Hella

My Susan Seddon Boulet calendar Goddess for July is Hella. I find this appropriate because I’ve felt an increasingly strong connection to her over the last month. I associate her not only with the Underworld and literal death, but the shedding of old ideas, thought patterns and things that no longer serve us or are relevant. Since she takes into her Halls those who, among others, die of sickness I also associate her with the unpredictable nature of illness.
 

Lately my own health has faced a further setback. I’ve been ill for over twelve years and recently have been able to do less and less. I am losing little freedoms I fought hard to gain, and it’s difficult to see and feel my world shrinking back around me. It’s forcing me to look inward and to my connection with the Old Ones. Hella is literally a Goddess of two halves, one side being depicted as a beautiful woman, the other as a corpse. In this respect she can represent the inner Self that can sometimes be found through suffering. She has a foot in both worlds and can understand physical as well as emotional hardship.
 
Of course illness is not a happy or pleasant thing to go through, but for some a deeper meaning and purpose can be found while going through it. My own experience of long-term ill-health has brought me closer to the Divine and showed me a path I might not have taken otherwise. I used to be a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, but not so much now. Perseverance and witnessing the humility of others has forced me to assess myself and choose to see the world in a different way.
 
Hella presents us with a choice: you can see her from one side only, or head on; you can see either only the horror or the beauty in life, or you can see both and make a decision on how to react. Hella is balance; life and death, health and illness, light and dark. Hella is liminal, two worlds combined in one and yet none. Call on her when you can’t move forward, when illness halts your step, when you’re stuck in a situation and can’t see how to move on.
 
She is a guide through the Underworld and can walk beside you on your journey. With her by your side through troubled circumstances you have a constant, and a reminder of a choice: look only for the dark, look only for the light, or find a way to see both but choose to see the good still left in life.
 
Hel by Susan Seddon Boulet

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