Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The Norse Goddess Hel

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 6, 2014

Nordic Gods

Den nordiske gudeverden

Hel

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Hel, Norse Goddess of the Dead

Hel (“the hidden” from the word hel, “to conceal”) is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted Goddess aspects in history. She is described as half white/half blue, or half living/half rotten.

She represents the nature cycle in its entirety, she represents the life and light of spring rising from the roots of the underworld and she represents the dying autumn nature summoning the cold winter, and from this dark times what will lay dead on the ground will be absorbed by the underground to feed a new fertile summer. She is a deep and mighty earth and ice energy who gives life from the darkness – life, death and reincarnation of nature and all living creatures. She is keeper of the underworld and keeper of the source of the origin.

While the other goddesses/giantess, like Freyja, Idunn and Skadi etc., represent specific aspect of life and nature, Hel represent the full cycle of life and death. Althought there is no evidence of a cult of she could have been the supreme Mother nature, and might never had a cult because there were other goddesses who all inherited some specific aspect of Hel and people would rather make a ceremony for different goddesses depending the time of the year or the occasion.

She must have meant something very special since the early Christian church used her name as a scare tactic to frighten the masses into “righteous” acts (instead of allowing free will to guide their actions to do what is right) and to say that all the people who have something to do with heathensim and all of them they chose to define as evil would go to hell.

It seems that Hel actually represents a very old mother earth cult, but that she has been greatly perverted through the years by patriarchal domination. She has fallen from her privileged position as guardian and ruler through years of being represented as an evil, ugly entity waiting to devour and torture lost souls.

To get the real story, we have to go back to the early Nordic people and look this death Goddess in the face. May we learn and dispel the slander of years by seeing her for the protector, judge, and guide that she originally represented.

The old Old Norse word Hel derives from Proto-Germanic *khalija, which means “one who covers up or hides something”, which itself derives from Proto-Indo-European *kel-, meaning “conceal”. The cognate in English is the word Hell which is from the Old English forms hel and helle. Related terms are Old Frisian, helle, German Hölle and Gothic halja. Other words more distantly related include hole, hollow, hall, helmet and cell, all from the aforementioned Indo-European root *kel-.

The word Hel is found in Norse words and phrases related to death such as Helför (“Hel-journey,” a funeral) and Helsótt (“Hel-sickness,” a fatal illness). The Norwegian word “heilag/hellig” which means “sacred” is directly related etymologically to the name “Hel”, and the same goes for the English word “holy”.

Hel is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively.

In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, her appearance is described as half black and half white flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. Her body and face were described as half in light and half in darkness. She was half dead and half alive. Her face was at once beautiful to look upon and horrific in form.

Hel governs the world beyond that of the living. Hel governs the world beyond that of the living. In magic, she makes thin the veil between worlds. Seidhr [SAY-theer] or Nordic shamans call upon Her protection and wear the helkappe, a magic mask, to render them invisible (like Hades helm of invisibility) and enable them to pass through the gateway into the realm of death and spirit. In divination, her special symbol is Hagalaz, hail: The embodiment of the icy realm She rules. Hel stands at the crossroads in judgment of souls who pass into her realm.

In the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki, the trickster, and Angrboða, the giantess, along with the wolf Fenrir, the wolf who would destroy Asgard during Ragnarok, and the serpent Jörmungandr, the Midhgard serpent who lies at the bottom of the ocean wrapped around the world with his tail in his mouth (it is he that holds the world together).

Once the gods found that these three children are being brought up in the land of Jötunheimr, and when the gods “traced prophecies that from these siblings great mischief and disaster would arise for them” then the gods expected a lot of trouble from the three children, partially due to the nature of the mother of the children, yet worse so due to the nature of their father.

Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. Upon their arrival, Odin threw Jörmungandr into the deep sea that lies round all lands, then threw Hel into the netherworld, Niflheim, and bestowed upon her authority over nine worlds, in that she must administer board and lodging to those sent to her, and that is those who die of sickness or old age. She becomes the ruler of that underworld to which souls who have not died in battle will depart.

As thanks for making Her ruler of the netherworld, Hel makes a gift to Odin. She gives him two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory). Ravens are messengers between this realm and the next, opening pathways to death’s realm.

In Niflheim Hel has great mansions with extremely high walls and immense gates, a hall called Éljúðnir, a dish called Hunger, a knife called Famine, the servant Ganglati (Old Norse “lazy walker”), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also “lazy walker”), the entrance threshold Stumbling-block, the bed Sick-bed, and the curtains Gleaming-bale.

In Norse mythology, Hel (also called Hela or Hell) is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, Helheim, where she receives a portion of the dead, and to “go to Hel” is to die. As Hel was home to the dishonorable dead, Norse tradition usually referred to the departed souls that were sent there as the Náir (sing. nár – “cadaver”, “deceased spirit”, corpses of the damned).

To avoid confusion between the two, a number of academic studies in Teutonic literature have often referred to this underworld as Helheim (from Old Norse heimr, heima – “abode”, “region”, “world”, Hel’s domain) or Helvíti (from Old Icel. víti, deriv. of O.E. wite – “fine”, “sconce”, “penalty”, Hel’s place of punishment).

In late Icelandic sources, varying descriptions of Hel are given and various figures are described as being buried with items that will facilitate their journey to Hel after their death. In the Poetic Edda, Brynhildr’s trip to Hel after her death is described and Odin, while alive, also visits Hel upon his horse Sleipnir.

In Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, Baldr goes to Hel upon death and subsequently Hermóðr uses Sleipnir to attempt to retrieve him. The “Hel-shoes” are described in Gísla saga as shoes placed upon the feet of a corpse so that the soul of the recently deceased can enter Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll ” the hall of the slain”), in Norse mythology, a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin.

