Monday, June 17, 2013

Runes for the Solstice

At the end of the week, we will celebrate the summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere).  Back in March, I embraced the equinox and the increased daylight, by looking at Sowilo, the sun Rune.  With the sun reaching its annual zenith in the sky, I want to acknowledge this cycle and ask the Runes - How can we incorporate this warm energy into the next three months (until the autumnal equinox)?  How can we engage this vibrant time of Earth's annual cycle?

Although I was drawing three Runes, four came out; Ingwaz stuck tightly to Mannaz, which I will come back to shortly.  For now, let's look at the first two Runes - Gebo and Berkana.

Gebo is placed perfectly as the first Rune in this draw.  The gift Rune reminds us to be grateful for the gifts we receive as part of the solstice.  It is summer, the season of warmth, fun, and high energy.  These are the aspects of this time that we should engage.  It is as if the Runes are saying, "You have been given this amazing time of year, full of long, warm days.  Go out and enjoy it, make the most of it; use the energy to lift your spirits and propel you forward."  What a wonderful gift.

Berkana was second.  I would have expected this Rune in March, as the Rune of beginnings, but we must remember that it is also the Rune of birth... of life.  In this view, it supports what Gebo tells us.  This is a time of pure potential, full of life and, once again, energy.  I feel as if the energy is encircling us, just waiting for us to reach out, touch it, swim into its flow... to share it.  We have spent the time since the equinox planting our seeds, nurturing and tending to them.  Now, things are beginning to happen.  Our seeds have sprouted, are flowering, and some are already bearing fruit.  This is what we build on and celebrate in the summer.  However, we must also recognize that the process is not complete, but like the zenith sun, is reaching its high point.

Our third Rune is Mannaz, the Rune of the self, the higher self, and humanity.  I struggle with this Rune sometimes, because it seems to encompass everything from who I am and aspire to be to everything that makes us human and creates humanity as a whole.  How do we focus this Rune to a particular thing?  Of course, I realize, we can't.  What this Rune says is that the experience is not only about us.  It has to be about all levels, because we shape humanity and humanity also shapes us.  Whether we think so or not, we are constantly playing a role in defining what humanity is and how it works.  While we must approach things through our own experiences, our actions affect more than our own outcomes.

Here's the really interesting part of this draw.  A fourth Rune, Ingwaz, attached itself to Mannaz, which sends a very powerful message to me about the state of humanity and our ability to impact it.  Ingwaz is Freyr's Rune, a fertility Rune.  While I am consciously drawn to Tiwaz and Tyr, Freyr seems to appear out of nowhere, when I am least expecting it.  Yet, his approach is gentle, but confident and comfortable, and it reinforces the idea that "now is the time".  In this instance, I believe that Freyr's essence represents a reminder or reassurance that supports everything symbolized in the other three Runes.  Not only are we entering a time of warmth, energy, and fun, but a fertile time, which makes the gift of the solstice even greater.  The seeds we planted during the last few months have become fertile, thanks to our care.  And, finally, as we engage and acknowledge the solstice, the pieces begin to come together for us as individuals and to shape our world.

As we embrace the solstice and express our gratitude for its gifts, we must carry it one step further and take the feeling it gives us and share it widely.  Share the warmth, the fun, and the energy.

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