Our Hearts & Prayers Go Out To All Effected by The Synagogue Shootings In Pittsburgh

Our hearts and our prayers go out to all the victims of the Synagogue Shootings In Pittsburgh. There comes a time when we must set aside our own personal beliefs and traditions and pray for those who are victims of such senseless violence and killings. Today is that day.

Across our many religious divides let us put that aside and remember one important thing, we are all one race in the Goddess’ eyes. We are all Her children. We are all brothers & sisters on our Great Mother Earth. When such violence that has occurred today happens, it effects us all.

We pray for those who lost their lives today, their families, their friends, their loved ones and most of all the community of Pittsburgh. We ask that those who were injured make a full and speedy recovery. Let the healing process begin, even though it is a long and difficult road at times, let them know they do not walk it alone. We are with them in thought, spirit and prayer. Most of all, you Almighty Mother are with them. Let them feel Your comfort, Your love and Your strength during the days ahead.

Almighty Mother, most of all, we pray that we never have to turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper and hear of such violence ever again. With all our hearts we pray that the senseless violence and killings in our country cease. Let us remember what it was like to live in peace and strive for that existence once more. Let our fellow man learn to respect life and hold it sacred. Life is the most precious gift you have given us, let all mankind learn to treasure it once again.

Almighty Mother, we pray these things today and every day because through you all things are possible, if we only ask.

 

We have a large number of brothers & sisters in the Pittsburgh area, please light a candle and say a prayer for them and their safety.

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Your Banishing Flame (Samhain)

Your Banishing Flame

 

As we say goodbye to the Celtic year, this is a good time to release things that have been holding you back. This is a fire festival and the strength and renewal ability of fire can be used to release the old habits and move forward into the new. Take time beforehand to consider what is holding you back and needs to be changed. Take a square piece of paper, and in black ink, write down exactly what needs to be changed/let go of i.e. I need to stop smoking. Turn over the paper and on the other side in green pen, the changes you need to grow, as if they have already happened i.e. my debts have been reduced/ paid due to stopping smoking etc. When your list of changes is done, place a bay leaf (kitchen) or a fallen oak leaf in the centre of the paper, then make 2 equal folds enclosing the black writing and leaf inside, then fold again twice more the other way to result in a small package. Place in a blank envelope and seal. Whether using a bonfire, the shop fire or the flame of your Samhain candle, you must burn this letter safely to seal the deal on the night of Samhain. As the paper begins to burn, watch it and say…

            Negative patterns be gone I say, and now you burn, let them stay away

            Open the door to changes great, transform my life as is my fate,

             Expand my horizons, my life, my soul, as positive changes are now my goal.

 

Repeat till it burns out completely and finish with “So mote it be”

Now you can go into the Celtic new year knowing changes are on the way. It is done

 

Source

Green Witch

Spell for Samhain to Ward of Bad Luck

Spell for Samhain to Ward of Bad Luck

 

There are a lot of people out there who believe they are having “a run of bad luck” and they say things run in 3’s. So here is what we are going to do. Because this is the start of the next wheel, forwarned is forarmed.

 

Take 3 shiny pennies, 3 pieces of cloth in a favourite colour and 3 bits of string/ribbon. Sit in front of your Samhain fire with protection incense burning and wrap each penny in a piece of cloth and tie with string saying:

“In luck I trust, in luck I believe, with this cloth, good luck I weave”.

 

Hold each pouch in the incense smoke and then place 2 safely on your altar/sacred space/magick box and hang the other over your front door.

 

Any time you feel there is a run of “bad luck”, you take this pouch out into a field/countryside/beach and bury it, saying

 

“Bad luck has come but not to stay, I bury it now to turn it away”.

 

Return home and hang a new one in its place. It is turned and we are done.

 

Source

Green Witch

Remembering Those Who Have Gone (Samhain)

Remembering Those Who Have Gone

Items needed:

1 natural candle and 1 blue candle

1 stone/pebble amethyst or quartz for every person you would like to remember on this night

1 goblet red wine (or more if you have a lot of people to remember!!)

