Tag: Runes

The Weekly Rune – Sowilo

The Weekly Rune - Sowilo- Intentional Insight's by S. Kelley HarrellSowilo – Sun – Finally! The southeastern US has been under intense winter storms for the last few weeks, leaving a glint of sunlight a welcomed thing! Many other regions remain frozen in winter, while others stretch to grow in summer. Regardless of where you are in the world, the sun sees you.

Every time I encounter Sowilo, my breath catches.  We can talk about all the components of the sun that make it powerful–the inspiring, active element of fire, that its rising each morning indicates we’re still alive, that because of it life on our planet thrives. For me, it comes down to one simple reminder: I’m not alone.

When I was growing up, in history classes I was told stories about how Europeans encountered Native Americans making offerings to the sun, and as a result, thought they were worshiping it. They thought such rituals profane and blasphemy, contemptuous perspectives that coloured their every engagement with the indigenous people of North America.

Many years later, I read an interview with a Native American man, who put a very different spin on that dynamic. He expressed that when his people showed gratitude for the sun, they were not worshiping the sun. They were celebrating the source behind it, thus, the Source behind All Things.

The Runic Wheel of the Year, Soul Intent ArtsThat, indeed, is the reminder this stave brings. From a spiritual perspective, it isn’t just about the amazing presence of the sun. It’s about what shines from behind it and reminds us of the life it gives, to enliven us, so that we may shine on others.

We know darkness. We know the cycle of the sun moves from light, to darkness, to light again, thus from hope, to despair, to accomplishment, repeat. Hold the full cycle of the sun, and we know everything we need to about taking care of ourselves and others.

Find a warm sliver of light these waning days of winter, curl up in it, lie back, and dream. Through dreams come our most profound insights into ourselves, life, and our deepest desires.

Behold the process. Be the change.

Weekly Rune – Othala

Othala - Intentional Insight's Weekly RuneOthala – property – When Othala last appeared as The Weekly Rune  mid-November, it was reversed. This time it’s murk-stave (face down), and the timing and position of the stave now is curious to me, as life feels as frenetic as it was those weeks leading into the holidays. Note that the image shows Othala upright, or bright-stave.

Most regard Othala as the final Rune in the third aett, though some scholars position it elsewhere. Regardless of where it’s located, the agreement of its emphasis on inheritance remains the focus  (Do comment if you have thoughts on its alternate placements!).

Othala reminds us of what is most important. Where Fehu brings awareness to wealth that must be tended–assets, and investments–Othala focuses on that which we own, that in many ways tends us–our property, that which we inherit, then pass on.

Spiritually speaking, it calls our attention to the wisdom of our ancestors, and calls us to own ourselves as part of that wise legacy. In other words, Othala makes us deal with our crap, so that we can see ourselves as informed support in our own council.

Specifically murk-stave, it forces us to deal with what smothers us–possessions, beliefs, thought processes, etc. That seems easy enough, doesn’t it? The problem with that simplistic observation is, we’re usually smothered because we prefer the hell we know. We’re afraid to change. We’re afraid of how changing will challenge our relationships, our status quo.

Now’s the time to choose whether we can continue the rote patterning that has brought us to crisis, or if we can stand in the pain and power of catharsis and step from it into transformation. Nothing less than radical honesty is required, now. All forces available to use are saying, “If you can step out of habit and into personal truth, we can help carry you.” Choosing to stay in the same old patterns and gnashing of teeth… Well, we’re on our own.

Allow the disjoint.  Feel the discomfort only as long as it needs expression, then let it go. Find what’s on the other side of it, because the feeling that comes next is the one that leads to your True Self.

Weekly Rune – Algiz

The Weekly Rune - Algiz, by S. Kelley Harrell, Soul Intent Arts Algiz – elk-sedge -The meaning of Algiz is widely contested, based on varied interpretations of the Rune poems. Some indicate it means elk or stag, while others say it refers to a very sharp grass known as elk-sedge.

However you interpret it, its protective power remains uncontested. The Rune situated between the communiqué of gods and humanity, Algiz, is a Rune of defense.

It’s also interesting to note that in the year-and-a-half of writing The Weekly Rune, this is the first time Algiz has presented itself. This fact is particularly telling as we enter interesting astrological weather, the least of which is Mercury Retrograde, near the end of the week.  Since the holidays we’ve endured a topsy-turvy trip through deep personal reshaping and release. Based on etheric evidence to date, I’d say we’re not nearing completion of that, though we’re certainly gaining allies.

