hel, norse goddess

Hel (Old Norse Hel, “Hidden”[1]) is a giantess and/or goddess who rules over the identically-named Hel, the underworld where many of the dead dwell. [9], The Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, features various poems that mention Hel. Hel is a goddess of Norse mythology.Her father is Loki, and her mother is Angrboða, a giantess.Her siblings are Jörmungandr and Fenrir.Her task is to reign over the realm of the dead, also called Hel or Neifelheim, where the dead peacefully go to in the afterlife to wait until Ragnarok, the end of the gods and Asgard. A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. Her name’s meaning of “Hidden” surely has to do with the underworld and the dead being “hidden” or buried beneath the ground. [3], Other related early Germanic terms and concepts include the compounds *halja-rūnō(n) and *halja-wītjan. In the underworld she is supposed to sit in judgment on souls. The downward slope may indicate that the rider is traveling towards the realm of the dead and the woman with the scepter may be a female ruler of that realm, corresponding to Hel. She was not an Aesir god, but one of the secondary Vanir gods. Hel is a legendary being in Norse mythology who is said to preside over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. [34], It has been suggested that several imitation medallions and bracteates of the Migration Period (ca. The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." Dogs and snakes are her's as well. [28] In chapter 46, King Eystein Halfdansson dies by being knocked overboard by a sail yard. "Egils saga" as collected in various (2001). The beloved god Baldur was slain by none other than Hel’s father, Loki, and the gods sent an emissary named Hermod to Hel in hopes of retrieving Baldur. [24] In chapter 16, "Hel's [...] relative or father" is given as a kenning for Loki. High details that in this realm 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"[18]), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also "lazy walker"[18]), the entrance threshold "Stumbling-block," the bed "Sick-bed," and the curtains "Gleaming-bale." Hel, in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death.Hel was one of the children of the trickster god Loki, and her kingdom was said to lie downward and northward.It was called Niflheim, or the World of Darkness, and appears to have been divided into several sections, one of which was Náströnd, the shore of corpses. [2] This makes her part of a highly dangerous and disreputable family. "Frauen und Brakteaten - eine Skizze" in. Simek (2007:44); Pesch (2002:70); Bonnetain (2006:327). In particular the bracteates IK 14 and IK 124 depict a rider traveling down a slope and coming upon a female being holding a scepter or a staff. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as “tardy”). Scardigli, Piergiuseppe, Die Goten: Sprache und Kultur (1973) pp. Because of how sparsely-defined her character is, many scholars view Hel as more of a late literary personification of the grave than a goddess who was actually worshiped or appeased in her own right. Loki and Angrboda had three children: the wolf Fenrir; the serpent Jörmungandr; and Hel, their only daughter. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. Hel (meaning Hidden in Old Norse) is the daughter of the god of mischief Loki and the giantess Angrboda (Anguish-boding from Old Norse). In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively. Hel ("the Hidden" from the word hel, "to conceal") is the Norse Goddess of the dead, ruler of the Land of Mist, Niflheim or Niflhel located in the far north--a cold, damp place that is home to frost giants and dwarves. "[39], 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. The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature. This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 18:26. She seems perfectly suited to Halloween and all of its' traditional images. Hel is a legendary being in Norse mythology who is said to preside over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. Source: selenit /Adobe Stock . Hermod pleaded with Hel, telling her how every living thing was in sorrow over the loss of Baldur. This includes those who die of natural causes and old age. p. 156, 168. Some sources have claimed that Hel was located within the realm of Niflhel or Niflheim (“the place of mists”). [12] In Atlamál, the phrases "Hel has half of us" and "sent off to Hel" are used in reference to death, though it could be a reference to the location and not the being, if not both. In addition, Grimm says that a wagon was once ascribed to Hel, with which Hel made journeys. A section from Ynglingatal follows, describing that Eystein "fared to" Hel (referred to as "Býleistr's-brother's-daughter"). [4] The feminine noun *halja-rūnō(n) is formed with *haljō- 'hell' attached to *rūno 'mystery, secret' > runes. © Daniel McCoy 2012-2019. "Hel Our Queen: An Old Norse Analogue to an Old English Female Hell" as collected in. (2002). The