hel, norse goddess
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 … Scardigli, Piergiuseppe, Die Goten: Sprache und Kultur (1973) pp. This is highlighted in Watkins (2000:38). (1882). 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. I’ve also written a popular list of The 10 Best Norse Mythology Books, which you’ll probably find helpful in your pursuit.  The Old Irish masculine noun cel 'dissolution, extinction, death' is also related. Hermod pleads with Hel, explaining that Balder is the most beloved being in the Nors… See more ideas about norse mythology, norse, mythology. 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. The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." In chapter 17, the king Dyggvi dies of sickness. She haunts the battlefield or cremation ground and squats on corpses. It’s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel. Dogs and snakes are her's as well. Lehmann, Winfred, A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986). She has a knife called “Famine”, a plate called “Hunger”, a bed called “Disease”, and bed curtains called “Misfortune”. 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." The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda’s hall. In addition, Grimm says that a wagon was once ascribed to Hel, with which Hel made journeys. The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." Her father was Loki, and her siblings were the Fenrir wolf and the serpent Jörmungandr. In all the stories from Norse mythology, the goddess of death plays her most important role in the death of Balder. Gylfaginning, chapter 34. However, her personality is little-developed in what survives of Old Norse literature. The Old Norse divine name Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules. 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. This office, the similar name and the black hue [...] make her exceedingly like Halja. ", 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.  In chapter 46, King Eystein Halfdansson dies by being knocked overboard by a sail yard. "Frauen und Brakteaten - eine Skizze" in.  The feminine noun *halja-rūnō(n) is formed with *haljō- 'hell' attached to *rūno 'mystery, secret' > runes. , 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." But because of that one refusal, the terms of Hel’s offer weren’t met, and Hel kept Baldur in her cold clutches. 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. A section from Ynglingatal follows, describing that Eystein "fared to" Hel (referred to as "Býleistr's-brother's-daughter"). In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively. Learn about her place in Norse mythology in this myth series. , In chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr ("Hel's companion"). , 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. Updated on September 11, 2020. And Halja is one of the oldest and commonest conceptions of our heathenism. Who Were the Indo-Europeans and Why Do They Matter. In Norse mythology, Hel’s father was the trickster god Lokiand her mother the giantess Angrboda. Who is Hel? , The Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, features various poems that mention Hel. Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) Hel (meaning Hidden in Old Norse) is the daughter of the god of mischief Loki and the giantess Angrboda (Anguish-boding from Old Norse). 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 Icelanders' saga Egils saga contains the poem Sonatorrek. Snorri describes her appearance as being half-black, half-white, and with a perpetually grim and fierce expression on her face.. 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. The goddess and her home lived long in Norse legends . 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. Get on your knees, mortals, for now, it is time to talk about Hel,Continue reading … An episode in the Latin work Gesta Danorum, written in the 12th century by Saxo … The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature. " 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. This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. Davidson posits that Snorri may have "earlier turned the goddess of death into an allegorical figure, just as he made Hel, the underworld of shades, a place 'where wicked men go,' like the Christian Hell (Gylfaginning 3)." HEL, NORSE GODDESS OF THE DEAD. , Scholars have assumed that Saxo used Proserpina as a goddess equivalent to the Norse Hel. As her name somewhat suggests, Hel was the Norse goddess of the dead. 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. Superpowers: Owns a hellish underworld.Weaknesses: Susceptible to sulking.  In stanza 4 of Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the "high hall of Hel. 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.” 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. 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"), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also "lazy walker"), the entrance threshold "Stumbling-block," the bed "Sick-bed," and the curtains "Gleaming-bale." Yet for all this she is "the recipient of ardent devotion from countless devotees who approach her as their mother" [...]. Simek (2007:44); Pesch (2002:70); Bonnetain (2006:327). Ellis, Hilda Roderick. Located in the cold, dark north, Hel was surrounded by sturdy walls and a river that gave off the sound of clanging swords. 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 Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, an account of the life of Saint Bartholomew dating from the 13th century, mentions a "Queen Hel." 98/2016 Úrskurður 6. janúar 2017", Saxo Grammaticus: The History of the Danes, Books I-IX, Teutonic Mythology: Translated from the Fourth Edition with Notes and Appendix, Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway, The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East to West, MyNDIR (My Norse Digital Image Repository), Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology, Mythological Norse people, items and places, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hel_(being)&oldid=990995497, Female supernatural figures in Norse mythology, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bell, Michael (1983). 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. 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. 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. p. 138. 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. un-witi 'foolishness, understanding', OE witt 'right mind, wits', OHG wizzi 'understanding'), with descendant cognates in Old Norse hel-víti 'hell', Old English helle-wíte 'hell-torment, hell', Old Saxon helli-wīti 'hell', or Middle High German helle-wīzi 'hell'. This includes those who die of natural causes and old age. , 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. She seems perfectly suited to Halloween and all of its' traditional images. It has descendant cognates in the Old English helle-rúne 'possessed woman, sorceress, diviner', the Old High German helli-rūna 'magic', and perhaps in the Latinized Gothic form haliurunnae, although its second element may derive instead from rinnan 'to run, go', leading to Gothic *haljurunna as the 'one who travels to the netherworld'. The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. 