In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim (“Mist Home”, the “Abode of Mist” or “Mist World”), one of the Nine Worlds and is a location in Norse mythology which overlaps with the notions of Niflhel and Hel.

The name Niflheimr only appears in two extant sources, Gylfaginning and the much debated Hrafnagaldr Óðins. Niflheim is a world of ice and fog, and from this realm flows the 11 Elivagar rivers all coming from the one source Hvergelmir. The Elivagar rivers are the link between ice and fire and life was born from them.

Niflhel (“Misty Hel”; Nifel being cognate with Nebel, a German and Latin root meaning cloud) is the name of a location in Norse mythology which appears in the Eddic poems Vafþrúðnismál and Baldrs draumar, and also in Snorri Sturluson’s Gylfaginning. Niflhel overlaps with the notions of Niflheimr and Hel.

In Gylfaginning by Snorri Sturluson, Gylfi, the old king of Scandinavia, receives an education in Norse mythology from Odin himself in the guise of three men. Gylfi learns from Odin (as Þriði) that Odin gave the first man his spirit, and that the spirits of just men will live forever in Gimlé, whereas those of evil men will live forever in Niflhel.

Niflheim was primarily a realm of primordial ice and cold, with nine frozen rivers. According to Gylfaginning, Niflheim 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 when its waters mixed with the heat of Muspelheim to form a “creating steam”. Later, it became the abode of Hel, a goddess daughter of Loki, and the afterlife for her subjects, those who did not die a heroic or notable death.

Because she accepts all to Helheim, she also becomes the judge to determine the fate of each soul in the afterlife. The evil dead are banished to a realm of icy cold death (a fate that the Nordic people found much worse in telling than a lake of fire) and torture.

This particular aspect of Hel’s realm was the basis for the Judeo-Christian “hell” to which sinners are banished and tortured for eternity. Unlike the Judeo-Christian concept, Helheim also served as the shelter and gathering place of souls to be reincarnated. Hel watches over those who died peacefully of old age or illness. She cares for children and women who die in childbirth. She guides those souls who do not choose the path of war and violence through the circle of death to rebirth.

One of the stories involving Hel is the decent of Balder into Helheim. The Prose Edda details that Hel rules over vast mansions with many servants in her underworld realm and plays a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr, which Loki arranged for to die by tricking him into a rigged contest. Because the contest was hosted in Asgard Balder could not return to that place in death. His relocation sent him to the only other realm for the dead, Hel’s domain. His arrival to Helheim was welcomed with banquet and festival, proof that not all of Hel’s realm was torturous.

The goddess Frigg asks who among the Æsir will earn all her love and favour by riding to Hel, the location, to try to find Baldr, and offer Hel herself a ransom.

The god Hermóðr volunteers and sets off upon the eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel. Hermóðr arrives in Hel’s hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and stays the night. The next morning, Hermóðr begs Hel to allow Baldr to ride home with him, and tells her about the great weeping the Æsir have done upon Baldr’s death.

Hel says the love people have for Baldr that Hermóðr has claimed must be tested, stating: “If all things in the world, alive or dead, weep for him, then he will be allowed to return to the Æsir. If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain with Hel.”

Later in the chapter, after the female jötunn Þökk refuses to weep for the dead Baldr, she responds in verse, ending with “let Hel hold what she has.”

Most details about Hel, as a figure, are not found outside of Snorri’s writing in Gylfaginning. When older skaldic poetry says that people are ‘in’ rather than ‘with’ Hel, it is a place rather than a person, and this is assumed to be the older conception. The word Hel is generally used simply to signify death or the grave, and the word often appears as the equivalent to the English ‘death’. The noun and place Hel likely originally simply meant “grave”. The personification came later.

Jacob Grimm theorized that Hel (whom he refers to here as Halja, the theorized Proto-Germanic form of the term) is essentially an image of a greedy, unrestoring, female deity and that the higher we are allowed to penetrate into our antiquities, the less hellish and more godlike may Halja appear.

Of this we have a particularly strong guarantee in her affinity to the Indian Bhavani, who travels about and bathes like Nerthus and Holda, but is likewise called Kali or Mahakali, the great black goddess. In the underworld she is supposed to sit in judgment on souls. This office, the similar name and the black hue, make her exceedingly like Halja, one of the oldest and commonest conceptions of Germanic heathenism.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, potential Indo-European parallels to Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali, and her origins.

Hel seems to be connected to other Germanic goddesses: Frau Holde or Holle for instance. In German legends, Frau Holda was the protectoress of agriculture and women’s crafts. Her name and the names Huld and Hulda may be cognate with that of the Scandinavian being known as the huldra.

In German legends, ‘frau Holda’ was the protectoress of women’s crafts, but none so much as spinning, an activity with strong magical connotations and links to the other world. Frau Holda teaches, inspires and rewards the hard worker, sometimes finishing an industrious worker’s reels for her during the night, but she punishes the lazy, fouling their work.

In Swabia all spinning must be finished by Christmas Eve, and no new work begun until the end of the Twelfth Night. Near the Hörselberg the opposite is the case: flax is loaded onto the spindles on Christmas Eve, when Holda begins her rounds promising As many threads, as many good years, and all must be finished by the time she returns at Epiphany, this time promising As many threads, as many bad years.

Festivals are observed for Holda in parts of Germany, generally on Christmas Eve or Twelfth Night, or for the entire Twelve Days of Christmas, and during these times there are often prohibitions regarding spinning.

While governing domestic chores, Holda is also strongly associated with the outside wilderness, wild animals and places remote from man. Frau Holda’s festival is in the middle of winter, the time when humans retreat indoors from the cold; it may be of significance that the Twelve Days of Christmas were originally the Zwölften (“the Twelve”), which like the same period in the Celtic calendar were an intercalary period during which the dead were thought to roam abroad.

