There are two things that I have a major skeevy attack when forced to endure their presence: Barbie pink & glittery/shimmery/Disneyed fairies (Tinkerbell & her troop = gag reflex). I am ever so much more comfortable with the complexities of the Elder Fae. Somewhere close to being a second cousin thrice removed of the Dark/Elder Fae I find one of my favorite Complexities...the wondrous Hel.
Daughter of Angerboda (witch & probable giantess) & Loki (now there's someone that I wouldn't want to meet up with in a dark alley). Sister of the Midgard Serpent & the Fenris Wolf. In appearance half dead, half alive...half beautiful woman, half corpse, which leads to her sacred colours of black & white. Hel rides a black mare, accompanied by a pack of black dogs.
Or, she did ride, before Odin had Hel & Her siblings seized & 'contained'. Odin took to heart the prophecy that the three siblings would rise up & lead the Rebellion against him. Odin threw Hel as far as he could & so She landed in the Realm of the Dead (exceptions being those who died at sea or in battle. They go elsewhere), becoming its' Queen.
There Hel seems content to spend her time, waiting for the moment of Rebellion to arrive. In the meantime, She has plenty to do. Hel, you see, knows *everything* about *every* soul which passes her way. It is Her judgement upon each souls' living which determined where it will spend eternity: in pleasant sun or damp gloom. Hels' decision is final. No court of appeals in Her Realm!
This is where I find Hel walking in the Darker Side, providing balance.
Modern Halloween is full of bright colours, luscious apples & pumpkins, lively games, gaily wrapped candies & treats, fantastic costumes, & childrens' laughter. Halloween is a lovely round of Party & Spooky Story, where nothing can *really* hurt us.
Then comes All-Saints/Hallows quickly, quickly on the heels of Halloween. Here is the reminder that seasons change from warm-bright SummerHarvest to cold-bright WinterSleeping. A reminder of the frailities of living, where we can be hurt. The thinned Veil allows us a brief time to once again visit, & honor, our Ancestral Dead, Glorious Dead, & Holy Dead. Many of whom Hel is well acquainted with, as She has passed Judgement on all.
For in Hel resides that Dark Reminder that, for all of our getting lost in the insanity of a sugar-induced live-in-the-second Halloween rush, there will, one day, be a Reckoning. One day we will stand before Hel, waiting the Judgement of One who does not forget what we have done.....even if all we remember are the cavities the candies gave us.