It is the ninth of the twenty-four runes of the magical Norse alphabet and, in the same time, the first rune of the second set, the Heimdall’s aett. It represents the sound “H” and its name means “stone” or “hailstone”. In the past, hailstone represented the destructive aspect of nature, the weather’s manifestation that spoiled the crops and the seedlings. Thinking better, we cannot regret the destruction, since nature takes what nature gives. Hagalaz is the first symmetrical rune, with the characteristic of having the same aspect, regardless of the position it gets extracted. This rune has two forms, one belonging to the old runes, the other one to the new runes.
The new rune has the aspect of a snowflake, three overlapping lines at 60 degrees angles, but we will discuss about the old rune. The ancient form of Hagalaz rune is also represented by three lines, of which two vertical parallel lines are united by a third oblique line. Its form would have remained a mystery if it wouldn’t have been associated with the cave paintings dating from the Bronze Age, which depicted it lying on a side, with its middle line doubled. It signifies the sky and the earth, united by a violent hailstone rain or a snow storm, bent by the wind, the distinctive aspects of harsh autumns and northern winters. It is a negative rune when extracted, predicting a period of balance between the positive parts and the less pleasant elements.
Looking from another perspective, the negativity is just the way we are able to perceive the alarm signals. We often find ourselves in situations that we interpret as bad or as punishing, without realizing their true nature. These are signalizing lessons we need to learn, erroneous models we have to get rid of and necessary things that we are not aware of. Depending on the asked question, the unpleasantness foretold by Hagalaz can take different forms. Socially, it foretells a crisis, a loss or a tribulation. If we take advantage of the kindness of our fellow human beings or if we are not attentive to share our welfare with the ones less unfortunate, we are vulnerable to corrections. We can lose our status, fame, luck or wealth. Hagalaz is here the symbol of frustration, obstacle, hardship and poverty.
Financially, it indicates uninspired risks and loss. In the best case, it might signify legal problems, delays, postponements and stagnations and in the worst case, it implies important and hard to recover losses.
Erotically, this rune is quite inauspicious, showing stagnation, routine, detachment, crisis and quarrel. It is, par excellence, the sign of incompatibility between partners. During life, many relationships can be classified as bad, because we are blind to the fact that we attract exactly the kind of people who must wean us. The attachment of a certain type of partner will be broken only by multiple relationships with this type of person, in order to experience all possible scenarios. In the erotic life, Hagalaz signifies the suffering and the alienation, but it can also be the signal to break a relationship in order to start from zero, the destruction that is making way for a new beginning.
In terms of health, this rune brings sickness, suffering and convalescence. We are often the victims of our own ignorance and the health is the first domain where our subconscious mind is warning us. Each sickness or suffering has a spiritual cause and it is our duty to study that cause, to understand it and to assimilate its teachings, before we aspire for an undeserved healing.