Tag: animism

Weekly Rune – Othala

Othala - Intentional Insight's Weekly RuneOthala – property – How telling that last week Dagaz appeared, the second to last Rune, and this week we greet Othala, the final Rune in the Futhark. Dagaz encouraged us to enjoy the fruit of our work, and now Othala instructs us to take that bliss to heart.

Often concerned with what we own, inherit, then pass on to others, Othala is about our center. What sustains us, what grounds us into Nature and All Things, what carries us when all else crumbles. It’s hard to think in these terms when life is going well. Yet how we develop our awareness in the good times is what allows us to make it through the hard times. Holding to discipline amidst bliss can be as challenging as scrambling to know bliss, at all.

Where Fehu, the first Rune, is about wealth, that which must be tended, collected, accounted for, Othala calls our attention to a different kind of prosperity. With this Rune we focus on the value we have created with our time here, that which will go on long after we’re gone. Othala is about the legacy, the one we pick up and do our best with, and the one we leave for others to step into.

That sounds romantic and fulfilling, yet consider what is passing on. Our smile? Our fears? Our wisdom? Our garden? Our wounds? All of these things have legacies, and they do go on without us. The responsibility of Othala isn’t just about finding and sustaining our own joy, but in determining how we pass it on, deducing that we ‘re passing it on.

In truth, when we touch the face of elation, the miracle of experiencing it is one thing. The grace of sharing it is another.


Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Small Things Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

My weekly gratitude post, in the Celebrate the Small Things [ongoing] Blog Hop.

Had a great Mother’s Day weekend.

Sustained my workout schedule this week, making me three-fer.

Reached the half-way point on a huge day job task.

Figured out how to make excellent gluten-free onion rings.

Made acupuncture a priority, despite having a crazy week.

Great quality time with the kids this week, and a great date with my love!

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

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small ThingsParticipate 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.

Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Small Things Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

My weekly gratitude post, in the Celebrate the Small Things [ongoing] Blog Hop.

Created a wonderful landscape with my family this week, which included weeding enormous flower beds and tucking in lots of wonderful plant spirits.

Sustained my work out schedule this week, making me two-fer.

Had two magazine interviews. Not sure when they will come out.

Completed a cover story of a friend’s fabulous work. Again, no idea…

Great sessions with clients.

Had an article featured on The Wakeup.

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

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small ThingsParticipate 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.

Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Small Things Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BYFor 9 years, I’ve been very careful to keep my blog focused on animistic and shamanistic content, and within those parameters what inspires, what sustains, what empowers. With that in mind, I’ve decided to participate in a weekly ritual with others, to celebrate otherwise small unsung accomplishments in my life.

I’m not very good at priding myself on anything, a trait upon which I’d like to improve. I’m also not as good about ceremony. I tend to keep things low key. With that in mind, every Friday myself and the other participants in this contagion of victory will spread the message of small successes. I hope that by undertaking this public personal endeavor you will learn more about me, and also be moved to realize the victories in your life, particularly the small ones that you would usually overlook.

This week has been a doozy, though I suppose they all are in some way.  My small victories this week are getting caught up on articles that needed to be written for others, having an article troubleshooting modern shamanic journeying come out in Circle Magazine (Issue 113), getting —->this close <— to finishing the first draft of my current manuscript, got a request for an interview.  A wild and unexpected development is that the Weekly Rune column was picked up by the Huffington Post. Also, I started working out regularly this week.  Finally, opening this blog to be more personal. Good things, all around.

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

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small ThingsParticipate 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.

Weekly Rune – Nauthiz

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


Nauthiz – Need – Have you noticed that the last time Nauthiz was the Weekly Rune, Mannaz came the week prior, as is the case this time? It’s not a coincidence, and I swear I have more than two Runes in my bag!

By now we know that Mannaz is about learning to call on support and finding mind/body/soul balance, and that Nauthiz encourages us to slow down and be sure of our process.  What does it mean that at this time we are being repeatedly called to be certain of our personal cosmology? That the way we order ourselves and observe how our order is supported by, supports, reflects, and fosters our authenticity? It’s a big question to ask.

So often we turn ourselves inside out to get into a routine that provides spiritual discipline, mental focus, physical strength, and emotional nourishment. Specifically, most of us don’t find that clarity without baptism by fire, without deep crisis prompting life change. We wouldn’t even look at ourselves at that level without deep personal emergency. Taking the step to take charge of our core wellbeing is perhaps the most important one we take in our whole lives. So then, how do we respond when the Universe asks us to change that routine, or to question its current relevance? We are used to questioning whether we’re in balance, not the method by which we sustain it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, yes?  The very idea that what works needs to change can generate crisis all its own.

This week gently consider where soul sustenance has become rote.  This is a bold undertaking from inside the comfort zone. We may gaze upon the scape of our spiritual discipline and see that it works fine, all is well, stability abides. Bless it, thank it, then look again. The message of repeated Mannaz then Nauthiz is that something somewhere in our personal spiritual path isn’t as it seems, even if that thing is reluctance to change the spiritual path. Recall, that which nourishes and guides us to expand our consciousness isn’t meant to be comfortable. It’s not meant for escapism. It’s meant to grow.

As you examine your personal spiritual path and find so much as a crack, address it now. This is your furlough of the soul. This is your opportunity to step back and find the glinting threads that bind your passion to your footsteps again, and find the way that meets your current needs in carrying it through everything you do.

This Runic duo heartily encourages us to use the resources at our disposal, to make the changes needed in our lives, however very personal and sacred.  This combination is saying that we can either make that change of our own volition–initiate controlled crisis–or the Universe will initiate one for us.







Domestic Violence and Soul Release

Woman Smoke by Graham Crumb, Imagicity.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsKelley, I survived domestic violence, leaving a marriage 4 years ago (the divorce was 3 years ago). The marriage lasted 14 years. I’m so much happier now, like night and day, but feel stuck in several areas of my life. It feels like the former marriage hangs over me like a gray cloud. What’s going on? Negative thought patterns? Evil spirits? How can I break free of this?  Thanks, P.

Thanks for your note, P. Wow, your ex was a piece of work! When I ask to see the source of the cloud you feel, I’m shown a manifestation of your former spouse. In the distance I see a younger manifestation of you, though I can’t get to you because your ex stands between us. The spouse’s manifestation is a feminine elemental covered in writhing green vines, and the field around her swirls with daggers and blades that slice anything that nears her. She’s cloudy and dark, and her skin is sallow. Her teeth are elongated and sharp, and she lunges at me. My sense is that this manifestation is a component of your spouse that is stuck in your field, though it is more than that. The hold your ex has maintained since your departure has become its own life force–this seething green elemental.

I ask her simply if this is her life’s destiny, to torment you, even after parting.  She stops gnashing at me and stares blankly. I ask her again if this is what she wants to do with her consciousness forever, and she drops to the ground, sobbing. She tells me that it isn’t what she wants, though her life force says otherwise. I suspect she is telling me what I want to hear, and after a few seconds she attacks me again.

I hold up my hand and tell her this kind of interaction is not an option. She can go up for healing willingly, or my guides and hers can take her there. Either way, this stops here. For a few more seconds nothing changes, and I place my hand in her etheric field. When I do I see blood and a gaping wound at her root chakra, and overall she’s generally hurt. She becomes a twenty-something woman then, who is exhausted and in a lot of pain. At this point she goes up for healing to the soulbody workers, and she moves on to her destiny. My guides clean up the scene where she had camped for so long, which also ripples healing out to others she harmed along her path. Finally I am able to reach the manifestation of you that is there.

You, likewise, are war torn and hurt, also very eager for healing. When I bring you up, you replenish quickly, and this manifestation of you is released. As well, the area in which you were held is healed, and my feeling is this clearing of your former spouse from your field is what has been needed.  She is now free to address her pain and reasons for being abusive in a way that doesn’t harm you or anyone else. Likewise, you are in a place where you can choose more freely how to move forward without her influence.

This feeling of a cloud over you has been one long, draining spiritual emergency, PTSD of the soul. With it now cleared, take care to shore up your protection for a few weeks. Often after releasing energy that has weighed us down for years, when free of it we are vulnerable. Any sore sports, memories, feelings that come up from your time with her, bless them as merely passengers moving through on the way to their destinies. You can just hold the door and let them go. New irritations and sensitivities that arise over the next few days are just your etheric field remapping, raw nerves finding new pathways. Try not to get too into the feelings of things, and let them pass through as well, just observing, feeling.

You are wise to realize what a good place you are in now, P. I hope that you can stand more clearly and firmly in that strength as you shift more into yourself. If I can help you further, I’m happy to.

