The common elements in Snorri’s and Saxo’s accounts seem to be the following: Hel was located underground – down and to the north, the realm of cold and general lifelessness. ISBN-13 978-0-4608-7616-2, Lee M. Hollander (1962) The Poetic Edda. Throughout the Old Norse sources, we find instances of such journeys to Hel undertaken by gods or humans in order to recover a dead spirit or obtain knowledge from the dead. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. [4] Presumably, hel/helle originally referred to the same kind of Germanic pagan underworld as the Norse Hel, and Christian missionaries to the Anglo-Saxons used the closest word they could find in Old English to refer to Satan’s realm.

Translated by Angela Hall. Lots of phrases and superstitions are attached to it. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. 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. Translated by Angela Hall.

Furthermore, while the underworld isn’t described often in the sources, when it is, it’s generally cast in neutral or even positive terms.

It even has a name that comes up repeatedly in Old Norse literature: Helvegr, “The Road/Way to Hel.”[10] Given how closely the accounts of this course correspond to the narratives of traditional shamanic journeys of other circumpolar peoples,[11] they seem to recount, and possibly provide templates for, the journeys of Norse shamans. p. 208-213. Hel is the Goddess of death and ruler of the realm of the dead. The pagan version of hell is not the same as the Christian version where you get tortured and punished. Animals: -Colours: -Consort: -Crystal: -Day: -Direction: -Element: -Incense: -

p. 137.

It is believed that this was Loki in a disguise, and another one of his tricks to ruin everything for the Aesir. 1993. edition. Hel - Goddess of death.

Snorri wrote many generations after Norse paganism had given way to Christianity and ceased to be a living tradition, and he had a habit of stretching the evidence available to him to present his pre-Christian ancestors as having anticipated aspects of Christianity. 1st.

Finally, he came to a river, Gjöll (“Loud Noise”[15]), which was spanned by a bridge named Gjallarbrú (“Bridge over Gjöll”[16]). The Prose Edda. But apart from the fact that Hel and Hell are both realms of the dead located beneath the ground, the two concepts have nothing in common. On the bridge stood a giantess, Móðguðr (“Furious Battle”[17]). A journey by the hero Hadding from the Gesta Danorum (History of the Danes) by the medieval Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus is typical. Wishing to know where such herbs grew in winter, Hadding went with this woman under the earth. Abode: Hel. p. 156, 168. p. 137. You will, at least, in the case of Hermód be allowed to enter and leave again, if you are not dead. [12], The chicken being thrown over the wall of the underworld (variously called Helgrindr, “The Fence of Hel,” Nágrindr, “Corpse-Fence,” or Valgrindr, “The Fence of the Fallen”[13]) is especially intriguing. (See the article on Death and the Afterlife for more on this point.). 2003. In Norse mythology, the goddess Hel rode it into battle. It was Odin the chief of the Aesir who threw Hel down from the sky into the depths of the underworld.

The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature. Therefore, both of the words can be translated into “hide” or “cover” in modern English. See more ideas about Hel goddess, Norse mythology, Goddess. Hel is definitely not a goddess, and it is a misconception when people assume that she is the goddess of death. Translated by Angela Hall.

Translated by Angela Hall.

Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. The names of Hel and Hell, the Christian realm of eternal suffering ruled over by Satan, come from the same root in the Proto-Germanic language, which is an ancestor of both Old Norse and, by way of Old English, modern English. [1] Orel, Vladimir.

[12] Turville-Petre, E.O.G.

p. 137. 1964.

The Old Norse word Hel, which in Old English is Hell, derives from the Indo-European word Kel. The gates of Hel called Corpse-gates (Old Norse: Nágrindr) are located in the Gnipa cave (Old Norse: Gnipahellir), where the dog, named Garmr which means Hellhound, is howling every time new people arrive.

[9] No other source makes this distinction, and several offer further examples to the contrary. Baldrs Draumar, stanzas 3-4.

1968. [5] The dead in Hel spend their time doing the same kinds of things that Viking Age men and women did: eating, drinking, fighting, sleeping, and so forth. What the people during the Viking Age really thought of Hel has mostly been lost, and even Snorri Sturluson’s descriptions of her have most likely been influenced by his own Christian faith. London, England: Everyman J. M. Dent.

So they either found sneakier ways to cross into Hel or turned back.

Her personality traits are described as threatening, harsh, and cruel.

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. It’s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel.

[4] “Hell” in the Online Etymology Dictionary. Apr 13, 2014 - Explore Karen Bell's board "Hel- Goddess" on Pinterest. He then made his way toward the hall of Hel (the goddess), where he found Baldur sitting in the seat of honor.[18]. [6] Abram, Christopher.

