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Pacifier Trees – A Scandinavian Tradition

By 02/06/2022February 12th, 2024No Comments
JUNE 02 - 2022

Pacifier Trees - A Scandinavian Tradition

In Scandinavia we have always had a big fascination for trees. Old, beautiful, and magical trees with strong roots…

Yggdrasil (“igg-dreh-sell”), the Tree of Life, is the biggest and best of them all, located at the center of the universe. With branches extending above the heavens and three great roots strongly latching the tree into the ground. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is described as an enormous, ever-green ash tree – a mighty tree that held together the nine worlds of Norse Mythology, creating a connectedness while nourishing all things. Yggdrasil connected the Vikings with the fantastic worlds of the Gods and Giants. The mighty tree was considered to be guardian and bringer of luck, and offerings were sometimes made to them.

Sacrificing the beloved pacifier to the tree of life

Tree offerings are continuing today, but in a child-friendly way: Trees are included in a children’s ritual, where children in a rite of passage sacrifice their pacifiers to a so-called pacifier tree. But when is it time to take the pacifier away? When the little ones turn three years old, Danish tradition dictates that it is time to give up the comforting pacifiers. Together with their parents they tie up their favorite pacifiers to a tree’s branches with little parting notes attached. This painful separation is a bittersweet goodbye – while parting ways with your beloved soothing pacifier is sad, letting go is also a natural step in life as you grow up. Having these pacifier trees also teach our small human beings that they are not alone in this. The ritual creates a togetherness and connectedness which makes it easier saying goodbye to their treasured companions.