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 Last Update 02/04/07
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Elm trees have entered our mythology -  a mark of their prominence in the lives of early civilizations. 

Germanic tribes included the elm in their creation myth, and Mongols incorporated it in a wedding prayer.

Germanic Creation Myth

The ancient Germanic peoples who came to inhabit much of Europe, believed that three gods, Odin, Vili and Ve, created the world.  

According to the myth, these three gods were walking by the sea examining their handiwork when they came upon two fallen trees.  One was an ash, the other an elm.  Odin imbued them with the spark of life.  Vili endowed them with spirit and a thirst for knowledge.  Ve gave them the gift of five senses.

When they had finished, the fallen trees resembled the gods themselves.  Out of the ash came man.  Woman was created from the elm and her name was Embla.

(Source: "Mythologies" compiled by Yves Bonnefoy v. 1, p.281)

Mongol Wedding Prayer

"Mother Ut (Fire), Mistress of Fire, descended from the elms on the tops of the Khangai-Khan and the Burkhatu-Khan mountains.  Thou, who wast born when Heaven and Earth parted, who camest forth from the footprints of Mother Ötygen (Earth), thou creation of Tengeri-Khan.  Mother Ut, thy father is the hard steel, thy mother the flint, thy ancestors, the elm trees.  Thy brightness reaches the heavens and spreads over the earth.  Thy brightness reaches the Heaven-dweller, nursed by the Mistress Uluken.  

Goddess Ut, we offer thee yellow butter and a yellow-headed white sheep.  Thine are this brave boy and the beautiful bride, the slender daughter."


(Source: "Mythology of All Races" vol. iv, Uno Holmberg, p.453)

 

 


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