Last revision 2024-02-15


The 2 of shields



Hal is the second ice world, the world of death. This world is connected to the umbilical chakra. With this we control our emotional (also called astral) body and we make social contacts. Someone with a strong umbilical chakra can travel to the astral world, retrieve lost souls from the realm of the dead and guide souls of the deceased to the other world.

Hal or Hel is related to: healing, to make whole. It is also related to: to disguise, to hide. A hall is a closed space, where you can relax. A hull is a shell around a seed. In Dutch 'verhullen' means 'to conceal', 'to hide' or 'to cover up'. 'In duisternis hullen' in Dutch means 'conceal something with a cloak of darkness'. In German 'umhüllen' means to 'encase'.

Hal is the world of Lady Halja or Frau Holle, the deity of death. Hal is a subterranean space, filled with mists and ice. The souls of people who have died 'the straw death' dwell here. The straw death indicates dying from hunger, disease or old age. Then you die in the straw. People who die like this are too weak and exhausted to climb up. Then they fall down to Hal, the world of Lady Halja.

In Icelandic texts Lady Halja is usually named Hal or Hel. Her world is also called Hal or Hel. To avoid confusion I use the middle germanic name Halja. And I avoid the word Hel, because this has to many emotional links to the Christian Hel. The world Hal is nothing like any version of the Christian hel.

According to mythology, the Germanic peoples feared 'the straw death'. This means: dying in the straw, dying of hunger, exhaustion, sickness or old age. People wanted to die strong. When one died the straw death, ones hamr (the animal soul) was exhausted and would not be able to climb upwards along the trunk of Yggdrasil. Then one would sink downwards into Niflheimar, the Ice root of Yggdrasil.

To avoid the straw death, the eldest son had the duty to slay a parent or other sibling, when that person would not survive the winter. One could kill the parent with a blow to the head with a club. This would be a killing devoted to Thór. Or one could kill the parent with a spear or sword. That would be a warriors death, devoted to Óðinn or Týr.

When you only know the customs of modern society this might seem cruel. But look at the alternative. Suppose you are an old man or woman. You know, that you will not survive the winter. Do you want to eat the food of your children and grandchildren so that you will have some more miserable days? And look at the terrible treatment of old senile people in 'homes for the elderly'. Is that really better than 'a whack on the head'?

What is better for the soul? Being trapped in a body that stopped function, being kept 'alive' with artificial means while you should have died some time ago? Or leaving the body consciously with little discomfort?

Lady Halja is the deity of death. One half of her face is dead white, the other half blue-black, the color of rotting flesh. She rides a gigantic three-legged death horse: Halhest. The three legs of this horse are called: hunger, disease and old age. As she rides across the earth, three spirits rush ahead of her. These are the ghosts of hunger, disease and old age. (See also 2.6 Percht.)

Lady Halja has built a huge hall for the dead. This hall is called Éljúðnir. There is no good translation for this name. Perhaps it is spelled wrong. It could mean something like 'gigantic hall of ice'. On her table is a plate with the name: Hunger. Next to it is her knife with the name: Sultr. That means starvation. The name of her male slave is Ganglati. That means: goes disinterested. The name of her female slave is called Ganglöt. That means: goes dissuaded. At the entrance of the hall is a high threshold called: Fallandaforað. This means 'fall of the soul into the abyss'. Her bed is called Kör. That means sick bed. Her bed curtains are called: Blíkjandaböl. That means: 'growing pale due to misfortune'.


Child of Loki and Angrboða

Loki had three children with Angrboða: Fenrir, Jörmungandr and Hal (Lady Halja).


gylfaginning 34

In the gylfaginning we read:

Loki had more children. Angrboða is a creture in Jötunheimar. With her Loki had three children: Fenrir, Jörmungandr and Hal.

Snorri Sturluson states that Angrboða (bode of anger, bode of grieve) lives in Jötunheimar. I believe that this is an error. Jötunheimar is the land of the fire-giants. Everything there is light and warm. I see Angrboða as a creture of Niflheimar, the realm of ice, cold and mist. She lives in Myrkheimar. She entangled Loki in her spiderweb. Loki had to mate with her. Otherwise she had sucked him dry. Then the spider-woman laid three eggs. From the first hatched the wolf Fenrir. From the second hatched Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent. And from the third hatched Hal, the deity of Dead.


