Monday, May 21, 2012

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Jera

Welcome to Runes 201, the third series I'm starting on my blog.  Runes 101 discusses the Runes in History and Mythology, and Runes 301 walks you through the process of making your own set of wooden Rune staves.  Runes 201 talks about individual Runes in a little more detail or looks at how to work with a Rune.  I begin this series with the latter and look at how to manage Jera, the Rune of harvest and process.

Jera is my Rune, the Rune of the harvest, which, by extension, is about process.  For the harvest to occur, there is a process which must be followed.  While some of us are very good at planning, others, "wing it", "play it by ear", "fly by the set of our pants", or simply "go with the flow".  In other words, some people don't plan or don't plan much.  Whichever category suits you, the question remains - How do we deal with things that require a process, whether planned of not?  How do we manage Jera?

The meaning for Perthro is one of the most questioned and debated of the Elder Futhark.  Of the Runic Poems, only the Old English poems include this Rune and a key word is missing from that poem.  I think this makes Perthro the perfect Rune to provide the overview for our question related to managing Jera.  The answer is that there is no easy answer.  What is reasonably clear is that Perthro relates to camaraderie, "play and laughter" and warriors sitting happily together in a beer hall.  Despite the missing word, what I take from this Rune in this circumstance is that, when dealing with a process (getting a job, planting a garden, building a deck, getting someone to notice you, planning a party...etc.), it is a far easier thing to manage when you do it with someone else or confide in someone else.

The challenge within this question is clear.  Rarely does a process go from A to B without some sort of disruption, so of course, I drew Hagalaz to represent the challenge of managing Jera.  The Rune of Hail is very timely here.  As we know, it's initial impact is one of destruction, but it's aftermath is necessary water to grow.  This could be interpreted in many similar ways, but essentially, we need to be challenged by disruptions so that we can grow as people.  There is a saying, "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."  Though most disruptions are not life-threatening, any obstacle we overcome can make us stronger, more well-rounded, better able to handle adversity and other challenges going forward.

It is not surprising that the action to address this question is Algiz, the Rune of self-defense and protection.  Again, the only Rune Poem for this Rune is the Old English version and it talks of elk-sedge, a plant that takes quite good care of itself.  Therefore, I would argue that as we make our way through our process to get from point A to point B, that we realize we undertake these things for these primal reasons, either self-defense and protection or defense and protection of another.

So, how do we manage Jera, the process and the harvest?  We must remember a few things.  First, most things that we undertake are made easier by friends who support us.  I could use any number of clichés for the second thing, but I’ll say this instead; we must learn from each step along the path, whether the step takes us forward or seems to divert us from our planned path.  Finally, everything we undertake is an opportunity for personal growth and we should take advantage of it, because it is in our best interest.

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