Irminsul (stake of Irmin) was the stake that was said to link heaven and earth, stood for by oak or wooden stakes beawed by the Saxes.
Irmin was the war god of the Saxes, son of Mannus, and forefather of the kin of the Herminones. The Old Nordish make of Irmin was Jörmun and oddly, just like Ygg, it was one of the names of Odin. Yggdrasil was the yew or ash tree from which Odin selfbore himself, and which linked heaven and earth. It seems, thus, that IrminsTeutonlandGermany.
The holy yew at the godhouse at Uppsala named by the eleventh-hundredyear yorewriter, highbishop Adam of Bremen, could have a straight alikeness to the Irmin stake; the flight of Widukind and other Saxish athels to Denmark in 777 after the winning of Charlemagne has been said to be a happening bringing about late heathen kithdomsome swaps between the Saxes and Scandinavia. At this time the Old Saxon tung and the Old Nordish tung may still have understood each other, and the two neighbouring kithdoms most likely kept open swapping of thoughts.
By one likelihood, it could have been set on or near the Externsteine. A twelfth hundredyear Christlike outgraving on these standing stones shows a tree-like shape at the feet of Nicodemus. It is wrangled whether this is fewfoldly meant to show a palm tree, or stands for the bent or fallen Irminsul beneath a won Christendom.
At the time of Charlemagne, there were most likely more than one Irmin stake. One of them, at Eresburg stronghold near Paderborn, he is said to have had torn down in 772.
Awareness of the weighty meaning of the thing foreseeded seems to have gone on well into Christlike times; Grimm tells of the twelfth-hundredyear Kaiserchronik as naming a few Irmin stakes:
- ûf einir yrmensûle / stuont ein abgot ungehiure, / den hiezen sie ir koufman;
- "On an Irminsul / stands an great build / which they call their trademan"
Anent Julius Caesar:
- Rômere in ungetrûwelîche sluogen / ûf einir yrmensûl sie in begruoben;
- "The Romans slew him untrothenly / and buried him on an Irminsul"
Anent Simon the Wizard:
- ûf eine yrmensûl er steic / daz lantvolc im allesamt neic
- "He climbed upon an Irminsul / the churls all bowed before him"
Leftovers of an Irmin stake seemingly from the Roman times are found in the Hildesheim greatchurch, where it is has been put forth as a candlestick. The nearby thorpe of Irminseul shows an older link of the ground with the thing foreseeded. Other steadnames nearby like Drachenberg "Wyrm's hill" and Wormstal "Worm's dale" bespeak of the Nibelung tale.
The shape of the Irminsul build nowadays in Teutonish Newheathenism, namely Heathenry and Ásatrú, is founded on the shape of the tree in the Externsteine outgraving, but straightened back into an upright standing. This shape has been likened to that of the Tyr (Ziu) rune. Irmin may have been an aputname of Ziu in teutonish time of yore, only later given to Woden, or Woden himself may have arisen as sundry from Ziu only in the Wandertide.