Monday, August 29, 2011

Under the Knife

In a couple of days, someone very dear to me is having surgery.  She is visiting us right now, so I suggested we do a three Rune draw around the idea of asking for guidance with respect to post-surgery stuff.  Most specifically, I thought it would be good for her to see what is recommended for post-surgery care.  Her draw was very helpful for her situation and offered some good advice that she allowed me to share with you.

This was her draw - Teiwaz reversed, Jera, Mannaz reversed.  How do they help her as she considers what she will need to do after her procedure?  Here's how.

Teiwaz in the reversed position provides the overview of the situation.  The Warrior Rune calls into question issues of trust and confidence as well as focusing on the task at hand.  She must not worry about or be distracted by other things.  In her world, this means do not worry about rushing back to work.  She must focus on the task and trust that it will go well.  Her surgery and healing after it are her concerns now.

Jera, the Rune of the Harvest, supports the subtleties indicated by Teiwaz with respect to focusing on the task.  Jera reminds us that everything has a process through which is must pass.  This process cannot be circumvented or rushed if it is to be truly successful.  Following her surgery, there will be a recovery time - the process, during which there will also be specific rules she will need to follow.  This is not an easy thing for most of us to do even though we know we should.

Finally, Mannaz reversed, the Rune of the Self, tells us the action for this situation.  If you are not following the required process to proper healing, look no further than yourself for the culprit.  Make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing to complete the healing process successfully.

The message here is clear and simple.  After you have surgery, listen to your doctor, do as you're told, and allow your body the time it needs to be well again.  We all know this, but having it reinforced never hurts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Runes 101 - Runes in Mythology 5

I am very excited that, in a few days, I will add three new books to my Norse Mythology library that were recommended by people who have read my blog and the books are all about the Runes.  I look forward to the added insight they may provide me about the Runes.  I admit that I am a relative newcomer to the world of Runes, but I am cautious and careful with the things I say about them and, especially, when I 'read' them.

That brings me to this week's post.  A few years ago, I bought a book of Norse myths, which I have read and, many myths I have reread several times.  Each time, I notice some new aspect about them and, most recently, I have noticed a couple of uses of Runes that I questioned.  You see, because I am limited to the English translations of the Prose and Poetic Edda, I have learned the importance of cross-checking questionable terms in particular.

One of the myths in this book of Norse myths is The Lay of Vafthrudnir.  In this myth, Odin, who is always seeking knowledge, goes to visit the giant Vafthrudnir, because he hears this giant has no equal among the other giants.  Odin wants to challenge him to a battle of wits.  In the end, he tricks the giant to win the contest by asking him a question he cannot possibly answer.  However, when Odin asks the giant how he knows so much about the gods, this author translates or implies that Vafthrudnir can read the Runes.  He suggests that Odin recognizes this ability in Vafthrudnir and that Vafthrudnir concurs and says that he can, in fact, read the Runes of the gods and giants.  Reading this now, as opposed to almost two years ago when I understood little about the Runes, I halt.  The more appropriate term, in my opinion, is that he knows the fates of the gods and giants.  I have two versions of the Poetic Edda, so I checked both books and neither gives any indication of the giant claiming to know the Runes.  I could be wrong on this, but what I am saying is that the use of the term "Runes" in this instant seemed out of place.  I happily welcome clarification of this point in the story.

The second instance is the myth of Idunn and her apples and how Loki tricked her into leaving Asgard so that the giant Thjazi, in his eagle's cloak, could capture her.  Of course, Loki did this to save his own life.  Once the gods realize what's happened, they threaten Loki with torture and death if he doesn't find Idunn and her apples and bring them back.  You see, without Idunn's apples, the gods begin to grow old.  Loki uses Freyja's falcon cloak to travel to Thjazi's hall in Jotunheim and get Idunn and bring her back to Asgard.  He transform her into a nut so that he can carry her easily in his claws.  Thjazi chases Loki back to Asgard in his eagle suit.  When Loki lands safely within the walls of Asgard, he transforms Idunn back into herself.  Here's the part that seems wrong to me.  When Loki transforms Idunn into a nut, the author says that "Loki murmurs the Runes, says the magic words".  When he transforms her back into herself, the author says that Loki "softly spoke the Runes".  This stood out to me as I have found no other indication that Loki knows the Runes.  When I checked my copy of the Prose Edda (Skaldskaparmal), all it says is that Loki turned Idunn into a nut.  Obviously, she was turned back int o herself, but there is no mention of that at all in the actual prose and no mention of Runes.  That Loki possessed some sort of magic there is no doubt, but the Runes?  I say no.

Am I wrong about these instances?  Or am I on the right track?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Da Vinci and the Runes

Don't get the wrong idea about this post.  This is not an article about how Leonardo da Vinci used the Runes, rather how the Runes might help us to prepare to think like him.  Several years ago, I read the book "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci" and, inspired by a creativity article I read recently, I have picked it up again.  This time, however, I am committing to attempting to incorporate the seven step process in the book into the ways in which I think and approach life.  The first of the seven steps in the book is curiosity.  As my first step, I was curious to know what guidance the Runes would offer as I begin this journey.

