Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Runes 402 - Rune Dialogues - Struggle

We all deal with a struggle at some point in our lives.  Some are big and some are small.  Sometimes the small ones pile on top of each other and can feel like a big one.  For me it's the time of year.  The end of July to the end of August is a tough time of year for me for personal reasons and I find myself struggling more than any other time of the year.  The bright side is that, once September arrives, I hit a productive time that lasts more or less through the end of the year.  Although my period of struggle is nearly over, the last month to six weeks has been more of a struggle than usual, so I turned to the Runes and asked them for guidance to get me through the next week or so.

Me:  I am having a really hard time right now.  What guidance can you offer to help me approach this struggle?

Runes:  When this year started, you chose the Rune that can help you.  You chose Thurisaz for its power.  That power can overcome the angst you're having right now.

Me:  Thank you for that reminder.  Right now, I am not sure how to harness that power to move me forward.

Runes:  Raido can help you on your journey.  Your journey actually requires you to focus that power so that you can move forward.

Me:  I appreciate what you're saying, but I am feeling very overwhelmed by everything that is required of me, all that I have to do before I have any time to do what I really want to do.

Runes:  You must find time to do the things that make you happy.  You were not intended to live a life without it.  Wunjo reminds you of that importance.

Me:  I am confused.  Are you telling me to do what makes me happy and forsake that which doesn't?

Runes:  No.  It is something to strive for though.  Remember your guiding Rune - Jera.  It is the Rune of the year, a complete cycle, which can represent balance.  Perhaps the best way to avoid or minimize these struggles is to find a balance that allows you to consistently engage in the things that you want to do for yourself.

Me:  In other words, when I am going through a struggle, if I focus on doing something for myself regularly, that will help?

Runes:  When you focus some of your power on the things that are fulfilling for you, it can make the things that weigh you down more bearable.  If you focus on them long enough, your struggle will lighten and things will become clear again.  That is the message Dagaz gives you.  The day Rune symbolizes the return of a lighter time in the cycle of your year.

Me:  So, you are saying that I need to set aside time to do the things that I enjoy for myself?  Part of my struggle is that my other responsibilities eat into that time and when that happens at this time of the year, I lose focus.

Runes:  That is exactly what I am saying.  When you are struggling, it is even more important to focus some of your power on the things that make you happy.  That is what you need to get you through the struggle.  That is why, for your last Rune, I give you Nauthiz.

Me:  Thank you for your guidance and wisdom.  This was very insightful and has helped me to relax, take a step back from my struggle, and take a breath.

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.