Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hel - Goddess of Darkness

Sometimes I go dark. Mood-wise that is. I don’t mean getting sad over anything specific, which is totally natural and should be allowed to pass in its own good time. What I mean is brooding dark, chewing on every bitter mind-bone I can dig up with claw like fingers from seemingly abandoned cemeteries of my psyche. This doesn’t sound so attractive, I assume, and perhaps I should stop right there? But I won’t, because for me it is necessary, essential to my overall long-term wellbeing. When I do, I do not want either pharmaceuticals nor positive affirmations as antidotes. There are no antidotes that do the trick, but rather, the trick is to wait it out, to dig a little deeper into that soil and see what I find. I have to do this … until I’m done. The reason, of course, is to know as much about myself as I can so that a part of me doesn’t stab me in the back by pure un-acknowledgment. I probably also need to get it out of my system. I cannot with a good conscience recommend this practice – but if you recognize this – and want to do this as part as your personal and spiritual path – I would like to introduce you to Hel, the Old Norse goddess of Death and Darkness. She is the best company I have ever known for this state of being.

The Old Norse concept of what happens after death – and what death represent – is complex. You can end up a little here and there, according to circumstance. Many Viking diggers have grand visions of Oden’s Valhalla, of Freja’s Folkvagn. I prefer the gloomy underworlds of Helheim, Hel’s queendom. Simply because Hel is assigned to take care of “all the rest.” That is, everybody who didn’t die in war, or at sea. Symbolically, it means she accepts all of us and all our shortcomings and shadows. To invite her, and talk to her, is a strangely soothing and sobering experience. If you want to try – here follows some advice to make her come to you.
Choose a time of the dark hours, or as it is sometimes called, the wolf hour. If you want to wait for the moon to be set right, choose the time of the dark moon, or, as it is often referred to in the States, the new moon, as in “making new.” Suitable colors for altar, candles and clothes are black, blood-red and dark purple. Clear your mind and make sure you prepared a few questions. She may answer, probably in a softer voice than you think. Or, she may give you time to simply contemplate your questions on your own. If she chuckles, don’t get offended. That is just her way.

Here follow some suggestions of questions that I like to use:
What can I understand, if I embrace the darkness?
What are my fears, and how do I deal with them?
Why is life sometimes hard, and is there anything I can do to soften my path?

You get the gist. Fill in whatever questions you like. If you need to – go dark. Hel is waiting to provide you both comfort and answers.

By me from the midmonthly newsletter: Writing, Magic, and Marketing. Sign up for the newsletter made by me, Michael Peter Langevin and friends at www.theechoworld. com 

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