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Upright and Reversed Hagalaz: Different Meanings & Energies

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Written by: Tina Caro

The Hagalaz rune has so much to tell and some incredible energy to offer when it comes to magic and shaping a unique, better life.

To learn more about what the Hagalaz rune means and all its special messages, get comfortable, and read this article!


In runic divination, the Hagalaz (Hagall) rune holds distinct meanings and energies depending on whether it appears in an upright or reversed position.

Upright Hagalaz represents disruption, chaos, and uncontrollable forces that may bring unexpected challenges into one’s life. It symbolizes the transformative potential of chaos, as it can lead to personal growth and adaptation. Hagalaz is associated with natural forces like hailstorms, signifying both destruction and renewal.

Reversed Hagalaz suggests the release from chaos and a return to stability. It indicates resilience and the ability to withstand challenges, signifying successful navigation through turbulent times. In its reversed position, Hagalaz implies a greater degree of control over external forces and circumstances.

Interpretations of Hagalaz in a rune reading consider its orientation and the specific context, guiding individuals toward understanding unexpected disruptions and their potential for personal transformation and resilience.

What does the Hagalaz rune mean?

Hagalaz rune means power, alertness, and breaking habits. Life is made up of a continuous series of changes. Being stubborn in a conservative attitude will only bring dissatisfaction and suffering. Hagalaz advises us to accept all the news that it can offer, positive or negative, happy or painful because this news will surely be able to teach something that will be useful and will make you stronger.

Hagalaz, the rune of positive or negative changes, holds the same meaning whether it comes up upright or upside down.

Custom Hagalaz rune by MagickalSpot
My homemade Hagalaz rune.

Its interpretation always refers to the moment you are living; perhaps it is happy because life as a couple is about to begin, perhaps it is painful for the loss of someone you love or because you are going through a moment of crisis. The meaning of Hagalaz will also depend on the message of the other runes if the consultation is not carried out with only one single rune.

Before we continue

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Regardless of the positivity of the proposed change, Hagalaz tells us that we will feel uncomfortable; we will feel anxiety, fear, and mistrust. Leaving what you know to venture into something new is always a source of anxiety.

This rune, however, reminds you that the secret of success is to persevere and that, in the end, you will be rewarded.

It also transmits a positive vision of life; bad experiences must not frighten you or make you doubt the future or the abilities and goodness of people, both those we already know and those who we will meet while continuing the path that opens up to us.

Hagalaz is sometimes represented as a six-pointed star, that is, as a crystal of snow or ice, which represents the pre-established and immutable pattern of existence. From the Indo-European root kaghlo-, which means pebble, and also aghl-, meaning stormy cloud, in Greece we also find kakhlex, from which the Latin calculus comes. Hagalaz keeps the meaning in English in the word hail and in the German hagel.

Like a hailstone, we fall into life, we are overwhelmed by winds and passions, and then we melt into the cosmic fusion with everything, through love and death.

With Freyr’s Aett, we have taken the first steps to face the central part of existence; we have recovered our innocence and tamed our lowest instincts. This allows us to let ourselves go gently, to entrust ourselves to become.

With the first three runes of Heimdall’s Aett, we collide with complex concepts such as death (Hagalaz), pain (Nauthiz), and destiny (Isa).
Death is experienced as the end of everything, the disintegration of everything, the definitive change.

She is seen as a bearer of pain, despair, emptiness, and as a messenger of destiny, of fate, before which we can only bow and accept the arduous sentence. With Death we open ourselves to the dimension of mystery, we are forced to accept the inevitable, and we can react with anger, despair, revenge, or self-destruction, but only by letting go can we understand its meaning.

Death is change, transformation, and new life; we can spend time regretting the good old days or we can take note of the change and be reborn, renewed.

Hagalaz is ruled by Udr, the oldest of the Norns who weaves the plot of the Wyrd, destiny, the one that holds the past. Wyrd is destiny, a subtle weave woven with all existences that have knotted their threads over millions of years.

The action of spinning, which Udr does, is often attributed to a female triad of supernatural beings, even above the gods themselves, who spin, weave, and cut the threads that represent the lives of humans.

So Udr rules both Wyrd and destiny, but there are two other Norns that live under the roots of the cosmic tree Yggdrasil, next to the original source: Verdandi, the being, the becoming, who rolls the thread and represents the present, and Skuld, a name that means something due or fault, who cuts the thread of destiny and represents the future.

Every action performed ends up in the well of the Wyrd, sinks into the waters with which, every day, the Norns fill a bucket to wet the roots under which they live. The actions of the past are thus brought back to the surface and through the tree, which represents the present, they reenter reality and condition future events.

Yggdrasil feeds on the past to bear fruit in the present and in the future; this is the great cosmic law: every living being receives the consequences of their actions, be they good or bad.

Wyrd is not so much individual destiny but rather universal energy, the origin of everything, the original law of cause and effect according to which every living being is destined to pay the consequences of their actions, it is therefore not an external law that controls everything from above, but our personal responsibility for our actions. It is the law of Karma according to which we are architects of our destiny through our thoughts, mental actions, feelings, affective actions, words, verbal actions, and our behavior or physical actions.

Hagalaz is also connected with the serpent Nidhoggr, who corrodes the roots of the cosmic tree, threatening its stability, represents the bursting of destiny into our life and the breaking of every pattern and every certainty.