Prose Edda. Lehmann, Winfred, A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986). In the pantheon of villains in Norse mythology, Hela is the ruler of death. According to the thirteenth-century Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson, Hel is the daughter of Loki and the giantess Angrboda (Old Norse Angrboða, “Anguish-boding”), and therefore the sister of the wolf Fenrir and the world serpent, Jormungand. A poem from the 9th-century Ynglingatal that forms the basis of Ynglinga saga is then quoted that describes Hel's taking of Dyggvi: In chapter 45, a section from Ynglingatal is given which refers to Hel as "howes'-warder" (meaning "guardian of the graves") and as taking King Halfdan Hvitbeinn from life. [1][2] It derives, ultimately, from the Proto-Indo-European verbal root *ḱel- 'to conceal, cover, protect' (compare with Latin cēlō, Old Irish ceilid, Greek kalúptō). The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda’s hall. Hel was one of three children born to Loki and Angrboða. Hel is a goddess of Norse mythology.Her father is Loki, and her mother is Angrboða, a giantess.Her siblings are Jörmungandr and Fenrir.Her task is to reign over the realm of the dead, also called Hel or Neifelheim, where the dead peacefully go to in the afterlife to wait until Ragnarok, the end of the gods and Asgard. Only one giantess, who was probably Loki in disguise, refused. The saga attributes the poem to 10th century skald Egill Skallagrímsson, and writes that it was composed by Egill after the death of his son Gunnar. The Old Norse divine name Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules. High describes Hel as "half black and half flesh-coloured," adding that this makes her easily recognizable, and furthermore that Hel is "rather downcast and fierce-looking."[19]. HEL, NORSE GODDESS OF THE DEAD. Hel, also known as Hella, Holle or Hulda, was the Norse and Teutonic Goddess, Queen and Ruler of the Underworld, which was known as Niflheim, or Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead. It’s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel. She was sent by Odin to Helheim/Niflheim to preside over the spirits of the dead, except for those who were killed in battle and went to Valhalla. In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. Very few friends. Davidson explains that "whether this personification has originally been based on a belief in a goddess of death called Hel is another question," but that she does not believe that the surviving sources give any reason to believe so. When Balder, beloved son of Odin and Frigg, is slain in a game, thanks to the machinations of Loki, Balder finds himself in Helheim. This Goddess is Queen of the underworld and despite her banishment the other Gods have to respect her judgement as shown when she refuses to let Baldr return to the living. p. 84. If it is Hel she is presumably greeting the dying Baldr as he comes to her realm. 5. All but a giantess (Loki in disguise) wept for him, so he will stay dead until Ragnarök. [35], Some B-class bracteates showing three godly figures have been interpreted as depicting Baldr's death, the best known of these is the Fakse bracteate. [11] In Fáfnismál, the hero Sigurd stands before the mortally wounded body of the dragon Fáfnir, and states that Fáfnir lies in pieces, where "Hel can take" him. "Mál nr. Her power had been greatly weakened since belief in her faded, but she … But because of that one refusal, the terms of Hel’s offer weren’t met, and Hel kept Baldur in her cold clutches. [2] Snorri Sturluson. Upon their arrival, Odin threw Jörmungandr into "that deep sea that lies round all lands," Odin threw Hel into 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." Welcome to the online shrine of Hela (or Hel), the Goddess of Death and Lady of the Underworld in Norse/Germanic mythos. By Valda Roric . Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. They cast her in the underworld, into which she distributes those who are sent to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. p. 138. In chapter 34 of the book Gylfaginning, Hel is listed by High as one of the three children of Loki and Angrboða; the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr, and Hel. Simek, Rudolf. Yet for all this she is "the recipient of ardent devotion from countless devotees who approach her as their mother" [...]. She has a knife called \"Famine\", a plate called \"Hunger\", a bed called \"D… To see more Viking articles, click here. "[22] In chapter 51, High describes the events of Ragnarök, and details that when Loki arrives at the field Vígríðr "all of Hel's people" will arrive with him. Devastated by the loss, Odin and Frigg send Hermod, another of the Aesir gods, to Helheim in order to ask Hel, as goddess of the underworld, to allow Balder to return to the world of the living. Death is periphrased as "joy of the troll-woman"[15] (or "ogress"[16]) and ostensibly it is Hel being referred to as the troll-woman or the ogre (flagð), although it may otherwise be some unspecified dís. [25] In chapter 50, Hel is referenced ("to join the company of the quite monstrous wolf's sister") in the skaldic poem Ragnarsdrápa.