Thursday, December 1, 2016

Yule Wishes

Whether you celebrate Yule or Christmas or Hanukkah or another holiday at this special time of year, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog.

I celebrate multiple holidays between now and the end of December, some with friends and some with family.  But it is Yule, which occurs on the solstice, that is the holiday I link to my spirituality for many reasons.

I did a three-Rune draw for the solstice and want to share it with you along with my best wishes for the coming year!

Please remember that you can always email me if you have any questions or would like your own personal reading.

 The Runes I drew were Laguz, Perthro, and Berkana.  They address the simple question: What Runes will you give me to share for the Solstice?

I like these Runes, because they answer the question as simply as it was asked and lend themselves to moving into the new year in a thoughtful and positive way.  They seem to say relax and enjoy yourself.  Have fun with friends and family and prepare for the new year to begin.  Perhaps, most importantly, in this draw there exists a strong sense of optimism, which I hope we can all carry with us into and throughout the new year.

Laguz has always been a bit perplexing to me, because as the water Rune it represents fluidity and flexibility (go with the flow), but it also beckons the mysteries that lie within the depths of the water, which may also be advice to look deeper into things and into ourselves.  This may be great chance to take some time to reflect, think more about what we want for ourselves and how we might get it, and prepare to go into the new year strong, happy, and committed to your goals.  At the same time, this time of year can be very festive and a good opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family.

I think that is why Laguz is followed by Perthro.  For me, Perthro represents social gatherings, the perfect Rune for this time of year.  It is a time to gather with loved ones, to relax and have fun, play games and eat and drink.  Plus, being with family and friends can provide support to make looking more deeply at our hopes and dreams easier and more productive.

Berkana as the last Rune is quite encouraging too, because it signifies beginnings.  It can represent the fact that a new year is starting and with that new year comes hope and maybe optimism about what we can accomplish in the next twelve months.  It can be a fresh start or a chance to begin again.  How ever you decide to approach 2017, I hope you have a wonderful year!

Remember, the Runes are always here for you!

See you next year.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Runes 101 - Runes in History - The Vang Stone

Image from Wikipedia

The Vang Stone is a Runestone located in the central part of southern Norway. Although its runic inscription follows a fairly standard wording someone has erected the stone in honor or memory of someone else – I am not sure if the stone was erected for the carvers' nephew or cousin.  In my research, I found both. The actual wording is interpreted as:  Gasa's sons erected (cut or carved) this stone in memory of Gunnar, their nephew/cousin.  But, this is only one aspect of the Vang Stone.

Vang Stone inscription
Of the roughly 3,000 Runestones in Scandinavia, Sweden hosts the vast majority of them.  There are none in Iceland, around 250 in Denmark, and Norway comes in with 50. Of course, other areas of the world also tout a runestone or runic carving (for example, Italy has the Pireaus Lion, there are some in the UK, including the Manx Crosses on the Isle of Man, even Greenland has one.)  So, this special stone is one of Norway's 50 and what makes it interesting is that the Vang Stone has some really fascinating features all based on location.

Changing location.  The Vang Stone was erected right around the time of the conversion to Christianity in Scandinavia (around the year 1000) and located originally near a stave church; and there it sat for more than 800 years.  When the stave church was taken apart and reassembled in Germany in 1844, the Vang Stone was also moved to the Vang Church and it still resides there.

Geographic location. On a larger scale, the Vang Stone lies just to the north of the Ringerike District of Norway, the area which is responsible for the ornate carving style on the Vang Stone's face, called the Ringerike style.  The design is topped off by a stylized lion with two small shells at the bottom.  In between are gently-curved swirls that crisscross in the middle. The top part of the crisscross appears a bit more symmetrical, though not entirely, than the lower portion.

Inscription location.  On a much smaller scale, the stone itself is different from most other stones, because its runic engraving runs along the side of the stone.  It is not above, below or integrated into the picture and design on the stone's face.  I tried to highlight (in the image to the left) the cut Runes that run along right side of the stone as you look at its face, but if you want a better view, I did find a reasonable image online. (Click to see the Vang Stone image.)  The location of the Runes on the stone is quite intriguing to me.  I can't help but wonder if carving them on the side was an intentional piece of the stone design so as not to take away from the carving on the front or if Gasa's sons simply forgot to leave space, so had no choice but to cut the Runes along the stone's side.

