Isa – ice- Isa visited almost exactly a month ago. At that time, it brought the challenging message of finding comfort where it seems there is none. This week, it’s emphasis is intentional immobility.
Ehwaz - horse – In just over two years of The Weekly Rune Ehwaz has only visited once. As a result, I find it deeply informative that it presents itself at this time. Concerned with all things totemistic, transportational, and trustworthy, this stave is about getting ready for the ride.
Othala – property - Othala reminds us of what is most important: where we come from, and where we’re going. Where Fehu brings awareness to wealth that must be tended–assets, and investments–Othala focuses on that which we own, that which in many ways tends us–property we inherit, then pass on.
Isa – ice- Keep cool is the message from this last of the winter Runes. Tuck in and be comfortable, because we’re not going anywhere. I like a message that emphasizes relaxation; however, there’s a more to it than that. At this time, we’re challenged to find comfort in something not so comfy, and that’s not as easy as it sounds.
Thurisaz - thorn- Thurisaz hasn’t been The Weekly Rune since fall of 2013. This rarity isn’t totally surprising, as this stave brings in energy of the Giants, and they’re a race not to be taken lightly–kind of a pun, since it represents Thor’s hammer. We can only handle so many doses of their medicine.
Dagaz - Day - We’ve not seen Dagaz since last fall (Mabon, to be specific), so it’s nice to have this closure Rune bring a sense of wrapping up loose ends, now. We can all do with a bit of that, yes?
Dagaz translates to “day,” though it means more than just a turn on Earth’s axis. Bringing in elements of accountability, this stave draws our awareness to micro cycles. Where Jera, in the second aett, speaks of the annual harvest, Dagaz, almost closing the third aett, indicates the daily reaping. Representing the close of a full day’s work, this metaphor for celebrating the culmination of a cycle and regrouping to begin another day is telling.
Yes, it portends observing the bigger needs–notice what came in, what went out, what worked, what didn’t, what to repeat, what new tricks to implement, what to save, what to throw away, what to give. That’s Hearth Accounting 101. Because it focuses on such a slim slice of time, Dagaz, is also about Heart Accounting. It gives the opportunity to realize what of the day had meaning, who we spent our time with, what was joyful, where we need more joy, how attitude affects all of the above. Internal auditing is key, here.
Dagaz comes at the end of something, usually a lot of hard work, and it whispers of celebration. How often do we celebrate at the end of a day? Most of us are just glad we made it home again and in one piece, with the promise of some downtime until we have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
The message is: focus on the now. Don’t look too far ahead. Enjoy what is. Kindle some excitement for what may be, by truly becoming the present. Because at the end of the day… another will follow.
I sometimes call Dagaz the ‘so what?’ Rune, because that’s its simplest, yet most profound teaching. Certainly a huge task has been completed, and celebrations are in order. So what? Don’t get too emotionally involved in things. Keep the ego in check, and do our best, because in the end, there is no end. Only a chance to do it all, better.
Nauthiz - Need - We greet Nauthiz on a fairly regular basis in The Weekly Rune. Considering that we’re perpetual works-in-progress, it makes sense that this middle stave of the second ǽtt’s winter trio shows often to offer insight.
Situated between Hagalaz (harsh change) and Isa (processing outcomes), Nauthiz forces us to confront our limitations and what we’re getting out of them. By that I mean, it highlights the things we say we don’t want, yet hold fastest to. This stave is the niggling feeling that all is not well, without knowing what needs attention. However, often just honoring that something isn’t right is enough to bring mild reprieve, perhaps even movement toward resolution.
When we meet resistance in fulfilling our needs, do we respond compulsively just to make the tension stop? Do we buckle down and address the core issue? Do we risk the reality of learning that our needs are really wants? How we deal with this kind of stress is the heart of Nauthiz, as in learning to move through that stress, the need is either released or met. It is transmuted into movement to the next place we need to be.