This is where Algiz is significant to me. A deep shapeshifting element comprises this Rune.  The Nature totems of this stave indicate strength in spaces indigenous to us, and by knowing the home space so well, the ability to ally so deeply with it, we disappear in it, or shapeshift into it.  Herein lies the synergy of this stave, and the current planetary shifts:  we know our strengths.

The stave also is akin to that of a splayed hand, indicating “stay back.” We have to know our boundaries, and if necessary how to use them as weapons.

Many of us have a hard time creating and enforcing boundaries. However, if we can’t do that for ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to stand up for us–divine or mundane? in reality, when we can stand on our own boundaries, we are divinely aligned. We are empowered.

Futhark_RSSx150Now is that time. Say no, draw the line, and stand on it, knowing the Multiverse is standing with you.

Weekly Rune – Nauthiz

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

Nauthiz – Need –  That we’re standing in our own way is usually not welcome news. However, that slight clarification to what’s hindering the process helps immensely.  Look no further for the problem, or its solution.

Interesting that this second of three winter staves comes after much of North America was plunged into record-breaking low temperatures and precipitation. From this mid-point many of us have cabin fever just enough to be stir crazy, yet lack the motivation to be the catalyst for change. That uncomfortable space between is precisely the angst of Nauthiz.

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 this 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.

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.

Hold Self carefully this week. Test the confines in the places of strongest resistance and be honest about who’s really holding the reins.

Contact Kelley for a personalized Rune Reading.

Weekly Rune – Fehu

Fehu - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellFehu – wealth – It’s truly amazing to see Fehu present as this week’s Rune, as the last time it visited was in August of 2012. Also, this is only the second time Fehu has been The Weekly Rune.

Fehu, the first stave of the Elder Futhark, is where it all begins. Some would argue otherwise, but that’s a discussion for another venue. Literally interpreted as “cattle,” this stave is generally regarded as meaning “wealth,” that which we must tend to keep assets bountiful and healthy. The ability to tend assets calls to mind foremost that there is something to tend; thus, it affirms the responsibility required to care for movable wealth.

If we reflect on the significance of cattle to Old Icelandic culture, it was to daily life as money is to ours. Cattle was the currency that made bonds, sustenance, shelter. It was the embodiment of energy exchange.

To consider it more deeply, cattle represented Audhumla, the primal cow, who was one of the first formed beings–a predecessor of humanity. What is significant to note about Audhumla, in a nutshell, is she brought herself into being, and she nurtured humanity into being.  Abundance created itself, and in doing so, created beyond itself.

In that light, Fehu isn’t just about the ability to have and maintain currency, but the ability to re-invent ourselves as needed, by tapping into our innate access to Source. It is the primal power that we all hold, and either consciously or unconsciously shape.

That Fehu presents itself to us at this time means pay attention to the mundane plight, secure assets. Before we can venture far and beyond into spiritual platitudes, we must be well-grounded into our everyday needs, desires, and opportunities. When we take care of our house, so to speak, from that firm foundation we have a strong opportunity to fulfill our heart’s desires.

That is a kind of banking none of us can afford not to do. Use this week to weed out what doesn’t support wellbeing–of you or your assets–and let it go. Then set your sights on skills, habits, and relationships that support your growth.

The Weekly Rune – Raidho

Weekly Rune - Raidho, Intentional Insights, Soul Intent ArtsRaidho – travel – Anytime Raidho appears in a cast, I pause, because it draws on all the things most vital to me: words, travel, and the interconnection of All Things. In short, Raidho indicates how we tell our story.

Many people read Raidho in a very literal context, meaning, a journey between two points, emphasizing the mode of transportation involved, movement across space and time, and everything that occurs between origin and destination. Indeed, the stuff of our most compelling stories.

Sometimes to best understand a Rune, examining those framing it gives it deeper context. The journey of the Runes in the first aett is about inspiration becoming form for the first time; thus, it emphasizes the realization of self-empowerment through connection with All Things. Just before Raidho is Ansuz, which is often interpreted as “mouth,” or “breath.” With Ansuz we begin ascribing words to concepts. We begin the murky examination of the thing versus the name we give it. Likewise, we become aware that as we build the language of our formed experience, someone is listening.

Following Raidho is Kenaz, torch, presenting the complex experience of sudden awareness, the spark that ignites, the Aha! moment. It is the moment that meaning has been derived from our experience. With that fuller understanding in mind, let’s revisit Raidho.

Inspiration + Storytelling = Meaning

Ansuz + Raidho = Kenaz

The Runic Wheel of the Year, Soul Intent ArtsOversimplified, but it conveys well. Raidho clarifies the importance of holding focus over duration, associating a starting point and result with every choice, decision, thought, and deed committed along the way.

