Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - A Simple Blessing

Back in May, my kids and I went for a bike ride and stopped at a beach by the lake.  I don't usually pick up shells or rocks or things like that to bring home; I'm of the take only pictures, leave only footprints frame of mind most of the time.  However, I was drawn to this piece of drift wood that I just couldn't put down.  I knew I had to have it and I knew I had to have my name and my Rune (Jera) carved into it.  My carving skills aren't great, so I asked a friend to do it for me, which he graciously did.  Nothing fancy.  Here's what it looked like when he gave it back to me:

It was the perfect starting point.  Then, I went through a ritual, similar to when I made my own Runes.  It needed to be painted and sealed.

First, I thanked Njord for providing the wood to me.  Soaked by the lake, smoothed by being rolled around near the shore, and left to dry on the beach.  It is perfect.

After I selected my paint, I invoked Heimdall and Odin, because they gave us the Runes.  Then, I pricked my finger and put nine drops of blood into the paint.  The sacrifice was to them.  As the drops fell into the bowl, I thanked Heimdall for sharing the Runes with Jarl and thanked Odin for his nine-day sacrifice to obtain the Runes, all their secrets and mysteries.  The blood was also my way of making the carving my own. 

This process strengthened my connection to the carving and to the gods.  Even though there wasn't enough blood to noticeably alter the color of the paint, I know that a piece of me now resides within the wood.

I let the paint dry over night, then sealed it with a non-toxic varnish, but not before I expressed my appreciation to all of the gods and goddesses.  This piece of Rune art and the process to create it was important for me in strengthening my connection to the mythology that I love.

I was especially pleased that, when I drew Runes as the final piece of this ritual, I got Perthro, Jera, and Berkana.  Simply put, Perthro represents my friend in this process who did the initial carving for me.  Jera is my guiding Rune; that's why it's on the carving.  And even though Berkana comes at the end, it symbolizes for me that this work of art represents a new phase in my relationship to the gods and the Runes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Time Alone

We all need time to ourselves, some need it more often than others and some struggle to find the opportunity at any sort of regular interval.  I fall into the latter category, but this week, I will have three evenings all to myself.  Because I rarely have time for myself, I wanted to make sure that, only do I make the most of this time, but that it starts me on a path of finding it more often.
I had a bit of a conversation with the Runes on this topic and considered making this post a Rune Dialogue, but I realized that I was searching for more than insight.  I needed some extra strength, a reminder to make time for myself and that, when I have that time, to make the most of it.  After quite a lengthy discussion with the Runes, I was ready to pose my question: How do I make time for myself and use that time wisely?

The Runes gave me three thoughtful reminders that are important on their own, but even stronger together.  That is why I decided to make a bind Rune.

Nauthiz was perfect as the first Rune, because it asks me what I need.  What I need is time… time to write.  Some of you may say that’s a want, but writing is like a third lung for me; I need it to breathe.  Sometimes, we may need time to take a nap or read a book or garden.  The larger point is that we need time to do things outside of our routine and, maybe more importantly, we need to figure out how to make time for ourselves a regular part of that routine.

Ehwaz came second.  This reinforces Nauthiz in a really direct and positive way.  Remember, Ehwaz is the horse and it represents, among other things, loyalty.  For those of us who struggle with finding or taking time for ourselves, the message here is that loyalty to our own needs is okay.  This Rune echoes the idea of incorporating time for ourselves into our routine.  Be loyal to it.  Take that time.  Make a commitment to yourself... for yourself.

Ingwaz is the final Rune, the Rune of Freyr and fertility.  It is said that timing is everything.  If that is so, then Ingwaz, in this position, is telling us that now is the time to do this.  This moment is fertile so to speak.  This is our moment, our chance, to begin to set aside some time for ourselves.  Though it's a bit of a stretch, I might also add that by taking time for ourselves, we are creating a more fertile situation for ourselves, in general, because, when we take time to do something that we enjoy or that we need to do, we feel better and that good feeling transfers into other things, other aspects of our lives.

Given how well these three Runes reinforce and support each other, it is almost as if they are already bound.  So, turning them into a bind Rune was not only the obvious thing to do, it was easy.  Now, I think I may just redraw this by hand and set it by my desk to remind myself to do this.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Dagaz

When I delve into individual Runes in a post, sometimes it's just about the characteristics of that Rune and sometimes I use other Runes to explain how to use a single Rune in a certain situation.  An important thing to remember is that, while each Rune has its own meaning, how it is applied varies depending on the situation or line of questions.

Over the past month, I have drawn Dagaz far more often than usual, which made me wonder why.  What is the message that the day Rune is sending to me?

Based on the three Runes I drew to help explain Dagaz for me and why I have drawn it so often lately, the over-arching themes I received were clarity, opportunity, and choices.

The first Rune I drew was Othala, the Rune of the homestead and inheritance.  Interestingly, when I considered Othala, just over three years ago, Dagaz came last with a message of clarity.  So, what Dagaz helps me do here is get clarity around my homestead.  Contemplating Othala in terms of clarity is interesting because my initial thought was clarity around financial issues and I was expecting Fehu.  Othala signifies to me that the clarity around homestead (aka: family issues) is broader than simply financial issues, though Othala does include the notion of inheritance, which has financial implications.  In this instance, Dagaz can be clarity around time spent with family, working on the house or yard or even strengthening local community to support the larger notion or indirect interpretation of homestead.

Berkana came second.  This is a Rune I have explored twice - one more personal venture that looked at beginning an adventure and one that looked at acknowledging what has come to an end.  Through the lens of Dagaz, Berkana is presented in terms of looking for opportunity or, even better, creating opportunity.  In other words, Dagaz heightens opportunities; it's a good time to look for opportunities that already exist or to create opportunities for yourself or others.  This combination is very positive and powerful.

I received Uruz, the aurochs Rune last.  This is a great Rune on which to end, because Uruz, the wild ox, is free, free to live as it wishes, free to make choices.  Dagaz, as the day Rune, shines light into our lives, allowing us to see things clearly (if we choose to look) so that we can make choices.  Likewise, having Dagaz present reminds us to make informed enlightened choices, ones that will be beneficial to us and to our homestead.

Dagaz is a positive and powerful Rune of light and, by those virtues, provides us with clarity - the ability to see things clearly if we pause and look, opportunities - both existing and created, and choices - beneficial ones that are informed by seeing the larger picture.