Monday, January 28, 2013

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - Fehu

Today, inspired by the activities of a friend, I begin a new series - Rune Rituals.  This is something I never imagined myself doing, but this is also why the saying "never say never" exists.    Most importantly, I am entering into this ritual, because I believe it will help me with my goal and not out of any act of desperation.  I think that is the key to being successful.

Now, while my friend was showing gratitude for having received some unexpected money, I want to bring money to me this year through my writing.  So, my reason for using Fehu is different.

Although I've never done anything like this myself, I have seen rituals and read about them, so I had a sense of them.  My goal in undertaking this ritual is simple; I want to use Fehu to bring money to me for my writing.

Briefly, here's my reasoning for choosing this as my first ritual.  For those of you who don't know, I have written a novel, called The Son of Nine Sisters, and am working on the sequel.  Through my company, The Jera Institute, I offer professional writing and editing services and lead a variety of writing and communication workshops.  It is through these endeavors that I want to make enough money going forward, so that all I have to do is write.  Now, on with the ritual.

To begin, I made a circle out of money and added some other money inside the circle.  The bowl is full of coins from around the world, because I hope to sell my writing talents internationally.  The small pile of bills includes Canadian and American dollars, because I believe this is where I will derive the majority of my income this year.  My novel is in the circle to represent my writing.  As this is, in my mind, my greatest writing feat to date, it was the most appropriate item to include.  The final items in the circle are three Runes, all Fehu and all made of different material.  The ceramic Fehu is from my original set of Runes, the paper Fehu is from the set of temporary Runes I made last summer, and finally, the guiding Rune, is drawn in water (see image below) next to the small pile of money.

I have been drawn to water my entire life, learning and accepting that it is my primal element when I lived at the beach in southern California.  Dipping my finger into my holy water (in the jar just outside the circle, given by Freyr when I began making my own set of Runes), I drew Fehu inside the circle, while repeating, "Water is my element, Fehu is my goal."  I should note that the jar was inside the circle when I was tracing Fehu with it.  After repeating it nine times and tracing Fehu with fresh water each time, I held my open hands, palms down, over the circle.  With Frigg in my heart, (because she is the one who came when I decided to attempt this ritual), I chanted, "I am open to receiving money; money will come to me for my writing."  Again, I did this nine times.  Nine is an important number in Norse mythology, so I felt it important to use it for the chants in my ritual.

Once I completed the chant, I pulled the energy toward me, nine times from the circle and then nine times from above and beside me.  I ended by reaching my arms out in the shape of Algiz, hands open too, then pulling them into my chest, crossing them in front of me, bowing my head and saying, "I embrace this gift."

Keep in mind that, although I have been using the Runes for readings for several years, this is my first ritual.  Please let me know how and if you use the Runes in your rituals.  I will let you know how this one works for me.  Have a fruitful week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

No More Procrastination

Through procrastination, we simply put off one of two things - the inevitable (ultimately having to complete the task we keep delaying) or failure.  Either way, in the end, we never feel satisfied.  Failure certainly makes us miserable, but there is little gratification in doing something we don't want to do or don't enjoy doing either.  Sometimes it's not even about that; sometimes there is just a lingering fear that we can't quite place or fully understand.  It's time to work on overcoming procrastination.  But how?  I will preface this by prompting you with Jera, the Rune of the harvest, which reminds us that everything is a process.  With that in mind, we can create a plan to get from A to B, but then focus only on one step at a time.  Now, we know some steps are harder than others, so what will it take to complete each step?

Interestingly, Jera was my second Rune in this line of questioning, so let's look at it in relation to the other two Runes I drew - Sowilo and Uruz - the Runes of the sun and aurochs, respectively.  These three Runes not only link and work together well, but they create a strong united force.

Remember, through Jera, we recognize that we are somewhere in the middle of a process.  To complete the process successfully, we create a plan.  Within that plan exists a series of steps to lead us to point B.  Rather than keeping our focus on B, we keep an eye on it, but focus instead on the individual steps in front of us.

Building on Jera as each step in the process needs to be completed, we gain support from Sowilo, the sun - a feminine energy to brighten our spirits and guide us with light and energy - and aurochs, the ox - a symbol of slow and steady strength, of courage and determination.

Another way to think about this is from the perspective of the farm field.  What do your crops need to grow?  The sun is a key ingredient.  How do you get the crops planted and harvested?  Through the strength of the ox that carries and pulls your plow, your wagon, and your other tools.  It's a simple example, I know.  But, think of how it applies to your life. 

