In honor of this month's Goddess, I've contributed a few paragraphs on Hela to Galina Krasskova's blog. I am not a devotee of the Lady of Decay, but I've recently done readings for a few of Her children. Dealing with Hela is an eye-opening experience, especially when you are working as a diviner. When you want to talk about happy possibilities and upcoming triumphs, Hela speaks of What Must Be and What Cannot be Avoided.
Modern readers don't like to mention these things: we like to concentrate on free will, on pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, on escaping destiny and creating our own reality. But historically kings and generals didn't go to the diviners for affirmations. They went to learn the truth, painful though it might be: they accepted that the bones or the entrails might augur failure as well as success. Divination brings messages from the Gods to our realm: we can hardly expect that all those messages will be good.
Recognizing this can take our divination into a whole new realm. It brings home the weight of our sacred duty and makes our readings things of consequence, not just exercises in possibility. When we know that a divination may tell of death or suffering, it becomes something more than a parlor game. And when we understand Hela, we understand something of inevitability and of inescapable fate. It is one of her most painful yet most enduring lessons: take nothing for granted, for that which is whole shall one day be broken and that which blooms must wither.