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YMIR'S FLESH - North European Creation Mythologies

By Alby Stone, published by Heart of Albion Press at £12.95. 234pp. ISBN: 1872883-45-1 (reviewed by David Taylor)

In his quest for the roots of Northern European creation mythology, Alby Stone takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through a whole range of Indo-European myths and compares them with Greek, Roman, Iranian, Indian and Celtic legends and traditions of the creation. He unravels layers of meaning in the Northern European creation myth of the primordial giant Ymir who was formed out of the realm of Ice (Niflheim) and Fire (Muspelheim) by the cow Audhumbla and was then killed by his granchildren, his body forming the Earth and the heavens. This tradition was left to us by the Christian Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson, and as such is a biased and at best a sketchy account of heathen spiritual belifs about the landscape, cosmos and mankind's role in it.

By comparison with the other traditions, Alby builds up a plausible proto-myth for the creation with Northern European tradition. Alby writes in a clear way about a complex subject, injecting an occasional glimpse of humour. For anyone interested in Germanic mythology, Indo-European culture and shamanism this book is an essential addition to your reading lists.