[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." Hel is the Norse queen of the underworld, a mother goddess in her underworld guise. 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. In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla and Egils saga that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively. Hel was born with the bones on one half of her body fully exposed and, thus, is often depicted as a half-black and half-white monster. She is seen as a goddess of ancestral wisdom. 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 rose petals. Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) Davidson (1998:178) quoting 'the recipient ...' from Kinsley (1989:116). This office, the similar name and the black hue [...] make her exceedingly like Halja. Hel Goddess Norse Goddess Of Love Goddess Art Norse Mythology Names Norse Goddess Names Roman Mythology Thors Hammer Loki Vikings Freyja: Norse Goddess of Love, Witchcraft, and War — Kajora Lovely Every year when there is a Friday the 13th, we’re actually celebrating Freyja’s Day. 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]. In the underworld she is supposed to sit in judgment on souls. 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). "Queen Hel" is not mentioned elsewhere in the saga. She was not an Aesir god, but one of the secondary Vanir gods. [24] In chapter 16, "Hel's [...] relative or father" is given as a kenning for Loki. [13] In stanza 4 of Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the "high hall of Hel. "Frauen und Brakteaten - eine Skizze" in. 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 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. Hel is an important and much loved goddess in modern paganism, in both Heathenry and beyond. Updated on September 11, 2020. Why God Balder Cannot Return Back To The Living. Her name’s meaning of “Hidden” surely has to do with the underworld and the dead being “hidden” or buried beneath the ground. Hel, in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death. Learn about her place in Norse mythology in this myth series. 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. See more ideas about hel, norse, hel goddess. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... …Bringer”), Loki produced the progeny. In Norse mythology, Hel features as the goddess of the underworld. "[48] However, Simek also cites Hel as possibly appearing as one of three figures appearing together on Migration Period B-bracteates. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Davidson continues that: On the other hand, a goddess of death who represents the horrors of slaughter and decay is something well known elsewhere; the figure of Kali in India is an outstanding example. In chapter 49, High describes the events surrounding the death of the god Baldr. 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." Simek (2007:44); Pesch (2002:70); Bonnetain (2006:327). [17], High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. [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. Located at the very root of Yggdrasil, Hel was the underworld of Norse mythology. By Valda Roric . And Halja is one of the oldest and commonest conceptions of our heathenism. 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)." The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. 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. 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. Her name, often translated to "Hidden", is thought to relate to the nature of the underworld, that of being buried and hidden. [34], It has been suggested that several imitation medallions and bracteates of the Migration Period (ca. 5. 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. 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 … "Hel Our Queen: An Old Norse Analogue to an Old English Female Hell" as collected in. [41] Grimm says that Hel is an example of a "half-goddess;" "one who cannot be shown to be either wife or daughter of a god, and who stands in a dependent relation to higher divinities" and that "half-goddesses" stand higher than "half-gods" in Germanic mythology. 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. 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. 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). If it is Hel she is presumably greeting the dying Baldr as he comes to her realm. "[37], The Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, an account of the life of Saint Bartholomew dating from the 13th century, mentions a "Queen Hel." [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). 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 Norse goddess Hel is one of Loki's children and rules in one of the lowest realms of the world tree, Helheim. Even though all the divine beings glared at her with disgust, Hel … 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 Norse mythology, Hel (sometimes Anglicized or Latinized as Hela) is the queen of Hel, the Norse underworld. (2002). [15][16], Hel is referred to in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. (2001). [23], In chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr ("Hel's companion"). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." 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. In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. In chapter 17, the king Dyggvi dies of sickness. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as “tardy”). This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. The daughter of Loki, Hel was confined to Niflheim by the gods. Meeting Hel, Norse Goddess of the Underworld May 3, 2018 Astrea Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! "[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. One of the most known stories in Norse mythology tells about the fair god Balder, who was killed by Loki’s treachery. 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