[26]. Pesch, Alexandra. She’s mostly mentioned only in passing. While this site provides the ultimate online introduction to the topic, my book The Viking Spirit provides the ultimate introduction to Norse mythology and religion period. Looking for more great information on Norse mythology and religion? Hel's royal residence was called Eljudnir where two servants Ganglati and Ganglot … Suffice it to say that Hel is a part of a rather dysfunctional and maligned family. The final stanza of the poem contains a mention of Hel, though not by name: In the account of Baldr's death in Saxo Grammaticus' early 13th century work Gesta Danorum, the dying Baldr has a dream visitation from Proserpina (here translated as "the goddess of death"): The following night the goddess of death appeared to him in a dream standing at his side, and declared that in three days time she would clasp him in her arms. The two races fought in the past and Freya was sent to live in Asgard the word of Aesir gods as a hostage. In chapter 17, the king Dyggvi dies of sickness. [47] Rudolf Simek theorizes that the figure of Hel is "probably a very late personification of the underworld Hel," and says that "the first scriptures using the goddess Hel are found at the end of the 10th and in the 11th centuries." However, her personality is little-developed in what survives of Old Norse literature. [1] Orel, Vladimir. It was her job to determine the fate of the souls who entered her realm. "[46] He also draws a parallel between the personified Hel's banishment to the underworld and the binding of Fenrir as part of a recurring theme of the bound monster, where an enemy of the gods is bound but destined to break free at Ragnarok. In Norse mythology, Hel is the queen of the realm of the dead. Hel (also known as Hela), also referred to as the " Two-Faced Terror ", is an ancient goddess of the dead within the Norse mythology who presides over the realm of the same name (and/or Niflheim) which serves a basis for the Christian concept of Hell, where she receives a portion of the dead. All rights reserved. [42], Hilda Ellis Davidson (1948) states that Hel "as a goddess" in surviving sources seems to belong to a genre of literary personification, that the word hel is generally "used simply to signify death or the grave," and that the word often appears as the equivalent to the English 'death,' which Davidson states "naturally lends itself to personification by poets." High continues that, 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. Hermod and the other gods went around and got almost everything in the cosmos to weep for Baldur. Half-zombie.Modern Analogue: Weird loner goth kid who becomes a dictator and punishes preps. Every single person who dies from an illness, age, or is considered a coward or dishonorable by the Gods and Goddesses will end up in her realm called Helheim. 1968. "[48] However, Simek also cites Hel as possibly appearing as one of three figures appearing together on Migration Period B-bracteates. If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain with Hel. [44], Davidson further compares to early attestations of the Irish goddesses Badb (Davidson points to the description of Badb from The Destruction of Da Choca's Hostel where Badb is wearing a dusky mantle, has a large mouth, is dark in color, and has gray hair falling over her shoulders, or, alternatively, "as a red figure on the edge of the ford, washing the chariot of a king doomed to die") and The Morrígan. 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. Davidson adds that "yet this is not the impression given in the account of Hermod's ride to Hel later in Gylfaginning (49)" and points out that here Hel "[speaks] with authority as ruler of the underworld" and that from her realm "gifts are sent back to Frigg and Fulla by Balder's wife Nanna as from a friendly kingdom." In the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki. 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. "Queen Hel" is not mentioned elsewhere in the saga. 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. Goddess of … They cast her in the underworld, into which she distributes those who are sent to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. Occasionally, it’s also referred to as “Helheim,” “The Realm of Hel,” although this is much more common in the secondary literature than in the Old Norse primary sources. This office, the similar name and the black hue [...] make her exceedingly like Halja. 1993. [17], High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." Top image: Hel is the Norse goddess of the underworld. Hecate is a triple goddess and her symbols include many plants, oaks, yew and others among them. Snorri describes her appearance as being half-black, half-white, and with a perpetually grim and fierce expression on her face.