The Avatar & the Yggdrasil

The Avatar and the Yggdrasil Tree: Moments of Wonder in Princeton

Underneath the Yggdrasil, hear the silent forest. An Avatar sits and waits for elves, dwarves, giants and the dead. The great tree of Norse Mythology connects all of existence and the cosmos with its branches reaching up to the heavens and its roots down to the underworld.

The word tree, Yggdrasil (EEG-drah-sil), was a great ash tree and central figure in Norse cosmology; the sacred site where gods would make councils and the first human laws were created. Yggdrasil is sometimes known as the tree of life, the “center of the nine worlds” or part of the “pole of the earth”.

The concept of Yggdrasil has a profound influence on Scandinavian culture as well and it remains a prominent symbol of the interconnectedness of all things in the natural world.

We invite you to take a quiet moment of reflection and allow yourself to reconnect with the things that matter to you this holiday season. Find your peace, connect with loved ones you haven’t heard from recently, or commune with nature; whatever helps you to ground yourself and think beyond today. Happiest of holidays from us to you and cheers to a wonderful new year of possibilities.



Peter Soderman (Landscape Architect)


Greg Napolitan (Sculptor)


Princeton Academy of Art (PAA)

Kelsey Doherty (Operations Manager & Instructor)

Aya Gandolfo (Instructor & Student)

Jocelyn Fautz (Student)


Jay Drake


Emrys Watson (Lighting Specialist)


Catherine Schurdak (Graphic Artist)

Vera Goliyad (PAA HS Volunteer)


A very special thank you to Palmer Square Management for making Peter’s vision possible

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Play a role in preserving high-level art education for artists for years to come by supporting with a donation, passing along your experience in our programs to a friend, or contacting us to join PAA as a volunteer.

Without your support, none of this would be possible, and we are grateful to have each of you as part of our thriving academic community.