Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

The Nine Worlds: Helheim

In the Norse cosmology there are nine different worlds, connected to each other, worlds with their own fauna, natural landscapes and beings. Some see these worlds as separate planets, but in truth, the world is the same, but each continent is so vast, that it seems that each ream is a different world, with landscapes differing from each other.
We know of these places as the world of the gods, spirits and the dead, in other words, the afterlife. Through ages before history was recorded, certain humans had the ability to travel into these places, spiritual leaders of each tribe, shamans, who could travel in trance to these places, even today these kind of people exist and they can do the same work others did, so we might have a vast lore about the landscapes, the creatures and other beings that inhabit each realm. The Norse/Germanic people called the other world as the Nine worlds, and each world has its name and also lands within, but in truth it's just one huge world, the first to travel there by trance had the perception that it each landscape were different worlds because they didn't had the chance to stay there too long in order to travel from one continent to another, from land to land, and each time they visited, they were in just one, also in ancient times it was thought that the earth was flat and it would eventually end in a endless waterfall into the black abys of the surrounding universe, so this was also thought to happen in the other world, because traveling in certain continents eventually one would end up near the ocean, and this was why people thought that one world ended there and beyond started another one. Fortunately our knowledge of things grew, and as some of us can still travel to the other world by trance, we have a better perception of the landscapes, and we know that these worlds are all connected in one, oceans might divide one continent from another, but we know that rivers, forests and mountains also do, and by crossing those, we can reach the other realms.
As i have been talking here in my blog about all the other realms, i left Helheim as the last one on purpose, because it lies in the far south of the other world, but also because Helheim isn't what most people think it is, as you know, it is from Helheim or the goddess ruler of this realm, Hela/Hel, that the Christian Hell comes from, the scary, horrific place to scare people, but in truth, Helheim from the Norse mythology ins't such a place and i am about to describe it for you.

Before it was called Helheim, its name was Jormungrund, this was the underworld, the realm of the dead which had a lot of souls of dead Jotnar the great giants, and also some live ones lived there. This name can be translated to "huge-surface" or "huge world" because in this time, Asgard didn't exist and much of the entire world was in the domain of the Jotnar, so Jormungrund might be refering to a huge portion of lands. Jormungrund was ruled by Hel, but apparently it wasn't the same Hel we know today, because someone has to take care of the dead but not forever, or at least it used to be like this, the name Hel and this rulership over the dead is passed on to another when the former ruler retires, and so that was what as been happaning till Hela the daughter of Loki took this title. There is the need to watchover the dead because as legend says, when one of these "Hel" died, the dead roamed all the nine realms for seven years. Mimir, the consort of the last Hel did whatever he could do to keep things in order until one from another race was chosen to the task of keeper of the dead. Each race of the nine realms wanted to have a member of their own to this task, it would give them great power, even between tribes of the Jotnar this was so, and Angrboda, the leader of the Wolf clan of the Jotnar, and would become the leader and queen of all the clans hereafter, had a daughter with Loki, her name was Hela and she had the mark that she would be the next to be tasked for the "job" of keeper of the dead, and so it was, she claimed rulership over the dead lands and became the death goddess.
Hela took over Jormundgrund and changed it completely, renaming it Helheim. The place used to be filled with dark caves, but she turned the land into a better and beautiful place, planting orchards, and different types of trees and grass grew, the land became peaceful and colorful fields and forests, and it seems it is always in the autumn season and in this place she built the castle Elvidnir. Hela was different than all the other before her who had this task to watch over the dead, her great power was spread all over the land, giving to it a better place for the dead, to rest, to be at peace and joy. Helheim is the biggest of all the nine realms, but it is hard to say how big it is because the places where the dead are, very few can enter, even that live in the other realms, so most visit Helheim in certain parts of it, but aren't able to see it in its fullness. This is because Hela loves her realm and the people in it, either the living or the dead ones, protecting them, the place is well guarded, only those who live there, are able to go to and fro, others not from that area can only enter if they are invited by Hela herself. Since Helheim is far to the south, it is a rarity to have daylight, most of the time is night and dark, however the sky is of a light blue as if the moon was there, and it is filled with stars, but in some places it's dusk, or a late afternoon atmospher, probably to the northwest. A chain of mountains are the border between Niflheim and Helheim, huge and covered with snow most of them, for the cold of Niflheim is felt near them. The famous river Gjöll begins in these mountains and run all the way into Helheim, also making a boundary separating the area that can be visited by anyone, from the area where the dead live.
Being a huge realm, Helheim has many entrances, gates well protected by guardians who are seldom seen, unless one of those guardians is Mordgud, she is a famous deity. However, the main gate called Helgrind, is the most important entrance into Helheim, or the easier to get to for all the others are hidden, or are very hard to find. Passing the bridge over the great river Gjöll is the only way into the Main gate. At the other end of the bridge lies Mordgud's tower, made of black solid stone, and none enters in Helheim without stating their business to this etin woman.
Helheim is a beautiful realm, nothing to do with the Christian Hell, even if this place is most of the time in the darkness of the night, it isn't that dark at all, however it might be scary in some areas, the dense autumn forests are beautiful but many creatures live there, and the air is filled with all sorts of wild noises, also by the shore, especially to the south, lies the ocean, cold and of a very thick dark blue almost black, speaking for myself, i don't like dark waters at all. But the most horrifying place in Helheim is Nastrond, the great hall of serpents, as you might imagine by the name, it is filled with serpents coiling in the roof of the hall, and the place is filled with tormented souls down below, in agony while the venom of the serpents falls in them and burns the skin, this place might have been what made the christians think of their Hell as the place for sinners, who need to be punished and tortured for their deeds, however Hela isn't a malicious goddess that amuses herself by torturing people for no reason ( this might had led christians to create the profile of the Devil ), Nastrond has a purpose, it isn't just the home of snakes and the great wingless dragon Nidhog, in this place, those who are there choose to be there, no one is tossed by force, the people who think they have done something wrong in life, murder, robery, or anyother thing you can imagine as wrongness, go into this place, because they feel the need to be punished somehow in order to learn something, the first step to their eventual change into becoming better people. Everyone is free to enter and leave, the doors are not locked, but those who choose this place in a ordeal matter, have great courage and the sense that they did awful things.
Here it ends the nine worlds, who can read more about the other realms in the respective lable here in my blog.
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a painting made by me called Helheim, where you can see the mountains as a natural border between Niflheim and Helheim, in it's shadows over the misty land below. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

