Death comes to everyone. There is not escape from it. The blackest night sweeps over, stealing all light. She walks in every house, her hand on every man, her gaze loving and fearsome. We praise her with adorning the dead flesh on our bodies. Her caress, her dance, her kiss.
Hel is Death. Death is Hel. The most powerful of all Goddesses. Not even the Gods can keep her touch away forever. Death endures. Hel lives through death. Praise her.
This is the page dedicated to Hel, the Norse Goddess of Death and one of the godkin that I walk with.
Hel is the daughter of Loki, blood brother of Odin, and Angerbod his Jotun lover. Her brothers are Jormungand the world serpent and Fenris the wolf. Odin, upon finding out about these children of Loki, cast Jormungand into the sea on Midgard, where it encircles the world, Fenris he took, and Hel he “cast down” into Helheim and made queen of the dead.
That’s the basics. The not so basics include everything from “Is she Evil” to “Is she half white/half blue/black vs half flesh/half rotten.” The question of evil is easier to answer, since the concept of evil wasn’t known to the Norse and Germanic peoples until the dominance of Christianity. The latter question is tougher, but I personally go with what is written in the original sources, which states that hers is the flesh of a young maiden, one half whole and full of life, the other half the blue/black of body frozen in winter.
Hel is, by all accounts, actually a rather nice lady. While often described as evil and monstrous, something I attribute to a thousand years of propaganda, she is kind to her charges. To the Germans she was known as Holda, or Mother Holda, and was a goddess of maidens (another reason I think she is young in appearance). She’s also thought to be one of the oldest of the Teutonic goddesses
Thoughts and prayers to Hel are welcome in the comments. 🙂