It is a rune that undoubtedly has to do with the archetype of Death; it means hail in English, a word that reminds us of the Goddess Hel, Lady of Death, and guardian of the underworld.

Loki’s brood; Hel, Fenrir and Jörmungandr. The figure in the background is presumably Angrboða.

Hagalaz meaning if upright

The keywords for this rune are cleansing, purification, room for growth, acceptance, courage, letting go, past, unconscious, exams, analyses, tests, and experimentation. The extraction of this rune indicates liberation from the patterns that can manifest themselves as an impediment or a de-structuring, such as a block, a delay, an illness, or a death.

It is necessary to ask ourselves about the relationship we have with death if we are able to accept it, to face it with a serene mind, if we can accept the inevitability of destiny. Hagalaz can indicate a problem of rigidity, captivity due to patterns, rules, and morals.

Upright InterpretationDescription
Destruction and ChaosHagalaz represents a period of disruption, destruction, or chaos in life that ultimately leads to growth and transformation.
Cleansing and RenewalIt signifies a cleansing process, removing stagnant energy and allowing for new beginnings and personal growth.
Unavoidable ChangeHagalaz indicates that change is inevitable and necessary for personal development and spiritual evolution.
Elemental ForcesIt represents the power of elemental forces, such as hail or storms, symbolizing the raw energy of nature.
Resilience and AdaptabilityHagalaz encourages resilience and the ability to adapt to challenging situations or unexpected circumstances.
Table 1: Upright Meanings and Energies of Hagalaz

It is a rune that allows access to new levels of knowledge through the joint work of destruction and creation, death, and rebirth. It is the rune of destiny and also implies liberation from the past and acceptance of the payment of outstanding bills. The advice is to let yourself be guided and be in tune with your nature.

In love, you might go through a difficult time, afraid of not reaching happiness, with doubts and uncertainties, and worrying you could make mistakes. Be patient and stay calm, don’t face difficult situations, and wait for the moment to pass.

At work, many sacrifices are required; it can be hard, even unbearable, there could be a risk of losing your job, of being fired. Grit your teeth and move forward without losing sight of your goals. As for health, there is a risk of getting sick; you need to dedicate more time to yourself, to your hobbies, to relax, and recover lost energy.

It happens sometimes that, despite all the precautions taken, fate chooses for us by breaking up a relationship of love or friendship, depriving us of a steady job or a person dear to us.

We must remember that life goes on despite everything, that everything is a spinning wheel. There will be other loves, other people ready to have us next to them, other jobs, new satisfactions, other people to know, children and grandchildren who are born with a new promise and a new hope.


We have every right to suffer if fate does not seem to leave us a way out; we could not take that path because it is not intended for us, but there are many other paths that await us that are perfect for us.

What if Hagalaz shows up reversed?

Reversed Hagalaz means solving a mystery but finding some negative outcome; it can mean a breakup. Nature rules Hagalaz, a rune that represents the immutable forces that we must accept.

Hagalaz rune reversed by MagickalSpot
Hagalaz rune reversed

It announces breakup, in any form. This is a negative rune that heralds a natural event such as a birth or death.

Reversed InterpretationDescription
Resisting ChangeReversed Hagalaz suggests resistance to change or a reluctance to embrace necessary transformations.
Stagnation and BlockageIt signifies a state of stagnation or feeling stuck, hindering personal growth and forward progress.
Unresolved ConflictReversed Hagalaz may indicate unresolved conflicts or unresolved issues that need to be addressed.
Misdirected EnergyIt represents a misalignment of energy or the misdirection of one’s efforts, resulting in obstacles or setbacks.
Lack of AdaptabilityReversed Hagalaz highlights a lack of adaptability or difficulty in adjusting to new circumstances.
Table 2: Reversed Meanings and Energies

Hagalaz meaning in love, work, and health

Love: you are experiencing a difficult time. It is possible that, in the fear of not achieving the happiness you are looking for, you avoid remedying your dissatisfaction and try to mitigate anxiety by indulging your passions.

It is not a solution that will solve the problem. Hagalaz recommends thinking before continuing along this road.

Work: this is a moment that requires many sacrifices. The work can be hard or maybe the circumstances in which it takes place are. Hagalaz recommends persevering and never losing sight of one’s goals.

Health: as you are going through a period of crisis, anxiety can negatively affect your health. Therefore, it will be good to take breaks and find free time to cultivate your passions or confide in loved ones.

How to work with the energy of the Hagalaz rune?

  • Use it to focus and to meditate. It brings clarity!
  • It’s a wonderful talisman to break bad habits like smoking, drinking, and more.
  • Use it during a full moon ritual to get rid of what no longer serves you.
  • Use it to honor fate.

The special message from Hagalaz rune to you

  • Completeness and balance of power, integration of unconscious shadow elements
  • The inevitability of Fate
  • Evolutionary progress and operations of becoming
  • The outworking of a perfect model
  • Protection by banning or exorcising disharmonious patterns, protection
  • Awareness of unconscious ideas for final processing
  • To cause discomfort in others by awakening one’s own subconscious “garbage”
Hagalaz rune from my collection

Hagalaz rune magical uses

  • Unlock stagnant situations and old patterns
  • Help to get in touch with the truth
  • Overcoming of limits and pre-established schemes
  • Live life with determination, leaving the past behind
  • Helps you find the center, clarity, and purity
  • Great during exorcism
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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