Holda seems to personify the weather that transforms the land, for when it snows, it is said that Holda is shaking out her feather pillows; fog is smoke from her fire, and thunder is heard when she reels her flax. Holda traditionally appears in either of two forms: that of a snaggle-toothed, crooked-nosed old woman, or a shining youthful maiden clothed in white. As the maiden in white, her garments resemble the gleaming white of a fresh mantle of snow.

While Holda is generally described as unmarried, and has no children of her own, she is the protectress of children, the kind spirit who would rock a child’s cradle when its nurse fell asleep. She is said to own a sacred pool, through which the souls of newborn children enter the world.

Mother Goose is believed to be based on Holda who is a kindly and wise, if slightly horrific crone who rewards the industrious and punishes the lazy. The goose aspect is from a legend tradition that says that snow is a result of Frau Holda shaking out her bed linens.

Later canonical and church documents make her synonymous with Diana, Herodias, Bertha, Richella and Abundia. Historian Carlo Ginzburg has identified remarkably similar beliefs existing throughout Europe for over a thousand years, whereby men and women were thought to leave their bodies in spirit and follow a goddess variously called Holda, Diana, Herodias, Signora Oriente, Richella, Arada and Perchta.

He also identifies strong morphological similarities with the earlier goddesses Hecate/Artemis, Artio, the Matres of Engyon, the Matronae and Epona, as well as figures from fairy-tales, such as Cinderella.

The name Hludana is found in five Latin inscriptions: three from the lower Rhine. Many attempts have been made to interpret this name. The most steadfast connections are with Frau Holle and Hulda on one hand, and the Old Norse Hlóðyn, a byname for the Earth, Thor’s mother, on the other.

She is also frequently equated with Nerthus, in Germanic paganism a goddess associated with fertility, who also rides in a wagon, and Odin’s wife, Frigg, from her alternate names Frau Guaden [Wodan], Frau Goden, and Frau Frekke as well as her position as mistress of the Wild Hunt. The similarity of meaning and etymology between German “Holl(d)a” and Old English “Hella,” as well as both being described as leading the dead, could point to a link between them.

The name Nerthus is generally held to be a Latinized form of Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, which is the Proto-Germanic precursor to the Old Norse deity name Njörðr, who is a male deity in works recorded in the 13th century. Various scholarly theories exist regarding the goddess and her potential later traces amongst the Germanic peoples.

The connection between the two is due to the linguistic relationship between Njörðr and the reconstructed Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, Nerthus being the feminine, Latinized form of what Njörðr would have looked like around the first century.

Jörð is the common word for earth in Old Norse, as are the word’s descendants in the modern Scandinavian languages; Icelandic jörð, Faroese jørð, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian jord. It is cognate to English “earth” through Old English eorðe.

In Norse mythology, Jörð is a female jötunn. She is the mother of Thor and the personification of the Earth. Jörð is reckoned a goddess, like other jötnar who coupled with the gods. Jörð’s name appears in skaldic poetry both as a poetic term for the land and in kennings for Thor. She is usually thought to be identical with Hludana. Fjörgyn and Hlóðyn are considered to be other names for Jörð.

Bynames of the Earth in Icelandic poetry include Jörð, Fjörgyn, Hlóðyn, and Hlín. Hlín is used as a byname of both Jörð and Frigg. Fjörgynn (a masculine form of Fjörgyn) is said to be Frigg’s father, while the name Hlóðyn is most commonly linked to Frau Holle, as well as to a goddess, Hludana, whose name is found etched in several votive inscriptions from the Roman era.

In Norse mythology, the feminine Fjörgyn (Old Norse “earth”) is described as the mother of the god Thor, son of Odin, and the masculine Fjörgynn is described as the father of the goddess Frigg, wife of Odin. Both names appear in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. A number of theories surround the names, and they have been the subject of scholarly discourse.

Hilda Ellis Davidson theorizes that Fjörgyn and Fjörgynn may have represented a divine pair of which little information has survived, along with figures such as the theorized Ullr and Ullin, Njörðr and Nerthus, and the attested Freyr and Freyja.

Theories have been proposed that Fjörgyn may represent an extension of an earlier Proto-Indo-European thunder or rain god or goddess due to Indo-European linguistic connections between Norse Fjörgyn, the Hindu rain god Parjanya, the Lithuanian god Perkūnas, and the Slavic god Perun.

Compareable goddesses

Hela

– another version of the name Hel. Also Helle.

Hecate

– Guardian of the crossroads and patron of witches.

Holle

– Frau Holle is the kindly mistress who guards those who do not die in battle. She holds them in preparation for reincarnation.

Holda

– Dame Holda is a precursor to Mother Goose. She is guardian of children who die. She shakes her feather matress to make it snow.

Idunna

– Goddess aspect whose apples feed the gods and give them immortality (much like the Greek ambrosia).

Isis

– Special protector and caregiver for the dead. Sits with Osiris in judgment of souls.

Kali

– Death Goddess aspect. Destroyer and bringer of life. Kali enables reincarnation and life by destroying the old. Hel represents this harsh Goddess aspect.

Heimdallr

File:Nils Asplund - Heimdal.jpg

Heimdallr brings forth the gift of the gods to mankind (1907) by Nils Asplund

Heimdallr, who in Norse mythology is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr, has gold teeth, and is the son of Nine Mothers. The etymology of the name is obscure, but ‘the one who illuminates the world’ has been proposed.

Heimdallr is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, and is described as “the whitest of the gods”. Heimdallr is the watchman of the gods, and he sits on the edge of heaven to guard the Bifröst bridge from the berg jötnar. He keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets heaven.

Heimdallr is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity and once regained Freyja’s treasured possession Brísingamen while doing battle in the shape of a seal with Loki. Heimdallr and Loki are foretold to kill one another during the events of Ragnarök. Heimdallr is additionally referred to as Rig, Hallinskiði, Gullintanni, and Vindlér or Vindhlér.