5 comentários:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is all, just, so incorrect.

First off, it's Hel. Just Hel. Not Helheim. There is literally zero attestation in any surviving Old Norse work for "Helheim", the term "Hel" is always used to refer to both the place and the goddess who ruled it.

Secondly, Hel has literally nothing to do with giants. That would be Jotunheim (literally "home of the giants")

Thirdly, at no point was hell ever called "Jormungrund", which is not even a real Norse name, but which I'm assuming is a bastardization of Jörmungandr, the name of the Midgard Serpent.

Mico Roll said...

The word Jörmungrund which occurs in the famous passage from Grimnismal 20:

Huginn ok Munin fljúga hverjan dag jörmungrund yfir;"Hugin & Munin fly every day over the wide world;" (Carolyne Larrington)
"The whole earth over, every day, hover Hugin and Munin" (Lee Hollander)
"Hugin and Munin fly each day over the spacious earth" (Ben Thorpe)
The dictionaries follow suit, or perhaps the translators have referred to the dictionaries:

"Jormun-grund, immense-surface, earth (Grim. 20)" (LaForge, afterNeckel-Kuhn)
"Jörmun- a prefix, denoting something huge, vast, superhuman; -grund, the earth (Zoega)
"Jormun- a prefix in a few old mythical words, implying something huge, vast, superhuman, Jormungrund, the earth (Grimnismal 20)"(Clearsby-Vigfusson)
All modern translations and dictionaries render the word Jormungrund as earth, meaning a vast-ground, a huge-ground; (but can it logically also be called a superhuman ground?) They all, if they quote a source, cite Grimnismal 20, and it is one of the two occurances of this word. Strangely, the other instance of the word Jormungrund is overlooked.please keep in mind that Jormun is a prefix which means "vast, huge, superhuman" in the other words this prefix occurs in, such as "Jormungand". The second, and only other occurance of Jormungrund in Old Norse, is in the poem Hrafnagaldr Odins, also called Forspallsljod.

Hrafnagalðr Oðins 25

jódyr nyrdra
undir rót ytstv
Adal þollar
gengu til reckio
gýgjur ok þursar
náir, dvergar
ok dökkalfar Here is an exact rendering of this verse, made with the help of a native Icelandic speaker and Eddic scholar:

translated from icelandic Jörmungrund to english wide earth

Anonymous said...

i agree both of you. jormungrand is the world serpent. maybe you got mixed up with ginungudap.but that is just a guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh and as for the goddess Hel you should really study about her more and everything connected to her or about her and it is called helheim I as born and raised in the Norse beliefs and I also now old Norse/old Icelandic Etc

Anonymous said...

And it's supposed to say I know Old Norse/Old Icelandic Etc