Hagalaz – Rune Meaning

“Don’t try to fix what we should break before it breaks us.”

Hagalaz – “Hag-all-az” – Literally: “Hail” or “Hailstone” – Esoteric: Crisis or Radical Change

Key Concepts: hailstones, crisis and catastrophe, disruption, radical change, destructive elements of nature, severe weather, the uncontrollable, unavoidable unpleasantness, Jungian shadow, psychoanalysis, regression, acceptance of the unalterable

Psi: disruption, change, personal past

power beyond human ability to harness, perfect pattern, seed formation, objective confrontation, destructive natural forces, chaos

Mundane: bad weather, obstacles, surprises, shelter

Divinations: Change according to ideals, changes for the long-term good, controlled crisis, corrections, completion, inner harmony; or catastrophe, crisis, stagnation, loss of power, loss of property, short-term disappointment, victim-consciousness, obsession with the past, blame.

Completeness and balance of power, integration of unconscious shadow elements
The inevitability of Fate, Wyrd, Orlog
Evolutionary progress and operations of becoming
The outworking of a perfect pattern
Protection through banishing or exorcising disharmonious patterns, protection
Awareness of the unconscious ideas for eventual processing
Causing discomfort in others by awakening their own subconscious ‘garbage’

Hagalaz Rune Meanings Notes:

Hagalaz signals a major shift of energies as the Elder Futhark begins its second row of aetts. Hagalaz is the rune of objective confrontation with past patterns. It will uncover the vast flow of energies around and through human energy systems. Its nature is completely impersonal and it represents power generally beyond human ability to harness.

Hail shocks you with stinging hardness (confrontation) then it melts into water which creates germination of seeds (transformation). The ancients describe hail as a grain rather than as ice, thus creating a metaphor for a deeper truth of life. It contains the seed of all the other runic energies and this can be seen in its other form, a six-fold snowflake. Spiritual awakening often comes from times of deep crisis.

As the ninth rune, Hagalaz has a special place in the ordering, as nine has particular significance in the elder futhark. Nine signals completion of a perfect pattern. Nine months is one of nature’s most regular human cycles, that of the gestation period for a baby in a mother’s womb. In this sense it is a protective rune, and assists us in acceptance of the unalterable, the seeking of shelter and patience while things blow over.

Hagalaz can be used as a force of repulsion or banishment. It is used in work to process and dispel the effects of subconscious baggage and ‘shadow elements’ so that your life pattern can carry itself forward in its pure form. Hagalaz has the magical energy of a ‘spring cleaning’. It reveals the personal past, past lives and early environmental factors in childhood development. It follows that LAGAZ, from which hail is ultimately made, is also a rune of profound unconscious exploration and personal depth.

Hagalaz can be used as a curse against others, aimed to bring up their suppressed inner conflicts and thus impeding them. It is a clean curse, as the recipient is only experiencing the ill effects of their own accountability. It is a dark, feminine power and can been associated with witchcraft and destructive female magic.

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More on Hagalaz:

Lessons of Hagalaz: Rune of Disaster and Healing

Further reading:

Basic Laguz Rune Meaning
Laguz Rune Meaning Analysis (in-depth)

21 thoughts on “Hagalaz – Rune Meaning”

  1. well … I must say I’m making peace with Hagalaz, and even beginning to appreciate it, so I should sort of apologize towards it.
    It’s sad to lose a friend, but I think that in that case hagalaz referred instead to something else that occured on the same day: my daughter suffered from acute bellyaches, and when it was over she appeared perfectly fine, so nobody appeared to understand what was wrong with her, but on that night the pain was so strong that I took her to the emergency, fearing an appendicitis, and there they finally found out the problem and, most important, the solution.
    So, it was all in all a crisis that brought about a positive change.

    Even breaking my feet was not entirely a bad thing: not agreable at all, but I really needed to rest and think, and being confined on my sofa for one month made me well …

    So, I think that Hagalaz may mean this: a crisis is seldom agreable, and you may lose something in it, and maybe you don’t necessarily know where it shall take you, or if it will be for the worse or for the better. But sometimes it is exactly what is needed – to move something that is blocked, to bring about a solution, to break stagnation and loops … And there are times (like this one) in which change is desperately needed (I’m actually proposing Hagalaz as Rune of the year).

    (What I really, really don’t understand, is in which way Hagalaz can come to mean “shelter”).

  2. After years of working as a bartender, I’m going back to school to become a wind turbine technician. I asked the runes to comment and drew Hagalaz. “Radical change, ” indeed. My favorite part of the description is: “Hail shocks you with stinging hardness (confrontation) then it melts into water which creates germination of seeds (transformation). ” Beautiful. Thanks.

  3. Well, despite what I said above I begin to appreciate Hagalaz. It’s scaring, for sure, but I think it conveys the simple truth that there can’t be creation without destruction. It’s the Sikhs calling their God “Hariang, Kariang” (Destroyer, Creator), or the Bible telling that if the seed doesn’t die it will not give fruits … we may not like at all the destruction of what we love or are attached to, but we must accept it, because refusing it would almost certainly be worse (being dead is better than being a zombie).

  4. Hi All
    I had drawn hagalaz about 3 times in the solution part of a rune spread( 3 card spread1 problem 2 solution 3 future).The question was asking a solution to a serious problem.I would like your valuable opinions on this because when I did the 3 card tarot spread for the same I had been getting The Tower card, deathcard or the 8 & 10sword for the past 6-7months I am constantly drawing highly negative rune( hagalaz is equated with the tower card) .I am confused because the negative cards or runes keep coming in the solution part of the spread always.

  5. I drew Hagalaz as a daily rune twice in the last three months. On that days, the first time I had my foot broken, the second a friend of mine died abruptly … I must tell I am a bit scared of this rune.

    1. oh… So sad..simona…. well.. In case one draws a Hagal or any other highly negative rune as a divination or rune of the day as an alternative draw a second rune to use as a protection – that is to meditate on to reduce the ill effects of the first rune?I would like the opinion of the other members –
      Should we follow the maxim
      Happy (Quantum) Leap Year! « Laura Bruno’s Blog says:
      way: “Don’t try to fix what we should break before it breaks us.”
      or try the alternative?

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