Heimdallr requires less sleep than a bird, can see at night just as well as if it were day, and for over a hundred leagues. His hearing is also quite keen; he can hear grass as it grows on the earth, wool as it grows on sheep and anything louder. Heimdallr possesses a trumpet, Gjallarhorn, that, when blown, can be heard in all worlds, and the head is referred to as Heimdall’s sword.

After the enemies of the gods will gather at the plain Vígríðr, Heimdallr will stand and mightily blow into Gjallarhorn. The gods will awake and assemble together at the thing. At the end of the battle between various gods and their enemies, Heimdallr will face Loki and they will kill one another. After, the world will be engulfed in flames.

Heimdallr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material; in the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, both written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the poetry of skalds; and on an Old Norse runic inscription found in England. Two lines of an otherwise lost poem about the god, Heimdalargaldr, survive.

Due to the problematic and enigmatic nature of these attestations, scholars have produced various theories about the nature of the god, including his apparent relation to rams, that he may be a personification of or connected to the world tree Yggdrasil, and potential Indo-European cognates.

A figure holding a large horn to his lips and clasping a sword on his hip appears on a stone cross from the Isle of Man. Some scholars have theorized that this figure is a depiction of Heimdallr with Gjallarhorn. A 9th or 10th century Gosforth Cross in Cumbria, England depicts a figure holding a horn and a sword standing defiantly before two open-mouthed beasts. This figure has been often theorized as depicting Heimdallr with Gjallarhorn.

Khaldi and Urartu (Armenia)

The Armenian Highland is the central-most and highest of three land-locked plateaus that together form the northern sector of Southwest Asia. To its west is the Anatolian plateau, which rises slowly from the lowland coast of the Aegean Sea. To its southeast is the Iranian plateau.

The Armenian Highland is the geographical term which more completely describes where Armenians come from, where the culture originated and everything else about Armenia and Armenians. The area was during the Antiquity known as Armenia Major, a central region to the history of Armenians, and one of the three geo-political regions associated with Armenians, the other two being Armenia Minor and Sophene.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Anatolia, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located North of the Euphrates and to the South of Hayasa. The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.

The mentioning of the name Armenian can only be securely dated to the 6th century BC with the Orontid kings and very little is known specifically about the people of Azzi-Hayasa per se. Some historians find it sound to theorize that after the Phrygian invasion of Hittites, the theoretically named Armeno-Phrygians would have settled in Hayasa-Azzi, and merged with the local people, who were possibly already spread within the western regions of Urartu.

After the fall of the latter, and the rise of the Kingdom of Armenia under the Artaxiad dynasty, Hayasan nobility (given they were truly Armenian) would have assumed control of the region and the people would have adopted their language to complete the amalgamation of the proto-Armenians, giving birth to the nation of Armenia as we know it today.

Uratri (Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu), corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat, or Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili) was an Iron Age kingdom centred by Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. Urartri, Aratta and Armenia are all signifying the same country, and they are all signifying fire, as AR, HAR, ER, HER, YER, HOR, KHAR, KHOR, UR, HUR, KHUR etc. all coming from Armenian meaning fire.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths. The goddess Inanna resides in Aratta. The Sumerian legend, Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta, establishes that Aratta had highly skilled and much sought after craftsmen, which the Sumerians sought to employ for their own use in constructing a ziggurat after the fashion of that at Aratta, which was dedicated to Inana and were her cult was pre-eminent, thus the Goddess and her tradition seemingly were derivative of Aratta.

Scholars such as Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi. Haldi (Haldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin), in Assyrian Muṣaṣir (Mu-ṣa-ṣir), Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bows and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.

Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) panthenon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion. Arubani is the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art. She was also the wife of their supreme god, Khaldi.

Hayk or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Hayk the Tribal Chief), is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene (410-490). Hayk is the nominative plural in Classical Armenian of hay, the Armenian term for Armenian, and hayer is the self-designation of the Armenians.

The Armenian word haykakan or haigagan, meaning “that which pertains to Armenians”, finds its stem in this progenitor. Hayk would then be an aitiological founding figure, like e.g. Asshur for the Assyrians, Indra for the Indians, etc. A connection is made in Armenian historiography with Hayasa.

Shivini or Artinis (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day) was a solar god in the mythology of the Urartu. He is the third god in a triad with Khaldi and the Urartian weather-god, notably the god of storms and thunder, Theispas of Kumenu, and is cognate with the triad in Hinduism called Shivam.

The ancient Araratian cities of Teyseba and Teishebaini were named after Theispas. He is a counterpart to the Assyrian god Adad, and the Hurrian god, Teshub. He was often depicted as a man standing on a bull, holding a handful of thunderbolts. His wife was the goddess Huba, who was the counterpart of the Hurrian goddess Hebat.

Shivini was depicted as a man on his knees, holding up a solar disc. His wife was most likely a goddess called Tushpuea who is listed as the third goddess on the Mheri-Dur inscription. Shivini is generally considered a good god, like that of the Egyptian solar god, Aten, and unlike the solar god of the Assyrians, Ashur to whom sometimes human sacrifices were made.

The god Shamash (Akkadian Šamaš “Sun”), a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons, is a counterpart to Shivini. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac šemša or šimšu Hebrew šemeš and Arabic šams.

Asha- Arta

Wisdom of Zoroastrianism

Asha (aša) is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.”

The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.” Avestan druj, like its Vedic Sanskrit cousin druh, appears to derive from the PIE root *dhreugh, also continued in Persian / d[o]rūġ “lie”, German Trug “fraud, deception”. Old Norse draugr and Middle Irish airddrach means “spectre, spook”. The Sanskrit cognate druh means “affliction, afflicting demon”.