Then 'the gods' verified that these children were raised in Jötunheimar

and that undermining of the ginn regin was foretold in a doom prophecy as a result of a conflict with these children

and that this would cause great harm

and unluck to endure

and that everyone would face much evil

most likely from mothers side and maybe worse from fathers side.

Then the father of all send (his men) to Angrboða to take the children and to bring them to him.


He threw Hal in Niflheimar and gave her power over nine worlds.

Hal gives provisions and lodging to all that are send to her. And that are the people that die of sickness or old age (or hungr).

She made in that world a great hall for the ones with misfortune and the walls are extremely high.

Éljúðnir is the name of her hall, hunger the name of her plate and famine the name of her knife. 'Walks slow' is the name of her bodsman and 'goes discouraged' the name of her bondswoman.

The threshold at the entrance of her hall is named 'fall of the soul into the abyss', for those that are still able to walk on.

In her hall is the sacrificial bed with bed curtains named 'bleaching of the soul by misfortune'.

Half of her face is colored blue of rotting flesh, the other half has the pale hue of death. She emanates a feeling of desolation and she is very stern-looking with a terrifying countenance.


For the original text see GYLFAGINNING 34.

This is a peculiar part of the Gylfaginning. The world tree Yggdrasil is supposed to have nine worlds according to voluspa 2 and vafthrudnismal 43. If Lady Halja was given dominion over nine worlds, she was given dominion over the whole universe.

I interpret the old writings differently. Yggdrasil has three roots to Niflheimar (Ice), Jötunheimar (Fire) and Vanaheimar (Sea and water). And the tree has a trunk, which corresponds to Ásaheimar (Wind). Each of these areas has nine worlds. They are linked with Middle Earth or Midgardr, the physical world. Midgardr is 'the garden in the middle', the center of Yggdrasil. From Midgardr three roots go in three directions. And the trunk grows in the fourth direction. (You should visualize this three-dimensional and not two-dimensional.) So the previous paragraph states, that Hel was given dominion over the nine worlds of Niflheimar and not over the entire universe.

Snorri calls this being 'Hel', with a strong connection to the Christian hell. I believe this is Christian bias. To me, her name is not Hel but Halja. This is derived from haljō. It means: to cover something. I believe it also has a relation to healing, recovering, becoming whole again.

Grimm describes a fairytale about Frau Holle. This can be interpreted as Lady Halja, the daughter of Angrboða and Loki. When people die by sickness, hunger or old age, they sink to Hal, the world of Lady Halja. There they are covered until they are recovered and made whole again.

I believe that the Haliurunas were the priestesses of Lady Halja. They take care of the death and are able to speak with the death.

The Dutch word 'verhullen' means 'to hide with a cover'. 'Huls' can mean 'cocoon'. It also has a strong connection to 'helen' (to heal) and 'heel maken' (to make whole). Frau Holle is in Dutch Vrouw Holle. 'Een hol' means 'a hole', 'konijnenhol' means 'rabbit hole', 'hol' means 'hollow'. The world of Lady Halja is called Hal. This can be interpreted as a hole in the earth, somewhere to hide and to become whole again.

Snorri Sturluson was educated by Christians and probably a Christian. He calls the daughter of Angrboða and Loki 'Hel' with a Christian bias. This is not how I see Lady Halja.


Translation of Éljúðnir

In the word Éljúðnir Él can refer to ice cold or to old age. Perhaps júðnir is misspelled and Snorri meant jötnir. Then it would translate to giant: a giant hall of ice. But the Jötunn are fire-giants and not ice-giants. We should keep in mind, that Snorri was educated by Christians. We do not know how much he really knew the pagan mythology. In previous centuries there are many examples of authors writing about something without thorough understanding.


Translation of Ganglati and Ganglöt

In Dutch one often says 'laat maar zitten' (do not bother) or 'laat maar gaan' (let it be, do not do anything about it).


Translation of Fallandaforað

I translate Fall-anda-forað to 'fall of the soul into the abyss'.


Translation of Blíkjandaböl

I could not find a translation for something like 'janda'. If we interpret it as 'blikna andi böl' the meaning would be something like 'bleaching of the soul by misfortune'.




When something is dead or lifeless, it stops moving. It's heavy, slow, inert. It cannot move itself. When you are severely depressed, you cannot move yourself. Then you are spiritually dead or nearly dead. Death thus indicates immobility, heaviness, inertia, depression.

