Monday, April 29, 2013

Runes 403 - Rune Interpretations - Time

Over the weekend, I had a conversation with a friend about time and Runes.  When she arrived at my house, I was just putting away my Runes.  She was curious about them and how I found time to do anything besides the big three - working, taking care of the kids, and cleaning the house.

To that end, I posed this question to the Runes for her: How can we best manage our time?

The response from the Runes was more than I had anticipated.  It focused on the true intent of the question which, on a basal level, was how can we spend time doing things we enjoy without feeling stressed, like we should be working or cleaning or doing something else?

The Runes pointed out that time is a special gift, showing us Gebo, the gift Rune.  Gebo does not mean only a physical gift, rather the act of giving.  With respect to our question, Gebo refers to both, because time is a precious gift and, when we give it, whatever or whomever we give it to is receiving that important aspect of us.  This begs the question, who or what appreciates my time?  Following on that, if I am giving my time to someone or something that doesn't appreciate it, why am I doing it?  The second question matters not necessarily because our time has to be appreciated directly when we give it, but more so that we understand why we give it to that person or thing.  For example, we may not feel appreciated at work, but we work so that we can provide financially for our families.  So, when considering how you manage your time, consider why you're doing what you're doing and how is it appreciated.

The second Rune is the hail Rune, Hagalaz.  Hagalaz reminds us that, no matter how much planning and effort we put into managing our time, it will not always be smooth sailing.  Things will happen that will disrupt our schedule.  When something interrupts our schedule, it can have the frustrating effects of throwing us off our mark.  That is the first part of hail; it damages things.  However, if, instead of fighting the disruption, we accept it and are open to the fact that we may be a little behind in other things for a while, we find that we are less stressed about the storm and more able to get back in the swing of things once it passes.  This is the second part of Hagalaz, because while hail causes damage initially, it is also a source of moisture.  Applying that idea to today's world, we can use interruptions as opportunities to look at how we use our time.  this relates to one of the biggest problems I find my coaching clients dealing with.  They are simply trying to do too much at once.  Hagalaz simply breaks down that precarious situation and says, "Reassess what you're doing," to which I would add... and the time frame in which you're trying to accomplish it.

What is the point of recognizing that time is a precious gift and that no matter how well we try to plan the ways we use/spend it something will go awry?  Othala, the Rune of the homestead and inheritance holds the answer to that aspect of this situation.  Simply put, do you live to work or work to live?  This is where priorities come into play.  Everyone has different priorities and sees different benefits in the same situation.  What is important to remember is that everything has good and bad components, trade offs if you will.  If you work 60-80 hours a week, you aren't at home as often as you might like to be, but maybe working that extra time allows for very special family vacations.  Neither is right, nether is wrong, but only you can decide which is the best way to spend your time.

After my friend and I did this draw and I interpreted what I believed the Runes were telling us, she said it made sense, but she didn't feel like the Runes were really giving her any details.  I smiled and reiterated that the Runes were telling her that her time is a precious gift and that when her time gets disrupted, it is an opportunity to evaluate how you spend your time.  More over, only she could determine how to use it or where to spend it, but that what was important in determining how to spend her time was figuring out where her priorities lie.  She already knew her personal details; she just needs to sort them out.

In honor of her question, later today, I will be creating my own weekly schedule to help me make the most of my time.  How about you?  What do you use to manage your time? 

*This post was written with the permission of the friend to whom I refer.  I never use any Rune readings without consent of the person for whom the reading is undertaken.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Recovery

It's never easy when someone we love is hurting or ill or having surgery.  This week, someone I love very much is having major surgery.  To help her with her recovery and to send her a little reminder that I love her and will be thinking of her, I wanted to make her a bind Rune.  It was just a month ago, that I attempted my first bind Rune, but I was committed to the idea.

The question was which Runes to use.  I wanted to make sure the focus was on her recovery and not on the surgery itself.  Last night, I ended up dumping my Runes onto my bed and staring at them for about an hour, slowly and thoughtfully removing Runes that weren't right for this undertaking.

I got down to nine Runes, laid them out in a diamond, and the three running down the middle seemed perfect - Othala, Nauthiz, and Dagaz.  Scooping the others back into the bag, I spent about half an hour trying to sketch a bind Rune using those three, but couldn't get it to look or feel quite right.

So, I threw those three Runes back into the bag too, thinking I would start from scratch.  The Runes had other plans, a slight correction.

Reaching into the bag, I pulled out Othala; that would represent the heart of the bind Rune.  Dagaz came out second, to serve as the support.  Third was not Nauthiz, rather Mannaz, which would go on top.  I had fumbled with Mannaz when I was ruling out Runes; I actually had it in my hand for a few minutes, while I contemplated other Runes, because I couldn't see how it fit.