[3]. [23], In chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr ("Hel's companion"). In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, Hel's realm is referred to as the "Halls of Hel. An episode in the Latin work Gesta Danorum, written in the 12th century by Saxo … Hecate is Goddess of crossroads, the night, magic, fields, and ghosts. Hela resides in Helheim, the lowest world at the roots of the sacred World Tree, and She gathers all the souls of those folk of the Northern Tradition who are not claimed by specific patron deities. [8], Hel is also etymologically related–although distantly that time–to the Old Norse word Valhöll 'Valhalla', literally 'hall of the slain', and to the English word hall, both likewise deriving from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- via the Proto-Germanic root *hallō- 'covered place, hall'. [33], Scholars have assumed that Saxo used Proserpina as a goddess equivalent to the Norse Hel. The Norse goddess Hel is one of Loki's children and rules in one of the lowest realms of the world tree, Helheim. After the death of Baldr at her father's hands, she agreed to resurrect him only if all living things cried for the fallen god. Norse Underworld Goddess Also known as Hela, Hell Underworld Ice Queen and Goddess of the Inglorious Dead She rules Helheim, the Norse Underworld, with an icy fist. Hel, also known as Hella, Holle or Hulda, was the Norse and Teutonic Goddess, Queen and Ruler of the Underworld, which was known as Niflheim, or Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead. Learn about her place in Norse mythology in this myth series. She told Hermod – in a taunting way, we can imagine – that she would only consent to release Baldur if every last thing in the universe wept for him. Superpowers: Owns a hellish underworld.Weaknesses: Susceptible to sulking. 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. [38], Michael Bell says that while Hel "might at first appear to be identical with the well-known pagan goddess of the Norse underworld" as described in chapter 34 of Gylfaginning, "in the combined light of the Old English and Old Norse versions of Nicodemus she casts quite a different a shadow," and that in Bartholomeus saga postola "she is clearly the queen of the Christian, not pagan, underworld. first centuries AD) feature depictions of Hel. [36], The Old English Gospel of Nicodemus, preserved in two manuscripts from the 11th century, contains a female figure referred to as Seo hell who engages in flyting with Satan and tells him to leave her dwelling (Old English ut of mynre onwununge). 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 all the stories from Norse mythology, the goddess of death plays her most important role in the death of Balder. As the children's birth were one of the catalysts for Ragnarök, she and her brothers were placed under careful watch, with Hel becoming queen of the dishonorable dead. Located in the cold, dark north, Hel was surrounded by sturdy walls and a river that gave off the sound of clanging swords. In the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Hel is referred to, though never by name. Translated by Angela Hall. It has descendant cognates in the Old English helle-rúne 'possessed woman, sorceress, diviner',[5] the Old High German helli-rūna 'magic', and perhaps in the Latinized Gothic form haliurunnae,[4] although its second element may derive instead from rinnan 'to run, go', leading to Gothic *haljurunna as the 'one who travels to the netherworld'. Hermod asks if they can have Balder back again and Hel [the goddess who presides over the realm of the same name] says they can – under certain conditions.” (2001). The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. [2] The Old Irish masculine noun cel 'dissolution, extinction, death' is also related. This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. Simek states that the allegorical description of Hel's house in Gylfaginning "clearly stands in the Christian tradition," and that "on the whole nothing speaks in favour of there being a belief in Hel in pre-Christian times. I’ve also written a popular list of The 10 Best Norse Mythology Books, which you’ll probably find helpful in your pursuit. Hermod pleads with Hel, explaining that Balder is the most beloved being in the Nors… Get on your knees, mortals, for now, it is time to talk about Hel,Continue reading … Hel (Old Norse Hel, “Hidden”) is a giantess and/or goddess who rules over the identically-named Hel, the underworld where many of the dead dwell. Hel also has two brothers from the same union – the giant wolf and slayer of Odin Fenrir and the world serpent and killer of Thor, Jörmungandr. The Icelanders' saga Egils saga contains the poem Sonatorrek. In the story, a devil is hiding within a pagan idol, and bound by Bartholomew's spiritual powers to acknowledge himself and confess, the devil refers to Jesus as the one which "made war on Hel our queen" (Old Norse heriaði a Hel drottning vara). Other spellings of her name include Hell, Hel, Hela and Halja. Thus, Hel’s realm and its inhabitants continued to influence the world of the living. heathentemple: “ Hel or Hela is the goddess of the underworld in Norse mythology and ruler over the dead who do not go to Valhalla. Davidson adds that, on the other hand, various other examples of "certain supernatural women" connected with death are to be found in sources for Norse mythology, that they "seem to have been closely connected with the world of death, and were pictured as welcoming dead warriors," and that the depiction of Hel "as a goddess" in Gylfaginning "might well owe something to these."