SeasonoftheWitch

Hel’s Anthology

Hel: Anthology and Correspondences

Hel is the Norse Goddess of the Underworld (her name means ‘hidden’), psychopomp and ruler, with celebrations at Samhain and Yule. Her zodiac ruler is Scorpio and thus ruled by Pluto (also by Mars, it is said that Pluto is the higher octave of Mars). It is in the darkness, such as the final closing of one’s eyes in bodily form, is where we find her ready to guide us.

Other Correspondences

Number: 9
Plants/Trees: Cedar, Elder, Elm, Juniper (berries too), Myrrh
Animals: Raven, Dog, Serpent, Wolf
Stones: Jet, Obsidian, Black Agate, Onyx
Direction: North
Rune: Haglaz
Lineage: Father – Loki, Mother – Angrboða
Siblings:  Jörmungandr and Fenrir


My favorite print of Hel, you can pick one up from BlackForestForge

There are many in the Norse community who do not believe Hel to be a goddess, but a place for the dead who had not met their fates in battle. Others, due to her parental lineage, believe that she cannot be a true goddess. Semantics aside, we can turn to 9th and early 10th century texts, sagas, and poems from the likes of Þjóðólfr and Bragi Boddason to find references to Hel as a Goddess of death and the underworld prior to the Christian conversion era (Abram, 2003). While most of what we have comes from The Eddas, Abram (2003) outlines how some of these stories were impacted by the incoming Christian doctrine and led to the likes of Snorri making changes to the myths if only to make them more palatable.


Photo by Vlad D. via Unsplash

Reclaiming Herstory

Hel was brought to Odin, along with her siblings once the Gods found out of their existence. It had been foretold that the offspring of Loki would bring about destruction. Odin shackled Jörmungandr and Fenrir, while casting Hel away to Niflheim as the ruler of the place of her name (Hel). Or so the stories have claimed.

Passed down through the lens and voices of men, of those who won wars and could write history as they saw fit, they neglected to mention she took her throne in The Great Hall at her time of choosing.

She then gave Odin his Ravens, Huginn and Munnin, giving Odin the ability to see deeply between the worlds of thought and memory (Billinghurst, 2021). She became the Queen of the Castle, of the Great Hall, and a warm hostess for those who died of illness and old age. She is a Goddess in and of herself, she is ruler and psychopomp, hostess and judge, warmth in the coldest place, both living and dying at the same time. As we all are.

Her magic is in transformation, of letting go to allow space for what inevitably is required of us to evolve. Something must die for something to live, it is the great pattern of nature. She is the guide who can walk us through the darkness of release and bring the warmth that allows something else to thrive in its place.

Ivy’s experience with Hel

When Hel made her desire to be the first monthly focus Goddess apparent, I don’t think Kaycee or I had any idea what was in store. When I was calling her in on the 1st, I felt a distinct energy shift. One unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

This lovely print is one I own. You can get yours at Elemental Otherworld

Many will lead you to believe that healing trauma “isn’t that difficult, or that painful”. That is merely surface healing. Deep healing, to become truly sovereign, to heal ancestral lines, is something wholly different. There are thing I have spent the whole month with. Now, I speak them.

Deep, truthful, long-lasting healing isn’t wine, roses and sweet song birds.

As I traversed the path to reach the entrance to the underworld and her hall, I was not alone. The landscape was beautiful, but desolate. The journey was filled with shifting shadows. Birds were high up in the barren trees and I caught glimpses of the wolves that watched my every step.

The road to healing, the truth, redemption whatever you wish to call it is littered, not with wine and roses, but blood, tears, bones, the lies we’re told, and the parts of ourselves we have cast into the aether. The violence inflicted upon women can leave us locked in a validation seeking prison of the mind.

You are enough. You always have been.

Photo by Marko via Unsplash

Seeking out like-minded people isn’t weakness. We live in a socially driven society. If someone is trying to discourage you from seeking connection, which can move our collective consciousness forward, they aren’t thinking about what is best for you. Only their own ego and the acceptance they seek.

Hel has taught me, over the last month, just how strong these connections can be. While she does take the dead who don’t die in battle, it is not only the elderly and infirm. Nor is it “the lazy”. I want you to ask yourself one simple question. What actually defines a battle? It isn’t just taking up arms, running onto a battlefield, and shedding blood. We all fight battles every day. From our mental health to the struggles of just existing in a patriarchal society.

Hel is a protectoress of women and children.

As you know, we called her in on the 1st, then spent weeks building that relationship. Everything at our disposal was utilized in that quest. The incense, oil, meditation, sigils, devotional altars, sacred black candles, were all part of that process. Each time I walked the path to Yggdrasil and down into her realm, my heart felt more at ease.

Two weeks ago, tragedy struck. I won’t go into the details, those that know me know what they are. From one careless act, a boy was left without his mother, a mother without her daughter, a woman without her sister, and a partner without his love. The ripple effect was as breathtaking as it was horrifying. This, too, is a battle.