When something dies, it gets into another condition. It moves from one state to another. And after death comes rebirth. When your ego dies, there is room for spiritual growth. Then something higher is born.


The meaning of Ganglati and Ganglöt

These names refer to an attitude of 'loosing interest in life', 'stop living', 'do not care about anything'. When you get into the grip of these two slaves, 'your soul falls into the abyss' (Fallandaforað). Then your 'soul turns pale by misfortune' (Blíkjandaböl).

When you do not care about your live, you can not take care of yourself. Then your harvest in autumn is small. Your food storage for winter is failing. Quite soon you become hungry and then comes famine.

In tropic countries an attitude of 'let it be' will help you to keep your head cool and survive the heat. In Nordic regions a 'let it be' attitude gets you killed quite soon. You have to have an active life. As soon as winter subsides you have to take care of getting enough food to survive the next winter. Perhaps this is less obvious in modern society with supermarkets and an abundance of food. For the medieval Icelandic people it was a matter of life and death.


The picture:


In a dimly lit landscape, between enormous icy mountains, lies a horribly menacing pitch-black hall. Heavy and menacing is the huge gate. And high is the threshold over which the dead must climb. It's always freezing cold here. Ghosts of the dead grope for you with icy fingers. The air freezes as soon as you exhale.

In front of the hall stands Halhest, the jet-black three-legged death horse of Lady Halja, the deity of death. Halhest is huge. If you stand up straight and stretch your arms all the way out, you can just get to his belly.

Lady Halja is a huge woman, broad and burly, and grim as death. The right half of her face is dead white and the left half blue-black. At her side she carries a sword that is more than two meters long. In her left hand she holds a huge bronze shield with the rune Hail. She sits on Halhest and looks grim. And however great Halhest may be, Lady Halja is so great and mighty that Halhest obeys her in everything.

In front of her stands a naked person. He calls to her and asks her for liberation. Lady Halja cuts the souls of the dead from their bodies and frees them from all earthly cares.



When people die, relatives are left sad. The mournings of the relatives pull on the deceased and hold them back. Lady Halja cuts the ties with the earth so that one can descend further into the underworld.

If you are bound by all kinds of earthly obligations, you can ask Lady Halja to cut you loose and set you free. That's what the naked person does.

Compared to the Percht (Rune 14), the 2 of shields is passive and the Percht is active. De Percht describes the process of dying and retreating into the earth. The 2 of shields describes being dead or inanimate. Nothing or little happens. To come back to life something has to change.

With Light and Love, Andreas Firewolf


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Description and meaning of Runictarot-card 2.6 Percht
Description and meaning of Runictarot-card 0 of shields

2 of shields: Death

Hal is the world of Lady Halja or Frau Holle, the deity of death. Hal is a subterranean space, filled with mists and ice. The souls of people who have died 'the straw death' dwell here. The straw death indicates dying from hunger, disease or old age. Then you die in the straw. People who die like this are too weak and exhausted to climb up. Then they fall down to Hal, the world of Lady Halja.

Description and meaning of Runictarot-card 8 of shields
Description and meaning of Runictarot-card 9 of shields

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Nine layers

A model of the cosmos

This is a description of a model of the cosmos. A new cosmology. This model has nine three-dimensional layers. Several forces connect these layers through the fourth dimension.

Most people believe, that they can see the physical world, but that is not possible. Our senses perceive an abstraction of the physical word. What we 'see' is a mental image of the world.

Man and god

A modern vision of man and god.


Anima Mundi is the soul of the world. Individual people can be seen as 'nerve cells of the earth'. Humanity can be seen as 'the nervous system of the earth'. Is the totality of humanity causing a higher consciousness? Is Anima Mundi self-conscious?

Gaia and Anima Mundi

According to the Gaia hypothesis, the earth is a living being. Anima Mundi is the world soul, who gives life to the earth.

We can compare individual people with individual nerve cells in the human body. And humanity as the nervous system of Mother Earth.

Questions: Does Anima Mundi have self-awareness? Does humanity collectively form a self-conscious being? Do we as humanity enable the self-awareness of Anima Mundi?

The Harmful Consequences of Selfishness

You can solve problems together with others!


