Welcome to 2014! This year, I am proposing a different approach to the new year. Instead of jumping right in to making resolutions, I propose first releasing disappointment, which I'll explain in a moment. I do this for two reasons. For starters, I am not a fan of resolutions, if for no other reason than they tend to be "commitments" we make on a lark or because we are expected to and not because we are truly committed to completing them; as a result, we create little or no infrastructure to support or ensure our success. The only thing the accomplishes in the end is adding stress to our lives. Second, building the support to accomplishing goals is far different from making well-intended, but not necessarily realistic proclamations.
Briefly, before drawing the Runes for this week, I want to explain what I mean by releasing disappointment. When things don't go our way (the way we though or hoped they would) or we "fail" to complete something we say we're going to do, we go through emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness. What I suggest is that by releasing those feelings, we let go of the disappointment that underlies them. Infused within this idea is the creation of support to ensure success in not only accomplishing goals, but. equally important, becoming adaptable when challenges and obstacles present themselves. In this way, we empower ourselves and, instead of dwelling on negative things, focus on positive potential.
So, what did the Runes tell me when I asked them what we can do to release disappointment? Berkana, Jera, and Dagaz provide the answers.
I could not have asked for a better first Rune in answer to this question. Berkana, the birch Rune, deals with birth and beginnings with a splash of creativity thrown in. Two weeks ago, when I drew winter solstice Runes, this Rune also came first and presented the solstice as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Similarly, by letting go of our disappointment, we allow ourselves to begin anew. The fact that this comes with the beginning of the new calendar year just reinforces the idea. Put simply, whenever we decide to release disappointment and stop being hard on ourselves and/or others, we find ourselves at a starting point and with an opportunity to move forward in a more positive way. Just as the birch grows again in the spring, so too can we.
Our second Rune is my personal guiding Rune and the perfect Rune in this position for this question. Jera reiterates what I stated above about building support and infrastructure around the things we want to accomplish. If a farmer doesn't give her seeds enough room to grow, enough water, minerals and sunlight... and time, she will not have a very good harvest. This metaphor can be transferred to any other process. In addition, Jera is both complex and simple at once. It incorporates time (a year), the harvest (a cycle), and process (how the cycle functions). Yet, within these layers, is the simplicity of doing what must be done. The challenge arises when obstacles make what must be done a very curved, twisted and contorted path. This aspect can be overwhelming, so, where do we find the strength and focus and desire to accept those turns and keep moving forward toward our dreams?
The answer is simply Dagaz, the day Rune. If we have created a good plan, even if things go awry, if the plan's foundation is strong and stable, we can manage the bumps and loop-de-loops that occur. The challenge within this is to recognize that the process will not be a straight line and to not be disappointed when the first bumps comes into view. It is not a sign of impending failure or doom. We must simply shed the darkness that these obstacles bring; move out of the shadow and take step into the light. In this sense, Dagaz represents our capacity to think critically, instead of responding emotionally. We know that everything seems clearer in daylight than in darkness, but it is what we do with the things we can see that makes the difference. Look at all the pieces. See how they fit together. Weigh options. Then, when you're ready, take the first step.