"Naming committee stops parents from naming daughter after goddess of the underworld". Hel, in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death. 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. The god Hermóðr volunteers and sets off upon the eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel. (1882). Her de-vilification and re-valorisation is symbolic of the reconstruction of modern Northern Paganism itself. Davidson (1999:II 356); Grimm (2004:314). The downward slope may indicate that the rider is traveling towards the realm of the dead and the woman with the scepter may be a female ruler of that realm, corresponding to Hel. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. In the story, a devil is hiding within a pagan idol, and bound by Bartholomew's spiritual powers to acknowledge himself and confess, the devil refers to Jesus as the one which "made war on Hel our queen" (Old Norse heriaði a Hel drottning vara). 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. In all the stories from Norse mythology, the goddess of death plays her most important role in the death of Balder. She haunts the battlefield or cremation ground and squats on corpses. [4] The feminine noun *halja-rūnō(n) is formed with *haljō- 'hell' attached to *rūno 'mystery, secret' > runes. As her name somewhat suggests, Hel was the Norse goddess of the dead. [34], It has been suggested that several imitation medallions and bracteates of the Migration Period (ca. [3], Other related early Germanic terms and concepts include the compounds *halja-rūnō(n) and *halja-wītjan. Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) Welcome to the online shrine of Hela (or Hel), the Goddess of Death and Lady of the Underworld in Norse/Germanic mythos. Goddess of love, she … After the death of Baldr at her father's hands, she agreed to resurrect him only if all living things cried for the fallen god. She has a knife called “Famine”, a plate called “Hunger”, a bed called “Disease”, and bed curtains called “Misfortune”. first centuries AD) feature depictions of Hel. 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. 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. She rules over a fiery womb of regeneration and is especially responsible for those who die of disease or old age. It has descendant cognates in the Old English helle-rúne 'possessed woman, sorceress, diviner',[5] the Old High German helli-rūna 'magic', and perhaps in the Latinized Gothic form haliurunnae,[4] although its second element may derive instead from rinnan 'to run, go', leading to Gothic *haljurunna as the 'one who travels to the netherworld'. [23], In chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr ("Hel's companion"). The goddess and her home lived long in Norse legends . It was said that those who fell in battle did not go to Hel but to the god Odin, in Valhalla, the hall of the slain. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim. Yet for all this she is "the recipient of ardent devotion from countless devotees who approach her as their mother" [...]. The Old Norse divine name Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules. Hel, also known as Hella, Holle or Hulda, was the Norse and Teutonic Goddess, Queen and Ruler of the Underworld, which was known as Niflheim, or Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead. Staff A (2017). In the Poetic Edda, Brynhildr's trip to Hel after her death is described and Odin, while alive, also visits Hel upon his horse Sleipnir. 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. She was not an Aesir god, but one of the secondary Vanir gods. The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda’s hall. un-witi 'foolishness, understanding', OE witt 'right mind, wits', OHG wizzi 'understanding'), with descendant cognates in Old Norse hel-víti 'hell', Old English helle-wíte 'hell-torment, hell', Old Saxon helli-wīti 'hell', or Middle High German helle-wīzi 'hell'. [15][16], Hel is referred to in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. "[10] In stanza 31 of Grímnismál, Hel is listed as living beneath one of three roots growing from the world tree Yggdrasil. Davidson adds that, on the other hand, various other examples of "certain supernatural women" connected with death are to be found in sources for Norse mythology, that they "seem to have been closely connected with the world of death, and were pictured as welcoming dead warriors," and that the depiction of Hel "as a goddess" in Gylfaginning "might well owe something to these."[43]. Hel (Old Norse Hel, “Hidden;” pronounced like the English word “Hell”) is the most general name for the underworld where many of the dead dwell. High details that in this realm Hel has "great Mansions" with extremely high walls and immense gates, a hall called Éljúðnir, a dish called "Hunger," a knife called "Famine," the servant Ganglati (Old Norse "lazy walker"[18]), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also "lazy walker"[18]), the entrance threshold "Stumbling-block," the bed "Sick-bed," and the curtains "Gleaming-bale." Loki. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Corrections? 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)." Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as \"tardy\"). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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). Meeting Hel, Norse Goddess of the Underworld May 3, 2018 Astrea Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Hel is a Norse Goddess, queen of the Norse underworld ().She lives in Eljudnir, her hall in Nilfheim.. "[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. "[22] In chapter 51, High describes the events of Ragnarök, and details that when Loki arrives at the field Vígríðr "all of Hel's people" will arrive with him. In the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki. The next morning, Hermóðr begs Hel to allow Baldr to ride home with him, and tells her about the great weeping the Æsir have done upon Baldr's death. "[37], The Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, an account of the life of Saint Bartholomew dating from the 13th century, mentions a "Queen Hel." [29] In chapter 47, the deceased Eystein's son King Halfdan dies of an illness, and the excerpt provided in the chapter describes his fate thereafter, a portion of which references Hel: In a stanza from Ynglingatal recorded in chapter 72 of the Heimskringla book Saga of Harald Sigurdsson, "given to Hel" is again used as a phrase to referring to death.