Hel (sometimes also spelled Hela, or proto-Germanic Halja) is the Norse goddess of the underworld and death that comes to those who do not die in battle.

Her dominion is called Helheim, but the underworld she rules over was once called Hel, but that name was later bestowed upon the goddess who would become its queen.

Hel is the daughter of Loki, the trickster god of the Norse pantheon. She was also said to be the sister of Fenrir, the huge wolf who was prophesied to kill Odin, and Jormungandr, the great serpent which fought Thor and will eventually kill him during Ragnarok. She was given the realm of Hel(heim) to rule over when Fenrir and Jormungandr were cast below by Odin.

Hel is associated with another large, dark hound-like beast, Garmr, the hellhound.

Hel is depicted as a duality of either a half live/half dead woman, half blue/half flesh-colored woman, or a half white/half black being. There is an extreme lack of mythology that clarifies the role she played in veneration or worship of the Norse deities, and how she may have been honored or worked with by Norse pagans.

There is some information that points to her being a patroness of Norse shamans, as she was responsible for thinning the veil between the world of the living and the dead, and would act as that guide into the other realms.

Those that work with Hel in modern times may choose to work with her in the aspect of their shadow work or to explore and accept their own inner darkness, or may also approach her similar to working with the Hindu goddess Kali, to whom she later had some synchratization after the Viking era had ended and more significant trade was occurring between European cultures and those of the Asia.

Correspondences of Hel

Colors: black, gray, red, blue,

Animals: wolf, hound, crows

Rune: Hagalaz

Other associations: an all-seeing eye of truth, ice, death, judgment, aging, darkness, illness, crones, shamans, spirits/the spirit world, Earth element

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