The Vang Stone is a good example of the importance of location, location, location.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Runes 403 - Rune Interpretations - Optimism

I had a nice chuckle as I sat down this morning to write this post, because it's focused on optimism and this is the first post that missed its month.  It should have been posted in September, but here we are: October 1st.  Maybe it's mocking me or maybe it's the perfect step into optimism.  Either way, I just have a feeling that we could all use a little optimism in our lives at this point.  So, I asked the Runes to give us some insight into this hopeful idea.

The simplicity of their guidance is reassuring.  They gave me Mannaz, Wunjo, and Gebo.

The subtle reminder provided by Mannaz, the humanity Rune, tells us we're all humans;  all imperfect, but that's okay.  One of the marvelous things about imperfection is its variety.  And, we all know that variety is the spice of life.  But, the more important message behind this Rune is also that, as humans, we can decide how we perceive things and what we do with them.  We can choose to turn away from negative perceptions and emotions and responses to things that take us outside of our comfort zone.  Because, let's face it; there's a reason it's called a "comfort" zone even though it may not be the best place for us.  It's familiar and we liken familiar with good, which isn't necessarily true.

Wunjo is an interesting choice to follow on Mannaz, especially because we may liken our comfort zone to a  happy place.  So, does the joy Rune tell us that we should stick to our comfort zone?  Is it countering Mannaz?  I don't think so.  I think it is challenging us to find true happiness, to broaden our comfort zone and truly make it a space filled with joy.  That means we have to make that decision to turn away from negative perceptions, emotions, and responses.  If we accept negativity, how will we achieve happiness?  We won't.  In this way, Wunjo offers encouragement to reject negativity in all forms and pointing out that, because we are human, we can do it.  I've given many readings to people with a similar message: focus on the positive.  Often times, their response is to say that they don't know how to do that.  My response is always the same.  You just do it.  You make a conscious choice to be happy.  It occurs to me that what Wunjo in second position is suggesting is that choosing to be optimistic is the first step toward joy.

Our third Rune, Gebo the gift Rune, reinforces optimism in no uncertain terms.  The ability to choose optimism, especially when the world seems so full of negative energy today, is an incredibly powerful gift that we can give to ourselves.  Our own optimism can spread to others too.  The most amazing part is that we can all do that simply by making that conscious choice.  Making the choice is easy, but following through on it may not be.  Remaining optimistic in the face of obstacles real or perceived isn't necessarily easy, but the joy that awaits you on the optimistic path is worth it and so are you.

My being able to publish a blog post every month is a small thing, but I am optimistic about being able to do it and it is okay that other things in my life needed my attention this month.  I am still optimistic I will get October's post done before November arrives.  In case you're wondering, some of those other things in my life that needed my time this month aren't simple little things like writing a monthly blog post, and I am letting you know that so that you know you are not alone in facing beasts, turning away from negativity, and making a conscious effort to focus on optimism to make yourself happier.  I'm with you and I am sure that many other people who read this blog are too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Runes 402 - Rune Dialogues - Struggle

We all deal with a struggle at some point in our lives.  Some are big and some are small.  Sometimes the small ones pile on top of each other and can feel like a big one.  For me it's the time of year.  The end of July to the end of August is a tough time of year for me for personal reasons and I find myself struggling more than any other time of the year.  The bright side is that, once September arrives, I hit a productive time that lasts more or less through the end of the year.  Although my period of struggle is nearly over, the last month to six weeks has been more of a struggle than usual, so I turned to the Runes and asked them for guidance to get me through the next week or so.

Me:  I am having a really hard time right now.  What guidance can you offer to help me approach this struggle?

Runes:  When this year started, you chose the Rune that can help you.  You chose Thurisaz for its power.  That power can overcome the angst you're having right now.

