Who is Hlin?

Hlin by ThorskeggaThe Goddess Hlin is seen in two ways by various Northern Traditionalists: as a goddess of protection, and as a goddess of solace from mourning. Her name means "help" or "refuge". As a protector, she is symbolized by the shield and protects those whom Frigga wants to save, giving them refuge from harm. She can be called upon to protect innocents who are in a difficult and dangerous situation and need to get out safely. She is especially protective of fugitives and women in trouble. Where Syn guards the door, Hlin goes out into danger and spirits people away to safety. In this aspect, she is armored and carries a shield, and perhaps a sword or staff.

In her other aspect she is the goddess who gives solace to those who have lost loved ones or had other personal tragedies overcome them. Here she appears with a long dark-grey veil over her, which is her other symbol. She can be prayed to in order to move through the stages of grief more completely, and not get stuck; like other mourning goddesses such as Frigga, Freya, and Sigyn, she helps the grieving person find new hope and life at the end, while still respecting their need for the mourning process.

Linda Demissy's story about Hlin, drawn from personal gnosis from talking to the Handmaiden Goddesses, is as follows:

Hlín is daughter to the sea Goddess Ran with an Aesir man. Her human husband and children were killed, in retaliation for her standing up to the town bullies. She almost died in a flaming building when she tried a suicidal plan to avenge them. All she had left were bitter tears of regret, soon dried as she choked on smoke. Yet she lived and her nephew Heimdall nursed her back to health, giving her a second chance to mend fences with her families of sky and sea. Her guidance lies in preparing to prevail, training to survive and gathering what you need to do so, teaching skills to live through wars and disasters, and weeping for those you cannot save. She usually appears as a mature woman, kind yet firm.

To make proper offering when asking for help, cry and offer her your tears of sorrow and regret. You have to actually cry for yourself or your losses, mere sadness won’t do if you need a major favor. She likes fish, especially raw, and any actions that prepare you and those you train to prosper in difficult times. The drawing of a shield can be used as her token, as can anything useful in putting out fires (such as a water bucket, heavy blanket or fire extinguisher) or sounding the alarm (such as a bell, metal pot or lid to be banged). The morning wake up call should remind you that events won’t wait for you to be rested and ready. Use your time to prepare, for we are all called to serve when we least expect it. Her name means “help” and is pronounced “H-Leen.”

When so deeply in trouble you are down to begging for mercy and salvation, Hlín is the one to call, the hero who hears and answers calls for help —  if Frigga allows it.

Drowning despair, my spirit unravels.

Solace I seek, now save me Hlín!

Grace is favor, given to few.

Frigga’s mercy beg, for good I will do.

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn.