Intentional Insights

The Weekly Rune – Nauthiz Merkstave

Posted by on 21 Apr 2014 in The Weekly Rune | 0 comments

Nauthiz - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley Harrell, Soul Intent Arts

Nauthiz - Need -  Everything happening right now points to glacially slow change. More than that, it emphasizes that pushing outcomes or just rushing our paces will lead to disaster.  We’re in the midst of a Grand Cross this month, and mid-week we reach its most pivotal point. This point urges us to know impeccably what we most want to bring into being right now.

Related to the youngest of the Norns, Skuld, who is the keeper of what “should” be, many assume Nauthiz points to the future. However, wordsmiths among us recognize ‘should’ as a modal auxiliary, indicating that outcomes manifest based on conditions met. In other words, we can set the dominoes up any way we like, and based on our knowledge, skill, and perhaps wisdom, they should fall the way we’ve planned. Yet there are always variables we can’t foresee. The dominoes will fall the way they fall, and we have only to react in the best way that we can.

Futhark_RSSx150Keep the relationship between need and fate in mind this week. So often what we think we need is connected to what we think should happen, what we should get. The appearance of Nauthiz isn’t suggesting that we will or won’t meet our need, but that we be positively certain we can handle what comes.  By that I mean, as this Rune carries the a red flag coloring our efforts, it also brings us the ability to find peace, regardless.

Despite the external chaos the stars stir this week, the impediments we encounter are purely internal. This timing is about thinking carefully, taking the time to intuit rightful action, and following through in a thorough, yet flexible, way.  How we deal with intense stress is the heart of Nauthiz, as in learning to move through that stress, the need is either released or met. It’s transmuted, entirely.

Take time to laugh this week, a lot. The ability to undergo initiation, yet not take its intensity so seriously is our best strategy for survival, our best hope for revival.

Contact Kelley for a personalized Rune Reading.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by on 16 Apr 2014 in Wordless Wednesday | 1 comment

Photo by ToniVC

Weekly Rune – Ingwaz Merskstave

Posted by on 14 Apr 2014 in The Weekly Rune | 0 comments

Jera - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellIngwaz (or Inguz) - People of Ing - How often do we hear, “Forget the journey, focus on the destination?” Pretty much never? Well, Ingwaz merkstave is screaming it, now.

This stave calls to mind the adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” While it portends the end of a cycle, it also brings a sense of survival and sacrifice to get there.

Connected to Tyr/Tuisto (Tiwaz), this Rune reminds us of Plan Bs and last-ditch efforts, both of which can only occur when initial plans have failed. By ‘initial plans’ I mean our heart’s dream, our deepest desire, perhaps even life purpose, has been given the quietus.

Most familiar to us is the story of Tyr (Old Norse god), who when none other of the Æsir would rise to the occasion of saving humanity, sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenrir, who foretells the death of Odin at Ragnarök–an end of days.  Also considered Tuisto by some interpretations of Tacitus’ Germania (making Tuisto a Germanic ancestor of Mannus), through his sacrifice when the human race was on the brink of extinction, Tuisto created the Ingaevones people  (also the Herminones–for you Harry Potter fans–and the Istaevones).  When push came to shove and humanity was dying, he grieved his losses and made a new race.

The underlying message here is that from dire straits amazing outcomes are born. In this case, there is no thinking out-of-the-box. There is no box. Believing that there is one is the sacrifice. The rote path will not lead us to our contentment.

There will be grief. There has to be.  This is down-and-dirty, thinking-on-our-feet motivation. The catch is, actions can’t be rash. Realize that while Plan A is dying at our feet, there is another way, and the one your gut says to go with will be the right way. This ridiculously visceral affirmation is the message from Ingwaz this week.

If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.

Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Posted by on 11 Apr 2014 in Blog Hop | 2 comments

Photo by The Shopping Sherpa @ flickr My weekly gratitude post, in the Celebrate the Small Things [ongoing] Blog Hop.

I’m thankful for steady healing, progressive flexibility.

I’m grateful for acupuncture.

I’m happy to have new tree spirits in the yard.

I’m grateful to myself for allowing my process.

