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© 2009 - 2019 mrs-jessicat
For you :iconravenlilly: :)

A couple of weeks ago I got a request from a fellow Deviant-member to portray the Norse goddess Hel, and to try to give her some well earned recognition. In the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki, and to "go to Hel" is to die. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim. In the same source, her appearance is described as half-black and half-flesh colored, and as further having a gloomy, down-cast appearance. The Prose Edda details that Hel rules over vast mansions, her servants in her underworld realm, and as playing a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr.

This is taken from wikipedia, but in my research I got the feeling that Hel was more than this. Most depictions of her show a ghastly, scary woman, but as I understood it, she (as all dieties) served her role and was needed to fulfill an important mission in the creation and developement of the universe and our world. In norse mythology, the brave warriors go to Valhall, but the "not-so-brave", the old, the women, the children, they go to Hel. So the Goddess Hel is really a protector, a guardian of all the souls who do not enter Valhall. Yes, there are tales of how she brought disease and plauges to the world too, but however cruel it might seem, that is the nature of this world. We go through ups and downs, victories and suffering. Without suffering we would not know compassion, without death we would not know life.

The location Hel became in later writings synonomus with "Hell", but in the texts of the poetic Edda we find that the place Hel was the blessedness restingplace of the underworld.

Her ghastly colouring and appearance is due to the fractures she got from the fall when Tor threw her down to Nifelheim.

Death has always been denigrated. People are afraid of dying, afraid of the unknown destiny that awaits... But death is the only thing that is certain, we cannot outrun it. What we can do is to live a meaningful life, work on our consciousness, and prepare for the next step with a calm mind and a fearless loving heart!
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Comments (21)
bwilton's avatar
bwilton| Photographer
I wonder if you consider allowing me to use this for the cover of my book on Hel?  I am considering a couple of options but this one is certainly a fantastic depiction of her. I can be reached at bryanwilton@live.com
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Thorskegga's avatar
Thorskegga|Hobbyist General Artist
It was Odin who cast Hela into Nifleheim.

As Hela looks after most of Thor's followers I would hope they get on quite well :)

Beautiful artwork.
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!!!
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writer212's avatar
I...this is breathtaking.
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
thank you!!!
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RebeccaTripp's avatar
RebeccaTripp|Professional Traditional Artist
That is SO cool! I love the way you've created movemet in this piece!
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!!!
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Rachness's avatar
Rachness| Digital Artist
This is awesome! Good work :)
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
thank you! :)
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anitadunkl's avatar
anitadunkl| Traditional Artist
Oh, it's very beautiful :heart:. It looks like mixed media, what medium did you use?
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
:) thanks, for theese I use oilpastels, pencils and ink on top of the oilpastels..which I scrape off to reveal the luminosity from underneath. :flowerpot:
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anitadunkl's avatar
anitadunkl| Traditional Artist
Very interesting technique! Great :D
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earthlightnine's avatar
wow! Your work is astounding! I love how the colours, shapes and ideas just blend into each other! Each piece amazes me more than the next.
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
aaawww :) thank you!!! :heart:
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
aaaww :) thank you!
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Khalija's avatar
:heart:
Hel is... well. The best word I have is my Queen.
And this is just a great portrait of Her. Yeah, She's scary when She want, but sometimes She's not. A little bit cold (well, Death is not something blazing hot... if I can put it that way), but that's no way She'll be let you on your way with no guidance (but if you don't do what She says, erh... that is painful, I tested it >< but I was stupid and She was right, that was only my fault)
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
ah, :) thank you, yes, and I'm glad you're on good terms again! ;) :) :hug: :cuddle:
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ravenlilly's avatar
Oh i absolutley love it!!
Its just perfect!
The tone the colour, everything :D

''I got the feeling that Hel was more than this. Most depictions of her show a ghastly, scary woman, but as I understood it, she (as all dieties) served her role and was needed to fulfill an important mission in the creation and developement of the universe and our world.'' absolutley spot on!

WOW! I cant belive you really did it! Thank you! x
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
oooooh, I'm so happy you liked it!!! :dance:
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avi-of-scott's avatar
This is an amazing picture.. i've never heard that story before, but I like it, and I think that you portrayed it well.
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mrs-jessicat's avatar
mrs-jessicat|Professional Traditional Artist
ah, thank you! I wasn't sure if it turned out alright.. :-| :blowkiss.
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