The significance of the term is complex, with a highly nuanced range of meaning. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of truth and right(eousness), order and right working.

Avestan aša and its Vedic equivalent ṛtá both derive from Proto-Indo-Iranian *ṛtá- “truth”, which in turn continues Proto-Indo-European *h2r-to- “properly joined, right, true”, from the root *h2ar. The word is attested in Old Persian as arta. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-. In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

It is unclear whether the Avestan variation between aša and arta is merely orthographical. Benveniste suggested š was only a convenient way of writing rt and should not be considered phonetically relevant.

According to Gray, š is a misreading, representing – not /ʃ/ – but /rr/, of uncertain phonetic value but “probably” representing a voiceless r. Miller suggested that rt was restored when a scribe was aware of the morpheme boundary between the /r/ and /t/ (that is, whether the writer maintained the –ta suffix).

Aša “cannot be precisely rendered by some single word in another tongue,” but may be summarized as follows: It is, first of all, ‘true statement’. This ‘true statement’, because it is true, corresponds to an objective, material reality. This reality embraces all of existence. Recognized in it is a great cosmic principle since all things happen according to it. “This cosmic […] force is imbued also with morality, as verbal Truth, ‘la parole conforme’, and Righteousness, action conforming with the moral order.”

The correspondence between ‘truth’, reality, and an all-encompassing cosmic principle is not far removed from Heraclitus’ conception of Logos.

The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”. In the Younger Avesta, this figure is more commonly referred to as Asha Vahishta (Aša Vahišta, Arta Vahišta), “Best Truth”. The Middle Persian descendant is Ashawahist or Ardwahisht; New Persian Ardibehesht or Ordibehesht.

In the Gathas, the oldest texts of Zoroastrianism and thought to have been composed by the prophet himself, it is seldom possible to distinguish between moral principle and the divinity. Later texts consistently use the Best epithet when speaking of the Amesha Spenta, only once in the Gathas is best an adjective of aša/arta.

Asha Vahishta is closely associated with fire. Fire is “grandly conceived as a force informing all the other Amesha Spentas, giving them warmth and the spark of life.” In Yasht 17.20, Angra Mainyu clamours that Zoroaster burns him with Asha Vahishta. In Vendidad 4.54-55, speaking against the truth and violating the sanctity of promise is detected by the consumption of “water, blazing, of golden color, having the power to detect guilt.”

This analogy of truth that burns and detecting truth through fire is already attested in the very earliest texts, that is, in the Gathas and in the Yasna Haptanghaiti. In Yasna 43-44, Ahura Mazda dispenses justice through radiance of His fire and the strength of aša.

Fire “detects” sinners “by hand-grasping” (Yasna 34.4). An individual who has passed the fiery test (garmo-varah, ordeal by heat) has attained physical and spiritual strength, wisdom, truth and love with serenity (Yasna 30.7). Altogether, “there are said to have been some 30 kinds of fiery tests in all.”

According to the post-Sassanid Dadestan i denig (I.31.10), at the final judgement a river of molten metal will cover the earth. The righteous, as they wade through this river, will perceive the molten metal as a bath of warm milk. The wicked will be scorched.

Me or Parşu

File:Sumer1.jpg

A similar concept in Sumerian mythology is me or parşu, one of the decrees of the gods foundational to those social institutions, religious practices, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization, as the Sumerians understood it, possible. They are fundamental to the Sumerian understanding of the relationship between humanity and the gods.

Mushki (Armeno-Phrygians)

The Mushki were an Iron Age people of Anatolia, known from Assyrian sources. The name Mushki is applied to different peoples by different sources and at different times. It can mean the Phrygians (in Assyrian sources) or Proto-Armenians as well as the Mushki of Cappadocia, or all three, in which case it is synonymous with Armeno-Phrygian.

Two different groups are called Muški in the Assyrian sources (Diakonoff 1984:115), one from the 12th to 9th centuries, located near the confluence of the Arsanias and the Euphrates (“Eastern Mushki”), and the other in the 8th to 7th centuries, located in Cappadocia and Cilicia (“Western Mushki”). Assyrian sources identify the Western Mushki with the Phrygians, while Greek sources clearly distinguish between Phrygians and Moschoi.

The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture notes that “the Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrian (and Urartians), Luvians and the Proto-Armenian Mushki (or Armeno-Phrygians) who carried their IE language eastwards across Anatolia.”

Armeno-Phrygian is a term for a minority supported claim of hypothetical people who are thought to have lived in the Armenian Highland as a group and then have separated to form the Phrygians and the Mushki of Cappadocia. It is also used for the language they are assumed to have spoken. It can also be used for a language branch including these languages, a branch of the Indo-European family or a sub-branch of the proposed Graeco-Armeno-Aryan or Armeno-Aryan branch.

Classification is difficult because little is known of Phrygian and virtually nothing of Mushki, while Proto-Armenian forms a subgroup with Hurro-Urartian, Greek, and Indo-Iranian. These subgroups are all Indo-European, with the exception of Hurro-Urartian.

Parsua

A view of Persepolis, with a royal procession on the wall of the great stairway

Parsua (earlier Parsuash, Parsumash) was an ancient land located near Lake Urmia between Zamua (formerly: Lullubi, a group of tribes during the 3rd millennium BC, from a region known as Lulubum, now the Sharazor plain of the Zagros Mountains of modern Iran) and Ellipi, in central Zagros to the southwest of Sanandaj, northwestern Iran. The name Parsua is from an old Iranian word *Parsava and it is presumed to mean border or borderland.