This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. 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. In Norse mythology, Garmr or Garm (Old Norse "rag"[1]) is a dog associated with Ragnarök, and described as a blood-stained watchdog that guards Hel's gate. Everything did weep, except a giantess named Þökk, no matter what they Aesir did, she refused to shed a single tear for him.

The relevant part of the story goes like this: The god Hermod departed from Asgard, the celestial stronghold of the gods, on Sleipnir, the horse of Odin. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN-13 978-0-140-44755-2, Anthony Faulkes (1995) Snorri Sturluson, Edda.

Some sources also place it in the north, the direction which is cold and dark like the grave. We modern English speakers call the Christian concept of a land of damnation “Hell” because the concept was called hel or helle in Old English. [14] Turville-Petre, E.O.G. 3rd.

Like physical graves, Hel was thought to be located underground. Who Were the Indo-Europeans and Why Do They Matter. 2011. 1968.

Log in to your Tumblr account to start posting to your blog. Snorri himself blatantly contradicts his distinction between Valhalla and Hel in his version of the tale of the death of Baldur, Odin’s son, who is killed violently and is nevertheless borne to Hel.

p. 214-215. The Old Norse sources describe in uncharacteristic detail the course that one has to travel in order to reach Hel. So this is the place where I’m going to post my paintings, illustrations, mixed media constructions, painted boxes and jewelry, some older and hopefully a lot of new ones, and talk a…, Commission for She asked me to draw the Norse goddess, Hel. In this, Hermód the brave volunteered to ride down into the darkness for nine days on Sleipnir to bring Baldur back from the dead.

In her bedroom, she has her bed called sick-bed, encapsulated with curtains called misfortune.

After a time, one would finally arrive at the wall surrounding Hel.

When all of the blood has been sucked out of their bodies, it is easier for Hel to get them into her army of the dead.

Runes spell "Hail Hel. 1964. 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. 1993. While the Old Norse sources are far from clear on exactly how one ended up in one of the Norse afterlife realms rather than another (there were several), what is clear is that where one goes after death isn’t any kind of reward for moral behavior or pious belief, or punishment for immoral behavior or impious belief. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. [18] Snorri Sturluson. [15] Simek, Rudolf. She is not mentioned once as a goddess in any of the Edda’s which are considered the prime sources of Norse mythology.

Occasionally, it’s also referred to as “Helheim,” “The Realm of Hel,” although this is much more common in … Continue reading Hel (The Underworld) →

[5] Ellis, Hilda Roderick. The Old Norse Language and How to Learn It, The Swastika – Its Ancient Origins and Modern (Mis)use. It’s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel.

Translated by Angela Hall.

Turville-Petre’s apt summary: While he was living with Ragnhild, Hadding had another mysterious experience.

A Handbook of Germanic Etymology.

Hel and her army will then set sail for Vigrid, where the final battle to end all battles will take place.

[10] Simek, Rudolf. edition.

The dragon Nidhogg (Old Norse: Níðhöggr) is always nearby chewing on one of Yggdrasil’s roots when the dragon hears the howling from the dog, it comes flying into the cave to suck the blood out of all the dead people, so they become completely pale. p. 215.

He descended down the trunk of Yggdrasil, the great tree that forms the central axis of the cosmos. p. 139. But he was stopped by the maiden Módgunn who demanded that he explained what he wanted before he was allowed to pass. That common root has been reconstructed by modern scholars as *haljo, “concealed place,” and words stemming from *haljo seem to have been used to denote the underworld in virtually all Germanic languages.

According to Jackson Crawford’s translation of the Poetic Edda, the dog Garmr could also be Fenrir because both of them are described as chained up. The army will at Ragnarök embark on the ship Naglfar which has been built by using the nails of the dead. [3] The Poetic Edda. The dead presumably entered through the main gate, but those living beings who, for whatever reasons, undertook the journey to Hel seem to have thought it either impossible or unwise to enter through the gate. When Baldur arrived at Hel, he was welcomed as a guest of honor, and he was served fresh food.


[13] Simek, Rudolf. She has two siblings, the world serpent also known as Jörmungandr, and the Fenrir Wolf. Hel then made the underworld into her own realm and crowned herself Queen of Helheim.

Hostess of the Dead. For nine nights, he rode through deep valleys, so pitch-black he could not see the way.

1993. Not for sale. They have no relationship with each other and roam in separate places in the world.

p. 85-86.

Helhest- Danish and Norse myth: a three legged horse associated with disease and death.

Texas, USA: University Research Institute of the University of Texas. [7] Snorri Sturluson. 15th. The Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan recorded a scene he witnessed where a Norse chief had died and a woman was about to be killed to accompany him, and she cut off a hen’s head and threw it into the ship where her dead body would soon follow.[14].