Areas of Influence: Hella and her siblings were banished from Asgard by Odin, to the remotest lands.
Odin gave her dominion over the nine worlds of the dead that make up Helheim. Here the Goddess decides the fate of all the people who have died from sickness and old age.
Helheim is not the Hell of the Christian world, where the sins of man are punished. Instead it represents the nine different stages of the transition the soul goes through after death. It was here that the ancestors resided in village like settings. Seers and shamans would journey to these realms to consult with them.
This Goddess is Queen of the underworld and despite her banishment the other Gods have to respect her judgement as shown when she refuses to let Baldr return to the living.
Other spellings of her name include Hell, Hel, Hela and Halja. Her name means one who covers up.
Her hall was called Elivdnir (Sleet Cold).
She represents the Crone aspect of the Goddess in the Pagan tradition.
Origins and Genealogy: She was the youngest child of Loki and the giantess Angurboda. She had two siblings Fenri and Jormungand. There are no surviving accounts that suggest she had any children of her own.
Strengths: Strong, powerful and fierce.
Weaknesses: Her loneliness makes her hard and vindictive.
Hella is often depicted as being one half beautiful woman and the other side a blue black rotting corpse.She is sometimes depicted with bones growing on the outside of her body.
She therefore represents both the ugliness and peacefulness of death.
Sacred Animal: Dogs, as the gates to her realm are guarded by Garnr the watch dog.
Sacred Plants: Several plants and trees are associated with this Goddess including holly, yew and elder.
In the Pagan tradition the Goddess is often split into three to depict the different stages of a woman's life: mother, maiden and Crone.
The Crone represents the wise old woman whose child bearing days are behind her. Other associations with this Archetype include: compassion, transformation, healing and bawdiness death and endings. She is the respected older woman or grand parent at the heart of family who enjoys life and sharing her experience.
Unfortunately the word Crone or Hag often has negative connotations as many wise woman and midwives were persecuted as witches in the middle ages.
Shadow Crone is the bitter, old woman who has failed to learn from her life. She blames all her failings and unhappiness on a society that no longer respects the elders. As a result she becomes increasingly isolated and fearful.
Hella is a Crone as she is Goddess of the underworld. Despite her role and her appearance she is still a powerful woman who is respected by the Other Gods.
Please follow this link to the Archetypes page to discover which other Goddess Archetypes resonate with you.
The Crone maybe one of your Archetypes if you have gained wisdom, leart from your mistakes and showed a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.
You are experiencing the Crone's shadow if you are rigid in your beliefs, stuck in a rut, and lost all ability to let go of those areas of your life which no longer serve you.
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