Parsua was distinct from Persis, another region to the southeast, now known as Fars province in Iran. Persian and Greek sources, including the Old Persian texts at Behistun, states that Teispes (675-640 BCE.), the son of Achaemenes, the eponymous ancestor of the Achaemenid Dynasty, led a migration of Persians from Parsua to Persis, formerly the Elamite state of Anshan (modern Tall-i Malyan) in the province of Fars in the Zagros mountains, southwestern Iran.

After being freed from Median supremacy he expanded his small kingdom, an Elamite vassal state. Teispes’ great-grandson Cyrus conquered the Medes and established the Persian Empire.

There is evidence that Cyrus I, or Cyrus I of Anshan, king of Anshan in Persia from c. 600 to 580 BC or, according to others, from c.  652 to 600 BC., and Ariaramnes were both his sons. Cyrus I is the grandfather of Cyrus the Great, whereas Ariaramnes is great grandfather of Darius the Great. Teispes’ sons reportedly divided the kingdom among them after his death. Cyrus reigned as king of Anshan while his brother Ariaramnes was king of Parsa.

Anshan, one of the early capitals of Elam, from the 3rd millennium BC., was captured by Teispes (675–640 BC), who styled himself “King of the city of Anshan”, and fell under Persian Achaemenid rule. For another century during the period of Elamite decline, Anshan was a minor kingdom, until the Achaemenids in the 6th century BC embarked on a series of conquests from Anshan, which became the nucleus of the Persian Empire. The most famous conqueror who rose from Anshan was Cyrus the Great.

The ancient Persians were present in the region from about the 9th century BC, and became the rulers of a large empire under the Achaemenid dynasty in the 6th century BC. The ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire, are located in Fars.

The chronological placement of this event is uncertain. This is due to his suggested, but still debated identification, with the monarch known as “Kuras of Parsumas”, first mentioned c. 652 BC.

Perseus

File:Firenze.Loggia.Perseus02.JPG

Achaemenēs (Old Persian: Haxāmaniš) was the eponymous ancestor of the Achaemenid Dynasty, who ruled southern Iran between 705 BC and 675 BC. As the eponymous ancestor of the clan, Achaemenes is very often held to be legendary.

Achaemenes is generally known as the leader of one of the clans, known to the Greeks as the Pasargadae (although this identification may been due to a confusion with the Persian Imperial capital city Pasargadae begun by Cyrus the Great around 546 BC), that was one of the some ten to fifteen Persian tribes.

Persian royal inscriptions such as the Behistun Inscription place him five generations before Darius the Great. Therefore, according to the Inscriptions, Achaemenes may have lived around 700 BC. The inscriptions do label him as a “king”, which may mean that he was the first official king of the Persians.

Apart from Persian royal inscriptions, there are very limited historical sources on Achaemenes; therefore very little, if anything at all, is known for certain about him. It has been proposed that Achaemenes may merely have been a “mythical ancestor of the Persian royal house”.

The “Babylonian” Cyrus Cylinder, ascribed to Cyrus the Great, does not mention Achaemenes in an otherwise-detailed genealogy. Some historians hold that perhaps Achaemenes was a retrograde creation of Darius the Great, made in order to legitimize his connection with Cyrus the Great, after Darius rose to the position of Shah (i.e. King) of Persia in 522 BC (by killing the usurper Gaumata, the so-called “False Smerdis”, who had proclaimed himself King upon the death of Darius’ predecessor, Cambyses II; according to Darius, Gaumata was an impostor pretending to be Cambyses II’s younger, deceased brother Bardiya).

Darius certainly had much to gain in having an ancestor shared by Cyrus and himself, and may have felt the need for a stronger connection than that provided by his subsequent marriage to Cyrus’ daughter Atossa.

An inscription from Pasargadae, also ascribed to Cyrus, does mention Cyrus’ descent from Achaemenes; however, historian Bruce Lincoln has suggested that these inscriptions of Cyrus in Pasargadae were engraved during the reign of Darius in c. 510.

In any case, the Persian royal dynasty from Darius onward revered Achaemenes and credited him as the founder of their dynasty. Very little, however, was remembered about his life or actions. Assuming he existed, Achaemenes was most likely a 7th-century BC warrior-chieftain, or the probable first king, who led the Persians, or a tribe of Persians, as a vassal of the Median Empire.

An Assyrian inscription from the time of King Sennacherib in 691 BC, mentions that the Assyrian king almost repelled an attack by Parsuamash and Anzan, with the Medians and others on the city of Halule. Historians contend that if he existed, Achaemenes had to be one of the commanders, leading his Persians with the independent troops of Anshan, during the indecisive Battle of Halule in 691 BC.

Ancient Greek writers provide some legendary information about Achaemenes: they call his tribe the Pasargadae, and say that he was “raised by an eagle”. Plato, when writing about the Persians, identified Achaemenes with Perses, ancestor of the Persians in Greek mythology.

According to Plato, Achaemenes/Perses was the son of the Ethiopian queen Andromeda and the Greek hero Perseus, and a grandson of Zeus. Later writers believed that Achaemenes and Perses were different people, and that Perses was an ancestor of the king.

Persian and Greek sources state that Achaemenes was succeeded by his son Teispes, who would lead the Persians to conquer and settle in the Elamite city of Anshan in southern Iran. Teispes’ great-grandson Cyrus conquered the Medes and established the Persian Empire. Teispes is referred to as a son of Achaemenes in the Old Persian texts at Behistun.

Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty of Danaans, was the first of the heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths of the Twelve Olympians. Perseus beheaded the Gorgon Medusa, and saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus.

Perseus and Andromeda had seven sons: Perses, Alcaeus, Heleus, Mestor, Sthenelus, Electryon, and Cynurus, and two daughters, Gorgophone, and Autochthe.

Perses was left in Aethiopia and became an ancestor of the Persians. The other descendants ruled Mycenae from Electryon down to Eurystheus, after whom Atreus got the kingdom. The most renowned of the Perseides was Greece’s greatest hero, Heracles son of Alcaeus.