However, with Mannaz and my poor sketches, the bind Rune fell into perfectly balanced place.  At the bottom, rests Dagaz, the Rune of day and clarity.  In this case, I would go so far as to say optimism, because once she begins her recovery, not only will she need to have a positive mindset, but optimism provides her with a positive feedback as she begins to feel better and helps her to fight and stay focused on getting better.  This is interesting, because, as this gives Dagaz double duty, Dagaz also appears twice in the bind Rune.

Stemming from the middle, Othala represents the homestead and inheritance, basically meaning being able to enjoy those things as she begins to feel better.  In some ways, this is an extension of Othala from two weeks ago, when I wanted to make the most of the weekend with my siblings.  After all, isn't family part of the homestead?

In the top position lies Mannaz, the Rune of the self or higher self.  This is who we really are, what makes us human.  Mannaz implies that this isn't just about her recovery, but about her whole being, her truths, fears, dreams, strengths, and weaknesses.  In a way, although Othala is located at the heart of the bind Rune, it's really there to support the true heart - her, her true self - as she recovers.

Have you ever made a bind Rune for someone?  I can't wait to give her her bind Rune later today.  I hope she likes it!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - Ansuz

At the end of January, I undertook my first Rune ritual using Fehu.  It was a money ritual, because who doesn't want to make money?  Today, I want to build on that ritual and add Ansuz to help me better focus on my goals, so that I am making money doing what I love.  That sounds even better than simply making money, right? 

I was a little unsure how to go about it, what to do or incorporate into the ritual.  To resolve this, I simply asked the Runes for a little guidance and got a good laugh as I pulled out Wunjo, Laguz, and Ansuz itself.

What this tells me is that I already know the answer.  If I want Ansuz to enrich my first ritual with Fehu, I should bring my joy for writing into it, relax, let that passion flow into the process, and focus on the things around which I want to make a living - writing and communication.

I should note that Ansuz is the Rune I chose, because it is the Rune of the mouth or communication, which leads to writing for me.  You must choose the Rune that best represents your passion.  Please feel free to contact me if I an help with that.

My Fehu ritual focused very strongly on Fehu, but after I completed my first bind Rune, which included Fehu, Ansuz, and my guiding Rune - Jera, I felt like I wanted to balance my energy around my 2013 goal of making my living solely off my writing and communication work.  This meant adding to my ritual more of how I want to earn my money.  Although I included my novel, The Son of Nine Sisters, in the first money circle, that is only one piece of my writing and communication work.

This time in addition to my novel, I included more aspects of my company to the mix - my business cards, Runes (in the gray bag) to represent this blog, an image I use in some of my communication workshops, and two pictures from one of my retreats where we did some creative writing and collage work.  In addition, there are three short stacks of coins, to represent (in a small way) the living I want to earn, and three Runes from my temporary Runes - Fehu, Ansuz, and Jera.  I included Jera for a couple of reasons.  Not only is it my guiding Rune, reminding me that there is a process involved in all that we undertake and that we must respect that process and not try to cheat it, but it is also the name of my company - The Jera Institute.

Once the circle was complete and the contents inside, I began the Ritual.  Closing my eyes as I sat next to the circle, I saw Frigg as I did the last time.  However, Ansuz is related to Odin, so I tried to see him too.  He was there, but his image was hazy, almost only a shadow.  Interestingly, over his left shoulder, with Frigg, I saw Tyr to her right, Heimdall under her and Freyr under him (left of Odin's shadowy shoulder).  Odin has never come clearly to me, but Freyr and Tyr are strong and Heimdall seems to be the one who is teaching me the Runes, just as he taught hi son, Jarl.

With the gods engaged, I acknowledged them and my intention, "In this circle lies my professional focus.  My goal is to earn a living using my innate skills.  I must keep my focus on that which lies in the circle.  Through this I also express my gratitude to the essence of the gods."

Then, I chanted on the Runes, repeating the chant nine times.  I added Jera for myself, but the chant could be complete with the first two lines and you can substitute for Ansuz the Rune you choose to represent your passion.  As I chanted, I held my hands open, face down, over the money circle and moved them around it as I spoke.

While my income and client list are growing, thanks to my first ritual, I am hopeful that going through this ritual will help me accomplish two more things.  First and obviously, I want to earn more of my income through writing and communication.  Second, I want this ritual to remind me to focus my efforts on writing and communication with fewer distractions and digressions.

What Rune would you choose to represent your passion so that you can earn a living at it?  Please share your comments and have a fruitful and satisfying week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Othala

I spent the weekend with my siblings (all six of them), some nieces, nephews, and a couple of cousins where we all grew up.  I knew it would be great to see them all again, but I also knew that there would be challenges in getting through the three day event.  Still, it got me thinking about Othala, the Rune of the homestead and inheritance and I decided to ask the Runes how to work with Othala so that I could enjoy thoroughly the time with my brothers and sisters.

