So was listening to some videos today and 2 of the things brought up in them were the imprisoning of loki and the details of the norse underworld (hel) I noticed both spoke of the venom of serpents in the bowels of the earth.
not sure if there is a connection but seems worth meditating on.
In the case of loki
"After the murder of Baldr, the gods took Loki and bound him to a rock with the bowels of his son Narfi,who had just been torn to pieces by Loki’s other son, Vali. A serpent was fastened above Loki’s head, and the venom fell
upon his face. Loki’s wife, Sigyn, sat by him with a basin to catch the venom, but whenever the basin was full, and she went away to empty it, then the venom fell on Loki again, till the earth shook with his struggles. “And there he lies bound till the end.”
In the case of the underworld
(38. A hall I saw, far from the sun,
On Nastrond it stands, and the doors face north,
Venom drops through the smoke-vent down,
For around the walls do serpents wind.
39. I saw there wading through rivers wild
Treacherous men and murderers too,
And workers of ill with the wives of men;
There Nithhogg sucked the blood of the slain,
And the wolf tore men; would you know yet more?)
Another interesting thing that came to mind is the similarity of the goddess Hela and the women of the bridge of judgement in the Zoroastrian text Arda Viraf .
In norse myth hela is portrayed as half maiden and half maiden and half corpse, acting as a ruthless mirror of those who gaze on her were those in the Arda Viraf a Zoroastrian story of one mans tour of the Zoroastrian heaven and hell there is described a bridge where the soul waits for judgement the Chinwad bridge for 3 days and nights and is visited by their own thoughts words and deeds given form of a maiden either beautiful or foul. Though in Zoroastrianism the code is “good” thought, “good” words and “good” deeds which most of the texts go in-depth to describe what these are exactly as far as the faithful are concerned more to ponder on in the mean time.
CHAPTER 5. [The Chinwad bridge]
Afterward, the width of that Chinwad bridge became again nine javelin-lengths. (2) With the assistance of Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, I passed over easily, happily, courageously, and triumphantly, on the Chinwad bridge. (3) I had much protection from Mihr the angel, and Rashn the just, and Vai the good, and the angel Warharan the powerful, and the angel Ashtad the world-increasing, and the glory of the good religion of the Mazdayasnians; (4) and the guardian angels (fravashis) of the pious, and the remaining spirits first bowed to me, Arda Viraf. (5) I also saw, I Arda Viraf, Rashn the just, who held in his hand the yellow golden balance, and weighed the pious and the wicked.
And afterward, Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand, (7) and said thus: ‘Come on, so that we may show unto thee heaven and hell; and the splendor and glory and ease and comfort and pleasure and joy and delight and gladness and fragrance which are the reward of the pious in heaven. (8) We shall show thee the darkness and confinement and ingloriousness and misfortune and distress and evil and pain and sickness and dreadfulness and fearfulness and hurtfulness and stench in the punishments of hell, of various kinds, which the demons and sorcerers and sinners perform. (9) We shall show thee the place of the true and that of the false. (10) We shall show thee the reward of the firm believers in Ohrmazd and the archangels, and the good which is in heaven, and the evil which is in hell; (11) and the reality of God and the archangels, and the non-reality of Ahriman and the demons; and the existence of the resurrection of the dead and the future body. (12) We shall show thee the reward of the pious, from Ohrmazd and the archangels, in the midst of heaven. (13) We shall show thee the torment and punishment of various kinds, which are for the wicked, in the midst of hell, from Ahriman and the molestations of the demons.’
I came back again to the Chinwad bridge. (2) And I saw a soul of those who were wicked, when in those first three nights so much mischief and evil were shown to their souls, as never such distress was seen by them in the world. (3) And I inquired of Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, thus: ‘Whose soul is this?’
Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, said (5) thus: ‘This soul of the wicked wandered there where the wicked one died, over the place where the life went forth; (6) it stood at his head, and uttered the Gatha words (7) thus: ‘Creator Ohrmazd! to which land do I go? and what do I take as a refuge?’ (8) And as much misfortune and difficulty happen to him, that night, (9) as in the world, unto a man who lived in the world and lived in difficulty and misfortune.’
Afterward, a stinking cold wind comes to meet him. (11) So it seemed to that soul as if it came forth from the northern quarter, from the quarter of the demons, a more stinking wind than which he had not perceived in the world. (12) And in that wind he saw his own religion and deeds as a profligate woman, naked, decayed, gapping, bandy-legged, lean-hipped, and unlimitedly spotted so that spot was joined to spot, like the most hideous, noxious creature (khrafstar), most filthy and most stinking.
Then that wicked soul spoke thus: ‘Who art thou, than whom I never saw any one of the creatures of Ohrmazd and Ahriman uglier, or filthier, or more stinking?’
To him she spoke thus: ‘I am thy bad actions, O youth of evil thoughts, of evil words, of evil deeds, of evil religion. (15) It is on account of thy will and actions that I am hideous and vile, iniquitous and diseased, rotten and foul-smelling, unfortunate and distressed, as appears to thee. (16) When thou sawest any one who performed the Yazishn and Dron ceremonies, and praise and prayer and the service of God; (17) and preserved and protected water and fire, cattle and trees, and other good creations; (18) thou practicedst the will of Ahriman and the demons, and improper actions. (19) And when thou sawest one who provided hospitable reception, and gave something deservedly in gifts and charity, for the advantage of the good and worthy who came from far, and who were from near; (20) thou wast avaricious, and shuttedst up thy door. (21) And though I have been unholy, I am made more unholy through thee; (22) and though I have been frightful, I am made more frightful through thee; (23) though I have been tremulous, I am made more tremulous through thee; (24) though I am settled in the northern region of the demons, I am settled farther north through thee; (25) through these evil thoughts, and through these evil words, and through these evil deeds, which thou practisedst. (26) They curse me, a long time, in the long execration and evil communion of the Evil spirit.’
Afterward, that soul of the wicked advanced the first footstep on Dush-humat and the second footstep on Dush-hukt, and the third on Dush-huvarsht; and with the fourth footstep he ran to hell.