Don't be a green frog that lets itself boil because it doesn't dare to jump out of its comfort zone. Jump out of your pan and become a fully human!

Spiritual Materialism pollutes the astral worlds

Materialism is the attachment to possessions, status or wealth. Spiritual materialism is the attachment to spiritual status, attachment to a particular belief. The idea that you are higher because you have a certain faith, or follow a certain spiritual teaching, is an expression of spiritual materialism.

Spiritual materialism is also the use of spiritual means to achieve selfish earthly goals.

Mental, emotional and sentimental hygiene

Today (2018) there are many non-physical epidemics. One epidemic of madness and/or idiocy is not over and the next is already on its way.

Non-physical epidemics arise from lack of:

Save the world or save yourself?

There is nothing wrong with the world

Change yourself

The world is changing

How do you save yourself?


the | yet, still | still better, worse


the eighth, family, race, offspring




more, most




Angrboða (bode of anger, bode of grieve)




giantess, hag


in, within, among, during, in regard to, by means of, through


Jötunheimar (realm of the fire giants)


against, towards, along with, among, by, at, close to, towards, at, with




hole, opening | got, begat




one, alone










from, that, it, so


who, which, what | am, is


Miðgarðs worm






but, and, if, when




certainty | to know, to verify


till, until, to, of, on, too


towards, against, to, along, around, at, in | was not | an incited conflict or fight




brother(s) and sister(s)


to feed | to rear, to bring up | to nourish


up | drink or eat up | to find out | upon


and, as, and yet, but, then, also | yoke


undoing of authority | darkening of the regin | undermining the authority of the regin


doom prophesy


off, from; out of; past, beyond; of; with; denoting parentage, descent, origin; on account of, by reason of; by means of, in regard to;




this, that


remember | shall, will




great, tall | prominent


disease, illness | harm, damage


unluck | bad happening


to stand | to last | to endure | to hold on


thought, mind | displeasure, anger


all | everyone


large, much, great


evil, bad | hard, difficult | close, mean, stingy


likely, to be expected | bidding fair, likely to happen | hopeful, promising | fine, beautiful


first, foremost


mothers, from the mother


worse, worst


fathers, from the father


then, at that time, at every moment, there-upon, in that case, when | thawed ground




father of all


gods, goddess


to take, catch, seize | to take the faith | to reach, touch | to take hold | to catch up, take up | taking, capture, seizing | revenue, tax


born ones, children, offspring


to bring, convey, present


himself, herself


to throw, to cast | threw








power, authority | to have (get) power over one<, power, dominion | the cause or origin of a thing


over, above








division, distribution sharing | change, shift | dealings, transactions, disputes, fights


provide lodging, provide a place to stay with provisions


1. with, along with, together with; 2. denoting help, assistance; 3. by means of; 4. through, with, using; 5. including, inclusive of; 6. among, between; 7. denoting inward quality; 8. along; 9. altogether, quite;


hers, from her




transmitter | to send




terminal illness


men, humans, persons


dying of old age


on, upon, in


there, at that place


to make great, increase, magnify | to wonder about | to pride oneself


abode of misfortune


court, yard, enclosure, world


remarkably, exceedingly | fore knowing


very high, very tall


lattice, grid, grille, framework


big, large, tall, great, stark




room, hall




plate, dish




knife, dirk


walks slowly


servants, slaves, bonded people


goes discouraged, dejected, down-hearted, dispirited


bondwoman, concubine


fall of the soul into the abyss


threshold, ridge flooded at high water


in, into | the


able to walk, fit to walk on


bed (of sickness)


sacrifice, sacrificial beast


bleaching of the soul by misfortune


precious hangings of a bed






color of flesh


therefore, because, for, why, the


desolate feeling, feel desolate


more, rather, also, on the contrary


stern-looking, stern appearance


fierce, fearful, grim looking




old age


the 'slough' of old age


to die of old age


fire giants


to walk, to go | walking, to be on foot


one becomes slow, slackens




fall | die in battle | carcass of animal | frequent deaths from plague | heavy sea | sin, transgression | downfall, ruin, decay | quantity | case


to breathe, live


breath, life, soul


dangerous place or situation, abyss, pit | ogre, monster


to grow (turn) pale or pallid


growing pale


breath, breathing | current of air | aspiration | soul | spirit, spiritual being


bale, misfortune

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