Monday, May 26, 2014

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - Freyr's Fertility

Rituals are an important part of my relationship with the Runes.  I don't do them often, February being the last time I conducted one.    Last November, I performed a ritual around the importance of pacing yourself and, before that, it was the end of last summer, when I honored Idunn.

I have been waiting to do this ritual since February, when I acknowledged the return of light (the to the northern hemisphere).  A month later, I acknowledged a very important point in Earth's annual cycle - the equinox.  These were two key times leading up to the moment when I could till the soil and seed the ground.  After an unusually long winter and a short, wet spring, that meant keeping my plants inside for a while longer than usual, planting season has finally arrived along with the optimism that it will yield a bountiful harvest.

A bountiful harvest requires fertile ground and, when I need that kind of fertility, there is only one Norse god whose energy I seek - Freyr, the god of peace and plenty.  It is to his essence that I dedicate my annual planting ritual.

With the soil turned and ready for planting, I go through a three-step process to honor the fertility god.

24 rocks laid out as Ingwaz
First, I lay out 24 rocks in the shape of Ingwaz, Freyr's Rune.  Each rock represents a Rune and I say each one as I lay down a rock to build Ingwaz's shape.  I confess, it wasn't until my third year doing this that I didn't use a reference to make sure I had the Runes in proper order (mostly because I was a little nervous).

Once the rocks are laid out and I have said the name of each Rune as I laid down each rock, I stand and face northwest and say, "I turn this soil in your honor, Freyr."  (Whenever a ritual involves Freyr, I face northwest when chanting or calling to him.  That is my choice for no other reason than it just feels right; I have a friend who faces east to catch the rising sun; so it is your choice.)

Runes laid out as Ingwaz with
dedication plant in the center
Second, I remove the rocks and make a smaller Ingwaz shape with my Runes.  Again, I say each Rune as I lay it down.  I keep this step separate to help show (visualize) how the soil goes from gray/black dirt to the beginning of plant life with a touch of green.  Once the shape is complete, I take one of my plants and place it in Ingwaz's center.  This year I chose 'the runt of the litter', a small melon plant, because I wasn't sure it was going to survive.  With a little TLC, it sprouted a couple of new leaves, signifying to me Freyr's powerful fertility. With the plant in the center, I go around Ingwaz one more time, touching each Rune as I say its name.

To finish this step, I stand and face northwest again and say, "Freyr, I believe in your power to provide fertility to the planet, to nourish the Earth and all things that live here. This plant represents the garden I dedicate to you."

The third step happens after the garden is planted and the green life becomes more obvious.  I have a jar of holy water, received from Freyr through rain, that I sprinkle around the garden.  Expressing my gratitude to the fertility god, I say, "I believe in the power of Freyr to provide fertility to the planet. My gods walk with me and I know that Freyr will nourish my efforts."

My plants waiting to go into the garden
I have completed the first two steps and will complete step three later this week, once my plants are in the ground.

Do you perform any rituals that you're willing to share?  If so, leave a comment on this post or email me.

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