Wednesday, November 3, 2010



Alternative Names
Haegl, Hagl, Haegl, Hagal, Hagall.

Key Phrase
‘Never shy away from challenges
as they strengthen and teach you
throughout your life.’

Hail, elemental power, the Great Awakener.

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning
Disruption. Disruptive forces. Hail. Natural forces that damage.


Tarot Equivalent
The Tower  -  10  -  X

Divinatory Meaning
A challenge.

Corresponding Letter

Associated Colour

Associated Herb

Associated Gemstone

Associated Trees

Associated Myths and Deities
Ragnarok, Loki, Frost Giants, Urd. Sacred to Heindall – the Watcher, and Mordgud – keeper of the icy bridge to the Underworld.

Manifestation Uses
Removing unwanted influences and energies, breaking destructive patterns. Used for protection, health and harmony.

Relationship Interpretation
Unconscious influences operating within the relationship.  Past experiences in other relationships, including projections from parents.

Healing Colour and Qualities

Rainbow – all forms of the colour

To promote good health and harmony within the body. Particularly good for use with the kidney, bladder and lower back pain. Helps in healing cold and flu symptoms. Also aids in the recovery after an illness.

As a talisman Hagalaz removes unwanted influences and what appears to be a circle of never-ending destruction.

Hagalaz Drawn Upright
Destruction, disaster, sudden loss, ordeal, clearance, testing, karmic lessons, drastic change, wrath of nature, uncontrolled forces, tempering, testing, trials and tribulations, influences from the past.

HAGALAZ is ‘forces beyond our control’.

Hagalaz is the ninth rune and the first rune of the Second Aett. The Hagalaz rune, above all others, represents the concept of balance;  yin/yang, male/female, positive/negative, black/white.

The Hagalaz rune is seen as potential energy of neutral power by an external force. Appearing as it does at the beginning of the second Aett, it marks both a beginning and an end and indicates a warning not to become too complacent.

Hagalaz lies between the rune Kenaz (fire) and Isa (ice) reminding us of the creative potential that lies between these two opposites, eventhough initially their meeting may seem destructive.

Essential to the understanding of the Hagalaz rune is the idea that the destruction of the old brings necessary growth of the new. This concept is contained in the Norse myths of Ragnarok and of creation. Hagalaz represents a dramatic event or trauma which comes from outside your own immediate perceptions. 

Hagalaz is the ‘bolt from the blue’ that shakes things up, then rearranges them perfectly. This rune is integrated into the mysteries of renewal through destruction. Like Odin, sometimes one must lose all in order to find his or her own personal power. The transformation from destruction to fertility comes after much upheaval.

Like the Tower card in the Tarot deck, Hagalaz is only a ‘negative’ rune if we choose to view it that way and refuse to see the lesson for what it is, and learn it.

Challenges are occurring in your life, but these are to be embraced rather than feared. A hailstorm, for example, may seem daunting and scary at first, but if you catch a hailstone you will realise that it is only water and is not to be feared. 

Look upon your challenges as opportunities for greater learning and growth. The greater the challenge, the more wisdom you can acquire once you have overcome the obstacles in your path.

Hagalaz is a ‘wake up call’. It is the rune that tells you that although things may appear to be going well, due to complacency on your behalf, you may be about to take a tumble.

Hagalaz is the rune that tells you to pay attention. Often throughout one’s life we receive ‘wake-up calls’ which are often misinterpreted as ‘Divine punishment’ for some imagined wrong, when in fact they are merely a way of drawing your attention to a recurrent pattern in your life which needs to be addressed in order for you to progress, positively.

Hagalaz indicates uncontrolled forces wreaking havoc and disruptive plans and ushering a time of trials and tests. But all is not lost as Hagalaz also suggests that the crisis will lead to completion or closure of some sort that heralds an inner harmony.

When the Hagalaz rune is drawn be aware that there are external forces around you which will make situations and issues come to a head. You may experience a physical, emotional or spiritual upheaval of sorts, which ultimately, will clear out the old to allow in the new.

Change is definitely necessary. An adjustment on world-views and personal outlook may be indicated. Initially, all may seem catastrophic, but its aftermath will prove fruitful. Your power lies within your inner-strength and it is this that will provide you with support and guidance at a time when everything you’ve taken for granted is being challenged.

Hagalaz Drawn Reversed (Merkstave)
Hagalaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition. Natural disasters, the sudden destroyer, uncontrolled forces, inner and outer, a hail of weapons, delay, upheaval in personal unconscious, catastrophe, stagnation, accident, unavoidable bad luck, challenge to change, destruction, disruption, loss of power, pain, suffering, hardship, sickness, crisis.

Hagalaz drawn reversed indicates a time of trial and tribulations and a test of your true inner strengths and weaknesses.

Drawn merkstave, Hagalaz implies a catastrophic natural disaster may be about to strike. On a personal level it indicates loss of power and a period of stagnation, hardship and loss, brought about perhaps by illness.


Joanne Walmsley



  1. I have been practising Runemal for 25 years, now. When I began, I was gifted Hagalaz as 'my' rune, the rune that represents me. I have never found it to be negative; challenging, yes, but also ultimately liberating.

  2. I have been practising Runemal for 25 years, now. When I began, I was gifted Hagalaz as 'my' rune, the rune that represents me. I have never found it to be negative; challenging, yes, but also ultimately liberating.