From Encyclopedia Mythica
Niflheim (“house of mists”) is the far northern region of icy fogs and mists, darkness and cold. It is situated on the lowest level of the universe. The realm of death, Helheim is part of the vast, cold region. Niflheim lies underneath the third root of Yggdrasil, close to the spring Hvergelmir (“roaring cauldron”). Also situated on this level is Nastrond, the Shore of Corpses, where the serpent Nidhogg eats corpses and gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil.
After Ragnarok, there will be a hall here for the punishment of murderers, oath breakers, and philanderers.
Niflheim (or Niflheimr) (“Mist Home”, the “Abode of Mist” or “Mist World”) is one of the Nine Worlds and is a location in Norse mythology which overlaps with the notions of Niflhel and Hel.
According to Gylfaginning, it was one of the two primordial realms, the other one being Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Between these two realms of cold and heat, creation began. Later, it became the location of Hel, the abode of those who did not die a heroic death.
Nifllheim and Muspelheim are, of course, opposites. Jung had a lot to say about opposites, including:
(Carl Jung Mysterium Coniunctionis, page 1, paragraph 3.)
The factors which come together in the coniunctio are conceived as opposites, either confronting one another in enmity or attracting one another in love. To begin with they form a dualism; for instance the opposites are humidum (moist) / sicum (dry), frigidum (cold) / calidum (warm), superiora (upper, higher) / inferiora (lower), spiritus-anima (spirit-soul) / corpus (body), coelum (heaven) / terra (earth), ignis (fire) / aqua (water), bright / dark, agens (active) / patiens (passive), volatile (volatile, gaseous) / fixum (solid), pretiosum (precious, costly; also carum, dear) / vile (cheap, common), bonum (good) / malum (evil), manifestum (open) / occultum (occult; also celatum, hidden), oriens (East) / occidens (West), vivum (living) / mortuum (dead, inert), masculus (masculine) / foemina (feminine)., Sol / Luna. Often the polarity is arranged as a quaternio (quaternity), with the two opposites crossing one another, as for instance the four elements or the four qualities (moist, dry, cold, warm), or the four directions and seasons, thus producting the cross as an emblem of the four elements and symbol of the sublunary physical world. This fourfold Physis, the cross, also appears in the signs for earth, Venus, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter.
Let’s see — Nieflheim is a “a far Nothern region of fogs and mists, darkness and cold…. situated on the lowest level of the universe.”
Why does this remind me of Fairbanks in December?…. It can’t get much lower than this….
I always thought this was kind of a mythological place.
(Yes, for those who inquired, the sign is correct – fifty-two degrees below zero. This is the same temperature at which Omaha Steaks proudly proclaim they “flash freeze” their steaks. At this temperature, propane no longer works as a gas, and the roads become littered with black snakes from broken fan belts. The North is the origin of the term “Berserk”, which is what happens to people at these temperatures.)