 

Cast your circle or sacred space, ensuring you have a comfortable area to sit within your circle as you could be there some time. Light the two candles in the west of your circle forming a doorway by which spirit can enter should they choose to do so. Now, take one crystal in your hand, close your eyes and remember the good things about that person – those things that made you smile, laugh or cry. Then, when you have remembered the things you wanted to, simply state something like “If you are able, please come and sit with me…name….” then lay down the stone with the candles. Lift your glass and toast them and take a drink. Continue until all the people you wanted to think about had been remembered.

You may get the feeling that one is present, a few or all if you are lucky, in which case it will be a crowded circle. However, it is lovely to sit and remember and let them come should they want to. This is what Samhain is for and why the children dress as ghosts and ghouls. When you have sat for enough time and all is done (you can also do your divination within the circle as it would definitely be a powerful reading), then simply pick up each crystal individually, stating something like “…name…, thank you for your time, and I bid you hale and farewell.” and when all have been thanked, then close down your circle and keep those special crystals on your altar.

 

Source

The Green Witch

Samhain Ritual: 31 October

Samhain Ritual: 31 October

 


Materials: one cauldron, filled with water

CRONE This should be an older female.

OLD KING This should be a person chosen by lottery, or by whoever is acting as Crone. It can be enacted by the HP if needed.

BARD/GREEN MAN If the coven has no Bard available, then a Green Man should be chosen by lottery, or by whoever is acting as Maiden. It can be enacted by the HP, if needed.

The place of ritual should be set up, away from the gathered participants. This is not something that people should miss, so make sure that potty break is taken care of before the circle is cast.

HPS

Go we now to the sacred place
And stand within the sacred space
Turn your minds to sacred things
And dance with me unto the ring!

HP and HPS lead the coven to the place of ritual by a spiral dance, ending in a circle around the altar. The cauldron should be at the south. The Old King dances at the end of the line.

HPS

Come we forth, with the Spiral Dance
Within the Lady’s radiance
To mark the turning of the year
The door to Winter now is here.

Earth and Water, Fire and Air
I invoke the Goddess there!
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

HP

Earth and Water, Fire and Sky
I invoke the God on high
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

The corners shall be called thusly, that all may hear, but shall not be called until the HPS reaches that corner on her circumnabulation.

EAST

O Guardians of the Eastern Tower,
Airy ones of healing power
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

SOUTH

Oh fiery ones of Southern Power
Thus I invite you to this tower
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

WEST

Western ones of water’s flow
Help to guard us here below
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

NORTH

Earthen ones of Northern fame
Bless and guard our Power’s fane
I do summon, stir and call you

See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

The HPS shall move to each corner, and say, following each corner’s crying as she moves to the next:

HPS

So I cast and consecrate
This Circle of the small and great:
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea,
By Fire and Water, Earth and Air,
By the Lord, and Lady Fair!
By Love and Joy and Work and Play,
All things harmful cast away!
By lightning’s flash, and rain’s soft fall,
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
(Cast the Circle: Blessed be!)

On her return to the first corner she shall change the last line above, and say:

The Circle’s cast; and Blessed Be!

The callers of the corners shall return their tools to the altar, and then shall join the circle at their corners.

Here begins the Samhain Mystery:

OLD KING

Thus I invoke the Lady White
To come to us this sacred night.
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
I shall show you a Mystery!

Bard/Green Man and Maiden join hands, facing each other. The Maiden speaks to the Bard/Green Man:

MAIDEN

Lord of Life, hail Land-Master!
God of grain that grows and dies
Rising reborn, full of richness;
Fallow fields shall yet be fertile –
Spring sap runs as stirs your manhood
Bless barren earth, bear fruit again!

The Bard/Green Man speaks to Maiden:

BARD/GREEN MAN

Snow-shoes striding, hail swift Huntress!
Wild one, free and willful Goddess
Bow and blade you bear beside you,
Finding food to fend off hunger –
Winter will not leave us wanting;
Give good hunting, grant us skill.

