Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Healing Rune

I had an interesting experience with the Runes this evening.  As you know, my last two readings have been done with the temporary Runes I made out of paper.  Tonight, I went back to my old Runes to ask them to show me a Rune of healing, because I have had some health issues the past couple of weeks.  My old Runes gave me Fehu, which made me wonder what the heck the Rune of money, wealth, and cattle had to do with healing.  So, I thought maybe my old Runes had stopped working for me, because the message wasn't immediately obvious.

I grabbed my temporary paper Runes, asked for a blessing from Odin and Heimdall, and asked those Runes if Fehu was really the answer.  I knew I wouldn't get a yes or no from the Runes, but I think they came as close as they could get.  I drew Dagaz, the Rune of clarity, day, and light.  For me, this meant that I had been shown the right path and that it should be clear, the reasoning easy to discern.

Still I had to think about it, but trusting that Fehu is my healing Rune, I drew three Runes to determine how I was supposed to address Fehu to achieve my healing.  Once the Runes began to show themselves, I understood exactly why Fehu was my healing Rune.  The three Runes I got were Algiz, Tiwaz and Raido.

Algiz is the Rune of self-defense and protection.  This provides a reasonable overview of the situation, for when we aren't not well, we must take care of ourselves if we expect to heal.  It also calls into play the fact that, when we are physically ill, it may not be a purely physical illness, rather the illness may be a result of mental or emotional stress.

In times when we are weakened, whether physically, mentally or emotionally, our challenge is to remain strong, which is why Tiwaz, Týr's Rune, the warrior Rune is the challenge in the circumstance.  Tiwaz reminds us that, even when our state is fragile or, perhaps, especially when it is, we must find our courage and overcome the source that is causing us our pain.

 The final Rune is Raido.  I knew this Rune was coming.  Raido represents a journey, a physical move.  This brings me full circle to Fehu.  I live in a place where I struggle (for reasons I won't go into) to find work.  The angst over this multi-year struggle has weighed on me mentally and emotionally for quite a while now and, I believe, is culminating in physical distress.  I am ready to go, but my circumstances are such that I will be here for a year or two more, before my family and I can leave.  I am hopeful that Raido is the Runes telling me it will come and, through Tiwaz, telling me I must be strong a little while longer.

The final tie back to Fehu is this.  Because this place is my home for the next couple of years, I must find some work to tide me over until we can move to the next place.  Having that income that my family needs will reduce my stress and help the physical pain to dissipate.  Finding regular or consistent work won't be easy, but Týr is my warrior god and I find comfort in his support.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Isolation and Focus

In the past week, I have had no less than four conversations with people who, like me, work from home.  While they appreciate the freedom of setting their own hours and following their own work patterns, there is a downside to "being your own boss", when you are also the only person with whom you're working.  You can begin to feel isolated, especially if you are, by nature, a more social human.  Once isolation sets in, the wonderful sense of focus you have with being able to do things in a way that suits your working style becomes a struggle.  So the question I asked my Runes this week is how can we, as people who work at home alone, maintain our focus when we are feeling so isolated by the very position we have chosen?

Uruz.  This is the Rune I have been waiting for for a while.  This is the Rune of strength, of the wild ox, and it is the most appropriate Rune, I think, I could have drawn for this question.  You see, the wild ox is strong, courageous and these attributes come with a conviction to survive the challenges we face.  Better still, as humans, we have the ability to learn and grow from our challenges.  This is a pretty accurate summary of our situation.  Staying strong and focused when we are feeling so separated from the rest of the world is what we are trying to do.  There are those who thrive in this environment, who don't require as much socialization as we do.  In that regard, they are fortunate, because they tend not to experience the same levels of isolation.  But, for those of us who tend toward needing social interactions more frequently, how do we maintain our focus on the work we are doing and remain determined to succeed in this situation?

 The challenge here is, in my view, keeping an eye on the long term benefits of this situation.  This is supported by Dagaz, the Rune of day, light, and clarity.  This approach or way of looking at things addresses two aspects in this case.  First, when we shine the light on the prize (look at the long term or other benefits of working from home), it becomes easier to deal with the struggles and obstacles presented by it.  Second, when we shine the light on our situation and look at all aspects of it, it becomes easier to organize and plan and even interpret.  We know that working from home is isolating, but what can we do to reduce that sensation?  Arrange breaks with friends or family members.  Go for walks or meet for tea or lunch.  Schedule some face-to-face-meetings if you can.  Simply get out of the house and go work in the coffee shop for a few hours.  When you're looking at the whole situation, finding time for these important social interactions becomes easier.

I've named a few actions we can take, in fact that I have taken, but what other things can you do?  Berkana, the action Rune for this question, represents beginnings and creativity.  As we begin to address this issue, we can be as creative as we like or need to be to reduce the isolation.  We have the power to and strength to overcome this challenge of working form home.  From this point forward, what are you going to do to reduce your feeling of isolation so that you can continue to focus effectively?  Let me know.  Post a comment or send me an email.  Have a great week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Fehu

Fehu is interpreted as the Rune of money.  However, strictly speaking, the Rune's original meaning was cattle, because cattle was the first form of money.  It was how wealth was measured.  Of course, today, we have numerous ways by which to measure wealth and wealth does not always refer to financial riches.  How ever you measure your wealth, this week's question is - how can you use Fehu to gain that richness in your life?