Weekly Rune – Mannaz

Mannaz - Weekly Rune on Intentional Insights, by S. Kelley Harrell

Mannaz – human– This week Mannaz fosters our fullest potential. Relationships are key, and whatever is on the agenda can only be accomplished when we make use of our  collected resources. Rest assured, though, all signs point to success in your work, when you can create outer and inner balance.

I call Mannaz the animistic Rune, though that could likely be said about all of them. I say it regarding Mannaz because it looks like Wunjo facing a mirror image of itself. Wunjo is the Rune of joy or delight, which is often characterized as the Law of Attraction–the point at which we’ve figured out that how we hold ourselves determines our lot in life. Joy beholding itself. By finding joy where we are, joy finds us everywhere. The effect of Mannaz, in that case, would be, how we hold ourselves affects us all.

From a shamanic standpoint, in cosmologies Mannaz represents the strata where humans are most directly empowered, or what some might call the Middle World. It’s the place of Earth spirituality, the fae, Nature Spirits, and the pool of our formed wisdom and compassion. If you’re struggling with how to best tap into the power of this Rune, look no further than your imagination. Imagine what you want. Sense it, see it, taste it, listen to it, feel it. So it is. Such power of manifestation is the gift of the Middle World, the act of Mannaz.

Just as Mannaz indicates humans interconnected and drawing on the spiritual resources in their home domain, it also illuminates the human in balance with itself. Take time this week to address Mind/Body/Soul/Emotional needs. Just as you draw on the support of those around you, truly, deeply support yourself. This act of self love is your calling, your gift, and your greatest secret potential.


Spiritual Emergency, Awakening, and Tribe of the Modern Mystic

A component of shamanism that makes it different from other esoteric paths is servitude to a community. How one defines community can be as unique as the shamanist, herself. When I began my Masters work in 2010, learning what community I serve was a key focus. From my admissions essay through my thesis, I aligned my work with creating the Tribe of the Modern Mystic.  I don’t know how it dawned on me, as I’d spent 12 years creating and sustaining The Saferoom Project, a peer support nonprofit for adult survivors of child sexual assault. I’d also devoted 12 years to deepening my shamanic path, personally and in working with others. I fully expected my formation of community to comprise some facet of assault survivors, though no matter how much I devoted to that work, I was pulled to mentoring intuitives in spiritual emergency. No matter how I put out the intention for working with survivors to be my community, the clients and students who darkened my doorway were budding seers and healers, every day people reeling from some experience of the wyrd that left them wholly changed and oppressively alone in their transition.

Talking Stick, Tribe of the Modern Mystic, Soul Intent ArtsBut I didn’t want that to be my community.

The first time I heard the phrase “spiritual emergency” was from my therapist in 1994. It had just been added as a diagnosis in the DSM-IV  the year before. The day we met she told me that she could help me with symptoms of dis-ease in my life–depression, low self-confidence, PTSD, though she said flat out that she felt my distress was of a spiritual nature. She explained spiritual crisis as an awakening, in which the soul or consciousness is expanding more rapidly than the emotions or psyche can process. I can’t express what a unicorn she was, in the mental health care profession back then, able to make that statement with certainty. I spent just under 3 years working with her, experiencing great improvement of my symptoms, though the day we terminated, wholly affirmed that I was still experiencing spiritual crisis. Within two weeks of that last session I committed to deeper teaching on my shamanic path, had a soul retrieval, and felt relief from crisis for the first time in my life.

I didn’t want to walk back through that. To explore my capabilities in helping others assimilate spiritual crisis into soulful awakening required me to re-examine my rootless beginnings as an intuitive. It would force me to recall decades of knowing I was different in a way that defied vocabulary, the endless frustration and depression around feeling called to something that had no boundaries or guidelines, the loneliness of a solitary path, and the fear of many inexplicable phenomena that were part of my norm. I didn’t want to walk back through any of those things or the feelings they stirred.  Yet in greeting the stories of others, mine re-emerged as a strong shamanic narrative, encouraging others to stay the course and affirming that they weren’t alone. Along with reviewing my history of spiritual emergency came unexpected emotional snarls tangling my abusive childhood once again with my spiritual path, even if only that both were occurring at the same time, that despite trauma from those different sources, the pain felt the same.