The Old King moves to the West. The Crone moves to the North.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a trout.
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt
And show thee many a merry game
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Trout, take heed of an otter lank
Will harry thee close from bank to bank
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the South. The Crone moves to the West.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a bee
With mickle fear and dread of thee
And flit to hive in the Lady’s Name
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Bee, take heed of a red, red cock
Will harry thee close through door and lock
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the East. The Crone moves to the South.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Oh, I shall go into a hare
with sorrow, sighing and mickle care
And I shall go in the Lady’s Name
Aye, until I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Hare, take heed of a swift greyhound
Will harry thee all these fields around
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the North. The Crone moves to the East.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a mouse
And haste me unto the Miller’s House
There in his corn to have good game
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Mouse, take heed of a white she-cat
That never was balked of mouse nor rat
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
And -thus- it is I fetch thee hame!

Crone walks to Old King and takes his hand. He falls as if dead.

HPS

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye Her Song has fetched Him back!

Summer’s gone, the Lady reigns
And Winter has returned again!

Maiden wets her hands with water from the Cauldron, and sprinkles it on the Old King, who comes to life again.

OLD KING

Cunning and art I do not lack
But aye Her Cauldron will bring me back!

The Crone and Old King shall join hands, facing each other, and say:

Note: These Norse style verses were taken from a file I got (I think) from Paul Seymour. Don’t know who author is.

CRONE

One-eye, Wanderer, God of wisdom,
Hunt-lord, hail, who leads the hosting!
Nine nights hanging, knowledge gaining,
Cloaked at crossroads, council hidden.
Now the night, your time, is near us –
Right roads send us on, Rune-winner.

OLD KING

Every age your eyes have witnessed;
Cauldron-Keeper, hail wise Crone!
Rede in riddles is your ration –
Wyrd-weaver at the World-tree’s root.
Eldest ancient, all-knowing one,
Speak unto us, send us vision!

Here the HPS should say:

HPS

We remember our dead; our loved ones gone to the Summerland before us. Give them peace and joy.

ALL

Blessed be!

READER

Never again the Burning Times! Let us remember our dead, good and bad, innocent and guilty:

HPS

Let them have peace.

ALL

Blessed be!

Here ends the Samhain Mystery.

A normal cone-of-power may be raised, for growth and healing:

HPS

In a ring we all shall stand
Pass the Power, hand to hand.

HP

As the season turns again
Power flows from friend to friend

HPS

Pass the Power, hand to hand
Bless the Lady, bless the Land

HP

Bless the Lord, and bless the Skies
Bless the Power that never dies!

The above four verses should be repeated three times, or as many times as needed, and the HPS shall then say:

HPS

By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree:
Let the Power flow out and free!

All should release, at this point.

Any needed coven business may be transacted here.

The Circle is opened:

HPS

Thus I release the East and West
Thanks to them from Host to Guest
Thus I release the South and North
With “Blessed Be’ I send them forth!
The Circle’s open, dance we so
Out and homeward we shall go.
Earth and Water, Air and Fire
Celebrated our desire.
We think of those in Summerland
Who dance together, hand in hand.
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
Our circle’s done; and Blessed Be!

COVEN

Blessed Be!

All spiral dance out from the Circle, led by HP and HPS.

 

 

The White Bard, Author

Published on Pagan Library

Samhain Ritual

Samhain Ritual


This ritual was written at a time when I did not have a qualified Priest in my group. However, it may easily be adapted for those groups in which the Priestess and Priest work together. It may be just as easily adapted to solitary work.

Place an apple and pomegranate upon the altar. There should also be a “planted” pot of earth for each participant – these may be arranged on the altar as well, if there is ample space. Instruments of divination may be placed within the Circle perimeter for use during the ritual if you wish. Arrange the altar as usual and decorate with Autumn leaves, pumpkins, etc.

The Circle is cast and purified the Circle in the usual manner. Dancing around the Circle in a shuffle step (deosil), all chant three times:

The Moon is bright, the Crone is old
The body lifeless – the bones so cold
We all live and pay our dues
To die in ones and threes and twos.

Death, dance and play the harp
Piercing silence in the dark
The Woman’s old with withered limbs
Death beckons Her to dance with Him

As She accepts the Dance of Death
The Earth is cooled by ghostly breath
To lie in dormancy once more
To have Her strength and life restored

Go to the Western Quarter and draw an invoking pentagram with the athame to open the gate. Then evoke the dead by saying:

All ye spirits who walk this night –
Hearken! Hearken to my call!
I bid you in our Circle join!
Enter! Enter – one and all!

