Hermod – The Torch On Dark Roads

We know of some gods from differente cultures, that are the psychopomp archetype, the kind of gods more linked to the soul and to the shamanic journeys than others, specific gods to whom people turn to when there is the need of a spiritual journey to whatever realm of the spiritual world, especially when it comes to the underworld or the place where most mortal spirits rest.
In the Northern traditional paganism, Hermod is such a god, a god who guides people to and fro, between this world and the next, but he will guide you well if you have the need to visit the Underworld.

There are Norse tales that tells us of Hermod being the son of Odin, other tells us of him being one of Odin’s squires, both might be true, for in ancient times, especially in the Norse countries, the younger sons of a King could indeed be his pageboys/squires and sent to other countries for diplomacy, call for help and call to arms, and usually they would serve as ransom, and would stay in a country away from his home land in token of peace and good will, as a prove that the King would keep his promise, if the case was some kind of a quest and people needed to go and help in the war or some importante battle, the King’s son would stay in the country until the quest/war/battle was done and the people could return to their homeland, only after they arrive, the boy could return home. For the elder brothers of the King’s young son, this wasn’t something to be sad about, because in the Viking times brothers would fight to death to be the only heirs to the throne, and if anybrother was away, there was no need to kill him and the way to the throne was easier to get. But to the King, sending his younger son to another country as a squire, on an errand, was a way to protect him against his brothers.

Hermod is also one of the gods associated with the tale of the death of Baldr, for when he died and walked the road to Helheim, the goddess Frigga hoped that somehow there could be na exception for her youngest son to return to life and come back to live in Asgard Frigga asked among the Aesir if there was anyone there who wanted to gain all her love and favor, the only thing they needed to do, wa ridding to Helheim and ask the Queen of the dead, Hela, for mercy and if Baldr could return home. Hermod was the brave one who stepped forward to do the task, and Ódin lend him his steed, Sleipnir for the task. Hermod rode for nine days and nine nights and met the guardian goddess Mordgud at the river Gjoll. Mordgud gave him the news, that Baldr had already passed the bridge and went through Hel Gate the night before. Hermod entered the gate and knelt before the goddess of the Underworld, Hela, and asked for Baldr to become alive again. Hela told him that Baldr could be reborn if all creatures wept for him, by hearing this, Hermod returned to Asgard giving the news to Frigga. Baldr gave Hermod his ring Draupnir which had been burned with him on his funeral pyre, this was a token to prove that Hermod had spoken to Baldr. Nana, Baldr’s wife, after taking suicide because of the grief of her husband’s death, was also with him in Helheim, and gave to Hermod a linen robe for Frigga and a ring for Fulla. Frigga by hearing the news, asked to all creatures to weep for Baldr, and so they did, except a giantess who was Loki in disguise, and because of this, Baldr remained in Helheim and the journey of Hermod was wasted, but Hermod became a deity of guidance and since that time, he started to help people on the dark roads of Helheim to find their path into their last home of eternity. People can call upon him for guidance, and he can help when the road ahead seems dark and dreadful, for all of us need to choose our own paths, and some times the choise is hard but must be taken… Hermod can help you in taking the first step.

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