Through readings and rituals, the Runes can be very empowering. They can also provide some great and consistent energy through art. I've recently started using art to express that very thing and am excited to launch a new series on this blog as a result: Runes 303 - Rune Art. Though it wasn't planned, this piece of art turned into something far deeper than the artistic representation I thought I was creating.
I love the coast - the beach, the sea air, the expanse of the ocean, and the life the coastal ecosystem supports. I wanted to choose three Runes to represent the major aspects of this beautiful natural setting. I chose Laguz, Ansuz, and Sowilo.
Taking the blank canvass, I wanted to create a background to depict the sand. Once that was dry, I started to outline the sea with Laguz in the center. In the upper left, I painted Sowilo to signify the sun. In the lower right, I placed Ansuz as the embodiment of a river delta or the mouth of the river. Opposite Sowilo, I made splotchy dots to denote the stars in a night sky. Opposite Laguz, I painted the tributaries that feed the rivers that leads to the sea.
As I added the finishing touches, I considered the three Runes I chose and realized that they are more than a mere representation of the coastal ecosystem. I recognized a much deeper meaning to them, one of self-exploration and awareness.
Laguz, the water Rune, is
central to the image and beckons us to explore and face the
mysteries of the deep where the sea is a metaphor for our
subconscious. The Old English Rune poem warns that people who take to
the sea in an unsteady ship will be terribly frightened by the waves. Similarly, if we venture into new parts of our subconscious, though it might be scary, we must be prepared to accept what is there. It does not mean that what is there cannot be changed, merely that what we find is the current state. It is what we do with the recognition of the current state of things that matters. As we explore, we must remember to look at the good as well as the bad, the accomplishments as well as the challenges.
Having Sowilo above Laguz brings comfort, for Sowilo represents the sun and feminine energies of support and caring. It lifts spirits and gives hope. Interestingly, Sowilo's Old English poem mentions the sea-stallion bringing travelers to land, to safety. This is the same sea stallion mentioned in the Laguz poem that is not heeding its bridle. When I made this connection, it strengthened the empowerment of the image I had painted. With Laguz, there is exploration and uncertainty, but Sowilo watches over that uncertainty and provides the space for it to be processed and understood safely.
Ansuz, as the mouth of the river, feeds Laguz, creating an intriguing dynamic when interpreting the image beyond its face. Ansuz is almost like the beginning, for as the origin of every language (according to the Old English poem), its ideal intention is to provide wisdom and build confidence through knowledge shared. But, we know that communication does not always follow its intended path. Though well-intentioned, Ansuz's message can be twisted and contorted in the storms of Laguz, thus creating the challenges an exploration of Laguz might uncover. In this way, it counters Sowilo nicely to provide balance to the meaning of the image and remind us that we must sometimes pause and reevaluate certain parts of our lives.
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that, through this creative exercise, I had actually produced a piece of art that holds such provocative meaning and insight. What is especially profound is that what the Runes in this art revealed is exactly the effect that the coast has on me. When I go to the beach and look out over the ocean, my reality (my current state) becomes much easier to accept and address just by being there.