Come ye, spirits of the dead:
Be ye spirit of plant or pet
Or human being who still roams!
Into this Circle you are let!

Speak to us of things unknown!
Lend your energies to this rite!
To speed your journey, we have joined
On this sacred Samhain night!

All ye spirits who walk this night –
Hearken! Hearken to my call!
I bid you in our Circle join!
Enter! Enter – one and all!

Bestow blessings upon the dead, saying:

Oh Mighty Pan of the Summerlands:
Guardian of the beloved dead
We pour forth love on those you keep
Safely, in your peaceful stead
We bless those who have walked the path
That someday, we as well, shall rove
We offer peace unto their souls
While resting in your arms, below

Now is the time for divination (Ouija Board, pendulum, cards, etc.) and communication with those who have gone on before us. Allow plenty of time for this. [Note: I have found that it is helpful to have a tape recorder handy within the Circle for recording any communications that may be “channeled” during this time. Some people disagree with this suggestion, saying that the metal of this electronic device causes scattered energies in the Circle; however, if the recorder has been cleansed and purified as the rest of the ritual tools, the problem seems to be resolved.]

When the divinatory processes are completed, the Priestess goes to the Western Quarter and draw the banishing pentagram, saying:

Blessings be upon thee, oh wondrous Spirits of the
Summerlands. We humbly thank thee for your presence in our
Circle and honor you in celebration this sacred night. We
beseech thee, oh Pan, keeper of the sacred dead, embrace
once again those souls within your keep and hold tightly
to your breast those which have been lost and wandering.
Grant them safe passage to the Summerland, where they may
rest peacefully in your strength until they are refreshed
and reborn again in perfect love. We bid thee all a fond
farewell. So mote it be!

The gate is now closed.

The Priestess goes to the altar and hold up the pomegranate, saying:

Behold the pomegranate, fruit of Life…

The athame is plunged into the pomegranate, splitting it open to display the seeds. She says:

Whose seeds lie in the dormancy of Death!

The Priestess eats one of the seeds, saying:

I Taste the seeds of Death.

The pomegranate is then passed hand to hand through the participants of the ritual, each eating a seed and saying to the next person:

“Taste the seeds of Death.”

The Priestess then holds up the apple, saying:

Behold the apple: fruit of wisdom, fruit of Death…

She then cuts the apple crosswise, saying:

Whose symbolism rewards us with life eternal!

She holds up the apple, displaying the inner pentagram, and says:

Behold the five-fold star – the promise of rebirth!

Consecrate the fruit and wine. Each person then tastes of the apple and sips the wine, saying to the next person:

Taste the fruit of rebirth and sip from the cup of wine of Life.

After libation, the Priestess presents each member of the group with a small pot of earth, planted with three seeds [preferably rue or lavender]. She briefly explains to the group that this is the season of the seed – it is a time of dormancy, but also a time of re-generation for growth. Further, as the seed rests in the earth, they should also take time to rest and re-evaluate their lives, metaphorically planting only those values which will enrich and enhance the growth within the Divine Self. She then instructs them to name the seeds within their pots with three values they wish to incorporate into their lives, knowing that as the seeds sprout with new life, their lives will be new, as well.

After the presentation, all join hands and hold them skyward.

PRIESTESS:

Thus is the Circle of Rebirth.
All pass from this life through the great god, Pan
But through My love you are all reborn
In the cycles of nature – through the Cosmic Plan.

In living we die – in dying we live
The fruit is first seed, yet seed comes from the fruit
In the mystery of life and death and rebirth
The Circle turns ever, and I am its root.

ALL RESPOND:

The Sun conceived in Darkness, cold
In the Shadow of Death, a Life unfolds
A shred of Light begins to burn
From Death comes Life – the Circle turns.

Dismiss Quarters and Dissolve Circle.

PRIESTESS:

The rite is ended.

ALL:

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady, and the spirits of the dead.

 

Dorothy Morrison, Author

Published on Pagan Library

Jack-O-Lantern Warding Spell (Samhain)

Jack-O-Lantern Warding Spell

 

If you feel you are being plagued by some malevolent spirit or energy, try this during the Samhain season to protect your home and send it away.

