Monday, January 25, 2010
January 25, 2010
Hagalaz is the letter H
Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)
Hail is the whitest of grain;
it is whirled from the vault of heavenand is tossed about by gusts of windand then it melts into water.
Hagalaz translates as Hail. Yes, Hail, that frozen water as precipitation, that isn’t snow, or sleet. Other rune poems show the destructive side of Hail, as it damages crops. The Anglo-Saxons only mention its basic nature, which ultimately is water. That is the dichotomy of Hagalaz. On one hand, it is a terrible rune, a destroyer and wreaker of havoc and woe, a storm that leaves destruction in its wake. But from that destruction comes water, that essential element for life, which nourishes plants, restocks water reserves, and as one rune poem explains is the bane of snakes. Of course, snakes in the northern tradition, or wyrms, were not just serpents, poisonous or not, but were also the symbols of illness and disease. After all, in Northern Europe, there are not that many poisonous snakes, but yet the seeming commonality of being stricken by a snake bit, and being stricken by a sudden illness, the explanation could easily be that the illness was caused by unseen wyrm, perhaps even otherworldy in origin. So, Hagalaz can also help defeat or drive back that which is harmful to men, but it also tears down that which man has built. Generally, when it does show up in a reading, be on your toes, cause you might just be entering into a storm.