Thursday, 15 May 2014

HELL Goddess

Words that have same energetic value as hell are
It is obvious that these words describe very opposing MEANings.
same is for almost all germanic languages which are youngest.
in dutch;
in german;

Goddess Hell

By Sjur Cappelen Papazian at -
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


- another version of the name Hel. Also Helle.


- Guardian of the crossroads and patron of witches.


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


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


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


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


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


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