The Ninth Rune
Ice and hail
destroy my enemies
yet my shelter does not fail
Names - HAGAL - hail, HAGALAZ - hail, HAGL - hail, HAGALL - hail
Pronunciations - "hag ahl" "hag ahl ahz"
Phonetic Value - "H"
Symbolism - Hail
Keywords - Shelter
The symbolic representation of this rune is a shelter from the destructive force of natures hailstorm. It is fairly easy to envision the cross-bar stave between the two upright staves providing the shelter under which safety from the storm could be found
Phonetically there are Anglo-Saxon rune poem references to "hail" as being "grain" which falls and turns into water after being tossed about by wind. The layered nature of a hailstone is recognized in the meaning of this rune by incorporating the potential for destruction with the transformative qualities wrought in that destruction.
Indeed, it seems as though "hail" and "Hagal" have remained closely linked in meaning despite the many changes in the evolution of human language over the years and there is no reason not to incorporate the image of shelter from a hailstorm into our present day understanding of this rune.
The concepts that surround Hagalaz recognize that the destructive potential for hail out of season is balanced by the potential for transformation that will bring new fertility and growth.
It can be seen as representative of the cosmic "egg", the primal layered egg of ice that was transformed in combination with fire. Out of the primal chaos (which we think of as destructive) comes a tangible force that carries the potential for transformation. The transformation from destruction to fertility comes after "being tossed by the winds".
Hagal represents a dramatic event or trauma which comes from outside your own immediate perceptions. It represents a deep reshaping. The rune is deeply integrated into the mysteries of renewal through destruction, the shaman who, like Odin, loses all in order to find his or her own personal power.
It is the rune of winter, the grain of that season.
It is a crystaline form, one that is sharp and hard, yet clear and possibly deadly. It is one of the runes that can not be reversed nor turned upside down.
Magically, Hagal is the rune of the bridge of the cosmos, the dangerous path between worlds or experiences which can bring transformation or destruction. It was used in weather magic to ward off hail, even by Christians.
It can also find use in defensive magic both by invoking the protection inherent in Hagal for yourself, and also for calling down the destructive power of Hagal upon enemies less prepared to withstand the storm than yourself. Of course, to be successful in this, you should be pretty sure that you are more prepared for the destruction of the storm than your rival.
In divination it can be represented by any of the following forces.
HAGAL UPRIGHT:Hail, Wrath of nature, destruction, uncontrolled forces, weather, disaster, tempering, testing, trial, controlled crisis, shelter, preparation, inner harmony.
HAGAL MERKSTAVE (Hagal cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Natural disaster, catastrophe, stagnation, exposure, pain, loss, suffering, hardship, sickness, crisis.
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