You Will Need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin carving tools
  • Black votive candles
  • Clove oil
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  1. Hollow and carve your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern the normal way. This is no time for cutesy pictures or artsy expressions. Just carve your basic scary face into it.
  2. In meditation, talk to your jack-o-lantern. Give him a name. Tell him his purpose—to ward off evil, fend off baneful magic, or banish unwanted spirits.
  3. Anoint your votive candle with clove oil, building energy as you rub it in. Empower it with your desire by simply visualizing your desire going down your arms, through your hands, into the candle. You might chant as you do this. This is the energy-raising part of the spell, so really focus on your goal and let it build.
  4. Place the candle inside your jack-o-lantern. Drop some garlic cloves and a few pinches of black pepper around it for good measure.
  5. Put your jack-o-lantern outside your door. Light the candle to release the energy. Let it burn out.
  6. For maximum effect, do this three nights in a row (putting in a newly anointed candle each night).

 

 

About The Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

Samhain Spirit-Banishing Incense

Spirit-Banishing Incense

Burn this if you are worried that baneful spirits are bothering you during this season when the veil is thin, or to follow up after burning Spirit Drawing Incense to ensure spirits return from whence they came.

3 parts Frankincense

2 parts sage

1 parts ground angelica root

1 part St. John’s Wort

1 part bay

IF you feel a particularly malevolent spirit is about, you may add one part fumitory, or a pinch of garlic powder (just a pinch—it’s strong!)

If your frankincense is not already thoroughly ground, let it air-dry overnight, then grind it in your mortar and pestle going counter-clockwise while focusing on banishing. After the frankincense is ground, add the other ingredients, one at time, to incorporate and blend them.

Burn to rid the area of unwanted spirits. If burning indoors, open all the windows.

 

About The Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

 

Samhain Spirit-Drawing Incense

Spirit-Drawing Incense

This is a great incense if you are seeking to commune with spirits this season.

CAUTION: Make sure you are really ready to draw spirits before burning it.

1 part sandalwood powder

1 part ground wormwood

1 part lavender

Ground and blend in your mortar and pestle and then sprinkle on lighted incense coals. You can also throw a handful onto a burning fire, such as in your fireplace or an outdoor balefire. You can burn it to draw your ancestors, while using a divination tool, during meditation/trance work, or before sleep to promote contact during dreams.

 

About the Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

 

Samhain Goddesses – Hel – Norse

Hel

 

In the Poetic EddaProse Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of the realm of Niflheim. In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-colored and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. The Prose Edda details that Hel rules over vast mansions with many servants in her underworld realm and plays a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th-century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, that she may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali or that Hel may have become a being only as a late personification of the location of the same name.

Domain

The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda’s hall. 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. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as “tardy”). She has a knife called “Famine”, a plate called “Hunger”, a bed called “Disease”, and bed curtains called “Misfortune”.

Etymology

The Old Norse feminine proper noun Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules, Old Norse Hel. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old English hell (and thus Modern English hell), Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, and Gothic halja. All forms ultimately derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō (‘concealed place, the underworld’). In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-: ‘to cover, conceal, save’.

The term is etymologically related to Modern English hall and therefore also Valhalla, an afterlife ‘hall of the slain’ in Norse Mythology. Hall and its numerous Germanic cognates derive from Proto-Germanic *hallō ‘covered place, hall’, from Proto-Indo-European *kol-.

Related early Germanic terms and concepts include Proto-Germanic *xalja-rūnō(n), a feminine compound noun, and *xalja-wītjan, a neutral compound noun. This form is reconstructed from the Latinized Gothic plural noun *haliurunnae (attested by Jordanes; according to philologist Vladimir Orel, meaning ‘witches’), Old English helle-rúne (‘sorceress, necromancer’, according to Orel), and Old High German helli-rūna ‘magic’. The compound is composed of two elements: *xaljō (*haljō) and *rūnō, the Proto-Germanic precursor to Modern English rune. The second element in the Gothic haliurunnae may however instead be an agent noun from the verb rinnan (“to run, go”), which would make its literal meaning “one who travels to the netherworld”.)