For the overview of this ensuing endeavor, I drew Fehu, the Rune of Possessions.  What this Rune really asks us to do is to determine what possessions are important to us.  That is to say, do we prefer material things, health and well-being, knowledge and so on?  This journey is, I believe, one of knowledge, because I am seeking to see things in new ways, uncover things I hadn't noticed before, and question what I don't understand.

So, how will this attempt at curiosity challenge me?  According to Kano reversed, the Rune of Openings, I am put on notice that some aspect of who I am now will no longer be valid.  By letting go of past ways, I will find opportunity, but it may not be as easy as I think.  There may be a time of unsteadiness as I let go of the old, adopt the new and become comfortable again.

I should have expected none other than Thurisaz, the Rune of the Gateway, for the action in this journey.  It is actually a Rune of inaction and recommends approaching the gateway, but not passing through it without much contemplation.  As a way to complement Fehu, Thurisaz is telling me to take inventory of what I know and have learned already.  Use what is appropriate and discard freely the rest.

This week, I will prepare.  Next week, I will step through  the gateway and share how well I do with  "Curiosity".  Anyone care to join me?

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Don't Wanna!!

Many times in life, we must do things that we don't necessarily want to do.  Today, I asked the Runes for counsel in such circumstances.  The guidance they offer is an approach to make the process more bearable and, quite possibly allow you to enjoy it and learn from it.

Eihwaz, the Rune of Defense provides the overview of the situation.  Defense means simply that now is not the time to go on the offensive, because it will not bear fruit.  You cannot influence the situation at the moment; you must move within it, be patient.  Do not try to force an outcome or bully or push your way through what is blocking your path.  For now, look listen and learn.  Begin to recognize potential consequences, so that when you make your decision to act, it comes easily.

The challenge within this type of situation is the desire for forward movement, which is why the second Rune of this draw was Ehwaz - the Rune of Movement and Progress - reversed.  In its reversed position, Ehwaz reminds you that, what is yours will come to you at the right moment in time.  Although you may not want the opportunities that are presenting themselves right now, be grateful that you have opportunities to address.  The opportunities you truly desire may not be appropriate right now, but you can gain knowledge and insight from the ones that are available.  Perhaps they must help to better prepare you for the opportunities you do want.

Interestingly, the action for this drawing is Dagaz, which is the Rune of Breakthrough and Transformation.  Perhaps by accepting and pursuing what is within your reach at the moment, even though you "don't wanna", you set your direction toward your desired outcome, despite that fact that it may not be apparent to you from your current perspective.  Trust that what you can see will help guide you to what it is you want to see.  Stay focused.  Work hard.  Do it happily and put the darkness behind you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

...Now Stand on One Foot

In today's world, we are overwhelmed with distractions and demands that we allow others to put on us.  When we take on too much - hold this, take this, do this for me, you have a free hand? do this, carry this, now stand on one foot - at one time, we lose more than balance in our lives.  We lose mindfulness and, in return, we gain stress, tension, anger, frustration and so on.  So, how do we find a balance again?  How do we stop doing more than we can manage reasonably?  How do we become mindful in our choices?

I asked the Runes for some guidance on this front and, as usual, they did  not disappoint.  The three Runes that I drew were: Nauthiz reversed for the overview, Hagalaz for the challenge, and Kano for the action.  What guidance is found in this draw?

Nauthiz is the Rune of Constraint, but, in this role, it does not mean do nothing or refrain yourself.  Reversed, it warns us that growth is not easy and sometimes must occur within certain limits or pain.  Moreover, it may be that many of us can see the light only when we are here, in the dark, a great darkness.  When we see that light from our dark place, we see our own true creative abilities and that is what we want to follow.  In essence, through this Rune in its reversed position, we must undergo a cleansing to find a balance.  If your plate is full, you must remove something before you can add something new.  Piling is not beneficial.

Hagalaz is one of my favorite Runes, because so many people shrug with disappointment when they draw it.  However, the Rune of Disruption offers so many positive things.  It allows us to break free from our stale routine.  In fact, it liberates us from it.  It may show us a change that is gradual or it may side swipe us, but through this process, Hagalaz tells us it is time for us to grow.  We are ready, whether we believe it or not.

The action in this draw, for this question of mindfulness and balance, is perfect - Kano, the Rune of Opening.  Remember that darkness that Nauthiz reversed told us about?  Well, that may well be where we are, but with our challenge being the forced growth of Hagalaz, Kano assures us that we are ready to step out of that darkness, cast off those things which are weighing us down, making us unhappy.  Kano provides two important perspectives to accomplish the step into the light.  First, Kano reminds us that, with more light, we can see things better.  This should make it easier to cast away those things which matter so little.  Kano's second point is that we must focus on our intention and make it clear.  This is how all new endeavors begin.

So, let's all take a moment to breathe, reflect and release those burdens that bring negativity into our lives.  What a wonderful way to start the week.