Me:  Thank you for that reminder.  Right now, I am not sure how to harness that power to move me forward.

Runes:  Raido can help you on your journey.  Your journey actually requires you to focus that power so that you can move forward.

Me:  I appreciate what you're saying, but I am feeling very overwhelmed by everything that is required of me, all that I have to do before I have any time to do what I really want to do.

Runes:  You must find time to do the things that make you happy.  You were not intended to live a life without it.  Wunjo reminds you of that importance.

Me:  I am confused.  Are you telling me to do what makes me happy and forsake that which doesn't?

Runes:  No.  It is something to strive for though.  Remember your guiding Rune - Jera.  It is the Rune of the year, a complete cycle, which can represent balance.  Perhaps the best way to avoid or minimize these struggles is to find a balance that allows you to consistently engage in the things that you want to do for yourself.

Me:  In other words, when I am going through a struggle, if I focus on doing something for myself regularly, that will help?

Runes:  When you focus some of your power on the things that are fulfilling for you, it can make the things that weigh you down more bearable.  If you focus on them long enough, your struggle will lighten and things will become clear again.  That is the message Dagaz gives you.  The day Rune symbolizes the return of a lighter time in the cycle of your year.

Me:  So, you are saying that I need to set aside time to do the things that I enjoy for myself?  Part of my struggle is that my other responsibilities eat into that time and when that happens at this time of the year, I lose focus.

Runes:  That is exactly what I am saying.  When you are struggling, it is even more important to focus some of your power on the things that make you happy.  That is what you need to get you through the struggle.  That is why, for your last Rune, I give you Nauthiz.

Me:  Thank you for your guidance and wisdom.  This was very insightful and has helped me to relax, take a step back from my struggle, and take a breath.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Runes 401 - Rune Rituals - A Simple Blessing

Back in May, my kids and I went for a bike ride and stopped at a beach by the lake.  I don't usually pick up shells or rocks or things like that to bring home; I'm of the take only pictures, leave only footprints frame of mind most of the time.  However, I was drawn to this piece of drift wood that I just couldn't put down.  I knew I had to have it and I knew I had to have my name and my Rune (Jera) carved into it.  My carving skills aren't great, so I asked a friend to do it for me, which he graciously did.  Nothing fancy.  Here's what it looked like when he gave it back to me:

It was the perfect starting point.  Then, I went through a ritual, similar to when I made my own Runes.  It needed to be painted and sealed.

First, I thanked Njord for providing the wood to me.  Soaked by the lake, smoothed by being rolled around near the shore, and left to dry on the beach.  It is perfect.

After I selected my paint, I invoked Heimdall and Odin, because they gave us the Runes.  Then, I pricked my finger and put nine drops of blood into the paint.  The sacrifice was to them.  As the drops fell into the bowl, I thanked Heimdall for sharing the Runes with Jarl and thanked Odin for his nine-day sacrifice to obtain the Runes, all their secrets and mysteries.  The blood was also my way of making the carving my own. 

This process strengthened my connection to the carving and to the gods.  Even though there wasn't enough blood to noticeably alter the color of the paint, I know that a piece of me now resides within the wood.

I let the paint dry over night, then sealed it with a non-toxic varnish, but not before I expressed my appreciation to all of the gods and goddesses.  This piece of Rune art and the process to create it was important for me in strengthening my connection to the mythology that I love.

I was especially pleased that, when I drew Runes as the final piece of this ritual, I got Perthro, Jera, and Berkana.  Simply put, Perthro represents my friend in this process who did the initial carving for me.  Jera is my guiding Rune; that's why it's on the carving.  And even though Berkana comes at the end, it symbolizes for me that this work of art represents a new phase in my relationship to the gods and the Runes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Time Alone

We all need time to ourselves, some need it more often than others and some struggle to find the opportunity at any sort of regular interval.  I fall into the latter category, but this week, I will have three evenings all to myself.  Because I rarely have time for myself, I wanted to make sure that, only do I make the most of this time, but that it starts me on a path of finding it more often.
I had a bit of a conversation with the Runes on this topic and considered making this post a Rune Dialogue, but I realized that I was searching for more than insight.  I needed some extra strength, a reminder to make time for myself and that, when I have that time, to make the most of it.  After quite a lengthy discussion with the Runes, I was ready to pose my question: How do I make time for myself and use that time wisely?