Find the places where you stand in your own way, and open dialogue between these two aspects. What parts of you benefit from where you are? What parts are deprived from not moving forward? There’s no wrong answer, only two different perspectives on the present. How you nurture both is the solution.
Now available worldwide, Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism covers several more concerns about shamanic journeying, and how to resolve them.
Jera – Harvest -This stave indicates a time of accountability. Harvest for many is a celebratory time when basic needs are met, possibly with enough to save and share with others. To put into perspective the significance of this Rune and the power it holds, it hasn’t blessed The Weekly Rune since October of 2012. With that timeframe in mind, consider what we’ve planted and harvested, since. What was put into motion then, that has come to fruition, now?
Where Dagaz, in the third aett, is the small day-long cycle of the sun, Jera is the bigger cycle of the sun cycle–dreaming, planting, cultivating, reaping, benefiting, giving, dreaming again. It’s generally regarded as the annual harvest, the recognition of a year’s work, and how far we’ve come.
Jera has no reversed position, which means it is what it is, under all circumstances: payoff! That’s a fabulous thing to hear; however, it isn’t all about celebration. Jera is the internal process of culling what works and what doesn’t, what should be repeated and what should be tossed, what new approaches to try. It’s considering how much we need to live now, and what we can afford to put away for later. It’s realizing how much we have, and what we can give away without jeopardizing future plans.
Whether we’re looking at the period since Jera last appeared, the last year, or the last week, Jera is ‘walk, don’t run’ energy. We’ve just come through a major transformation and finally allowed ourselves to enjoy the good things it gifted us. This isn’t the time to sink into frivolity or drop the momentum. It’s also not the time to penny pinch and stuff the mattress out of fear. One of the hardest things to do after success is to sustain the pace–neither speed up nor slow down. Hold steady.
Be realistic. Jera isn’t about pie-in-the-sky expenditures or fist-clenching conservation. It indicates the time to truly, deeply assess where we are on every level of being. Jera encourages us to celebrate our accomplishments, then ground into the plans of what we most want to grow next. In that way, we’re not just reacting to a cycle; rather, we become an active participant in its process.
Jera is the time for gentle movement and radical self-honesty. Reward yourself, preserve yourself, and keep dreaming.
Gebo – gift- The last time Gebo was The Weekly Rune was 31 December 2012. Has it been that long since we’ve had a gift?
Of course Gebo isn’t just any gift. Its emphasis is on the exchange of giving and receiving, more than on what is given, what is received. In short, it’s about an exchange strengthening a bond.
The emphasis on that bond is why Gebo is often associated with partnership. A Rune winding down the first aett, with Gebo, we’ve come through creating ourselves into being and discovered our power as souls in form. Then it happens–we find friends! Through our ability to give to others, and possibly receive from them, we create our web–the network of support closest to us, which helps us stay actively involved with All Things. In the Jungian hero’s journey, this stage is the acquisition of allies, those in form, in spirit, and within.
The process of drawing to us those who can truly move us along our paths is a powerful thing. Celtic traditions have the concept of anam cara, or soul friend. I’ve written before on this special bond, what it is, and how we interpret it. Anam cara has most often been misinterpreted as ‘soul mate,’ as in a romantic partner. In reality anam cara speaks to a much higher bond that always urges each other toward growth, which could be found in a lover, an animal familiar, a place, a child. As we all know, sometimes growth means periods of discomfort, and all soul relationships aren’t necessarily cheerful. They all, however, hone our sense of self, and what we give to the world. The way we learn what we have to give is through sacrifice, through acceptance.
The bottom line with Gebo at this time is someone is coming or will soon come who can help us reach the next significant place of growth. Perhaps both individuals are helped in the joining, perhaps not. The emphasis is recognizing that a bond has been made, and a new level of self has been attained, as a result.
Celebrate the bond. Be as fully present in it as possible, and know that we’re in this together.
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