A Greek folk etymology connected the name of the Persian (Pars) people, whom they called the Persai. The native name, however has always had an -a- in Persian. Herodotus recounts this story, devising a foreign son, Perses, from whom the Persians took the name.

Apparently the Persians themselves knew the story, as Xerxes tried to use it to suborn the Argives during his invasion of Greece, but ultimately failed to do so.

In Greek mythology the Perseides, “those born of Perseus” and Andromeda, are the members of the House of Perseus, descended, according to Valerius Flaccus through Perse and Perses.

After the Greek Dark Ages, tradition recalled that Perseus and his descendants the Perseides had ruled Tiryns in Mycenaean times, while the allied branch descended from Perseus’ great-uncle Proëtos ruled in Argos.

Maat

Egyptian Goddess Maat With Outstretched Wings Painting  - Egyptian Goddess Maat With Outstretched Wings Fine Art Print

Maat or ma’at (thought to has been pronounced, also spelled māt or mayet, was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation.

Her ideological counterpart was Isfet (meaning “injustice”, “chaos”, or “violence”; as a verb, “to do evil”), an ancient Egyptian term from Egyptian mythology used in philosophy, which was built on a religious, social and political affected dualism.

The Armenian hypothesis:

The Proto-Indo-European Urheimat

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Urheimat, based on the Glottalic theory suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highland. It is an Indo-Hittite model and does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario.

The phonological peculiarities proposed in the Glottalic theory would be best preserved in the Armenian language and the Germanic languages, the former assuming the role of the dialect which remained in situ, implied to be particularly archaic in spite of its late attestation.

The Proto-Greek language would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek and date to the 17th century BC, closely associating Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (viz., Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Armenian hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (sans Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the Kurgan hypothesis. In this, it figures as an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis, in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten, diverging from the timeframe suggested there by as much as three millennia.

Chaldea and the Chaldeans

Chaldea or Chaldæa, from Greek Chaldaia; Akkadian: Ḫaldu; Hebrew: Kaśdim; Aramaic: Kaldo) was a nation extant between the 10th and 6th centuries BC, located in the marshy land of the far south eastern corner of Mesopotamia which came to rule Babylon briefly.

Tribes of Semitic migrants who arrived in the region from The Levant during the 10th century BC became known as the Chaldeans or the Chaldees. The Hebrew Bible uses the term כשדים (Kaśdim) and this is translated as Chaldaeans in the Septuagint.

The short-lived 11th dynasty of the Kings of Babylon (6th century BC) is conventionally known to historians as the Chaldean Dynasty, although only the first four rulers of this dynasty were positively known to be Chaldeans, and the last ruler, Nabonidus and his son and regent Belshazzar, were known to be from Assyria.

Unlike the Akkadian speaking Assyrians and Babylonians, the Chaldeans were certainly not a native Mesopotamian people, but were migrants to the region. They seem to have appeared there c. 1000 BC, not long after other new Semitic peoples, the Arameans and the Sutu appeared in Babylonia, c. 1100 BC. This was a period of weakness in Babylonia, and its ineffectual native kings were unable to prevent new waves of foreign peoples invading and settling in the land.

Though belonging to the same West Semitic ethnic group, they are to be differentiated from the Arameans; and the Assyrian king Sennacherib, for example, is careful in his inscriptions to distinguish them.

When they came to possess the whole of southern Mesopotamia, the name “Chaldean” became synonymous with “Babylonian” for a short time, particularly to the Greeks and Jews, despite the Chaldeans not being Babylonians.

In the Hebrew Bible, the prophet Abraham is stated to have originally been from “Ur of the Chaldees” (Ur Kaśdim); if this city is to be identified with the Sumerian Ur, it would be within the original Chaldean homeland south of the Euphrates, although it must be pointed out that the Chaldeans certainly did not exist in Mesopotamia at the time of Abraham, which casts doubt on the historicity of the Abrahamic story.

On the other hand, the traditional identification with a site in Assyria would then imply the later sense of “Babylonia”, and a few interpreters have additionally tried to identify Abraham’s birthplace with Chaldia, a distinct region in Asia Minor on the Black Sea. According to the Book of Jubilees, Ur Kaśdim (and Chaldea) took their name from Ura and Kesed, descendants of Arpachshad.

Though conquerors, the Chaldeans were rapidly and completely assimilated into the dominant Semitic Akkadian Babylonian culture, as the Amorites, Kassites and Arameans before them had been, and after the fall of Babylon in 539 BC the term “Chaldean” was no longer used to describe a specific ethnicity, but rather a socio-economic class.

The Chaldeans originally spoke a West Semitic language, however they eventually adopted the Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, the same Semitic language, save for slight peculiarities in sound and in characters, as Assyrian Akkadian.

During the Assyrian Empire, the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III introduced an Akkadian infused Eastern Aramaic as the lingua franca of his empire. In late periods both the Babylonian and Assyrian dialects of Akkadian ceased to be spoken, and Aramaic took its place across Mesopotamia, and the still Akkadian influenced language remains the mother tongue of the Assyrian (also known as Chaldo-Assyrian) Christians of northern Iraq and its surrounds to this day.

One form of this widespread language is used in Daniel and Ezra, but the use of the name “Chaldee” to describe it, first introduced by Jerome, is incorrect and a misnomer.

The term “Chaldean” is still sometimes used to describe those Assyrians who broke from the Assyrian Church of the East in the 16th and 17th centuries AD, and entered communion with the Roman Catholic Church, which then named the church as the Chaldean Catholic Church, after pointedly initially calling it “The Church of Assyria and Mosul”.

The term Chaldean Catholic should be taken as a denominational rather than an ethnical term, as the modern Chaldean Catholics are in fact Assyrian converts to Catholicism indigenous the north of Mesopotamia, rather than the long extinct Chaldeans who hailed from the far south east of Mesopotamia.

