Poetic Edda - Baldr's Dreams [extract]
Type of Spiritual Experience
In Norse mythology, the Underworld was called Mist-Hel, thus not Hell with two lls but Hel with one l. This was a world of cold and snow and mists, grey and forbidding, in the following extract from the Edda, the Aesir are the gods, Odin is chief of the gods, Sleipnir is his magic horse. He meets a dog that bears a striking similarity in its attitude to Cerberus, the dog that guards the Underworld in Greek myth.
I think this shows reasonably well that the story is about the spiritual world and that Hel is the physical world.
The Underworld is where we live!
A description of the experience
The Poetic Edda from Baldr's Dreams
All together the Aesir came in council
and all the Asynior to speak together,
and what they talked of, those powerful gods,
was why Baldr was having sinister dreams.
Up rose Odin, the sacrifice for men,
and on Sleipnir he laid a saddle;
down he rode to Mist-Hel,
there he met a dog coming from Hel
Bloody it was on the front of its chest
and long it barked at the father of magic;
and rode Odin, the road resounded
he approached the high hall of Hel