I actually intended to post a reply to a post in the new PYHÄ blog, but the (translated) quote from a text of the Asatru group that I am member of became so lenghty that I decided to make this a post in the logbook. Do read Ensio’s thoughts on Dumézil’s tripartition and the soul too.
This soul is a complex concept, both regarding symbolism and way of thinking. In
the first chapter I wrote about the fact that the soul in the Northern tradition
is threefold: she consists of the önd (the principle of the universal gnosis or
wisdom), óð (that which raises rational aspects â€“ the driving force of the ego)
and finally lá (that which controls the passions â€“ material and sensitive
preservation). These three elements were laid in man by the Gods OdhÍnn, Hoenir
and Lodur. These three aspects of the soul are, like an umbillical cord,
connected to eachother and supersede the human aspect. This umbilical cord is
symbolised as a tree or as fire. [â€¦] Because önd stands centrally immobil, she
is uncreated, because she is Universal, and therefor belongs to the domain of
the Gods, even though she is in the Divine human. Í“ð on the other hand is the
principle of know-it-all’ity, a false reflection of önd, and over and over again
tries to put itself in the place of the primal principle. It is the engine of
daredevilry when it is disconnected from the Divine Assignment or Primal Law.
However, if óð places itself at the service of the principle of the universal
gnosis, then it can be the elevator of the third aspect, lá. This is where óð
has an elevating working (the fire from Ginunga gap) and lá is the descending
principle (the ice from Ginunga gap). But if both temper eachother by their
obstruction and place themselve in the service of the Universal Gnosis (the
Primal Law), then the urges will be sublimed, the rationality focussed, and the
unity of the aspects of the soul can be restored according to the right
propertions, being: the life-preserving aspect and the aspect of intellectuality
under supervision and in full harmony with the aspect of Wisdom.