On the night of December 13th, the dark witch Lussi (counterpart to the benevolent Santa Lucia) flies on her broom with the Wild Hunt of Odin.
Beware gentle humans! For if you encounter this merry band of hunters, they just may abduct you to the Underworld.
But hey, it might not be a bad thing… 🙂
In Norse mythology, the Underworld was known as ‘Hel’ or ‘Helheim’ (Hel’s realm.) It was presided over by a goddess, also called ‘Hel’. But don’t confuse the Norse Hel with the Christian concept of Hell. Although the names have the same Germanic language roots, the two places have nothing in common. Nordic Hel was definitely NOT a place of eternal suffering.
In Hel, you’d get to hang out with Odin, eat, drink, fight, love, celebrate and practice magick. In the Norse underworld, life apparently continued in much the same way as it was known to Vikings on earth.
Nordic pagans had several different forms of the afterlife, including Valhalla, Folkvang (Freya’s realm) and the underwater abode of Ran. However, no afterlife community was a place of punishment, nor of reward. The afterlife was, in fact, teeming with actual life. The dearly departed would dwell there indefinitely. Eventually they might be reborn as one of their own ancestors, or as an elf.
So if Lussi and her band of hunters do happen to carry you off tonight, have no fear. It’s sure to be a win -win situation! (Cue diabolical laughter. Mwuah-ha-ha!)
Happy Lussi’s Night!