What do you need to finish your project?  Use the strength of Uruz to find your own strength or tool to finish the job.  Find the light and energy offered by Sowilo to end the procrastination and feel good about finishing the task at hand.  As you go through this process and let these Runes of light and strength guide your progress, empower yourself and let your confidence grow.  You can do this and  do it well, then enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming procrastination.

I would wish you luck, but you don't need luck, you have the wisdom of the Runes to guide you.  Let me know how it goes; I have a few things to finish off myself this week and now I  know how to do it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Set Goals; Don't Make Resolutions

It's the second full week of 2013; how are your resolutions coming?  I decided long ago that I wasn't going to make any new years resolutions, because I rarely followed through on them.  However, I found that if I changed the idea from a resolution to a goal, I fared much better.  It is to that end that I asked the Runes how we can be successful in accomplishing our goals for 2013.

For the draw, and in practice for my soon-to-be new set of Runes, I tried a different approach.  Instead of reaching into the bag and pulling out the Runes, I held them all in my hands above (but not directly over) my head and began dropping them not one at a time, but let them fall as my hands moved back and forth.  Going forward, this is the likely method I will use, because I did this once, then tried a different approach that didn't work, then tried dropping them again and got the same three Runes as I did the first time.  I took the first three that fell face up.  They were Fehu, Jera, and Raido.

Fehu was an interesting first Rune, because its core meaning is cattle or money.  However, given the line of questioning, I take this to represent something that will make you wealthier, not necessarily in the financial sense.  For example, I have writing goals this year and one of the main reasons I write is because it makes me happy and, happiness is a form of wealth in our lives.  I believe that this is what Fehu in the first position is telling us.  If we expect to be successful in accomplishing our goals, we must set goals around things that will bring some form of wealth into our lives.

My favorite Rune, Jera, was next.  The Rune of the harvest and process is the best reminder that the goals are not going to happen over night.  Success comes from applying ourselves every day and committing to bringing the goals to fruition.  It means dealing with set backs and staying focused so that we can move forward.  Create a plan with some manageable steps will help too.  For example, don't just say you're going to get a new job, set metrics like how many resumes you're going to send out a week, how many cold calls you're going to make, and how many sources you have for finding work.  Whatever your goal is, realize that there is a process related to it, have patience, and work with the process.

Finally, Raido, the Rune of travel and journey.  This journey can occur in any state - physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  What is represents primarily is the idea that you must keep things moving forward and, in this way, it supports Jera's focus on process.  You cannot make progress toward your goal if you don't move forward.  Simply put, Raido takes you from where you are to where you want to be.

What are some goals you've set for 2013?  How will you accomplish them?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes 6

Wow!  I just realized that I haven't posted anything about making my own Runes since July.  My apologies.  I let life get in the way of completing this project.  However, I have committed to finishing it before spring and I made some good headway yesterday.  I even learned a couple of new things and had some realizations from my last post about making Runes (Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes 5) reinforced.

For starters, completing the project in a more timely fashion would have made the process easier.  The wood is drying out and the larger pieces were harder to carve out the space for engraving the Runes.  Because the wood is dry, the bark is also dry and it is separating a bit from the wood.  In short, the bark could easily come off the wood and I am trying to keep it on.  In a few instances when the bent chisel missed its mark, I cut into the bark and, though it didn't sever completely from the stave, it did lift away from it.  I hope that the varnish will help hold things together.

Staves being carved out to engrave Runes on them.
When I started carving, I began with the thinnest staves.  They were easy and pretty straight forward, the experience being as I mentioned in my last post.  They are on the left side of the pictures.  However, the wider staves were harder to carve out; that is to say the wood was harder, which made carving more difficult.  I still have five of the wider staves left to carve.

As you can see from the pictures, not all of the carved out spaces are located on the same place on the staves.  Some are in the middle and some are at the end.  I chose the spaces based on each individual stave's characteristics.  Some had natural flat spots, others had knots or spots where smaller branches had been growing out.  I worked with these natural aspects of the staves.

From this carving experience, I have learned a few important things.  I knew I wasn't a carpenter or wood-working artist, so I wasn't expecting perfection, but next time I make a set of Runes, I will consult first with someone who is one of those things.  I still won't expect perfection, but I am sure they can give me some pointers to make the process easier.  Given I am not endowed with these talents, the other thing I've learned or accepted is that I need to let go of any expectations I may have had about how the Runes will look when they are done.  To that end, just as I worked with the individual features of each stave, so have I embraced the fact that, while they may not look perfect or beautiful or any of that when they are done, they will be mine and each one will be as unique as the meaning of the Rune engraved on it.

As before, if you have made a set of Runes or have a story about your Runes that you would like to share, I invite you to leave a comment on this post or contact me directly.  I think this is an important part of the process and I enjoy learning about other people's experiences.