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Yggdrasill: the world ash, Oluf Olufsen Bagge, 1847.
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THE WORLD TREE

axis mundi

I was still on my bay horse, and once more I felt the riders of the west, the north, the east, the south, behind me in formation, as before, and we were going east. I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed all colors upward to the heavens. Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.*
Black Elk (1863-1950) Sioux medicine man

NOTES

*Black Elk Speaks, Chapter Three: The Great Vision, John G. Neihardt. Black Elk was a medicine man of the Ogala Sioux. The excerpt above is from a longer passage which describes his visionary experience of the axis mundi as a boy of nine.
 

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