I had quite a chuckle when the first Rune that I drew was Laguz, but was surprised that I did not draw Perthro as one of the other two Runes, because it is the Rune of social gatherings and games of skill, which seemed to fit into the way our family functions usually go.  Instead, after Laguz, came Ehwaz and Dagaz, the Runes related to a pleasurable journey and clarity.  Let's sort them out.

I laughed at Laguz, the water Rune, because the saying that I associate with this Rune is, "Go with the flow."  This is good advice whenever you're interacting with a large group, but especially when dealing with family.  Essentially, in this instance, Laguz reminds us that we are not going to see eye-to-eye with everyone (in the group) or everything and we can choose to get along and be respectful or fight and argue over every little thing.  This is sage advice and something I strove to do over the weekend.

Ehwaz is the horse Rune, signifying two things, travel and the relationship between horse and rider.  Travel fits in this situation, because we traveled from the northwest and west of the US and from Canada to the place where we grew up.  Although we did not travel by horse, what we need to recognize is that the horse represented easier and safer travel than walking.  The second aspect of Ehwaz is that the relationship that a rider has with his/her horse is one of trust and closeness.  Interestingly, no matter what disagreements may exist among family members there is a trust that, if push come to shove, your family will be there for you.  This provides the underlying strength in returning to Othala's homestead.

Dagaz is the Rune of the day.  Although this Rune represents the idea of clarity, in this instance, I believe that clarity can come only through contemplation and reflection first over what transpired during our three days together.  It gives us pause to realize the importance of Othala in representing homestead and heritage, in recognizing family traditions and how each of us interpreted those traditions and experiences into our own lives.  Dagaz allows us to realize what we've learned, how we've grown, and how we appreciate not only where we came from, but that we shared that experience with each other and can relate to it in our own way as a group and as individuals.

Othala's importance reminds us of our connection or bond to our roots, our family, our past, and how those things influenced and shaped who we are today.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Runes 102 - Book Review - The Rune Primer

Shortly after I started this blog, someone suggested that I get a book called The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes, by Sweyn Plowright.  Heeding this advice, I bought the book, because I had been relying on Blum's, Book of Runes.  However, I was already aware of the the issues with that book, but had not found another book that resonated with me.

This book was a pleasant surprise and suited me well, because it deals primarily with the facts about what we know about the Runes.  In fact, Plowright states flat out in his introduction that the purpose of the book is "to keep it brief and to the point, to stick to the known facts and established conventions, and to avoid unnecessary elaborations."  To that end, Plowright fulfilled his goal.

His approach worked well for me, because I sought a deeper understanding of individual Runes.  Moreover, I found that the simplicity of the book allowed me to more openly and confidently interpret the Runes in a way that felt comfortable and accurate and allowed me to grow with the way I understand them.  Plus, as someone whose life has been spent in academia and around academics and researchers, I connected with his focus on factual information without a bunch of detailed interpretations or or his own influences.

In fact,  I use his book as much more of a workbook or reference book, because of the contents.  It contains the Rune poems in two ways.  First, he lists all three together for each Rune.  In the "Resources"section of the book, he lists them again by location (Old English, Old Icelandic,and Old Norwegian).  In this section he includes the original text and the modern translation.  In addition, there is an interpretation section, but, even within that, the details do not overwhelm the reader, rather give broad strokes and allow the reader to development his/her own more detailed sense of each Rune.

Plowright is also what I would consider a purist.  This has both positive and negative connotations.  I appreciate his desire to be as historically accurate with Rune use and interpretation as possible.  As I undertake to make my first set of Runes (Runes 301 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8), I am trying to make them in the same historically accurate fashion, because it is important to me.  However, on some level, he scorns some of the modern day, new age, uses of Runes, because they are not based on known information or historical sources.  While I appreciate this, I think it is important for there to be some evolution in Rune interpretation to keep them relevant to today's lifestyle.

For example, Fehu translates literally as cattle, but it has evolved into the idea of wealth and, following on that, the reality that wealth has many forms beyond mere financial gains.  My guiding Rune is Jera; it represents the harvest, but for me, the harvest is simply the final stage in a long focused process and it is the process idea where I use Jera, because if we want to have a successful harvest, whether it is growing crops, writing a book or any other endeavor, we must acknowledge the process and work with it.

The Rune Primer is a great resource for those looking for a solid entrance into using Runes and I recommend it for that.  Even with his negative scrutiny of some modern authors and Rune users, Plowright does make some very important points - you should ask critical questions, understand where authors derive their information, and have a basic understanding of the history and origin of Runes - and I recommend it for that too.