Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspire Us

I had planned to continue with the Runes 101 series today, but I've decided to wait until next week for that, so please stay tuned.  Instead, today I want to focus on energy and inspiration to get our week started on the right foot and to embrace the changing seasons.  Therefore, I asked the Runes what guidance they would offer all of us so that we can feel energized, inspired and excited about this moment in our lives.  Here are the three Runes I drew:  Dagaz, Hagalaz, Raido

Dagaz is the Rune for Day, a time when things become more clear, when we can see things clearly.  This Rune may represent a moment of clarity, a breakthrough in understanding, or even a sense of safety or comfort.  The darkness is gone and, through the light we now see, we can look at the untapped potential that is waiting for us and both externally and that lies within us.  Day gives us energy.  Being able to see things clearly or understand them, should (or could if we choose to allow it to) inspire us.  Are you excited yet?

Hagalaz, Hail, is another one of my favorite Runes.  This Rune of destructive and creative force, of disruption, is very powerful.  It liberates us in the sense that, although it is a storm and may destroy some aspect of our lives, in its wake it leaves the requirement for creativity and perseverance.  The storm may also serve to nourish us if we see the hail as water.  Either way, Hagalaz signifies a new phase beginning in our lives.  How we choose to engage in it is up to us.

Now that we can see the new phase of our lives beginning, what do we do?  Raido tells us it is a journey, which all new life phases are.  At the beginning, these journeys can culminate in anything our minds can create.  They exist as nothing more or less than pure potential.  Visualize your potential and take this journey to bring that vision to fruition.  The power is within you.  Good luck!  Have a wonderful week and let me know how things work out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Done Yet

Although I have completed the first draft of my first novel, which I did last night, I know I am not done with my novel yet.  Today, I drew Runes to help me through the surreal feeling that I mentioned last week and which has grown stronger over the past few days as I wrote the final words in my book.  There is a great challenge in completing something that doesn't feel real, that creates a sense only of floating with direction, but not being able to see the direction clearly.

The overview of my current dreamlike state gives me strength.  Uruz is the Rune of the WIld Ox, an Aurochs, which represents strength.  I drew it in its reversed position.  It has been brought to my attention that the idea of a reversed Rune doesn't occur in the historical representation of Runes.  I accept that, but it doesn't negate how fitting the first sentence of the meaning of Uruz reversed is from my book of Runes.  "Without ears to hear and eyes to see, you may fail to take advantage of the moment."  I interpret this as the surreal feeling I am experiencing right now and the fear that I have of not being able to capitalize on the process, because it doesn't feel tangible.  That line is a good overview of the way that I feel right now.  However, the idea of the Wild Ox alone, whether reversed or not, is also important to help me realize that this Rune represents strength.  I must find some form of strength, most likely mental or emotional, to take the next step in this process effectively.

Did I just say, "Process?"  I must have, because I drew my old friend Jera, the Rune of the Harvest as the challenge of my current state.  I draw this Rune more than any other and I am grateful every time to have the reminder that everything has a process through which it must travel to reach fruition, just as the soil must be tilled, crops planted and watered, before they are ready to harvest.  A lot of hard work goes into that process and the same holds true for each task we undertake.  While I have completed the first draft of my novel, if I hope to benefit truly and offer a well-written and interesting story to my readers, much work remains to be done.

Once again (just like last week), the action Rune in this draw is Inguz, the Rune of fertility, associated with Freyr, the Norse god of fertility.  I won't be redundant and simply repeat what I wrote last week, rather elaborate on the notion of fertility.  This Rune is a signal to me that things are in place for me to move forward; the ground is fertile so to speak.  The book is written, ready to be edited and reviewed and edited again.  After that, I will call on Jera again to help me complete the process and publish the book.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nearing Completion

This week, I am nearing the completion of something that I consider to be a lifelong project - my first novel.  That is not to say that I have been working on this particular novel my entire life; actually, it has been about three years off and on.  However, I have wanted to be a writer since I was a very small child.  While there is more to come about my novel, for now, I am at the point of, well, near completion.  The feeling this realization provokes is quite surreal.  It is an extremely odd feeling to have something that I have dreamed about accomplishing since childhood coming to fruition.  To that end, I turned to the Runes for guidance on completing this part of the process.

The overview of the situation was dead on.  I drew Isa - Ice.  Frozen, stillness.  Yep.  I've stalled.  I'm not moving forward, at least not at a detectable pace.  Granted that is for a few reasons, not the least of which is other, more immediate, commitments.  On top of that, the overwhelming fear of finishing the writing and what lies beyond this part of the process (aka - publishing) trumps or creates my inability to satisfactorily bring all the final pieces together to finish the story and set the tone for the sequel.  So I heed to the Runes assessment and accepting this helps me to take the next step.

The sea challenges me in this endeavor.  Yes, for the challenge in this draw, I received Laguz, the Rune of water, flow, the sea, movement.  As I alluded to, I have spent the past several days in stillness on the writing front.  Of course, I must face the uncertainties and nervousness about completing this phase of my project and move forward, though the flow may not be smooth all the time.  I must trust that, wherever it takes me, I am heading where I need to go to be successful.  The sea will swallow me up unless I can come to terms with it, understand it and move with it.

The best part of this draw?  The action comes from Inguz, the Rune of fertility, associated with the Norse god Freyr, god of fertility.  Inguz assures me that I am the only thing preventing me from completing this part of my journey.  In fact, it reminds me that I have spent many years studying the subject of my novel and, through that process, created fertile ground on which to build (or, in this case, write) my dream.  I need only to focus on what I know already and write the final words.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Runes 101 - Runes in History

There are many facets to the Runes.  Through this Runes 101 series, I have focused on the Runes in Mythology and, even within that, there arise questions about how humans came to have the Runes.  Odin's acquisition of the Runes is a popular myth, the way he hung on the Yggdrasil tree in sacrifice to himself and looking into the depths, spied the Runes, reached down, grabbed them and fell back.  However, according to Rigsthula, Heimdall teaches the Runes to his human son, Jarl.

Shifting gears from Norse mythology to human history, Runes of some form, date back to as early as the introduction of Christianity.  Sadly, because Runes were carved largely into items such as wood, bone and antlers, the earliest examples of Runes in history are not found until around 200 AD.  Additionally, although the runic alphabets share many similarities with each other, their form (or shape) varies from country to country and their numbers do as well.  Runic alphabets have been found in Scandinavia, England and Germany, and in eastern Europe (Russia, Poland and Hungary).  There is an original runic alphabet referred to as the Elder Futhark, based on the first six letters in it - F-U-th-A-R-K.  It consists of twenty-four letters, but through time and across geographical separations, the number of Runes changed.  For example, in Scandinavia around the time of the Viking Age, the inhabitants there had narrowed the number to sixteen, while in England, the Anglo-Saxons expanded it to thirty-three.  Call it regional variations.

These are but a couple of the complications around discerning the meanings and uses of Runes in history.  The truth is we really don't know how Runes were used, who exactly used them or what they may have meant from a "magical" perspective.  Even in writing, aside from the differences in shapes and numbers, inscriptions could be written left to right or right to left.  As RI Page (Reading the Past, 1987) points out, sometimes "they could even be boustrophedon", which means that the written lines would alternate directions - the first one would read left to right, but the second one would read right to left and so on.

These are some of the challenges involved with trying to understand the Runes from an historical perspective.  There is more to come, so I hope you will stayed tuned to the Runes 101 series (and my regular posts).  If you have additional insight to offer, please leave a comment or send me an email.  I want to make sure that the information I am presenting is as accurate as possible, despite the challenges.