There are said to be three wells that nourish the roots of Yggdrasil, MimisBrunnr, Hvergelmir and the most famous of these wells Urðarbrunnr or “The well of Wyrd”.
The word Wyrd meaning “fate” appears to come from the Proto Indo-European “wert” meaning to turn rotate. In the Slavic languages this same root word “wert” is said to derive words for time and spindle. Similarly in the Sanskrit language it births words for track and course. Anyone familiar with Norse myth will instantly see connection with these words to the Norns that dwell at/in the well. The Norns weave (spindle) the fate (Time,course,path) of men. This gives the Norns a sense of creating, where as Yggdrasil appears to be the birth, but what is in the well that they create this Wyrd from?To understand this we must take a look at the other wells especially MimisBrunnr or Mimir’s well.
Mimir’s well is presided over by the Vanir god Mimir, a diety so wise that even after he is slain Woden keeps his head with him to act as a kind of council. The name Mimir comes to mean literally “memory” or “water memory”, given that Mimir drinks from this well everyday and the mighty Woden “sacrafices” an eye for such a pleasure, may give us more clues.
Hvergelmir the third well can be translated as the “hot springs of the ice memory”, Hver – Hot spring, Gel – Ice and Mir -Memory. although this name has a little more intrigue in it again we are given the notion of memory.
So what makes Mimir wise and the Norns able to weave fate of men? simply the past, the memory of history. The wells, sometimes referred to as springs or rivers simply represent “the path of time” all that has been, the thread that is spun upon the spindle of time.