgardian consciousness. The unconscious cannot use eloquent speech to communicate its messages, so instead it uses Midgardian imagery and symbolic representations.

Mythology operates in the exact same way.

World mythologies are a form of collective dreaming. They are the dreams shared by entire cultures. These dreams do not appear to the people as some vast shared vision that they all have together, they do not manifest like personal dreams. These great systems of mythos well up like water among cultures and peoples, and, over generations of experience and growth, these springs become rivers and lakes.

Draug wades the cold, grey river of Norse mythology. These waters bring visions of a dark and mysterious landscape with many remote corners, labyrinthine tunnels, deep pools, and mighty peaks. Like the substance of dreams, it flows fluidly in and out and around the pillars of the Otherworld, showing us great visions of Gods and beasts, love and sorrow, wars and scheming, creatures that lurk in the deep, and fly through the highest reaches of the sky. Even human heroes join the dance, scheming and fighting with the Gods.

Great truths hide behind the mask of mythology. Myths communicate timeless information via structured, chronological narratives, and vivid characters inhabiting a mythic cosmos. At face-value, the Gods, Giants, Elves and Trolls of the mythos appear as creatures that dwell within spatio-temporal domains; they can travel great distances, and huge amounts of time can pass in their narratives. The deities appear as fleshy, human-like beings with hair, eyes, noses, and mouths; and they build dwellings for themselves, and possess great treasures, tools, and weapons that are crucial to their success or failure. These Midgardian forms are in fact riddles utilised by myths and dreams in order to better communicate with the conscious mind which is completely enmeshed in spacetime. They are not divine revelation, they are not ‘factual’ events that we must have ‘faith’ are true. They are dreams. Riddles. Codelocks in need of cracking, so one might reach the treasures that lie beyond the door.

From the very core of these dreams, and emanating out into every detail, are the hidden teachings of the spaceless, timeless Otherworld, the secret messages of Önd. The Gods are far greater than the characters presented to us in the mythic narratives. These mythic characters are ‘dumbed down’ so that we dwellers of flesh might understand what it is that the true Gods are trying to teach us through their mythic counterparts. The myths that have come to us from the Otherworld are like plays and divine dramas, and the Gods are the actors who star in their own show.

Midgard itself is inherently mythic in nature; it is a reflection of the Otherworld, its fleshy body. Every Midgardian experience you have, everything you see and touch, is there to teach those who are paying attention. The cycles of the moon and the passage of the seasons. The annual death of nature and her rebirth in spring. The rising and setting of the sun and the onset of night; that all encompassing darkness which leads once more to the dawn. Midgard is the riddle world, the domain of myths and symbols. Midgard is the stage upon which Önd manifests itself through narrative, characters and settings. Midgard is the greatest, most vivid mythos of them all, a great dream we are all having together. Do symbols themselves contain the truth? No. They are but images. The truth is contained invisibly within the symbol, like a wight within a tree, like a soul within a body. We are as children who must learn through stories and pictures. This is how we begin our journey towards the Gods. This is how we learn the lessons of Midgard and grow in power and knowledge.

This is Midgard’s purpose.

It is the forge of Gods.