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Hel, Shelter

Alternate meanings: She-Who-Covers-Up, One-Who- Hides, The-Concealer.
[to Whom the sixteenth day of May, day 136, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Norse, Scandinavian.
Linguistic Note: There was a common term among the Gothonic nations for the Underworld: it was *halja, meaning `the place of concealment', a word which became hel in Old Norse; from the root HEL are derived höhle, `cave'; hohl, `hollow'; halle `hall'; hülle, `covering'; hülse, `husk' or `pod'; and helm. The English language obtains its related words, including hole, hollow, hall, hull, husk, helm, helmet {and possibly hill}, directly from the teutonic original. {I no longer remember where I found the meaning shelter, but contemplating it one day I was intrigued that hel is contained within it. The OED says the origin of shelter is obscure. And what about shell (which also contains hel and has a similar meaning of covering) and even shield?}.
Description: Piebald (Her complexion is half livid and half normal) Crone Goddess of fertility, the moon, and the dead; Queen of Helheim (Helheim exists in Niflheim, a region to the north of freezing and fog), the dark, wretchedly cold and rain-swept nine-circled realm of death; She Who is stern of looks (or even hideous); She Whose realm lies at one of the three roots of the World Tree Yggdrasil; Eponym of Hell where She has absolute power over all who go there.
In early days all the dead went to Her. Later only the souls of those who died of disease, old-age, or unheroic acciden: thus She became dreadful Hag Goddess of suffering and horror Whose dwelling is Elvidnir, `Dark-Clouds', (though some say Her Palace is called `Sleetcold'), Whose dish is Hungr, `Hunger', Whose knife is Sult, `Starvation', Whose servants are Ganglate, `Tardy-Feet', Whose bed is Kor, `Sickness', and Whose bed-curtains are Blikiandabol, `Splendid- Misery'.
To Whom Sacred: [seed-coverings]; dog, (especially Garmr Her gaurdian); the number 9; the color white (as in ghastly, corpse-like). To command someone to "go to hell!" is really to wish them dead and in Hel's realm.
Male Associates: Her father was Loki; the God Balder, the Good, is embraced by Her. Source: Neumann The Great Mother 46; Branston The Lost Gods of England 172; ibid Gods of the North 90-1, 96, 170, 270; Pendlesonn The Vikings 75, 77.
Modgud, {Guardian-Mother}.

Geography/Culture: Scandinavian.
Description: Gaurdian of the Gjoll bridge on the way to the realm of Hel.
worked on: August 6, 1991; December 20, 1993; May 1995
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