The Runes gave me three thoughtful reminders that are important on their own, but even stronger together.  That is why I decided to make a bind Rune.

Nauthiz was perfect as the first Rune, because it asks me what I need.  What I need is time… time to write.  Some of you may say that’s a want, but writing is like a third lung for me; I need it to breathe.  Sometimes, we may need time to take a nap or read a book or garden.  The larger point is that we need time to do things outside of our routine and, maybe more importantly, we need to figure out how to make time for ourselves a regular part of that routine.

Ehwaz came second.  This reinforces Nauthiz in a really direct and positive way.  Remember, Ehwaz is the horse and it represents, among other things, loyalty.  For those of us who struggle with finding or taking time for ourselves, the message here is that loyalty to our own needs is okay.  This Rune echoes the idea of incorporating time for ourselves into our routine.  Be loyal to it.  Take that time.  Make a commitment to yourself... for yourself.

Ingwaz is the final Rune, the Rune of Freyr and fertility.  It is said that timing is everything.  If that is so, then Ingwaz, in this position, is telling us that now is the time to do this.  This moment is fertile so to speak.  This is our moment, our chance, to begin to set aside some time for ourselves.  Though it's a bit of a stretch, I might also add that by taking time for ourselves, we are creating a more fertile situation for ourselves, in general, because, when we take time to do something that we enjoy or that we need to do, we feel better and that good feeling transfers into other things, other aspects of our lives.

Given how well these three Runes reinforce and support each other, it is almost as if they are already bound.  So, turning them into a bind Rune was not only the obvious thing to do, it was easy.  Now, I think I may just redraw this by hand and set it by my desk to remind myself to do this.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Dagaz

When I delve into individual Runes in a post, sometimes it's just about the characteristics of that Rune and sometimes I use other Runes to explain how to use a single Rune in a certain situation.  An important thing to remember is that, while each Rune has its own meaning, how it is applied varies depending on the situation or line of questions.

Over the past month, I have drawn Dagaz far more often than usual, which made me wonder why.  What is the message that the day Rune is sending to me?

Based on the three Runes I drew to help explain Dagaz for me and why I have drawn it so often lately, the over-arching themes I received were clarity, opportunity, and choices.

The first Rune I drew was Othala, the Rune of the homestead and inheritance.  Interestingly, when I considered Othala, just over three years ago, Dagaz came last with a message of clarity.  So, what Dagaz helps me do here is get clarity around my homestead.  Contemplating Othala in terms of clarity is interesting because my initial thought was clarity around financial issues and I was expecting Fehu.  Othala signifies to me that the clarity around homestead (aka: family issues) is broader than simply financial issues, though Othala does include the notion of inheritance, which has financial implications.  In this instance, Dagaz can be clarity around time spent with family, working on the house or yard or even strengthening local community to support the larger notion or indirect interpretation of homestead.

Berkana came second.  This is a Rune I have explored twice - one more personal venture that looked at beginning an adventure and one that looked at acknowledging what has come to an end.  Through the lens of Dagaz, Berkana is presented in terms of looking for opportunity or, even better, creating opportunity.  In other words, Dagaz heightens opportunities; it's a good time to look for opportunities that already exist or to create opportunities for yourself or others.  This combination is very positive and powerful.

I received Uruz, the aurochs Rune last.  This is a great Rune on which to end, because Uruz, the wild ox, is free, free to live as it wishes, free to make choices.  Dagaz, as the day Rune, shines light into our lives, allowing us to see things clearly (if we choose to look) so that we can make choices.  Likewise, having Dagaz present reminds us to make informed enlightened choices, ones that will be beneficial to us and to our homestead.

