Saturday, April 22, 2017
Runes 302 - Interviews - Kelley Harrell
How did you discover the Runes?
I read about them in 8th grade literature, like so many of my generation did. I was introduced to the Elder Futhark as living items of power by a friend when I was 19. It was love at first cast.
How long have you been working with them? How do you use them?
I started working with the Elder Futhark enthusiastically at 19 years old. I worked with the runes for years, though the resources that were available were very limited and very limiting. I felt connected to the staves, though not to any interpretation of them that I read. I thought that meant I was doing something wrong, so I walked away form them as a formal study for a few years. They popped up in my mind and life, continually, so when I decided to commit to the staves and forgo texts on them, everything came alive. I'm so glad there are better resources of them now.
What is your favorite way to connect with the Runes?
My path is animistic and shamanic, so asking the spirit of the stave I'm working with to step into my form is very powerful. I find that embodying them is more sustaining and informing on personal needs than using them in a more traditional divinatory way. For me, divination isn't about predicting outcomes, rather it's about gathering as much insight as possible about present dynamics, so I can make more informed decisions about how I go forward. When I hold an intention in mind and embody the stave, I feel its counsel on how to hold my awareness. It gives me a focus to sustain throughout whatever I need.
How do you use the Rues in your everyday life? For guidance? To guide others?
I find that I use them differently for self, as opposed to using them on behalf of others. For personal use, I connect with them best through galdr, one at a time, and shapeshifting with them as I noted before (in the previous question). When I work with another person, I ask Heimdallr to oversee the session and give him and the runes access to my awareness, so that when I draw runes for the person, I feel the needed connection to each one as I touch it. I see the story it wants to relate to the intention that was set forward. The hardest part of working with others using runes is that they don't sugar coat anything and they are more about giving a perspective on the intention, rather than dictating how to go forward in the intention.
Is there one experience that you've had with the Runes that was especially rewarding, engaging, moving or unexpected? Will you share it with us?
It wasn't a singular experience, rather a life dynamic that persisted about a year and a half. I worked with the runes frequently to understand the various currents that were happening during this really difficult time. I asked them for insight about the true intentions, the best focus I could hold at specific points of the progression, the best focus to take into various meetings, the best way to deal with specific people involved. Prior to this dynamic, I went tot he runes for insight about diverse needs, usually immediate in timing and short-lived involvements. There was no longevity to watch how the insights would play out. This particular dynamic lasted so long and provided such detailed insights over a continuum, I came away even ore convinced of the power of the runes.
The runes were frank, as they always are, though they warned me about hidden motives, things that weren't at all evident in the face-to-face interactions, but became evident as things progressed. They informed me that the direction was going away from the intended focus of the dynamic. I truly felt more informed going into meetings because of what the runes taught me along the way. I sustained my relationship with them as part of a difficult time and they helped me stand in my power throughout it. They didn't change the outcome; they changed me and how I interacted with the whole ordeal.
What else would you like to share with us about your work with the Runes?
I undervalued the runes for a long time. Though they spoke to me immediately upon meeting them, I didn't realize their value through everyday life until I committed to them, so to speak. In shamanism, everything is about direct relationship and that been no less true about the runes. I really do take them everywhere with me.
Thank you, Kelley, for taking the time to share with us.
Kelley is the author of Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism, Gift of the Dreamtime, and several other books. Her shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts, through which she mentors others on the path of modern shaman. She has written The Weekly Rune, since 2012.