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    Hermod is the messenger of the deities in the Norse pantheon, and as such his role and physical attributes are strikingly similar to Hermes, his counterpart in the Greek pantheon. Like Hermes, Hermod can move with incredible speed, far faster than any of the other deities, though he appears to lack his Greek counterpart's ability to fly.  And while Hermod lacks the additional attributes possessed by Hermes in relation to the protection of nomads, thieves, and vagabonds, or anything to do with the medical field, the legends emphasize Hermod's tremendous courage, something that Hermes was never described as having in abundance (though the missions the two were sent on were obviously similar in many ways, including trips to the underworld).    



     I have often felt a strong spiritual bond with Hermod, and I call upon him for any matter related to bravery and honor.  These are what he is known for, and he will graciously share these traits with those who invoke him in times of great need.     



     Unfortunately, most of the individual stories in the Norse myths that Hermod may have had were lost upon the re-translation of these tales by the Christian monks of Nordic descent following the fall of Pagan dominance in the Northern world. This has had the effect of reducing Hermod to a bit player in the surviving Norse myths--save for one very important story that fully illustrates all of Hermod's characteristics and majesty.   In his capacity as messenger of the deities, Hermod was sent on a mission alone to the underworld realm of the much feared death goddess Hela to bargain with her for the return to the living of the slain god of light, Balder. This was a realm of existence that most of the deities themselves would be highly reluctant to travel to, let alone by themselves, but Hermod did so with no apparent hesitation. His speed enabled him to travel the length of the Helway to reach the palace of Hela in much less time than it would have taken any of the other deities, and he boldly stood before Hela in her home turf to deliver the request from All-Father Odin for Balder's release from the underworld. Hela agreed with the request provided that every living being in all the Nine Worlds of the Asgardian cosmology would shed a tear for the beloved god of light--something that failed to occur thanks to the treachery of Loki, the god of mischief--and Hermod carried this message with its stipulation back to the throne of Odin and Frigga.    



     While it is quite a shame that more of Hermod's great exploits in his capacity as messenger of the Norse deities are lost or unrecorded, his courage and fleetness of foot remain well known and honored by those who follow the Norse path, and he remains one of the deities whom I  personally regard the highest in the pantheon for the traits he exemplifies.