Monday, May 13, 2013

Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes 9

These are the Runes I was making.  About half were done except for staining and varnishing and the other half needed to be engraved, stained, and varnished.  I speak about them in the past tense, because, last weekend, they were ruined - bark peeled off.  While there was no mal-intent involved, such an invasion on something so personal renders them unusable.

So, what to do?  I was devastated and, for a moment, lost.  I have been following a very specific path with those Runes, beginning with cutting the wood just over a year ago (Runes 301- 2).  Still, the thought of giving up never crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure how to proceed.

I wanted to start again, but our cherry tree has already blossomed, so I can't do that for another year.  I decided that maybe what happened was to tell me that I was being too rigid in my process; that this isn't the right time to attempt the historical accuracy (as I understand it) in making the Runes.

I've seen plenty of Rune sets made of wood and all have been cut like coins/medallions, so that's what I decided to do for now.  We have plenty of cedar trees in our yard, so I cut a few of the smaller ones and sliced them into 1/2 inch medallions - enough for six sets, just in case.  (I learned my lesson having only one for the cherry staves.)

On Saturday, I sanded them smooth.  Rather than engrave or burn them, I painted them after I asked for a blessing from Freyr on the Runes and painting markers.  Many people have asked me why Freyr comes up so often for the Runes and the only answer I can give is that he is the god of fertility and I want my Runes to be fertile with knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.

When I stained them on Sunday, I invoked Heimdall, because he gave the Runes to humans through his son, Jarl.  I pricked the index finger of my left hand and pressed a single drop of blood onto the back of each Rune.  Once it was dry, I used a non-toxic varnish to seal the Runes. (Two coats.)

I am happy to present my first two Rune sets.  I love them and I am so glad I didn't quit when the other set became unusable.

The bottom set is painted with blue paint only and this is the one I will probably use most often.  The top is painted using multiple colors.  I made the latter this way for two reasons.  First, I did it, because I also work with colors, using a color system I devised, wherein each of about fifty colors represents different emotions or aspects of our mood, energy, and mindset.  For me, identifying Runes with those colors gives them a little extra power and focus.  The other reason I used the color is simply because it's fun.  Color livens things up and, maybe that's part of the power and focus; colors' power is to enliven.

This entire process made me think of Hagalaz, the hail Rune.  I think this situation exemplifies this Rune perfectly.  Hagalaz brings destruction initially - the bark peeling of my original set.  But, hail is a form of moisture, so it also brings nutrients we need to survive - the making of the new sets.  However, hail is also associated with creativity and I didn't just make a second set.  This time, I incorporated another aspect of my life that's important - color - into one of the new sets - and let go of my goal to achieve historical accuracy with my first set of Runes.

If you have made your own Runes, please let us know.  Share your experience; email me pictures of them.  if I get enough images and your permission, I will share them in a future post.

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