What are you grateful for this week? How will you show thanks?

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Participate by following the link and adding your name to the Linky list, then post your gratitude every Friday.  Easiest blog hop ever!

Click here to hop on… the hop, and thanks for coming with me on this journey of self-empowerment.

Thursday Betwixt – Body as Intuition

Posted by on 10 Apr 2014 in Intentional Insights, Thursday Betwixt | 6 comments

Throughout the Betwixt series, I’ve talked about the significance of creating community along a shamanic path. I delved briefly into viewing ourselves as a valuable, informed member of our own spiritual council, encouraged readers to shapeshift into themselves to better step into their power. Taking that further, I’d like to talk about the many blessings and challenges of realizing  the body’s inherent spirituality.

Photo by Jessie Pearl ~ flickr

Most modern shamanic circles focus on all things soul. They touch on amorphous internal cosmologies supporting the whole, though the experience of the form remains demoted in that hierarchy. I connect this oversight to a tendency for modern shamanists to avoid Middle World work, as they tend not to explore the spiritual nature of what is most immediately around us. Rather focus is on higher guidance, deeper resonance.

The more I root into being here, the more I realize the body is the portal. It has all the answers, and knows the questions we haven’t thought to ask. We all get a body when we come into form, and it’s pre-wired and ready to go for the most soul rocking experiences imaginable. The body is intuition manifest. It’s the walking lexicon and interface, all in one. It’s how we are able to hear the mind, and the collection of a bazillion other senses that when we tune, remind us we’re animals. We’re Nature.

Yet we hit the ground running, to dissociate from the body’s wisdom. Ironically, the more we venture into spiritual community, often the less we incorporate the body’s perspective. We don’t often acknowledge that it has a perspective, let alone many. And the idea that every cell has a story… Well.

Pain, or some degree of discomfort, is often the voice we’re most willing to hear from the body. Again, it’s ironic, because it’s the one we least want to listen to. Because we live so outside the body’s experience of form, it is the dialogue of pain that presents a trove of information, expressing our experience as a world of hurt.

How do we wear meat suits, endure all the challenges doing so brings, and still remain connected with All Things? That is the challenge. There’s no one way or right way to do it, and each of us has a unique job in realizing our personal tribulations in staying engaged. My challenge around these involves being a cyclic person, from which I derive my most profound power.

For the record, it has taken me about thirteen years to write that last sentence.

What’s a cyclic person? Many things, the understanding of which is part of its unique challenge. Women identify with the phrase from the onset of menstruation. Certainly those who cope with fluctuating mood and mental health conditions relate. Men later in life comment around awareness of cycles, and how they affect their focus.

For me, it’s a combination of biochemical traits and chronic health conditions. I’ve never been diagnosed as having a mood ‘disorder.’ I have, however, been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fibrymyalgia Syndrome (FMS) after a car crash in 2001, and have had minor strokes that among several outcomes, affected how I speak, read, and process data. While unofficial, my doctor approaches me on a spectrum of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I work full-time. I maintain my writing career and my shamanic practice. I have a family, and a driving need to perform well at all of the above.

I recently wrote about how having cyclic focus affects my ability to manifest the things I want. The bigger picture of my changing tides is that I work hard to fully encompass the many voices in my body. I talk to my body, emotions, and mind(s) as discrete beings, and I also hold dialogue with the conditions that I manage. I call FMS in and we talk by a stream in my Lower World.  I frequently have tea with my neurotransmitters. I recently walked with my body to a mausoleum, where we released eras of sick relatives from my ancestral line. Likewise, when my mind just can’t find a foothold in the reality that I want it to, I sit with it where it is. I keep it company, giving it what blessings I can, then I go to sleep, and wake to see where we’ve arrived, because I know it will be some place different.

Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism by S. Kelley HarrellI’ve said often in articles, classes, and sessions, you can do all the soul work and healing you want. If the body’s not in a place where the mind can accept it, spiritual healing can’t stick. I’m willing to go all-in and say it won’t stick.

Where is your body, really? What feels great about it, and what doesn’t?  Does it talk to you? Do you listen? I promise, your body is a prophet in disguise, and that disguise is the limitations amassed trauma has put on your beliefs of what your form can accomplish. 

