Monday, September 22, 2014

Balance Runes for the Equinox

When major changes happen in our lives, we get pulled in the direction of the energy causing the change; sometimes we can feel like we are living a completely different life from that which we lived only a week or a month before.  Dramatic shifts like this can create the sense of being out of balance.  Given that we are approaching the equinox this week, a time of worldwide balance, I asked the Runes how we can find balance when a life shift makes us feel like we are on the verge of losing our balance.

The response I got was not what I was expecting at all.  The image above, of a stream swirling through a calm forest is what I was thinking about; taking time, even a moment, to relax, regroup, and move forward calmly.  That was my image.  The Runes had other thoughts entirely - sometimes things take over our lives and we must embrace them.

Yes, I know that Thurisaz is considered a power not to be reckoned with and carries with it negative connotations and warnings, but that is not what this Rune represents for me.  In fact, I don't think of any Rune as being good or bad and I see Thurisaz as a Rune of great power.  What matters is how we channel that power.  If any warning comes with it, it is to be careful to properly manage it so that it doesn't overtake you or worse, someone else.  Perhaps that is the warning that comes with my question; however, I tend to believe that Thurisaz is telling us it is okay to be out of balance sometimes; that being a bit out of balance, giving more weight to one aspect of your life for a while, can actually be quite empowering.  Don't back away from the change, but manage its force positively.

If I doubted that interpretation, Gebo as the second Rune, reinforces what Thurisaz is saying.  Although we like to feel like we have balance in our lives, no one does, not all the time.  Being out of balance or feeling close to it can be a gift.  For example, I just started a new job and, though I am enjoying it very much, it has meant that other parts of my life, like this blog, don't get the same amount of my time as they used to and it feels out of balance.  As we approach the equinox, that feeling is becoming more obvious to me.  But what the Runes are telling me is that this shift in my life is a gift to embrace, for if we don't get out of balance once in a while, how will we grow and change?  Evolve and experience new and exciting things?

I believe that is why Berkana came third in this draw.  Moments spent out of balance, experiencing things outside of our comfort zone or that we haven't experienced in a while bring out our creativity.  They inspire and energize us.  Without these out of balance moments, we would not have beginnings, the beginnings that Berkana represents.

So, as we approach this equinox, if you are feeling a bit out of balance, do not fear.  Embrace the energy that is pulling you and turn it into something positive, a growth experience.  Consider it a gift that is leading you to new paths or helping you develop new skills, but in some way offering you a positive beginning.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Runes 301 - Making Your Own Runes - New Runes

I am not sure how many people have contacted me to say that someone has given them a set of Runes and they want to know how to make the Runes their own, but I know it's a lot.  In fact, it is one of the most common inquiries I receive.

Making new Runes your own is different from making your own Runes.  As we saw in some of the recent posts of sets of Runes that people made, each one of my friends had a very personal experience when making their own Runes, regardless of the material used - driftwood, ash keys, and chestnuts.

But what sort of experience do you need to have when you get Runes from someone else or even buy a set for yourself.  In short, how do you make new Runes your own?

Some people have shared very elaborate rituals with me and each one is fascinating and makes sense in its own way, though may not be right for everyone, because Runes are a very personal thing.  And truth be told, it is entirely up to you how you make them your own.  You can "cleanse" them in your own way.

Some rituals have involved the gods, usually Odin or Heimdall, but a few people have called on the disir.  Still others have focused on the four elements - earth, air, water, and fire - or stained their new set with their blood.  Others have simply washed them in a stream, passed incense over them or chanted over them.  There is also a large contingency that went through no ritual at all.  However, as I said, it is up to you.

In general, I make two recommendations for making new Runes your own, the second of which is the only one I really urge, because it does give you better results when you engage the Runes. 

First, you can choose to stain them with your own blood, which I have done with new Runes made of wood.  The blood doesn't really stay on other materials so well, because it can't soak into them.  I did wash some stone Runes in holy water with a few drops of my blood added to it.  At first it felt a little odd, because it was the first time I had done anything like that, but by the end, it felt right.

However, the second recommendation is the only one that I feel strongly about and every person with whom I've spoken, who uses Runes regularly, seems to agree with this idea - pose the first question or do the first reading with your new Runes for yourself.  This is an important energy exchange in making the Runes your own.   Take your time; ask as many questions as you need to or have a dialogue with the Runes for as long as it takes for you to feel like you understand what the Runes are telling you.  The comfort and understanding will come.