Dagaz is a positive and powerful Rune of light and, by those virtues, provides us with clarity - the ability to see things clearly if we pause and look, opportunities - both existing and created, and choices - beneficial ones that are informed by seeing the larger picture.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Runes 403 - Rune Interpretations - Commitments Toward Goals

"I don't have time for anything."  "There isn't enough time in my day to do everything that needs to get done."  "What I would give to be able to do that or to have the time to do that."  Do any of these sound familiar?

I know they do to me, but my greater frustration is that I know I do have time.  Many of my friends have made the same proclamations and, listening to what they said, I realized that goals or deadlines tend to be attached to things they want to do, but "simply don't have time for".

So, I asked the Runes what would happen if I made a commitment to something without affixing a larger goal or deadline to it?  Here is what they showed me.

Ehwaz, Dagaz, and Nauthiz

I found Ehwaz in the first position served as an important reminder, especially with regard to two of its attributes.  The horse Rune represents loyalty and a mode of transportation.  What this suggests to me is that, if we really want to accomplish something, we will.  It's an abstract take on loyalty in the sense that when there is something that we really want to accomplish, we stick to it; we are loyal to the idea, not the idea of completing or acquiring it.  Let me give you a quick example that opened my eyes recently.  I want to finish my second novel.  (The Son of Nine Sisters was my first.) I am loyal to the idea of completing it, but I am not loyal to the process.  So, I decided to commit to spending six hours a week writing.  If I write 1,000 words an hours (about 2 pages), I will complete the draft of my second novel within a year, probably less.  This is where the mode of transportation piece of Ehwaz comes in, because, although I did the rough math, the "goal" is not to finish the novel in a year.  Instead, I am committing to the journey, transporting myself along this timeline of six hours a week. This changes my commitment from a goal (outcome) to a process.

The next question seems to me to be where I am going to find the time to write if, as the quotes above claim, I don't have time to do this.  Dagaz is the perfect Rune to address this question.  The day Rune has presented itself to me in a few posts on similar topics (achieving goals, time, and unfinished projects), so it is entirely appropriate that it shows up today.  This Rune in this position reinforces the belief that we can accomplish things we commit to.  It is positive and uplifting; hopeful.  This Rune says, "You can do it."  If we are loyal to something, maybe the best way to approach it is by breaking it down into smaller pieces.  Rather than insisting that we are going to write our second novel by the end of the year, what if we just say that we are going to write six hours a week? Here again, we are changing the focus of our commitment.  Now, how do we find the time to do it?

I find that, when I am unable to meet a deadline or I don't successfully complete a goal that I've set for myself by the time I say it will be done, I feel awful and I get frustrated and angry... and I don't like to feel that way, none of us do.  It isn't helpful.  I think that is why Nauthiz came third, because none of us need the stress that we place on ourselves by trying to force unrealistic goals into our already busy lives.  It is interesting that Nauthiz appears in many of my posts that deal with similar situations (calm and relaxed, pace yourself, unfinished projects, and priorities) and now it is here and telling us two things in this final position.  First, it takes on need in terms of reminding us to let go of stressful approaches to commitments.  That is very sage advice and frames itself in terms of things we do not need, like stress.  Second, it tells us to consider our priorities.  What are the commitments we need to make and what is the best approach to making them?  For me, writing is a very important part of who I am, a definite commitment that I want to make.  However, I need to be realistic about the position I give writing in my life.  Here is my realization.  I was making a goal of writing at night, after my kids were in bed, but that was not working for me.  I was exhausted by then and I have never been a night person.  I am a morning person.  It is far easier for me to get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for two hours than it is for me to stay up until 11pm doing it.  That is what I need in order to fulfill my commitment to writing.  By taking a step back and asking myself how I can accomplish this goal without adding more stress to my life, I incorporated something I need into my life and made a commitment to it in terms of a manageable process.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Runes 101 - Runes in History - Tacitus

Runes cast on a white cloth
When I am asked how I can justify Rune casting for divination as an historical part of honoring or worshiping Norse Gods, my simple answer is that I don't.

The reason I don't is twofold.  First, I don't feel the need to justify the ways that I connect with my goddesses and gods to anyone.  Second, I never claimed that this was an ancient approach, though there tends to be this automatic assumption that I believe it to be so.

