Hello lovelies! It's been quite a while since I talked about my patron deities. In fact, when I talked about them in November, I didn't even realize that I had another patron deity: Hel. Daughter of Loki and Angrboða, sister of Fenrir and Jörmungandr. (Not to mention Loki's children with Sigyn and Svadilfari.) Hel is ruler of Hel / Helheim. She is the receiver of those who have died an ordinary death - for example, of disease or old age. Like with many deities, Hel's history is plentiful and there is so much that you can read about her, her realm, her family; the Norse afterlife, etc.
I love getting caught up in studying, and I am excited about this oppurtinity as Hel is my first Norse patron deity. I am an eclectic (I love saying eclectic, it's such a fun word) Witch, and I worship deities that I feel pulled by - whether they are from the same pantheon or not. Everyone has a different view of this kind of worship - including if you should, and if it's offensive to the deities themselves. As for me, I believe that every deity is a different being - and part of a whole. I'll go into this at a later time, if anyone is interested! I also never feel like I am offending any of my patron deities because of my worship of the others.
I've gotten a bit off track!
I've read some articles that say Helheim is a horrible place much like the Christian Hell. I've read others that say Hel has a giant mansion (or well, more than one) and servants and, despite being a rather dreary place, isn't that bad. Finally, I've read even more of which state that Hel is simply a place - without much explanation of bad, good or otherwise.
I am still learning, mind you, and I welcome any information from knowledgeable Norse mythologists or Hel worshipers, etc.!
I have read that those who pass on and who are chosen for Valhalla, Fólkvangr or Hel, still live. Just in a different sense.
Hel's appearance is half of what is considered good, and half of what is considered bad. However, what her appearance represents should be determined by her followers, I think - or Hel herself, if you speak with her. Which is why I am personally not going into detail!
So, why do I worship Hel? Well, I feel like I was pulled in by her. I've noticed that either my patron deities find me (Kali), I find them (Akhilandeshvari), or they pull me in without me even knowing (Hel, Hades). I also feel like I found Dionysus and that he is a deity that I need to connect with and see if he is indeed a patron deity of mine. (Others who I want to connect with and learn more about, both via history and them themselves are: Mother Moon who I feel is well, a mother within my lifestyle; Lakshmi, Ganesha, Durga, Shiva, Bast, Nuit, Sekhmet (one of the first deities I had ever found and absolutely adored), Cernunnos, Aradia, Astarte, Lilith, Freyja, Ēostre, Sandraudiga, Sigyn, Loki and Thor.)
Outside of being pulled in by her, Hel is also a wonderful deity for ancestor worship, spirit communication, astral traveling, seeking answers, divination, protection, judgement and guidance.
Soon I will be researching how I can honor Hel, and well, so much more about her. If you worship her, please share as much as you - and she - would like with me!
Thank you for reading and Blessed Be!