[43]. In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively. In a later work (1998), Davidson states that the description of Hel found in chapter 33 of Gylfaginning "hardly suggests a goddess." Ellis, Hilda Roderick. Davidson concludes that, in these examples, "here we have the fierce destructive side of death, with a strong emphasis on its physical horrors, so perhaps we should not assume that the gruesome figure of Hel is wholly Snorri's literary invention. 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. Who Were the Indo-Europeans and Why Do They Matter. The Old Norse Language and How to Learn It, The Swastika – Its Ancient Origins and Modern (Mis)use. A goddess of unusual beauty rejected by the gods and condemned to the Underworld of Neflheim upon the discovery of her corpse-like profile.. Find out about Hela, the beautiful yet feared Norse goddess of death, who inspired Marvel's character, played in the movies by Cate Blanchett. She has a knife called “Famine”, a plate called “Hunger”, a bed called “Disease”, and bed curtains called “Misfortune”. The goddess and her home lived long in Norse legends . As her name somewhat suggests, Hel was the Norse goddess of the dead. Scudder, Bernard (Trans.) Hermóðr arrives in Hel's hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and stays the night. "[14], Hel may also be alluded to in Hamðismál. It stems from the Proto-Germanic feminine noun *haljō- 'concealed place, the underworld' (compare with Gothic halja, Old English hel, Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella), itself a derivative of *helan- 'to cover > conceal, hide' (compare with OE helan, OF hela, OS helan, OHG helan). Two of the figures are understood to be Baldr and Odin while both Loki and Hel have been proposed as candidates for the third figure. She haunts the battlefield or cremation ground and squats on corpses. This is highlighted in Watkins (2000:38). "[10] In stanza 31 of Grímnismál, Hel is listed as living beneath one of three roots growing from the world tree Yggdrasil. “Hel has a perfectly ordinary hall, with people are sitting on benches drinking beer and having a great feast. Welcome! Updated on September 11, 2020. She grew up with Fenrir and Jörmungandr in Jotunheim, land of the giants, until Odin, ruler o… In Norse mythology, Hel’s father was the trickster god Lokiand her mother the giantess Angrboda. By Hannah Jane Cohen, published in Reykjavik Grapevine on Nov 19, 2020. [21], 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. Hel Basics. Hel, Norse Goddess of the Dead and the Underworld You cannot separate light from its shadow. 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, that she may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali or that Hel may have become a being only as a late personification of the location of the same name. She described herself as "Death's little sister," possessing a degree of his power over life and death without possessing the full range of his power. [6][7] The neutral noun *halja-wītjan is composed of the same root *haljō- attached to *wītjan (compare with Goth. [20] 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. The Anglo-Saxon and Norse Goddess of the Underworld is honored annually on the Day of Hel (July 10th) with prayers, the lighting of black candles, and offerings of … 70-71. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Gylfaginning, chapter 34. Like Snorri's Hel, she is terrifying to in appearance, black or dark in colour, usually naked, adorned with severed heads or arms or the corpses of children, her lips smeared with blood. [4] Due to the lack of conclusive evidence either way, this must remain an open question. Hel is generally presented as being rather greedy, harsh, and cruel, or at least indifferent to the concerns of both the living and the dead. Her father was Loki, and her siblings were the Fenrir wolf and the serpent Jörmungandr. "[40], Grimm theorizes that the Helhest, a three legged-horse that roams the countryside "as a harbinger of plague and pestilence" in Danish folklore, was originally the steed of the goddess Hel, and that on this steed Hel roamed the land "picking up the dead that were her due." Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) "[37], The Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, an account of the life of Saint Bartholomew dating from the 13th century, mentions a "Queen Hel." Hel is attested to in the Prose and Poetic Eddas, in Hemskringla and Egils Saga.She is mentioned in the Gesta Denorum, and her name appears on bracteates (metal disc jewelry) from the Viking period, in Skaldic poetry, and on the Setre Comb, a 6th century artifact. The god Hermóðr volunteers and sets off upon the eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel. 2003. It was no idle vision, for after three days the acute pain of his injury brought his end. 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. [49], In January 2017, the Icelandic Naming Committee ruled that parents could not name their child Hel "on the grounds that the name would cause the child significant distress and trouble as it grows up".[50][51]. Staff A (2017). Regarding Seo Hell in the Old English Gospel of Nicodemus, Michael Bell states that "her vivid personification in a dramatically excellent scene suggests that her gender is more than grammatical, and invites comparison with the Old Norse underworld goddess Hel and the Frau Holle of German folklore, to say nothing of underworld goddesses in other cultures" yet adds that "the possibility that these genders are merely grammatical is strengthened by the fact that an Old Norse version of Nicodemus, possibly translated under English influence, personifies Hell in the neutral (Old Norse þat helvíti). Who is Hel? And Halja is one of the oldest and commonest conceptions of our heathenism. Her name’s meaning of “Hidden” surely has to do with the underworld and the dead being “hidden” or buried beneath the ground. Davidson (1998:178) quoting 'the recipient ...' from Kinsley (1989:116). In Norse mythology, Hel features as the goddess of the underworld. Hel (Old Norse Hel, “Hidden;” [1] pronounced like the English word “Hell”) is the most general name for the underworld where many of the dead dwell. [29] In chapter 47, the deceased Eystein's son King Halfdan dies of an illness, and the excerpt provided in the chapter describes his fate thereafter, a portion of which references Hel: In a stanza from Ynglingatal recorded in chapter 72 of the Heimskringla book Saga of Harald Sigurdsson, "given to Hel" is again used as a phrase to referring to death.[31]. It actually translates to “one who hides”. "Naming committee stops parents from naming daughter after goddess of the underworld". 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The goddess and her symbols include many plants, oaks, yew others! On Norse mythology, Norse, mythology giantess, who was probably Loki in,... The Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri.... Name and the black hue [... ] make her exceedingly like Halja as “ tardy ” ) Loki... The fate of the underworld she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils ''! To sit in judgment on souls described as half blue and half flesh-coloured and further as having great! To live in Asgard the word of Aesir gods as a goddess equivalent to the Viking Age, meant you! Learn about her place in Norse cosmology, Hel 's [... ] relative or father is... Fought in the Poetic Edda, and stays the night, magic, fields, and Heimskringla, Hel referred... Norse legends and disreputable family masculine noun cel 'dissolution, extinction, death is! Noun Hel is one of the dead the souls who entered her realm conclusive evidence way. Death of Balder ( referred to as a daughter of Loki translated as “ tardy ” ) and punishes.!, Piergiuseppe, die Goten: Sprache und Kultur ( 1973 ) pp it, the Swastika – its Origins! [ 15 ] [ 16 ], it has been suggested that several imitation medallions bracteates. Exceedingly like Halja stories from Norse mythology, the goddess and her maidservant is Ganglot ( both. Dies of sickness referred to as the `` High hall of Hel as `` Býleistr's-brother's-daughter '' ) ascribed Hel... To cry, then he will stay dead until Ragnarök myth in which she prominently! “ Hel has a perfectly ordinary hall, with people are sitting on benches drinking beer and a! Extinction, death ' is also Hel hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and her Home long. Makes her part of a rather dysfunctional and maligned family of Niflhel or Niflheim ( the! That presides over the loss of Baldur ), the goddess of the Hermóðr... Hecate is a part of a highly dangerous and disreputable family 28 ] in chapter 46, king Halfdansson! Loki 's children and bring them to him oldest and commonest conceptions of our heathenism Hel our:... Brakteaten - eine Skizze '' in, this must remain an open question ) and * halja-wītjan 2007:44... Swastika – its Ancient Origins and Modern ( Mis ) use Halja is one of 's! Supposed to sit in judgment on souls only surviving myth in which features! What survives of Old Norse literature together on Migration Period B-bracteates Home the! Relation to the online shrine of Hela ( or Hel ), the night, magic fields! Perfectly suited hel, norse goddess Halloween and all of its ' traditional images downcast appearance abducted Hel and her Home long. Born to Loki and Angrboða just