First, this may not be truth. I have the feeling it’s in that vicinity though.
My impression is that the nine worlds that the world-tree Yggdrasil, from the Scandinavian mythology, are chakra’s, viewed from an other perspective. The seven main chakra’s, combined with the chakra’s in the feet and in the hands.
There is a great Dutch book, Tussen Wodan en Widar (Between Wodan and Widar), from A. Woutersen-Van Weerden, that explains the tales of the Edda in a spiritual manner, those tales being both processes in the world development and processes in our personal development. From this I started wondering what the nine realms are in us
Which world is which chakra I am not completely sure. And one I place in the body in place that is weird, tree wise.
Midgard is fairly easy. That’s our middle, the heart chakra, the Middle Garden. Persons in Midgard are our feelings.
Asgard, the home of the Aesir gods, the most commonly known gods, in the top of the tree is, in my perception, the seventh chakra, the Crown chakra at the top of our head. Spiritual knowledge enters here.
Vanaheim, home of the fertility gods, is the second chakra, the sacral chakra, which is connected to fertility and sexuality.
Muspelsheim, the fiery place, is the first chakra, the root chakra. Lots of energy, warmth, but also the place of deconstruction, or destruction, and relieving one self of old energy.
Alfheim, place of the elves, I connect to the fifth chakra, the throat chakra. This place is given to Freyr, a former Vanir, fertility god, that lives with the Aesir, gods of the mind. The vocal cords are transformed sexual organs according Steiner. More over, the place is given to Freyr as tooth money, the money you get if you put a tooth under your pillow. At least, if I remember correctly. Then it is connected to the teeth change around the seventh year in a life.
Niflheim, the cold and wet place, is a weird one. The description of it is of the brains, with numerous rivers flowing from it. With it waters it feeds Yggdrassil, the world-tree. Which is our energetic spine. The weird thing is, one would expect the water feeding Yggdrassil being somewhere low in the body, like roots are low on a tree. Now is the human sometimes seen as a uprooted tree, with our roots being our mind. So I connect Niflheim with the sixth chakra, the third eye, centre head.
Svartalfaheim, home to the Svartalfa, the black elves. These are often thought as the same as dwarfs, but since I did the chakra research, I disagree. The Svartalfa are their own people, not dwarfs. They weave and work in other ways then the dwarfs or the other elves. If I connect them to the remaining chakra, the third chakra between navel and midriff, the Solar plexus, I receive images of these black elves weaving the energy that comes in through the Solar plexus, making it useful for the other worlds.
I have an other apt place for the dwarfs.
Now the main seven chakra’s are ‘accounted for’. We got two other worlds.
One is a clear one, Jotunheim, the world of the giants, the Jotun. Between Wodan and Widar explains these giants as the laws of physics. Giant, cold and neutral, sometimes destructive towards humanity, sometimes, often with help of the gods, benign. This world I place with the chakra connected to our feet, which meet the hard world outside, which can be cold to us, and with help of our consciousness, benign.
Last chakra then is the one (split, or two small, connecting to one?) in the hands. This one was a tricky one and I will tell you shortly why. First my conclusions; I think this chakra is of the Dwarfs, Nidavellir. The dwarfs make things, are the smiths and craftsman in the Mythology. Therefore I think it very apt if this world is connected to our hands, which make things.
The tricky part was because of one other place, Hellheim. This is the realm of the goddess Hel and the place where most of the dead go. This place can be seen as it’s own world. If one sees the Svartalfen and Dwarfs as the same, Hellheim is the ninth world.
But is can also be seen as part of Niflheim, the cold and wet world.
For spirituality, this last one matches better and this is because of where the other dead go. Not all the dead go to Hellheim. Those that are worthy go to Asgard, to the halls of Freya and Odin (the lather being Valhalla). I already mention people in Midgard being our emotions. It resonates, that emotions that are worthy, have done well, become somewhat spiritual, go to our spiritual center, our seventh chakra.
It also resonates that emotions that aren’t yet so worked on, we still have to think and rethink about, so they go to our brains, Niflheim, Hellheim. In this way, Hellheim is located in Niflheim.