Get out the superhero cape. Put it on, and whirl around a few times. Ask your body what it most needs from you. Ask the conditions you manage how they inform you, how they cradle you, and how they alter your perception of the ordinary.

Give up your vocabulary, linear movement, and perceptions of how your form relates to the space around you. Become the brand new being you were when you got here, and see what it has always known, without impositions or corrections. Shapeshift into your body as it is, now. Let it choose the sounds that come out. Give it the freedom to move the way it wants to. Transform into the formlessness of deep being, and dive into what information lives there, because that is who you are.

This observation isn’t about learning the story of your body. It’s about learning your body’s story of you, and those are not the same experiences.

Available now for pre-order on Amazon and other stores, Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism – for the spiritually curious youth in us all.


Wordless Wednesday

Posted by on 9 Apr 2014 in Wordless Wednesday | 0 comments

Photo by jeff medaugh

The Weekly Rune – Kenaz Merkstave

Posted by on 7 Apr 2014 in The Weekly Rune | 0 comments

Kenaz - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellKenaz - Torch - The Runes emerging over the last few weeks indicate a pattern of wrestling with inner loss; thus, the emergence of Kenaz as merkstave sheds deeper light on that trend–pardon the pun.  Merkstave, as it is this week, we are challenged to befriend darkness for the moment. Note that Kenaz is brightstave in the image.

A couple of core meanings are associated with this Rune.  It most often regarded as a spark of hope, or enlightenment, out of the blue. Where Hagalaz is unexpected external change, Kenaz is the internal inspiring flame. Thus, a direction toward change is made evident from the shadows.

Another layer to this Rune references a ‘boil,’ or more specifically a blemish, that which is inflamed and restrained.  Suffering secret pain, a buried hurt is a motivating fire, all its own.

Merkstave, though, subtler hues emerge. When I was about seven or eight, a teacher gave an example of holding on to too much. He presented a Mason jar half-filled with glittering pennies, and asked a participant to take as many pennies as she wanted. She reached into the jar and grabbed a handful of pennies, only her hand was so full that her fist wouldn’t fit back through the jar’s opening. Alas, no pennies for her.

When she reached in and took one-at-a-time, she truly could have as many pennies as she wanted. The point of the demonstration was,  if we’re too busy clinging for dear life to habit without exploring better-suited options, we’ll never enjoy choice, freedom, grooving with the flow. Specifically, we can ask for all the gifts of the Multiverse all day, but if our hands are too full of what we’re afraid to put down, we can never receive those gifts.

It’s a little rudimentary but this presentation perfectly represents Kenaz merkstave. In order to have what you want right now, you’re going to have to let to, period. This isn’t even about letting go of what isn’t needed, so much as just letting go–the state of openness, emptiness, and for now, alone-ness, which may or may not include loneliness.


Don’t turn away from what Kenaz shows you this week. See it for what it is, and do what is required of you to let it go.

Bless it.
Thank it.
Love it, and let it move on to its destiny.

Contact Kelley for a personalized Rune Reading.


Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Posted by on 4 Apr 2014 in Blog Hop | 3 comments

Photo by The Shopping Sherpa @ flickr My weekly gratitude post, in the Celebrate the Small Things [ongoing] Blog Hop.

I’m very thankful for all of my loyal blog readers who didn’t bolt earlier this week when WordPress re-posted about 10 blog posts from 2-3 years ago. Holy cracker barrel, what was that?? My apologies, and thank you!

I’m grateful for spontaneous family adventures!

I’m thankful to have a thoughtful publisher.

I’m happy that my healing is continual.

I’m so pleased that my kids are creating their own educations, with the help of their wonderful father!

Finally, I’m thankful for my bed. It’s so yummy comfy, I can’t even say.

What are you grateful for this week? How will you show thanks?

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Participate by following the link and adding your name to the Linky list, then post your gratitude every Friday.  Easiest blog hop ever!

Click here to hop on… the hop, and thanks for coming with me on this journey of self-empowerment.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by on 2 Apr 2014 in Wordless Wednesday | 0 comments

Photo by Jonathan Gill