I've grown attached to my temporary set of Runes (the picture of which is now included in last week's post), so I used them to answer this week's question and help us to better understand the Rune - Fehu.  They seem to have worked quite well, giving me Wunjo, Dagaz, and Ehwaz.

The Rune of Joy, Wunjo, fits well with this situation, as we are seeking something that aids in our joy or improves our situation.  However, Wunjo also reminds us to be grateful for the things that we possess already, to be thankful for the basic necessities we have in our lives, such as food, shelter, water.  Beyond that, we must remember friends and family and the luxuries of modern life.  When our basic requirements are satisfied, we can begin to look at those things that bring us joy, things that make our lives richer.  In other words, our "cattle" can be money, but money is simply the tool we use to acquire some things that make us happy.  That said, there are plenty of things that require no money, but still give us the feeling of wealth, such as being able to read or write a book, watching a sunrise or sunset.  All of these things are wealth that we pursue.

Every situation faces a challenge and, in the pursuit of wealth, a primary challenge is recognizing that which we consider to be truly valuable.  That is why our challenge is represented by Dagaz, the Rune of day or light.  This translates to the idea of clarity or hope.  Once we see things clearly, gain a greater awareness, our priorities, likewise, become clear.  To me, Dagaz is a strong Rune, because finding your own clarity around important issues is critically important.  Once we make and accept the priorities that we, ourselves, have defined, only then can we begin to follow a true path to the wealth we seek.

Ehwaz, the Rune of the horse, offers the steps we must take to accomplish our pursuit of finding and enjoying those things that enrich our lives.  The horse was sacred to many Germanic tribes and, I believe that, drawing this Rune as the required action to address the question of how best to utilize Fehu, indicates a level of intense commitment.  Unlike Raido, which signals a physical journey, this Rune symbolizes a either spiritual one or the formation of a special partnership, akin to that between horse and rider, or friendship.  If we expect to see the light, to have our epiphany, and live enriched lives, we must take our pursuit of those answers seriously, but realize that what we perceive as wealth may not be perceived so by others.  That does not make us wrong, just of different points of view.

Fehu offers us a way to enrich our lives, to fill our lives with a variety of experiences and, once we realize what truly matters and focus on those things, we will understand Fehu.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Temporary Runes

Once again, I am away from my usual computer on a posting day.  I will add the images when I return, but for now, I ask the question, "Did you forget something?"  This question is quite relevant this week, as I am also away from my Runes.  In all honesty, I forgot them.  So, my question to the Runes this week is - what do I do when I need something that I don't have?

Before I could address this question, I had to make a temporary set of Runes to use.  I divided a piece of paper into 24 even rectangles, then asked for a blessing from the gods (Odin, Heimdall, Freyr) so that I could write the Runes on the paper and they would be imbued with temporary power to offer guidance.  Once the blessing was sorted, I drew the Runes onto the paper rectangles.  Once they were done, I asked the gods for their guidance with the process, since I was working with temporary Runes.

My temporary Runes.  (Photo added 8/13/2012)
Fehu, Hagalaz and Isa offered the guidance to this question.  This was a difficult draw to interpret, but after some thought, I realized that, through the process of making my temporary Runes, I had accomplished my goal.

Fehu is the Rune of wealth.  From a strictly historical perspective, this referred to cattle or money.  However, we must think of wealth as having many potential definitions in today's world.  In this instance, I believe it means a wealth of resources.  For example, my problem was that I didn't have my Runes with me, but the solution lay within many possible choices.  I could have waited until I got back to my office, but that would have delayed my post, so I opted not to choose that path.  I have a very good friend that has a set of Runes.  I could have called her and asked her to draw the Runes for me.  Although I may try this one at some point in the future, I decided I wanted to fend for myself so to speak and not ask for her help.  In thinking of wealth as available resources, I thought of the simplest way to acquire a set of Runes without buying new ones, which was another option.  Thus, I made my temporary set out of a sheet of paper.  That is the perfect overview of this situation.

As is common, Hagalaz challenged me in this draw.  The Rune of hail, of destructive and creative force, is a good challenge.  How can we take a seemingly bad situation and turn it into a good one?  We get creative.  Not having my Runes was a challenge and could have thrown off my weekly posts, but, by being creative, I overcame the challenge that was threatening my plans.

The first two Runes took me a while to reason out, but as soon as I looked at Isa, I knew I had taken the right action.  The Rune of Ice encourages us to exercise caution, for while ice is beautiful, it can cause us to lose our footing quite easily.  This Rune is sometimes referred to as the Rune of standstill (which I used early on in my posts), but I realize that is an oversimplification.  The Runes do not tell us to stand still, but they do offer good warnings of caution.  When I decided to make my temporary Runes, I was very cautious.  Not only did I ask the gods for a blessing on the Runes, but requested their support throughout the process of answering the question as well.  The result is that the answer to my question is the process I went through to be able to answer the question in the first place.

I used the wealth of resources around me to create a  simple, yet effective set of temporary Runes.  I faced the challenge of not having my Runes by being creative and I was cautious while I was making the Runes, even asking the gods for additional guidance.  Most importantly, I did the first reading for myself.  Still, I hope this reading can help you too.