Thursday, November 30, 2017

Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes - Getting Rid of Old Runes

Runes are a very personal thing.   The first time I picked up a set of Runes, I had a strong and immediate connection to them and have worked with them to understand their wisdom ever since.  An important part of that process is making your own Runes and making them your own.  Over the years, I've written posts about how to make your own set, shared sets that other people have made, and even offered my perspective on how to make new Runes your own.

But, there are two sides to that coin and several people have asked me about the second side.  "What do I do with Rune sets that I don't want or use anymore?"

An excellent question.

Part of making Runes involves the magic within them and, when you're done with them, removing it. This can mean a couple of things: passing them on to someone else or getting rid of them all together.

My personal preference is not to pass on Runes that I have used, but that is not to say it cannot be done.  If you decide to pass on your Runes to someone else, I strongly recommend a cleansing process.  I'll give some examples below.

The one instance where I would say firmly not to pass on Runes is if you have stained them with your own blood (or other bodily fluid).  Those are yours.  By staining them with your bodily fluid, you have inextricably linked them to you.  They cannot belong to anyone else.  They have to be packed away some place secure or gotten rid of (destroyed).  This includes things like wood Runes and ceramic Runes where you've added your blood to the clay.

To dispose of Runes you no longer want or use, I recommend incorporating one or more of the elements - air, earth, fire, water - to cleanse and/or get rid of them.

Here are a few examples of things that I've done to release the magic and dispose of Runes:

I have had two sets of wooden Runes, one that I no longer used and one that I was making that someone else accidentally ruined.  For both of these, I burned the Runes and then buried them.  Two elements - fire and earth.  While they burned, I waved my hand over the fire and, as the smoke rose toward Asgard, I asked that the magic return to Heimdall and Odin.  That was the third element - air.  Finally, I used water to put out the fire, thus using all four elements.

Earlier this year, I attempted to make a set of Runes out of clay, similar to the Jera medallion at the top of this post.  They were turning out really well, but the protective coating I put on them was faulty and they got very sticky.  In fact, they stuck together and, when I tried to separate them, the coating peeled off and some of them snapped in two.  I didn't want to, but I have to dispose of them, because they are ruined beyond repair.  So far, I have peeled off the coating and torn it into tiny pieces, which I will burn - fire and air as the magic releases.  (Don't worry.  It's nontoxic.)  I have also broken the Runes into tiny pieces and I am going to grind them up using a mortar and pestle.  I will likely bury the ground up pieces -earth.  No water, but three out of four is pretty good.

Here is a summary of the elements and the role they can play in cleansing and getting rid of Runes you no longer want.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Runes 101 - Runes in History - The Faroese Stones

Translated carving on the Sandavágur Stone
It's always hard for me to accept that Iceland has no Runestones.  None.  Not any.  However, it does bring me some solace to know that the tiny Faroe Islands, with a population of just over 50,000, has three of them - the Sandavágur Stone (discovered 1917), the Kirkjubøur Stone (discovered 1832), and the Fámjin Stone (discovery date unclear).

Although they were all originally housed in churches with the same name as the stones, at least one reference said that they are all housed in the Faroese National Museum in Tórshavn, though I think that may be the case only for the Kirkjubøur Stone.

What is most interesting to me about these stones is the age range among them.  The Kirkjubøur Stone is the oldest, dating from the Viking Age (between the 8th and 11th centuries).  The Sandavágur Stone is next from the 13th century, while the Fámjin Stone is about 300 years younger dated to the middle/end of the 16th century.  That demonstrates Rune usage well into the Middle Ages.

The Fámjin Stone has Roman letters on it in addition to the Runes, but given how young it is, that is not so surprising.  Still, I couldn't find what was carved on the stone.

The oldest of the stones, the Kirkjubøur Stone, says something about peace being granted to someone named Vígulf.  Although I couldn't find a picture of the stone itself, the Runic carving appears on a stamp.  It's in the background and and image of the Sandavágur Stone is in the front.

The Sandavágur Stone also has the most complete inscription.  It refers to Thorkell Onundarson,claiming that he was the first to build there.  The impression seems to be that he was the first permanent settler at least in the Sandavágur area.

Researching these stones left me convinced that I need to put the Faroe Islands on my list of places to visit so that I can see them for myself and share more about them.  If you've been there and have pictures, you're willing to share, please let me know.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Coming Together

Do you ever have those moments short or long when you feel good because everything comes together and is moving along in perfect sync?  It's a lot, but everything is running smoothly?  And, you're actually making forward progress?  It's a great feeling.  You are getting things done, able to spend some time relaxing or engaged in a fun hobby or activity. the back of your mind, you know that, if one thing goes wrong, everything else will crumble.

This is how I feel when fall arrives.  School starts and so do extracurricular activities.  At this point, the only time we don't have something going on is Friday evening.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't mind it.  In fact, I enjoy it.  It's a great piece of being a parent, taking your kids to participate in activities that they truly love doing.  But...if one thing disrupts the well-oiled machine you've got going, keeping everything else moving forward creates a major challenge.

I asked the Runes, "Once things come together, what can we do to keep them together?"  By looking at the Bind Rune at the top of this post, I think you can tell that the three Runes I drew to answer this question - Ansuz, Raido, and Nauthiz.  Then, I had to determine how to bind them.  Why bind them?  It's simply the idea of some reinforcement of the idea of holding things together.  It took a few tries to get the one that felt right.

Maybe I should have gone with one of the others (above in shades of green), but the one on the left felt too tight for me, and too heavy.  The one on the right looks like it is stretching apart already.  That just increased my concern about my "coming together" coming apart too.  That is why the one at the top works for me.  It felt like the right representation for this - a line down the middle to hold everything together, with movement on each side at certain times.

These Runes also tell a "coming together" story.  Simply put, if you want to keep everything together, there are three vital pieces.  "You must communicate with everyone involved," says Ansuz.  But, like the mouth of the river (think river delta), communication is a complicated network.  There are people directly involved on a regular basis, some who participate occasionally, and those who are on-call in case of an emergency. 

Why is this important?  Because, Raido indicates a journey, movement; even though everything is coming together, it is also fluid.  That is to say there are a lot of moving parts, which sets the stage for one of those parts to to go off in its own direction.  A child gets sick; an appointment gets missed; something gets double-booked.  Essentially, this "coming together" of activities is a series of interdependent journeys within a single system.

Nauthiz looks at needs and necessity within the "coming together".  It gives us pause to question what we're doing not in the sense that it is wrong, rather in the sense of, "Is what we're doing in our 'coming together' what we need to be doing?  Is it all necessary?"  The answer can be yes; but checking in on this is important.  If everything that we're doing in our "coming together" is necessary, then we must also recognize the other two pieces the fluidity of it and the need to communicate to ensure its success.  If it's not necessary, we have the opportunity to recognize and correct it.