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By: / Beginner
Post # 1
Quick Lesson : #03

Hel (Old NorseHel , Hidden [1] ) is agiantessand goddess in Norse mythology who rules overHelheim, the underworld where the dead dwell.

According to the thirteenth-century Icelandic scholarSnorri Sturluson, shes the daughter ofLokiand the giant Angrboa (Anguish-boding), and therefore the sister of the wolfFenrirand the world serpent,Jormungand. But Snorri cant be taken at face value, and this family tree is likely something he himself invented in the interest of making Norse mythology seem more neat and tidy than it actually was.

Hel is generally presented as being rather greedy and indifferent to the concerns of both the living and the dead, but her personality is little-developed in what survives ofOld Norse literature. Shes mostly mentioned only in passing.

Source extracted from:

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Re: Hel
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

I'm not entirely sure I agree with a lot of their description of Hel on the page you provided. Especially in that "this family tree is likely something he himself invented" and also in that "Hel is generally presented as being rather greedy" as I personally find both of these things to be largely untrue. I do not work with Hel frequently or honor her through my daily devotions but I have looked into her in the past.

Here are some other places where you might find sources to read into (URLS are too long and had to be broken down into a few sections - just paste the pieces together).

  • Discussion on the Afterlife
  • representations-of-the-pagan-afterlife-in-medieval-scandinavian-literature/
  • Essays and Personal Experiences
  • PhD Dissertation on Hel and Helheim
  • An_Examination_of_Hel_In_Viking_Religion_and_Mythology
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Re: Hel
By: / Novice
Post # 3

Hel is far, far, frombeing greedy. In my experiences with her, She is one of the most wisest of the Norse deities I have ever worked with. The wise are not greedy. I don't work with her often, but I know she is neither greedy or indifferent. She is death personified. The goddess of death. She knows what there is to know about life and death alike. In her hall, everyone gets their fair share. Whether they were rich or poor in life, it makes no matter to her. Everyone is equal under the eyes of death

Now, Snorri is a reliable source for the basic lore, but if you are wanting to go more in depth and really get under the skin of the norse pantheon, I reccomend Raven Kaldera, Galina Krasskova, and Amber Drake. Their UPGs are quite interesting. And when you form your own, it gets more interesting as you add your own to see what you can compare, contrast, and ultimately in the end, make your own personal conclusion and personal truth about the gods for yourself. I feel that it helps uncover more of the Pantheon and Norse spirituality itself, as well as it helps the Norse Pagan culture grow.

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Re: Hel
By: / Novice
Post # 4

Hela was steadfast in keeping her word when it came to Odinn's request to return Baldr to Asgardr. Her terms were that every being had to weep and even though all but one did, she never wavered. In my personal experience, she holds me to my words the same way she holds herself true. That, in my opinion, is far from "greedy" and is more apt to be called fair.

And while Snorri was a Christian, he was also a historian. He had to change things in order for it to be accepted by his church and that earns him the benefit of my doubt, at least. Yes, take things with a grain of salt, but don't dismiss things solely on one point without taking several looks at various angles to fully grasp why you feel a certain way about a piece of his writing.

That mentality should be applied in all aspects of reconstruction and inspiration from a dead religion, not just with Snorri's work.

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