HAGALAZ begins the second Rune Row, and Hagalaz is a complex Rune of transformation, containing all the challenges of life, that if overcome can lead to one’s highest potential. Hagal is the hailstorm that threatens crops and can mean even life threatening storms: whiteouts, blizzards, sudden snow squalls that blind one to the path.
The keys to working with Hagalaz and the other seven Runes that accompany Hagal’s Ætt are surrender and acceptance. The power of the storm is greater than any one human being’s effort to advance against it. It is wisdom to stop one’s activities and take stock of the lay of the land: Where is shelter? What advance can be made, if any, against the forces arrayed against one? Sometimes it is better to conserve what one has gained, and rest to fight another day. The Runes that follow Hagalaz provide the information that is needed (Nauthiz) to resolve the problem after a concentrated time of taking stock (Isa). More will be said at the end of the commentary on this Rune row.
With Hagalaz the challenges presented by life through limitation, delay, disruption, sudden change, and events outside of our control arise. Hagal interprets as “hailstone,” the snow or seed crystal, the germ within the sudden transformational storm. Hagalaz is strongly connected to natural causes, disruptions, limitations, and delays. Life disruptions may be weddings, death, illness, birth, or random acts of Nature. Happiness may be found by learning to live within these limitations. Hagalaz also can mean a sudden change brought about by hard work or taking a calculated gamble, in which the outcome can fall either way – great success or failure.
Hagalaz is not necessarily a Rune of unfortunate outcomes. Hagalaz drawn as *H* a bridge connecting two sides represents the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, Bifröst, that connects the highest form of conscious being to all levels of the World Tree. The snowflake version of Hagal, the “seed crystal” has six sides reminiscent of a quartz crystal with all of the potential for conscious being contained in the quartz crystal. There is a quartz crystal called a Dow crystal that has the three and seven sided windows and represents the consciousness of Love. Thus, Hagalaz represents the tremendous potential inherent within all things. For a thing to crystallize is for its potential to come into being. Hela once told me that all children are seed crystals. At the time I was sitting at my son’s All-County Chorus and following Hela’s suggestion I began looking at all the children through the eyes of love, and seeing how uniquely each child utilized their musical talents, which greatly improved my enjoyment of the concert.
When I was new to the Runes, and Hagalaz showed up in a reading, I shrank back from the approaching troubles. But once I learned how to work with and welcome the energies of Hagalaz, I instead anticipate the offer of a new opportunity. Through undergoing challenges, ordeals, or other forms of suffering willingly, I know that once I get to the other side of it, something in my life will be immeasurably better.
Hagalaz also represents the weather, timing of things within the seasons, the recognition of Earth as an ecological unity, and learning to work within the rhythms of Nature instead of coercing one’s own will upon the timing of the situation. Delays and limitations can convert the time to come more favorably toward the outcome one is shaping. There is much to be said for Divine Timing if one has the grace to surrender, accept, and allow.