Kaycee and I worked together that night to cast of web of protection. I then made my oh-so-familiar journey. My heart was so, so heavy. I was coming to her to ask for her to protect this child. As soon as I entered Hel’s hall, she motioned me to her. She knew my worries, she knew why I had come.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels

When her hand stretched toward me, I gave her this small, glowing ember that I didn’t even realize was in my palm. It was the protection spell I had cast earlier. Once it was free from my grasp, a weight lifted, but the worries remained.

My own mortality was staring me in the face. I am a mother, a Mimi, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, the thought of leaving my family so tragically was enough to give anyone pause. Those thoughts sat with me for days before I could finally let it go. They now sit in the deep darkness.

That family that is forever changed? Hel keeps silent watch. Their grief is a battle. One that will take a lifetime to heal. She has my gratitude for the wisdom she has taught me. I am a warrior, but I am one of her warriors.

References

Abram, C. (2003). Representations of the pagan afterlife in medieval Scandinavian literature. Doctoral thesis. University of Cambridge.
Billinghurst, F. (2021). Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms. Moon Books – John Hunt Publishing.
Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences

To read more of our posts about Hel and the work we did this month, you can find a bit of a compendium here.

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram and you can find Revelations of a Witch on Facebook and Instagram as well as on the web

Full Moon Journey to Hel’s Hall

Image from Unsplash- Photographer Ganapathy Kumar

All the Pieces

This month, we have created many things to bring this journey to fruition. In this meditation, we put them all together. With them all working in conjunction, this is a powerful ritual in and of itself. Leaving some extra time AFTER the journey is imperative to return yourself fully into your waking consciousness. A snack of some sort can aid that transition back.

Why the Full Moon?

The full moon is the perfect time for a journey such as this one. We’re releasing the outdated ways of thinking and removing the things that do not serve our greater good. Thus it is the perfect time to descend to her hall and drink in the wisdom she has to share. It allows for us to leave behind the self we were, to emerge in that beautiful state of metamorphosis that is who we are becoming.

The incense blend

Kaycee created a beautiful incense to begin the month and build our relationship with Hel. I have used it every day since I made mine, to deepen my connection and be open to any messages received.

Created by Kaycee

Hel’s Hall Journey Oil

I created an oil to annoint ourselves and our candles with to help further deepen our connection to her. As well as make that descent to her hall even easier. Both the oil and incense were used daily to deepen the work with her.

Created by Ivy

The Sigil

Some of the most powerful magic comes from sigilcraft. You can inscribe candles, draw them on yourself, draw on paper over and over as a form of meditation, or carry them with you as powerful protection. I have divined one for you, Witches, to use however you’d like. To aid you in your work with Hel.

Hel’s Sigil by Ivy

The Meditation

The meditation was a joint effort, between Kaycee and I. While I wrote it, she recorded it for you all. You will find it below. My eternal gratitude to Hel, as she guided our hands every step of the way. To help us create a meaningful ritual journey for you.

Hel’s Hall Journey. Written by Ivy Laine. Recorded by Kaycee Reeves.

We thank you so much for spending October with us. We aren’t done yet! The Dead wish to speak.

More to check out

Welcoming Hel to DGC
Preparing for Hel’s Hall
Check us out on Facebook and Instagram
And the official DGC Spotify Playlist

Darkest Blessings,
Ivy

October at Dark Goddesses Collective

Here at Dark Goddesses Collective, part of the work we do is to re-claim the Goddesses of power. To speak their stories through our own eyes, meditations and workings. As well as through the eyes of scholars that have cast off the patriarchal slant placed upon them.
Remember, it is power WITH, not power over.

Usage rights purchased from Shutterstock by DGC

For the month of October, we have some deeply meaningful work and wisdom to share with all of you

Our theme for the month is: The Dead Speak. – Wisdom and practices all about honoring and connecting with our ancestors. Ancestors of both our lineage and those chain breakers who have gone before us.

Our Goddess of the month is: Hel – She is both Goddess and place. She receives half of the dead in Hel, which is in Niflheim. She was cast there by Odin and given authority over 9 worlds. It is Hel who is said to have gifted Huginn and Muninn to Odin.

Some of what we have planned:
A Ritual of Releasing – Using a poppet filled with all the things you wish to walk away from to be born anew, a firepit, and a call to Hel to welcome her into the space of Dark Goddesses Collective. This will be video recorded on the evening of October 1st and will be placed here on the blog as soon as it is uploaded to Youtube.

An incense blend for the month to honor our Mighty Dead as the veil thins.

Using the Sacred Black Candle in the month of October – Mini workshop article.

Meditation(s) and/or channeled messages via audio.

The Dead Speak Divination method.

An article on Hel, herself, her history, the areas she resides over, ways to connect with her to heal the shadow self.

Setting up Chthonic altars to our mighty dead, with different examples.

Honoring our dead and the spirit of land. Protocols for visiting graveyards, connecting with our ancestors, collecting earth for our work in the year ahead, and offerings to the land as payment.

As the month progresses, other work may present itself. So be sure to subscribe to our blog feed for new posts. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

A candle & a key,
With Darkest Gratitude,
Ivy & Kaycee