Thursday, October 25, 2012

Straight to Hel ( A visit to the Dark Side of Faery)

   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.

(This poor quality image of a wonderful print of Hel.  Original painting created by the wonderful Linda of Heksebua)
   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.


  1. Great insight into the realities of the season...not having a sweet tooth, I tell the kids I'd rather have meat mwahahaha....:D XXX

  2. Hel is not one of the deities one can make into a cuddly mama-goddess, no matter how hard they try. There is nothing to misunderstand when it comes to 'half rotten'.
    The uncomfortable thoughts can't be explained away and sugar-coated in this case. Which is good once in a while.
    (Tana from Witchy Diary)

  3. Excellent writing! I love how you wrote about Goddess Hel and modern Halloween!

  4. Wonderful post. I never heard of Hel :)
    Please come visit:


  5. wooo, now thats a story worthy of all hallows eve!!!I had to start a new blog, my other is gone, I hope you will find me there, you are an excellent words smith!

  6. I agree...Tinkerbell and Barbie give me the willies. Hel sounds much more interesting and awe-inspiring.

  7. Thank you for the load-down, interesting!

  8. Very insightful post. I am not familiar with Hel (other than occasional passing notations I've come across), so thanks for sharing. :D

  9. Wow! Thanks for the reality check. I think it's great that you chose a Norse Goddess to write about. Many people don't know about her.

    And just like you I don't want to encounter Loki either. And when it comes to Lady Hel, I can wait a looong time to see her as well. But just in case, she's keeping track of this comment, I bow my head respectfully to her.

  10. Love this tale as I only had a vague idea of this no nonsense character, I will check out your link to the artist that did the original painting too, looks fantastic... Also the heading for your post 'Straight to Help'... Inspired :)