I am not a purist nor do I try to be.  Moreover, I struggle with the idea that I have to be one, because I disagree with the notion that a strict adherence to how I express my connection to the Norse goddesses and gods exists. More specifically, I disagree with the idea that, if I am doing something that isn't accepted as being from ancient times, I am wrong.  With regard to the Runes, what works for me is a simple acknowledgement that what I am doing is most assuredly not the exact way it was done in the past, rather that what I do is done from a position of respect.

Comments by Tacitus in his book Germania foster the situation.  It is the only known historical reference about casting by Germanic people and there are numerous translations of his description of it.  Still, however one translates Tacitus' writing, there is no mention of Runes, only of "cutting marks" into twigs cut from a fruit-bearing tree.  We don't know what the marks were or how they were interpreted.

What is especially interesting about Tacitus' explanation is that it has to be secondhand, because he doesn't appear to have traveled to Germania himself.  This might help explain the lack of detail in the casting description.

The idea that the marks might be some form of Runes is also brought into question by the fact that Tacitus lived from 56CE (CE = common era) to about 117CE, while the earliest runic inscriptions date to around 250CE.  That is not to say that the marks absolutely were not Runes, but it does reduce the likelihood significantly.  Then, there is the question of which Futhark was used or should be used.  Elder?  Younger?  Anglo-Saxon?  I don't think there is a right or wrong choice.

What do I take from Tacitus?  I take facts.  Some portion of Germanic people placed a high importance on divination.  To divine whatever answers they sought, they cut sticks from fruit-bearing trees and carved marks into them.  They threw the sticks onto a white cloth.  Someone of authority would invoke the gods, pick up three of the sticks, and interpret them.  If the interpretation was disagreeable, they wouldn't ask about it anymore that day.  If it was agreeable, they still required a sign of some sort to confirm it.

I incorporate many of these facts into my own practice and I am grateful that Tacitus gave us some insight into the ancient process.  However, I also recognize that the interpretations I make of the Runes I cast are based on the Rune Poems (composed in the 8th or 9th century) and that no other evidence for using Runes for divination can be found prior to the 1970s.  It would be wrong for me to say that my practice is based solely on historical ritual.  However, it would also be wrong to say it is an entirely new age thing.  Tacitus provides pieces, the Rune poems provide pieces, and information since the 1970s also provides pieces.

What's most important is that I do not take what I do lightly and I don't expect anyone else to use the Runes the exact same way that I do.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Runes 202 - Bind Runes - Powering Through

We all want to focus on our dreams and passions, figure out and pursue those things that we identify as our priorities, and we want a smooth path to accomplishing them.  A smooth path or a smooth part in our paths can be hard to find at times.  Sometimes, we are staring at a huge pile of poo that we just have to power through, even though we have no interest in doing so and our heart is not in it.  This is different from letting go of things beyond our control.  This has to be done.

This necessity of powering through has been an occasional theme in my life and in the lives of many of my friends.  As with the other bind Runes I've linked to (above), I felt that this situation deserved more than just Rune wisdom; I wanted to take that wisdom and give it the extra strength of a bind Rune.  I asked the Runes for insight into powering through when no other valid option exists and they gave me Jera, Uruz, and Laguz.

Jera, Uruz, and Laguz placed
together to form a bind Rune.
Jera is always a good Rune for me.  In this instant, it tells me that, even though powering through is not a method I would choose to do on a regular basis, it is necessary and that it is part of something bigger.  This moment of powering through is not all there is to what I am doing and Jera provides an important reminder of that.  I placed Jera first and centered in the bind Rune, because of this and because this is what will carry me through this part of my process.

Uruz, the Rune of the aurochs, came next.  At first, I thought this somehow represented physical strength, like I must be strong to power through what I am facing.  But, Uruz means more than just the physical strength of the aurochs ox.  The aurochs represents not something that is wild, rather an animal that is free from the influences of society (not domesticated).  As part of society, what this means to me is having a critical eye towards my situation or going into it with open eyes.  In essence, Uruz is saying, "Take heart.  You are conscious of the fact that powering through is not who you really are and you see this moment for what it is, just an unpleasant moment that will pass."  With this perspective, I can approach the situation with mental and emotional strength, something I need to help me power through.  Uruz provides me this strength, so I placed it at the bottom of the bind Rune, to support it.

