Monday, July 28, 2014

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Berkana 2

Nearly two years ago, I looked at Berkana as I was starting a new business adventure with a friend. Although that adventure has run its course, last week, I started another new adventure and Berkana came to mind once again.  In fact, when Berkana reveals itself to us, we tend to be drawn to ideas of beginnings, birth, and even creative unleashings.

What we tend to forget, because we frame things as every ending is a beginning, is that every beginning also means that something else has come to an end.  I like to think that something coming to an end is a good thing, but it isn't always or, even if it is, it isn't necessarily easy.  So, what I wanted to know is how we can experience the release of what is ending as we move forward into our beginning.  So, I asked the Runes, "Using Berkana to symbolize our beginning, how do we acknowledge what has ended?"

Wunjo, Nauthiz, and Raido came as the Runes' reply.

"Be happy," the Runes say.  Okay, it's not as simple as be happy, but it sets the tone.  More specifically, it means don't regret what happened, what has come to pass.  It may not have been great, but we can take or make something positive from every experience.  We can learn and grow and, in many ways, those experiences that are hard help us to grow the most.  They help us to find strength and courage.  And, even when good things end, we are grateful to have had those moments.  Take the good and move that forward.

Nauthiz came second and focuses on needs, wants, and what is necessary.  I find this Rune to be quite important, because it calls for awareness without actually warning us to be careful.  Instead, it seems to tell us to be smart, to use our wits and be wise in the way we approach things.  It does not say move slowly, rather move smartly.  How does this help us recall what has ended?  It adds to what Wunjo said.  Where Wunjo tells us not to regret things, Nauthiz says take the aspects of the past that we need and bring them forward, but be smart about what we choose.  Acknowledge what has ended, but don't let it weigh us down; we don't need that.

The final Rune is Raido; Raido is the journey.  This is the Rune that tells us that we are not alone on our journey and reminds us to live life.  Basically, Raido in this position, reinforces the need to move forward.  We cannot escape what has ended, because it was part of the journey that got us to where we are now, to that first next step to where we are going.  Coupled with Wunjo, its message is enjoy the ride and, coupled with Nauthiz, it says that even though we are enjoying the ride, we still need to be aware of the path.  Look back and see where you've come from.  Acknowledge the road behind you and build your next moment on the foundation that lies in your wake.  It is stronger than you think.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Priorities

I received some interesting feedback about last week's post, but one really stood out, because it was a nuanced aspect to the idea of dealing with change that relates to priorities.  The question was - how can you keep from losing track of your priorities, especially when change occurs?  The example was a personal project this person has been working on consistently for a few years.  However, her family is going through a big change right now and she wants to make sure that she manages to keep working on this project, which has come to mean a lot to her.

I asked the Runes her question and their response was simple, but I felt like I wanted to capture the strength that lies within its simplicity.  So, I made them into a bind Rune.  The Runes I drew were Nauthiz, Laguz, and Mannaz.

This is the way I chose to bind them, because, I felt that Nauthiz and Laguz were tied to Mannaz on the left, almost as if, even though Mannaz was last, it was actually first and they are responding to the foundation of the human experience.

Nauthiz, the Rune of need and necessity, came up about a year ago in a slightly different context, but its overarching meaning is still the same - the idea of need versus want.  Nauthiz acknowledges that it is easy to get caught up in the new things that come with change.  Whether they are good or bad, we can find ourselves dedicating far more time to them than we should or really need to.  As the first Rune drawn, it suggests that we need to create an awareness of the things we need and make sure that we keep them in our lives.  Too often we focus on a single aspect of 'need', such as money, but we need a diversity of things in our lives and that is what Nauthiz tells us.  For some it means time outside hiking or gardening, for others, maybe writing or reading, for example.

Laguz was second and also appeared in our last bind Rune about life's pursuits.  In that bind Rune, it told us that we must not get stressed out, but we cannot simply kick back and let our circumstances take control of lives.  We must move consciously.  Similarly, in this instance, Laguz says that part of moving consciously within the flow of our lives means that our hobbies or special projects or time with family and friends are not just going to happen on their own.  We need to make a commitment to them (maintain it) through the changes in our lives.  In essence, it is our responsibility to ourselves to engage in the activities that fulfill different parts of who we are.

That leads us to Mannaz, the Rune that came first last week and feels first today.  Last week's message was important, however brief.  We are human; we have strengths and weaknesses.  Beyond the self, Mannaz brings the larger human society into the picture.  When considering priorities, Mannaz reminds us to consider how we want our individual self to exist and interact with the society in which we exist.  How will it influence us and we it?  How do we want to be a part of it?

Joining these three Runes together as I have establishes us as part of a larger entity or force.  Placing Nauthiz lower and, in a way, closer to Mannaz allows us to acknowledge what we need to feel fulfilled, especially those things that we might be inclined to let slip away, because of some major change in our lives.  Laguz, then, helps us prioritize those needs and find a way to continue to honor their place in filling our lives with the things we need.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Runes 402 - Rune Dialogues - Dealing with Change

Change is a part of life.  In fact, some say that the only thing that is constant in this world is change.  Still, that does not negate the fact that some people really struggle with it.  Someone very dear to me does not deal well with it, but his life is about change in a fairly big way.  Despite it being a positive change, his aversion to change hasn't changed.  So, I decided to engage with the Runes to ask for their guidance in managing it.  How can we deal with change, whether good or bad, for our own well-being without reacting negatively to it?

The Runes make it clear from the onset that this is truly a personal issue.

Runes:  Mannaz reminds us that humans possess both strengths and weaknesses.

Me:  That is true.  Thank you.  So, this tells us that it is okay to not like change; that it is a natural part of who we are.

Runes:  It is, but so is how you deal with it.  You may not like it, but it is going to happen, so perhaps the best way to approach change is the way you approach a new day.  That is why Dagaz comes second.  Each day begins as an opportunity.  What you accomplish and how you feel during the cycle of one day depends on your choices and your perspective.

Me:  You are saying that we need to be more conscious of the things we do, right?

Runes:  I am saying that by being more conscious, you can have a better effect on your day.  Berkana represents birth and beginnings.  When we are born our opportunities are unlimited.  Change presents beginnings too; sometimes not in ways we would like to receive them, but when a beginning presents itself to us, it holds nothing more than potential and you can choose how you engage that potential and what direction it takes.

Me:  Of course.  Thank you.  This makes it seem much easier.

Runes:  Do not misinterpret my intention.  The way you approach change is important, but that does not necessarily mean it will be easier or even pleasant.  However, I place Uruz here, not only because dealing with discomfort requires strength, but also to remind you that it requires you to think freely and critically about such a situation.

Me:  How will we know if we are succeeding or what can we do to ensure that we are thinking freely and critically?

Runes:  Perthro takes this struggle outside of you (Mannaz) and into a social component.

Me:  So, we need to find the fun in the situation.

Runes:  That is only part of it.  It is important to find the lighter side, but more importantly, you must engage socially,  If you withdrawal from the inevitable change, you make everything a struggle.  It is in your best interest to participate in the process of change.  It helps forge new relationships, build loyalty, and it affects your wyrd.  That is where Gebo comes in, for when you give, in this case to a situation, without expectation of an end result, the gift within the situation will reveal itself to you in many ways.

Me:  Your insight has been very wise.  I understand that it is okay to not like change, but that the way that we engage with and accept it will have profound impact on the experience we have with it.  If we resist less and work on building relationships, the outcome is far more likely to be a positive one.  Thank you.