Prayer beads, also known as rosaries or mala beads, are a tool used in various religious and spiritual practices to aid in prayer, meditation, or mindfulness. They typically consist of a string of beads, often with a central or larger bead known as the "guru" bead, and smaller beads arranged in groups. Practitioners use the beads to keep track of the number of prayers, mantras, or affirmations they recite, as each bead is passed through the fingers during the practice. The repetitive motion of moving the beads and focusing on the prayers or mantras can help facilitate concentration, calm the mind, and deepen one's spiritual connection. Different traditions and cultures have their own styles of prayer beads, each with its own significance and ususage.
Hel is a prominent figure in Norse mythology, known as the ruler of the realm of the dead also called Helheim. She is often depicted as a half-living, half-dead being, with one side of her body appearing as a beautiful woman and the other side as a decaying corpse. Hel is the daughter of Loki, the Trickster God, and the Giantess Angrboða.
In Norse mythology, Hel was tasked with governing the souls of those who died of sickness, old age, or other non-heroic deaths. Upon their arrival in Helheim, the souls were welcomed by Hel, who determined their fate. Those who lived virtuous lives were granted entry into a realm of peace and comfort, while those who led dishonorable lives were consigned to a more dismal existence.
Hel plays a significant role in several Norse myths, particularly in the story of Ragnarök, the apocalyptic battle that leads to the destruction and rebirth of the world. According to prophecy, Hel and her realm will play a role in the events surrounding Ragnarök.
Although Hel is often depicted as a stern and formidable figure, she is not typically portrayed as evil. Instead, she is seen as fulfilling her duty as the ruler of the realm of the dead, impartially presiding over the souls under her care.