Journey to Hel
Each month I am deeply connecting to one rune and its associated deity/ies, and November is Hel (and the rune Rei).
Hel is one of my patrons, and a Goddess I am very comfortable working with- though it wasn't always the case. When I was first getting to know the Norse pantheon I really fought against this connection- but others always saw it, even when I tried not to.
I have a strong memory of an evening sat around the fire- chanting and gazing. I was sat gazing (looking at each other, aiming to see the non-physical energy of the other) with a chap when he seemed to almost fall off his stool and ran off. I was very shocked, even more so when my teacher went after him saying "its Ok, I know exactly what you saw". Not everyone sees it, but many do. One side of my face (apparently) melts and the skin seems to fall away- leaving the observer staring into the face of Hel.
Over the years I've grown quite comfortable with Hel. She has an honesty that tends to cut away drama, and a sense of peace that I find very alluring. I love working with other people to see how they experience Hel. If you are trying to hind from your own truth then she can be an uncomfortable fit, and as she is the holder of souls both after death and before birth, sometimes our human emotional state is a little too raw to work with her. I stepped away from Hel throughout all of my pregnancies- it just didn't feel like the right time to be working with her.
Whenever I work with Hel there is a formidable nature about her that can be unsettling, but at root i think that is the feeling that she is an old, old energy.
When I think of Yggdrasil at the top of the tree sit the birds of Odin the All-father, and Freya. And deep in the roots of Yggdrasil is Hel, the All-mother. She will hold space for you after death - a space to reflect on your own life with authentic honesty. And as the time comes for reincarnation she will hold your soul until the time is right for your soul to join your body.
We have lived a long time with the Christian concept of "hell" as a place that is a punishment for life. It can be unsettling to follow a shamanic journey to connect with the Norse Goddess whose name in many still has powerful connections with dark, evil, and punishment.
It is a long while since I led a group to "Hel" and I was very curious as to how they would find the experience. I did tune in and ask everyone to tune in for themselves- did they feel comfortable with this, safe, and made it clear there were serval safe and gentle spaces to just stop on route if that felt right.
We chanted, I drummed and led the journey, as we moved through the energy of the Rei rune.
And everyone spoke after about a sense of peace, contentment, comfort, and gentleness.
The colours were similar- with red and gold being seen by many (definitely colours I see with Hel) but also purple and blues- for those who had a more healing experience.
The journey was down. Down through the roots of the tree, then down again through a deep deep pool of water. resting a while by a fire, before walking on deeper down a tunnel if that felt right.
The main complaint seemed to be it was too short, they would have liked to have stayed a while longer- and feeling that i really understand. That remembered peace from between lives.