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.