Monday, February 27, 2012

No Powering Through

I have been working on another installment of Runes 101 - Runes in Mythology, but it's not quite ready yet.  I'll plan on that one for next week, so stay tuned.

This week, I realized that, very soon, a couple of the major projects I started this year will be coming to an end.  This got me wondering what we do at this point in a process.  When we realize things are almost over, how do we finish them off in an appropriate manner?  How do we keep up the level of attention and detail they require?  The "final push" with a project at work or to complete a class or deal with guests who have over-stayed their welcome can be challenging, especially when we know that, once these things are over, we can move on to something new or something that we enjoy or is more fulfilling.  However, simply powering through the process is not a healthy approach.  There must be a way to get through this circumstance without getting stressed, ignoring our own emotions and possibly creating conflict.  How do we stay composed, maintain quality and not become a giant ball of stress?

Perthro/Perth provides the overview for this situation.  Traditional and contemporary interpretations of this Rune do not seem to align very well.  Still, they complement each other in this instance.  Traditionally, this Rune is referred to as the Rune of Friendly Competition and socializing.  New Age definitions call it the Rune of Initiation or hidden secrets.  If we look at this situation as a game, a coming of age in some way, we can see how it is an initiation.  Where do the hidden secrets come into play?  Again, there is a link in the definitions.  Through this process, we are cultivating relationships (potentially even friendships) and their wyrd (fate or destiny) affects ours and that is where the secret lies if we are not aware of it.  A positive outcome from the class or project or visit will affect what happens next.  This is why we must figure out how to finish this situation with the same quality or hopefulness under which it began.

Of course, there is a challenge in every situation and in this one our challenge is Sowilo/Sowelu.  Sowilo is the Rune of the Sun, good fortune and wholeness.  In Germanic tradition, the sun is feminine and its light a sign of victory.  In today's world, Sowilo is aligned with wholeness and the search for what we are already.  To me, this means that our challenge is to be ourselves in this final stage, to continue what we have been doing, for that is what will bring us victory or satisfactory completion and help us to recognize the wholeness.  With regard to the Sun and feminine qualities, this is a very timely distinction, for it addresses our goal perfectly.  The idea of powering through is a masculine quality, so Sowilo serves as a good reminder that powering through is not what we need to do here, rather our challenge is to disregard that instinct and maintain a consistent pace to finish our project.

But how?  Honestly, when this question came to me, I thought I would draw Uruz, the Rune of Strength and the wild ox.  I thought, if not, which one would I draw?  I drew Teiwaz/Tiwaz, the Warrior Rune, Týr's Rune.  This Rune requires self-sacrifice and mindfulness.  We must focus on and commit to finishing the project strong, because that will work to our favor, if not immediately, then in the long run.  We're almost done.  We can do this and do it well.  Perhaps then, we will draw Othala and/or Gebo and be able to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

What project or situation are you finishing soon?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Making Alterations

I have started the search for a literary agent for my first novel.  I got some good advice from one of the agents who read the first fifty pages.  Yesterday, I initiated my plans to address her suggestions.  While the changes are not major, they do require some reworking throughout the book.  So, I asked the Runes what they thought of the idea of making these changes to it.  The response I got had less to do with the interpretation than it did to do with the images of the Runes themselves.  I drew Mannaz for the overview, Dagaz for the challenge and Isa for the action.

I like that the overview was Mannaz, the Rune of the Self, humanity, even culture.  This describes the situation perfectly; after all, I am talking about my own book and my own considerations of altering the work I've spent the last two years doing.  In many ways, this Rune is simply telling me that I already know the answer to the question I asked - it resides within me, within my mind, within my heart.  I can make these changes and it will improve the quality of the story if I make them correctly and wisely.  The requirement here is that I know myself.

As I mentioned, it is the images of the Runes that struck me before the meanings.  However, before I get to the images, let me explain the meaning of the other two Runes.  Dagaz is the Rune of Day, clarity.  This Rune allows for breakthroughs to occur, because everything becomes clearer in the light of day.  This is my challenge, to find the clarity as I pursue the alterations.

Countering Dagaz is Isa, the Rune of Ice and caution, even standstill.  While my challenge is to see things clearly and move forward, my action says that maybe I should sit and not do anything for a while.  How does that help me to have the breakthrough I need?  In two ways.  First, it tells me that sometimes the best action is to consider action.  What is the best way to move forward?  Weigh options, be content with slow or small advances.  Through this explanation, it reminds me of Jera, the Rune of the Harvest, which tells us that everything has a process through which it must travel.  As many of you know, Jera is my Rune; I draw it more than any other and even named my company after it, because I think process is so vital to success.  The second thing Isa tells me relates to its image and that of Dagaz, for while they seem to stand in contrast to each other, one claiming clarity and breakthroughs are required and the other saying be still, together, perhaps they balance out each other.  Why do I think that?  Because during the three years I spent in high school, this image covered my pee-chees (folders for those of you to young to remember a pee-chee) and notebooks.  I doodled it everywhere.  Isa on Dagaz.
It was my image; the image of my Self.  It was me - balanced, my symbol.  So, the overview of this draw suggests that I must know myself and the challenge and action Runes partner to give me the sense of myself that I had back in high school, when I became committed fully to being writer.  In this image, I found balance and focus.  This is why I started the alterations on my novel.

