Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hagalaz, the Norse for "Hail Eris"

Remember Ralph Blum's book on the Norse runes, The Book Of Runes, outlining the symbolic meanings of the letters in the Runic alphabet and explaining how to use them as a method of divination? I'm not sure whether he was the first one or the best one to come out with a book on this subject, but right around that same time, everyone and his hamster started coming out with Rune sets made from every sort of material -- from porcelain to semiprecious stones. I pretty much stick with the ceramic set that came with Blum's book, out of inertia. I do like the pretty ones in rose quartz and the totally punked-out ones made from hematite. A set of jade ones might be nice.

But check out Blum's commentary about the rune Hagalaz, meaning "Hail." Blum says something to the effect that this rune "always operates through reversal." To the ancients Hagalaz signified terrifying changes and, generally, getting the rug yanked out from underneath you. Garsh, last I checked that was the core experience of kissing Chaos on the mouth.

It was only years later, when I was watching Twister, that I learned hail is the harbinger of tornadoes. You remember what the tornado did to Dorothy and Toto, right? "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" is possibly one of the oldest and most sacred Discordian mantras, spoken with trembling and giggles even by those who have never heard of the Goddess of Confusion.

So to me, Hagalaz or "Hail" pretty much means "Hail Eris."

With all this in mind,
check out this YouTube video documenting a really swell hailstorm.


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