Next in order to the major gods and goddesses were other powerful
divinities, and besides, certain supernatural beings of a lower degree. Most
highly regarded were probably the Norns, the goddesses of Destiny.
Though their number was rather large, three of them were more prominent
than the rest, namely, Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld, who dwelt beneath
Yggdrasil, beside the well which after Urd is called Urd’s Well, where two
swans resort, where the branches of Yggdrasil drip honey dew, and where
the gods meet in solemn assembly. The Norns control the destiny of all
men and even of the Æsir themselves; and they direct the immutable laws
of the universe. At the birth of every child the Norns are present to
determine its fate, and no man lives one day longer than the Norns grant
him leave. There are both good and evil Norns; but the decrees of all alike
must be obeyed.
Peter Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York. 1926, pp. 30-31.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson. Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.
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