[31]. "Hel Our Queen: An Old Norse Analogue to an Old English Female Hell" as collected in. 70-71. Mention is made in an early poem of the nine worlds of Niflheim. This is a goddess who can make all the Aesir back down; remember this before you face off with Her. Helheim (“house of Hel”) is one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology.It is ruled by Hel, the monstrous daughter of the trickster god Loki and his wife Angrboda.. Goddess of Innocence Pantheon: Norse Of this we have a particularly strong guarantee in her affinity to the Indian Bhavani, who travels about and bathes like Nerthus and Holda, but is likewise called Kali or Mahakali, the great black goddess. "Egils saga" as collected in various (2001). The Icelanders' saga Egils saga contains the poem Sonatorrek. It was her job to determine the fate of the souls who entered her realm. "[39], Jacob Grimm theorized that Hel (whom he refers to here as Halja, the theorized Proto-Germanic form of the term) is essentially an "image of a greedy, unrestoring, female deity" and that "the higher we are allowed to penetrate into our antiquities, the less hellish and more godlike may Halja appear. The final stanza of the poem contains a mention of Hel, though not by name: In the account of Baldr's death in Saxo Grammaticus' early 13th century work Gesta Danorum, the dying Baldr has a dream visitation from Proserpina (here translated as "the goddess of death"): The following night the goddess of death appeared to him in a dream standing at his side, and declared that in three days time she would clasp him in her arms. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Updated on September 11, 2020. Regarding Seo Hell in the Old English Gospel of Nicodemus, Michael Bell states that "her vivid personification in a dramatically excellent scene suggests that her gender is more than grammatical, and invites comparison with the Old Norse underworld goddess Hel and the Frau Holle of German folklore, to say nothing of underworld goddesses in other cultures" yet adds that "the possibility that these genders are merely grammatical is strengthened by the fact that an Old Norse version of Nicodemus, possibly translated under English influence, personifies Hell in the neutral (Old Norse þat helvíti). 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. Hel, in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death. In Norse mythology, Hel features as the goddess of the underworld. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. (2002). [2] The Old Irish masculine noun cel 'dissolution, extinction, death' is also related. HEL, NORSE GODDESS OF THE DEAD. Davidson concludes that, in these examples, "here we have the fierce destructive side of death, with a strong emphasis on its physical horrors, so perhaps we should not assume that the gruesome figure of Hel is wholly Snorri's literary invention. 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. Her father was Loki, and her siblings were the Fenrir wolf and the serpent Jörmungandr. Simek (2007:44); Pesch (2002:70); Bonnetain (2006:327). High continues that, once the gods found that these three children are being brought up in the land of Jötunheimr, and when the gods "traced prophecies that from these siblings great mischief and disaster would arise for them" then the gods expected a lot of trouble from the three children, partially due to the nature of the mother of the children, yet worse so due to the nature of their father. [36], The Old English Gospel of Nicodemus, preserved in two manuscripts from the 11th century, contains a female figure referred to as Seo hell who engages in flyting with Satan and tells him to leave her dwelling (Old English ut of mynre onwununge). [24] In chapter 16, "Hel's [...] relative or father" is given as a kenning for Loki. This in relation to the Viking Age, meant if you didn’t die in battle you would simply just go to Hel. Idunna. [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. 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. [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." Davidson explains that "whether this personification has originally been based on a belief in a goddess of death called Hel is another question," but that she does not believe that the surviving sources give any reason to believe so. 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. An episode in the Latin work Gesta Danorum, written in the 12th century by Saxo Grammaticus, is generally considered to refer to Hel, and Hel may appear on various Migration Period bracteates. 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 the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Hel is referred to, though never by name. In addition, Grimm says that a wagon was once ascribed to Hel, with which Hel made journeys. This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 18:26. All but a giantess (Loki in disguise) wept for him, so he will stay dead until Ragnarök. [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. If you look at it … If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain with Hel. It’s presided over by a fearsome goddess whose name is also Hel. Located at the very root of Yggdrasil, Hel was the underworld of Norse mythology. Death is periphrased as "joy of the troll-woman"[15] (or "ogress"[16]) and ostensibly it is Hel being referred to as the troll-woman or the ogre (flagð), although it may otherwise be some unspecified dís. "[14], Hel may also be alluded to in Hamðismál. "Mál nr. Davidson (1998:178) quoting 'the recipient ...' from Kinsley (1989:116). Even though all the divine beings glared at her with disgust, Hel … [47] Rudolf Simek theorizes that the figure of Hel is "probably a very late personification of the underworld Hel," and says that "the first scriptures using the goddess Hel are found at the end of the 10th and in the 11th centuries." In Norse mythology, Hel’s father was the trickster god Lokiand her mother the giantess Angrboda. 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. [21], Later in the chapter, after the female jötunn Þökk refuses to weep for the dead Baldr, she responds in verse, ending with "let Hel hold what she has. Hel was one of the children of the trickster god Loki, and her kingdom was said to lie downward and northward. 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