Mordgud is the guardian of the gates of Helheim, she is the watcher of roads.
She is of etin kind, fierce and with a warriorlike personality, generally dressed in black armour.
She can elude those who come closer, by appearing to them in other forms, to cause terror and fear, such as a skeletal figure or in dark shapes.
She guards the roads that go all the way to the very gates of Helheim, she watches over her tower that stands near the Gjallarbru bridge , built with black stones that are very much common in Helheim and Muspellheim.
None may pass through her without being noticed, she has lots of experience in this kind of situations, that is why she also has great wisdom to share with those who need to be constantly watchful in their lifes.
If you try to go over the bridge, she will hold you and you must state your business there, if you have none, she will put you on the right road to turn back, but if you have a purpose in Helheim, she will demand that you leave something behind as a token of your good will and behavior and you must give to her the most precious thing you have with you. Do not worry, she will give it back to you when you past by that road again to return home. Some people say that she asks for your ancestry before you go through, in case that you don’t know who your ancestors were, don’t lie, do not make them up, always tell the truth.
She may have some similarities with Heimdal, but she is a deity also turn to the business of the dead and with death itself, one may seek her out for help to know the way of their right place upon death if they feel lost or misplaced. She helps people to pass peacefully into the next life and she also supports those who are waiting for a loved one to pass over.
Like Heimdall, Mordgud also blesses and watches over those who stand guard, such as security guards and watchpeople. However, while either of them will bless any guard, Mordgud has a special place in her heart for those who stand guard in difficult and heart-wrenching places, such as prisons and mental institutions. She can be called upon not only to keep a guardian safe and alert, but to keep them from giving in to despair or hard-heartedness.
Personal Note: Recently someone asked me what does an owl stands for shamanically, and for those who often see many owls and if these birds come frequently to visit, or if people dream with owls, this may mean a lot of things, for the owl is one of the most difficult animals to “translate” as a totem, but one feature that is common in the owl, is that this bird is a nigh-watcher, vigilant, always alert and with a very good night-sight, which means, that the person may have the need to be in constant watchfulness, their friends may not seem what they are, enemies are in every corner. But this also means that, as the owl has a great night-sight and sees what others cannot, this person also may have that gift, to see beyond the veiled darkness between this world and the world of the dead, in connection with the spirits of the dead. It is curious that some peopel in paintings or drawings, make Mordgud with an owl by her shoulder. This only intensifies the bond that she has with death and with vigilance.