However, a minority of Chaldean Catholics have in recent times espoused a separate identity to their Assyrian brethren despite there being no accepted historical evidence or mainstream academic study which supports this assertion.

Kali

http://indrajitrathore.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/kali.jpg

The Goddess: Tribute to Kali

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla – the eternal time – Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change.

Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess.

Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati).

Hagalaz

https://laurabruno.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/hagalaz.jpg

Hagalaz Rune

https://laurabruno.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/runehagal.jpg?w=397&h=397

Hagall Rune

Hagalaz Rune

“Don’t try to fix what we should break before it breaks us.”

Both Hel and Heimdallr are strongly connected to the rune Haglaz or Hagalaz (Hag-all-az) – literally: “Hail” or “Hailstone” – Esoteric: Crisis or Radical Change.

Interesting enough to notice that “heil” is also a name of this rune when it has a protection aspect, as heil/heilag comes from Hel, and the word “heil” was also found in the “Heil og Sæl” (an old norse way to greet which means “to good health and happiness”).

As it was mentioned earlier heil/heilag comes from Hel, but the rune Hagalaz, just like Hel, has been darkened by a Christian spirit, and is mostly described as destructive today, and that is indeed one of the energy of the rune but the other part of the rune energy is often forgotten or least too under rated and that is renewed energy, creation from destruction, life after death, water from melting ice that will fertilize the earth.

All of this represents very well Hel’s spirit and energy. Hagalaz is also called as mother of all the other runes, life indeed emerge from the dark realm of Niflheim where Hel dwells. This rune is the rune that connects to the underworld, to the past and to the spirit of the ancestors. Hagalaz literally means “hail” and one of the forms of the rune has actually the form of a snow flake, the shape of the pure water molecule while the second form of the rune seems to symbolize a passage on the way down between 2 dimensions.

The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the h-rune ᚺ, meaning “Hag-all-az” – Literally: “Hail” or “Hailstone”. In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc, it is continued as hægl and in the Younger Futhark as ᚼ hagall. The corresponding Gothic letter is h, named hagl.

The Elder Futhark letter has two variants, single-barred ᚺ and double-barred ᚻ. The double-barred variant is found in continental inscriptions while Scandinavian inscriptions have exclusively the single-barred variant.

The Anglo-Frisian futhorc in early inscriptions has the Scandinavian single-barred variant. From the 7th century, it is replaced by the continental double-barred variant, the first known instances being found on a Harlingen solidus (ca. 575–625), and in the Christogram on St. Cuthbert’s coffin.

Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It is distinct from sleet, though the two are often confused for one another It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is called a hailstone. Sleet falls generally in cold weather while hail growth is greatly inhibited at cold temperatures.

Hail shocks you with stinging hardness (confrontation) then it melts into water which creates germination of seeds (transformation). The ancients describe hail as a grain rather than as ice, thus creating a metaphor for a deeper truth of life. It contains the seed of all the other runic energies and this can be seen in its other form, a six-fold snowflake. Spiritual awakening often comes from times of deep crisis.

Hagalaz signals a major shift of energies as the Elder Futhark begins its second row of aetts. Hagalaz is the rune of objective confrontation with past patterns. It will uncover the vast flow of energies around and through human energy systems. Its nature is completely impersonal and it represents power generally beyond human ability to harness.

As the ninth rune, Hagalaz has a special place in the ordering, as nine has particular significance in the elder futhark. Nine signals completion of a perfect pattern. Nine months is one of nature’s most regular human cycles, that of the gestation period for a baby in a mother’s womb. In this sense it is a protective rune, and assists us in acceptance of the unalterable, the seeking of shelter and patience while things blow over.

Hagalaz can be used as a force of repulsion or banishment. Hagalaz can be used as a curse against others, aimed to bring up their suppressed inner conflicts and thus impeding them. It is a clean curse, as the recipient is only experiencing the ill effects of their own accountability. It is a dark, feminine power and can been associated with witchcraft and destructive female magic.

It follows that LAGAZ, from which hail is ultimately made, is also a rune of profound unconscious exploration and personal depth. It can be used in work to process and dispel the effects of subconscious baggage and ‘shadow elements’ so that your life pattern can carry itself forward in its pure form. It has the magical energy of a ‘spring cleaning’. It reveals the personal past, past lives and early environmental factors in childhood development.

The transition from one dimension to the other is a harsh experience that is often described as a storm, everything gets wild first and this is like the hail violently falling on you in the strong winds, this is like the hail destroying the world as you know it in order to welcome you in another one. It is the darkness until you meet the light of your guiding ancestors and the light of all the other runes leading you to the underworld. And from this wild experience you died to reborn stronger and wiser.

The rune Hagalaz could very well have been the guiding rune used by women practising Seidr or by Shamans in order to travel to the underworld or other dimensions to seek wisdom. A shamanic journey is usually not experienced like a peaceful walk in the forest. Your mind, your spirit has to travel through other dimension, it has to cross borders, to leave your body in order to fly free.

But one doesn’t have to practise shamanism to experience this light in the darkness, this destruction that leads to greater ways. Some life experiences can really take us to the deepest darkness, and there we find the light to rise up again and once we are up we know nothing we would have in life would be if not because of these darkness we need to face.

Hard times in life isn’t punishment, they are our challenges to get better, to gain wisdom and to learn. And I can at least say for myself that I have never doubted my ancestors were with me through all.

Mother goddess

Cybele

Xi Wangmu

Essay about Hel culture

In the Beginning was Hel

Essay about Hel culture

Hel, Mother North

Hel – Order of the White Moon

Meaning of the rune Hagalaz or Hoegl

‘Hagalaz Rune’

HELL Goddess

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