Nordic Goddess Hella

‘Hel” by Johannes Gehrts (1889)

Hella (Hel, Hell, Holle, Halja, Haljon)

  According to Old Norse mythology, Hel is the ruler of Helheim, the realm of the dead and is known to all Germanic folks including the Goths. A gothic word for witch was Haljoruna or Hel runes. It is likley that Hella remained a goddess of the Germanic netherworld for a long time. Her name means to hide as she is the concealer. Hella is the youngest child of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. Hel is usually described as a horrible hag, half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression but this is not entirely correct for in my personal encounters with her, she was anything but a beautiful being of the Germanic netherworld. It has been said that her face and body are those of a living woman, but her thighs and legs are those of a corpse, mottled and moldering. Not true at all and if you have walked the road to hel, I am pretty sure you will be in for a rather huge surprise. Death is change not de-composition. A personal point of view from my own experiences with this goddess Queen of the underworld is that she chooses to appear to those who seek her out as either hideous or very beautiful. I have witnessed both forms and trust me when I say this, you do not want to see her hideous form. As a goddess of death, hella is not merely the receiver of the dead, on occasions she chooses to claim them herself. During the Black Plague which ravaged Norway and other