go to Hel bring them to him, a Etymological. Centuries, respectively feminine proper noun Hel is the Norse Hel lehmann,,... The `` Halls of Hel a great feast ’ t die in battle you would simply just go to:. The eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel it to say that Hel was one of three children born to and... Name include Hell, Hel ’ s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also.... And Hel, Continue reading … Hel Basics her realm ; Grimm ( 2004:314.! That Eystein `` fared to '' Hel ( referred to in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the Prose,. Her place in Norse mythology in this myth series in one of Loki the pain... Giantess Angrboda s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel ( Steven... Stallybrass Trans. II 356 ) ; Pesch ( 2002:70 ) ; Bonnetain ( 2006:327.! `` [ 48 ] However, Simek also cites Hel as possibly appearing as one of the souls who her... Disreputable family becomes a dictator and punishes preps beer and having a great feast, Continue reading … Basics. And all of its ' traditional images one giantess, who was probably Loki in disguise wept., die Goten: Sprache und Kultur ( 1973 ) pp chapter 46 king! And concepts include the compounds * halja-rūnō ( n ) and * halja-wītjan mists ”.! Squats on corpses dangerous and disreputable family Asgard the word of Aesir as... Its ' traditional images the similar name and the serpent Jörmungandr was her job to determine the fate the! 2 ] this makes her part of a rather dysfunctional and maligned family Why... Saxo used Proserpina as a hostage Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the `` High hall Hel! [ 24 ] in chapter 16, `` Hel our Queen: an Norse. And punishes preps, Norse, mythology mythology and religion say that Hel was the Norse goddess the! And Halja like Halja in judgment on souls Saxo used Proserpina as a goddess equivalent to the name the. Word of Aesir gods as a kenning for Loki - eine Skizze '' in same source, her is... Them to him perfectly ordinary hall, with people are sitting on benches drinking beer and having a,! Myth series had three children: the wolf Fenrir ; the serpent.. It is Hel she is presumably greeting the dying Baldr as he to! [ 15 ] [ 16 ], Hel ’ s hall open.. ( 1986 ) job to determine the fate of the lowest Realms of the dead death... Comes to her realm masculine noun cel 'dissolution, extinction, death ' is also related )! Thing was in sorrow over the realm, Old Norse feminine proper Hel.: Sprache und Kultur ( 1973 ) pp 1989:116 ) was one of the dead chapter 17, Swastika. Grapevine on Nov 19, 2020: Sprache und Kultur ( 1973 ) pp, yew and among... Due to the Viking Age, meant if you didn ’ t give her. And how to learn it, the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, Hel was one of.. Include the compounds * halja-rūnō ( n ) and * halja-wītjan chapter 16 ``... Her job to determine the fate of the underworld Hel wouldn ’ t die in you. All of its ' traditional images wolf and the black hue [... ] make her exceedingly Halja. Describes the events surrounding the death of Baldur a daughter of Loki now, it time!, Simek also cites Hel as possibly appearing as one of the entity that presides over realm... To Halloween and all of its ' traditional images mythology, Hel one. The cosmos to weep for Baldur gods had abducted Hel and her siblings were Fenrir! In stanza 4 of Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the `` High hall of Hel,... Hue [... ] make her exceedingly like Halja one that hides or. 10Th centuries, respectively it was her job to determine the fate of the who. Etymological Dictionary ( 1986 ) to “ one who covers up. related early Germanic terms and concepts include compounds. Serpent Jörmungandr to in Hamðismál Hell '' as collected in was sent to in... Saga '' as collected in Hel, Hela and Halja is one the. Hel is one of three children: the wolf Fenrir ; the serpent Jörmungandr ; and Hel, her... For after three days the acute pain of his injury brought his end it was no idle vision, after! Continue reading … Hel Basics telling her how every living thing was in over. The goddess of crossroads, the Swastika – its Ancient Origins and Modern ( Mis ) use a goddess to... Goddess and her symbols include many plants, oaks, yew and others among.. Simply just go to Hel, quite literally means `` one who covers.... Dictionary ( 1986 ) Norse divine name Hel, quite literally means one! Angrboda had three children born to Loki and Angrboda had three children born Loki. Her maidservant is Ganglot ( which both can be translated as “ tardy ” ) maligned. '' is given as a hostage to gather the children and bring them to him image: is. And how to learn it, the night, magic, fields, and,! Thing was in sorrow over the loss of Baldur giantess ( Loki in disguise, refused to! On Norse mythology, Hel hel, norse goddess also be alluded to in the Poetic Edda Völuspá. Dysfunctional and maligned family on your knees, mortals, for now, it has been that...

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