Two weeks ago, I presented all the Runes (Runes 101 - Runes in History 5) and asked what your Rune was.  Today, I wonder what Runes show up in your doodles.  Have a look at the Runes again and let me know if you can identify Runes that balance you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Taking Control of the Situation

So often, we let life happen to us and feel we are helpless in a given situation, but what if we say, "No more!"  What if we take control of the situation or, better still, of our own destiny, of our own happiness?  In general, I am a take-charge kind of person, but lately, I have given in to views that we must follow a mundane path, work for "the man", waste away in a job or multiple jobs that make us miserable and take us away from the things that should be our priorities, things that make us happy.  I decided to ask the Runes what would happen if I decided to take back control of my path.  They did not disappoint in their guidance.

I could draw no better Rune to represent the overview of this line of questioning than Raido, the Rune of Riding, taking a journey.  If we expect to progress, we must move, preferably forward.  That is part of the traditional meaning behind this Rune.  It also highlights a change from where we are either physically or mentally.  New age meanings say this journey is one of healing and removing obstacles.  Both interpretations play a role here.  We are, as traditional meanings suggest, on a mental journey, which is complemented by new age meanings of healing and removing obstacles.  After all, we are seeking a shift in our mindset from doing what we are told we should do to one where we are taking control.  We must remove the ideas that others have placed in our minds to get a fresh perspective and consider new possibilities.  To do that, we must be strong in this commitment.

That is why Tiwaz/Teiwaz, Týr's Rune is our challenge.  We know this Rune well, having drawn it now four times in the last three months (State of the World, Opportunities in the New Year, The Role it Plays).  This is the Rune of Strength and, though it serves as our challenge, by challenging us, Týr's Rune lends us strength, because we love a challenge.  We will take control of the situation, each of us in our own way, and we will be strong through this process, because we must be to break the cycle of frustration that we live in trying to fulfill someone else's image of what our role should be.  We are warriors in this pursuit.

Othala/Othila, the Rune of Inheritance and Home gives us our required action.  This Rune is interesting in that its traditional and contemporary interpretations don't seem to align, yet they do and very well.  You see, while traditional interpretations focus on appreciating the gifts we receive from our ancestors, whether property or skill, contemporary ones lean more towards acquiring a benefit after giving up something to which you're accustomed.  In other words, to reap the benefits from and truly enjoy the gifts bestowed on us by our ancestors, sometimes we must give up something else.  In this case, it is being strong with Tiwaz providing us with the strength we need to break away or separate from the path we are on currently and find the path that will make us happy and allow us to make the most of our inherited gifts.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not suggesting total abandonment of your current life in one fell swoop, unless you have the capacity to do it.  I am suggesting conscious rerouting in such a way that, if disruption occurs, it doesn't negatively impact your family or livelihood.  Sometimes slow breaks require more strength than immediate ones, but they are worth the struggle to get to a place where you are in control of your own life.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Runes 101 - Runes in History 5

As I mentioned in my earlier Runes 101 post, Runes in History 3, at least three versions of ancient Rune Poems exist.  These poems were used to determine the meanings of each Rune.  Remember, the Runes aren't just an ancient alphabet; they each have their own meaning.  We cannot say how they were used in the past with real certainty, but today, those meanings have turned Runes into a cultural oracle. 

If I show you the Runes and give you only an overview of the historical meaning for each, based on those poems, which one would you choose as most representative of your current situation?

Wealth, money, cattle
Wild Ox, Auroch, courage, strength
Giant, thorn, focused power
Communication, a god
Journey, riding
Torch, fire, light
Joy, pleasure
Hail disruption, destructive and creative forces
Need, necessity, constraint
Ice, standstill
Harvest, process, gain and growth
Yew tree, toughness, stability
Board game, friendly competition, initiation
Self-defense, protection
The sun, good fortune
The god Týr, self-sacrifice, justice
Birch, birth, beginnings
Horse, loyalty, pilgrimage
The self, humanity, culture
Sea, lake, flow
The god Freyr, fertility, peace and plenty
Day, clarity, revelation
Inheritance, home

Jera, as usual is for me.  Today, however, it is of particular importance, because it serves as a reminder to me that I am in the middle of many processes right now.  I must stay focused on the task at hand and not try to jump ahead.  Let me know if I can help you interpret your Rune for this week.