Proto-Germanic *xalja-wītjan (or *halja-wītjan) is reconstructed from Old Norse hel-víti ‘hell’, Old English helle-wíte ‘hell-torment, hell’, Old Saxon helli-wīti ‘hell’, and the Middle High German feminine noun helle-wīze. The compound is a compound of *xaljō (discussed above) and *wītjan (reconstructed from forms such as Old English witt ‘right mind, wits’, Old Saxon gewit ‘understanding’, and Gothic un-witi ‘foolishness, understanding’).

Attestations

Poetic Edda

The Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, features various poems that mention Hel. In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, Hel’s realm is referred to as the “Halls of Hel.” In stanza 31 of Grímnismál, Hel is listed as living beneath one of three roots growing from the world tree Yggdrasil. In Fáfnismál, the hero Sigurd stands before the mortally wounded body of the dragon Fáfnir, and states that Fáfnir lies in pieces, where “Hel can take” him. 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. In stanza 4 of Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the “high hall of Hel.”

Hel may also be alluded to in Hamðismál. Death is periphrased as “joy of the troll-woman” (or “ogress”) and ostensibly it is Hel being referred to as the troll-woman or the ogre (flagð), although it may otherwise be some unspecified dís. The Poetic Edda also mentions that travelers to Hel must pass by her guardian hound Garmr.

Prose Edda

Hel is referred to in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. 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. 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.

High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. Upon their arrival, Odin threw Jörmungandr into “that deep sea that lies round all lands,” Odin threw Hel into Niflheim, and bestowed upon her authority over nine worlds, in that she must “administer board and lodging to those sent to her, and that is those who die of sickness or old age.” 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”), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also “lazy walker”), the entrance threshold “Stumbling-block,” the bed “Sick-bed,” and the curtains “Gleaming-bale.” High describes Hel as “half black and half flesh-coloured,” adding that this makes her easily recognizable, and furthermore that Hel is “rather downcast and fierce-looking.”

In chapter 49, High describes the events surrounding the death of the god Baldr. The goddess Frigg asks who among the Æsir will earn “all her love and favour” by riding to Hel, the location, to try to find Baldr, and offer Hel herself a ransom. The god Hermóðr volunteers and sets off upon the eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel. Hermóðr arrives in Hel’s hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and stays the night. 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. Hel says the love people have for Baldr that Hermóðr has claimed must be tested, stating:

“If all things in the world, alive or dead, weep for him, then he will be allowed to return to the Æsir. If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain with Hel.”

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.” 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 chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr (“Hel’s companion”). In chapter 16, “Hel’s […] relative or father” is given as a kenning for Loki. In chapter 50, Hel is referenced (“to join the company of the quite monstrous wolf’s sister”) in the skaldic poem Ragnarsdrápa.

Heimskringla

In the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Hel is referred to, though never by name. In chapter 17, the king Dyggvi dies of sickness. A poem from the 9th-century Ynglingatal that forms the basis of Ynglinga saga is then quoted that describes Hel’s taking of Dyggvi:

I doubt not
but Dyggvi’s corpse
Hel does hold
to whore with him;
for Ulf’s sib
a scion of kings
by right should
caress in death:
to love lured
Loki’s sister
Yngvi’s heir
o’er all Sweden.

In chapter 45, a section from Ynglingatal is given which refers to Hel as “howes’-warder” (meaning “guardian of the graves”) and as taking King Halfdan Hvitbeinn from life. In chapter 46, King Eystein Halfdansson dies by being knocked overboard by a sail yard. A section from Ynglingatal follows, describing that Eystein “fared to” Hel (referred to as “Býleistr’s-brother’s-daughter”). 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:

Loki’s child
from life summoned
to her thing
the third liege-lord,
when Halfdan
of Holtar farm
left the life
allotted to him.

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.

Egils saga

The Icelanders’ saga Egils saga contains the poem Sonatorrek. The saga attributes the poem to 10th century skald Egill Skallagrímsson, and writes that it was composed by Egill after the death of his son Gunnar. The final stanza of the poem contains a mention of Hel, though not by name:

Now my course is tough:
Death, close sister
of Odin’s enemy
stands on the ness:
with resolution
and without remorse
I will gladly
await my own.

Gesta Danorum

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. It was no idle vision, for after three days the acute pain of his injury brought his end.

Scholars have assumed that Saxo used Proserpina as a goddess equivalent to the Norse Hel.

 

Source

Mythology Wikia