Laguz, as the third Rune, accomplishes two things for me.  First, it is yet another reminder that powering through is part of something bigger.  This is represented in the depths of the sea and everything that determines waves, currents, marine life, and flow.  Just as a storm at sea is sometimes part of the sea's process, so too powering through is part of mine.  Second, is the comforting part of this Rune, which recommends relaxing and rolling with what is happening.  Since I have decided that powering through is the best option at this point in time, I might as well make the most of it.  Therefore, I placed it front and center in the bind Rune to reinforce the mental and emotional strength allotted by Uruz and as a way of managing the moment identified by Jera and bringing me to the next phase from a place of positive flow.

These explanations give me the completed bind Rune, a bind Rune that says I have made the conscious choice to power through my current situation; that it is just an uncomfortable moment in something bigger in my life; and that recognizing this allows me to power through from a position of mental and emotional strength, so that I don't come out the other side drained, depressed or unsure of what is next.  Given this consciousness, it also affords me the opportunity to embrace and learn from the process.

I hope that, if you ever find yourself in a "power through" situation, this bind Rune will hep you.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Thurisaz

Thurisaz is an incredibly powerful Rune whose meaning is cast in the light of foreboding and negative energy.  However, power is neither positive nor negative.  It is a force and how one manages it determines whether it is positive or negative.  We just need to be careful not to let this great power overwhelm us.

Although Jera is my guiding Rune, to begin 2016, I chose Thurisaz as my Rune for this year.  At first, I thought it was because I wanted to "unleash my power" and be the strong and outspoken woman I was when I was younger.  And I thought I could manage it.  After a bit of a rough start and a bit of reflection, I realized that I needed the power in this Rune to reinvigorate myself, because I had let the daily drudge drag me down.  I did not need to unleash my power, rather simply find it again and embrace it.  So my questions for the Runes around Thurisaz were: How can I use the powerful energy of this Rune to get myself back up on my feet and become more of who I used to be?  How can the power of Thurisaz help me to find my energy and passion?

The three Runes I received in answer to these questions were: Tiwaz, Othala, and Kenaz.  This struck me as following the Norns and here's why.

Tiwaz is the warrior Rune, linked to Tyr.  In this position, Tiwaz is given to me by Urd, the Norn who tells of the past.  This is who I used to be and I say that adding a bit of clarification relative to the present.  Although this is who I was in the past and who I want to be in the future, this is a reminder that Tiwaz still resides within me.  I still show glimmers of Tiwaz everyday, but its prominence has given way to the daily drudge.  This is my reminder to get it back.  Thank you, Urd, for showing me this.

The Rune from Verdandi is Othala, a Rune strongly linked to family (heritage and the homestead).  This is a wonderful Rune, for although I know I am doing this for my family, it is important to get this prompt.  Moreover, for me, this Rune also represents the garden we have (or will have) in our yard.  In that way, Othala provides an additional layer to the idea of doing things for family.  Not only do I want to nurture my relationship with my family (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), but I want to nurture my family's health (physically).  The garden is an important symbol of that, of overall well-being.  Thank you, Verdandi for showing me the full picture.

Skuld, in her wisdom, shows me my personal yearning.  Although what I am doing is for my family, I must also do what will make me happy as an individual.  By presenting Kenaz, she brings me full circle to the reason that I chose Thurisaz for 2016.  Kenaz, though its meaning is less clear than most Runes, is light, human-made fire.  This represents, for me, human innovation and creativity.  This is what I need to bring back into my life - my creativity.  I need to reconnect with the things that drive my passion.  This is why I need Thurisaz!  I am grateful Skuld, for your insight.

Thurisaz is the powerful force that, used with care and caution, will revive my inner warrior (Tiwaz) by reigniting my creativity and passion (Kenaz), thus helping me to do the same for my family (Othala).