Monday, November 4, 2013

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - Pace Yourself

We've all heard and probably used one or more of these idioms in our lives:

"Don't put the cart in front of the horse."    "Don't jump to conclusions."
"Don't get ahead of yourself."                      "Slow and steady wins the race."

But, why is pacing ourselves important?  This is a question I've pondered... a lot!  In fact, it is why I named my company the Jera Institute.

Jera represents the year, the harvest, a cycle or process.  Everything has a process through which it must go to fruition and that process must be honored.  When we skip steps, race through them or jump ahead, we can run into trouble and create problems for ourselves or others.  That is a key reason why pacing ourselves is important, though not always easy, because it requires patience.  Jera represents the importance of process and, in turn, setting and following a pace.  This is particularly important when we have a strong tie (usually emotional) to the outcome.

Given its importance, I decided to conduct a ritual to remind myself that pacing yourself is important and to acknowledge the subtle difference between the routineness of following a schedule and creating an overarching  pace.

For the past week, I've had this image in my head.  Tiwaz painted on a light-colored angular, yet oval-ish rock.  This was the foundation for the ritual, but it took me a few days of contemplating it to figure out why.  It's Tyr's story; it's how he lost his hand.  Tyr placed his hand in Fenrir's mouth, knowing the wolf was going to bite it off once he realized he could not break free from Gleipnir, the tether the gods used to bind him.  But, it was Tyr's ability to remain calm to show a stable, confident pace as he walked up, placed and kept his hand in the wolf's mouth, while the wolf twisted, turned and writhed trying to escape.  It's that calm that's required when you know the outcome or you're trying to force a particular outcome that is the pace.  You're not rushing to the outcome, not trying to make it happen before its time.  That is why Tyr's Rune is this ritual's cornerstone.

In addition to Tiwaz, I asked the Runes what else they would like me to know about pace.  Interestingly, I drew Jera first, reinforcing what I said above about honoring the process.  Nauthiz came second and made me feel that everything to this point is right on track; we are using the things we need to complete this ritual honoring the importance of pace.  Doubly though, it strengthens the idea of needing to establish and or maintain a pace, especially in situations where we are so tied to the outcome.  Finally, I pulled Ehwaz, the horse.  With regard to pace, I think the final line of Ehwaz's Rune poem offers the perfect summary - it is, to the wanderer, ever a benefit.  If pace is the 'it' in this line is pace, it benefits the wanderer, by giving direction and consistency.

My turtle's name
The last piece for this ritual is a turtle, oddly enough named Pace.  It was a gift from my husband when I was struggling through the data processing of my Master's thesis.  It reminded me that, like Tyr, I just needed to do what had to be done in a calm and consistent way, and the outcome would be my degree.  Although Tyr lost his hand, he knew and was linked to the outcome - everyone was safe from the wolf.

With these pieces in place, I began the ritual by setting up its three aspects.  Tiwaz, painted on the rock representing Tyr's calm and confident pace, gives the energy of this great god to the ritual.  The three Runes I drew explain the importance of setting a pace.  At last, I set down Pace, my ceramic turtle, as a personal example of how pace, in a situation when I was so eager to reach the outcome, was important to reaching that outcome successfully, without skipping a step to get there.

As I laid down each item for the ritual, I chanted, "I am grateful for Tyr's brave example of setting and maintaining a pace.  When I am strongly tied to the outcome of a process, I must remember the importance of pacing myself.  Pacing myself has been successful in the past and will be again."

Once all three pieces were in place, I took a breath, held my hands over each piece and repeated my chant over each one, taking a deep breath and exhaling before moving to the next one.

I know it's not poetry, but the repetition solidified the essence of the ritual's components and the importance pacing myself.  The next time I start to get ahead of myself, I will recall this ritual and remember Tyr and find the right pace.

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