[learn_more state=”open”] An isolated hour with someone who utterly understands you can’t sustain next to weeks, months of inundation from others who don’t, and likely can’t. [/learn_more] I also began to see patterns of those struggling into awakened life coping with mental illness, separation from lifelong beliefs about self, religion, and cosmology, and a resounding lack of support from loved ones during this intensely jarring time.  Their therapists didn’t understand, and neither their clergy, community, or other caregivers.  I found myself at the center of a gathering of people who badly needed support in an area that, like it or not, I was providing. Yet, in those tenuous relationships, I realized they needed more, just as I needed more.  They needed to hear it from someone besides me, more frequently than their routine trip to the local shaman, from a voice that could be engaged as needed, from others who understand what they were going through. An isolated hour with someone who utterly understands you can’t sustain next to weeks, months of inundation from others who don’t, and likely can’t. Most of them never spoke of the supernatural events in their lives to anyone but me.  They entrusted me with their most precious secrets. How in the world would I create community when we had all been so ostracized in our personal lives that we couldn’t even speak our truths unless we thought only the Divine was listening?

In indigenous cultures, this dialogue would likely never happen. Not that they don’t experience spiritual emergency.  They do–it’s called initiation. It’s called enlightenment, because they understand that enlightenment isn’t a sudden, dazzling solution to all of your problems. It cracks you open from the inside and requires you to rewire, start over, and do nothing the same. Shamanic cultures wouldn’t have this dialogue because they are born into their communities. They come into the world with the support system to witness, honor, bless, and grow their wild, intuitive selves from day 1. Such is not so clear in the west.

I’ve been on my healing path since I was six years old. From the age of seventeen I began my shamanic path. At twenty-seven I began working with others as a facilitator of healing. I realize now, as with all spiritual truths,  the shaman doesn’t find the community, the community finds the shaman.

If you feel a need for such support not only of your experience, but in the development of your mystical life, learn more about the Tribe of the Modern Mystic. My life’s work, my heartsong, and my compassion welcome you.

Weekly Rune – Laguz

Weekly Rune - Laguz, by S. Kelley Harrell, Intentional InsightsLaguz – Water – Interesting that I’ve written this column since June of last year, and I haven’t drawn Laguz until now. What about this timeframe and the elements available to us makes flow a more pressing concept to bring into our awareness?

The mutable, emotional element, Laguz is the realization of abundance, the indicator of All Things flowing as Nature intends. That sounds all nice and tidy, though the water element is anything but. When we think of flow, most of us envision a stream, neat current framed by boundaries,  picturesque evidence that life goes on regardless of debris in the way. We forget that it can be torrential, smothering, devastating, and overwhelming when its boundaries change.  However presented, though, of how the space around water is defined by it. Every stone, shell, grain of sand,  blade of grass, animal, perhaps human, in its vicinity is shaped by how water moves along its path.

Take time this week to consider how your emotions are driving you, and how you can move with them. We often resist feelings that are too intense, too heavy, too wet. We create tight boundaries to keep them in check, when sometimes they just need to spill over, be messy, saturate. What we can’t feel won’t heal, and the presence of Laguz informs us that now is the time. As in the Buddhist practice of tonglen ,we can let feelings come up, breathe in their utter distress, and upon exhaling intend compassion, for self, for All.

In truth, we can breathe through and release pent up feelings anytime, though Laguz announces to us that specifically now, the flow of life around us can carry them away.  The ally of water helps us do that work.

Weekly Rune – Berkano

Bernkano- Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley Harrell
Berkano – Tree – How wonderfully appropriate to draw a sigil of spring, as the Northern Hemisphere approaches warmer climes. Having survived the cold and dark winter, we greet this message of ‘dues paid.’ We can begin again.

Associated with the Goddess, or Feminine Divine, keep the focus on ideas, projects, and plans you are birthing this week. This second Rune of the final aett follows Tiwaz, connected with Tyr, or Tuisto. Tuisto’s legacy is two-fold. Having sacrificed his hand to save humanity, he realized with deep anguish that he couldn’t save his people. The result was a heart-wrenching and abrupt change of plans, resulting in the creation of another iteration of the human race. How natural that Sacred Mother Berkano follow the birth of this new people, not only to nurture their survival and guide their growing consciousness, but to heal their father, Tuisto, in his time of need and restoration.

Truly potent things are brewing. Stay with the process of their development, and carefully tend their needs, as well as your own.  This week is about caregiving what you are becoming, and being willing to accept the resources that support you in that endeavor. Likewise, bless the path behind you, and realize that all of new life is ahead.