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. , It has been suggested that several imitation medallions and bracteates of the Migration Period (ca. 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. "Mál nr. In a later work (1998), Davidson states that the description of Hel found in chapter 33 of Gylfaginning "hardly suggests a goddess." , 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. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as \"tardy\"). , Hel is referred to in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as “tardy”). Hel's royal residence was called Eljudnir where two servants Ganglati and Ganglot … 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. p. 84. By Valda Roric .  The neutral noun *halja-wītjan is composed of the same root *haljō- attached to *wītjan (compare with Goth. 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 Prose Edda. 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. 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. Welcome! Hel (Old Norse Hel, “Hidden;”  pronounced like the English word “Hell”) is the most general name for the underworld where many of the dead dwell.  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. 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. In chapter 49, High describes the events surrounding the death of the god Baldr. Hel’s Residence. It was no idle vision, for after three days the acute pain of his injury brought his end. One of the Nine Realms in Norse cosmology, Hel was the subterranean dwelling place of the dead. Simek, Rudolf. To see more Viking articles, click here. Half-zombie.Modern Analogue: Weird loner goth kid who becomes a dictator and punishes preps. She’s mostly mentioned only in passing.  This makes her part of a highly dangerous and disreputable family. 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. In the underworld she is supposed to sit in judgment on souls. 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. But Hel wouldn’t give up her prize so easily. " However, Simek also cites Hel as possibly appearing as one of three figures appearing together on Migration Period B-bracteates. Apr 18, 2020 - Explore Norsemythology's board "Hel Norse Mythology", followed by 19351 people on Pinterest. 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. All rights reserved. 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. Loki and Angrboda had three children: the wolf Fenrir; the serpent Jörmungandr; and Hel, their only daughter. 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. " In stanza 31 of Grímnismál, Hel is listed as living beneath one of three roots growing from the world tree Yggdrasil.  Orel, Vladimir. It actually translates to “one who hides”. The Old Norse feminine proper noun Hel is identical to the name of the entity that presides over the realm, Old Norse Hel. By Hannah Jane Cohen, published in Reykjavik Grapevine on Nov 19, 2020. 70-71. In the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki. Hermóðr arrives in Hel's hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and stays the night. 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. Some sources have claimed that Hel was located within the realm of Niflhel or Niflheim (“the place of mists”). p. 156, 168. "Naming committee stops parents from naming daughter after goddess of the underworld". ", Hel may also be alluded to in Hamðismál. Scudder, Bernard (Trans.) “Hel has a perfectly ordinary hall, with people are sitting on benches drinking beer and having a great feast. 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). " 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. , High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. 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. , Other related early Germanic terms and concepts include the compounds *halja-rūnō(n) and *halja-wītjan. The only surviving myth in which she features prominently is that of The Death of Baldur. "Hel Our Queen: An Old Norse Analogue to an Old English Female Hell" as collected in. Her power had been greatly weakened since belief in her faded, but she … 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. 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. A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. 2003. In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively. Hecate is a triple goddess and her symbols include many plants, oaks, yew and others among them. Hel Basics. 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. In Norse mythology, Hel is the queen of the realm of the dead. Suffice it to say that Hel is a part of a rather dysfunctional and maligned family. 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). This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 18:26. If it is Hel she is presumably greeting the dying Baldr as he comes to her realm. 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. , 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). Hermod and the other gods went around and got almost everything in the cosmos to weep for Baldur. In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. All but a giantess (Loki in disguise) wept for him, so he will stay dead until Ragnarök. The Norse goddess Hel is one of Loki's children and rules in one of the lowest realms of the world tree, Helheim. 1993. Translated by Angela Hall. In the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Hel is referred to, though never by name. , 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".. Hermod pleaded with Hel, telling her how every living thing was in sorrow over the loss of Baldur. In Norse mythology, Hel features as the goddess of the underworld. 5. , 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'. 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. 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. She grew up with Fenrir and Jörmungandr in Jotunheim, land of the giants, until Odin, ruler o… Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. 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. Welcome to the online shrine of Hela (or Hel), the Goddess of Death and Lady of the Underworld in Norse/Germanic mythos. 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. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old English hell (and thus Modern English hell), Old Frisian helle, Old … 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.  It derives, ultimately, from the Proto-Indo-European verbal root *ḱel- 'to conceal, cover, protect' (compare with Latin cēlō, Old Irish ceilid, Greek kalúptō). Hel is the Norse goddess of death. (2001). ", 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."
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