Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Hel, the Goddess and her Realm
As I prepare for the release of my story, Siren's Nocturne, published with Amber Heat, I thought I'd post a bit of background about the goddess, Hel, and her underworld domain.
A Norse queen of the underworld, Hel is considered to be a mother goddess. She is the daughter of Loki and Angrboda. Loki, a trickster and companion to the gods, handsome and amusing, but also sly, malicious, and evil. A restless being, a shapeshifter, married to the goddess Sigyn, he formed a liaison with the giantess Angrboda, and she bore him three children--Jormungand, Hel, and Fenrir.
So frightening in appearance, and being described as half dead and half alive, she was tossed into a province of the land of the dead, called Niflheim, which dominion would now be hers to rule.
Unlike the Christian form of Hell, Hel's underworld is a place where it is her responsibility to succor to all those sent to her--mortals who have died of sickness or old age rather than in battle.
But no dominion ruled at the whim of the gods is quite so simple.
Niflheim is also a place of spells and magic, where dreams can be interpreted and the dead summoned. And Hel's province within the land of Niflheim is called Helheim, and her particular dwelling place or hall, Éljúðnir--home of the dead.
In my story, Siren's Nocturne, I've certainly taken liberties with the appearance of Hel, determining her to be a shapeshifter with beauty and seduction an elemental part of her arsenal of weapons to lure humans into her domain to serve her. Within her court of subjects are demons, such as Etienne Pierpont, who willingly submit to her command on earth. These demons travel freely between the human world and the underworld at the whim of Hel.
But what part will Lucille, the human Etienne has finally come to claim, play within Hel's dominion?
Siren's Nocturne, available in June from Amber Heat, the erotic imprint of Amber Quill Press.
May Hel's nocturnal pleasures be yours,