Are we acting in support of our intention? Are we really making the choices that align us with what we say we want, where we say we want to go? Are we fixed on a precise destination with blinders to the journey, or are we easily taken off course, dazzled by every glittering crossroad?

This week consider inspiration and how it’s expressed. In particular, as we approach Winter Solstice, observe how the process of expressing it shapes you, creates you. What words best describe the light you need in your life? What words express how you move forward into the sun’s new year?

The Weekly Rune – Mannaz

Mannaz - Weekly Rune on Intentional Insights, by S. Kelley HarrellMannaz – human– Again we have another reversed Rune presenting us with an opportunity to go deeper within. As Mannaz reminds us of the strength in human connection, the power of acting with All That Is, so it’s merkstave position calls us to be aware of when we are not connected, when we don’t feel part of the greater flow. Note that Mannaz is pictured upright, or bright-stave.

Last week, Eihwaz encouraged us to change, and Mannaz may be asking us to sit with the effects of that change.  It calls us to put down rational thinking and go with gut feeling, which for some may be frightening to do.

Likewise, as this Rune is about connecting with other people, its reversed position gives caution to the way in which we socialize this holiday season. Calling to mind community concerns, it may be helpful to tend the web, itself. It may not necessarily be about any personal need, but to be aware of our interconnectedness, and perhaps give a little extra to the care of our bonds.

Also, Mannaz  illuminates the human in balance with itself. Take time this week to address Mind/Body/Soul/Emotional needs. Just as you draw on support around you, truly, deeply support yourself. This act of self love is your calling, your gift, and your greatest secret potential.

As you come to terms with your own challenges in connecting, know that you’re not alone. Even through our isolation, we are joined. Everyone you know is going through something that leaves them feeling separate.

Mannaz isn’t without bright notes, regardless of position. Just as merkstave, it indicates feeling outside the web of All Things, so it portends our rejoining.

The Weekly Rune – Eihwaz

Eihwaz- Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellEihwaz – Yew – I like to note trends in The Weekly Rune series, as patterns in casts can inform us on a Rune, as much as its meaning. The last time Eihwaz was cast for the week, of note was jarring interaction between Uranus and Pluto. So, of course, this week that same interaction is highlighted again, coming out of its tight November alignment, and ever encouraging change through crisis. Not exactly gentle nudging toward self-hood.

Appropriately, Eihwaz arrives at the end of something.  Of course this dance between Uranus and Pluto doesn’t close until 2015, though picking up the pieces after their latest interlude glides right along with presenting Eihwaz.

The 13th and middle Rune in the Futhark, this stave represents the turning point. As the yew is both sweet and poisonous, so its teaching will either make or break us–likely both. Yes, there has been a wearing down of what we think we want, compared to what we need, over the last few weeks. The deeper consideration is, what will we do with what we’ve learned? How do we move forward having seen our True Selves?

One of the hardest things in life to do is change. We live in a fast-paced culture that demands we keep up to survive. Ironically, we also skate along spiritual paths that require slow steeping in mindful awareness in order for us to affect deep transformation.  How do we accomplish both, when they seem in opposition to each other? How can we change amidst forces that want us to stay the same? Better yet, how do we deal with the guilt of not changing, once we’ve glimpsed our power?

This conflict exacerbates the gap between knowing what we most need, and sacrificing to make sure we have it, that we become it. Such a hinge point is the crux of Eihwaz. It is the mirror image of self we can’t look directly into, yet crave most deeply.

Through Eihwaz we learn that we are not the extremes, but some balanced place between, some point of power we want to attain without realizing we’re already its center.

Weekly Rune – Othala

Othala - Intentional Insight's Weekly RuneOthala – property – I don’t generally draw reversed Runes, so working with them has seldom been a concern for The Weekly Rune. However, this week’s Othala did, indeed, present reversed, and I feel it’s worth exploring the Rune as such. Note that the image presents Othala upright, or bright-stave.

Othala reminds us of what is most important. Where Fehu brings awareness to wealth that must be tended–assets, and investments–Othala focuses on that which we own that in many ways tends us–our property, that which we inherit, then pass on. Spiritually speaking, it calls our attention to the wisdom of our ancestors, and calls us to own ourselves as part of that wise legacy. In other words, Othala makes us deal with our crap.

When I see it reversed, what comes to mind are the places that we have become out of sync with how our legacy must move forward. What does it mean for that wisdom not to be dispersed? What if we’re not getting needed memos from our ancestors? How, then, do we know what should be pass on? Without that awareness, how can we step into our role as elders of our lines?

In my Thursday Betwixt series I will discuss this more in-depth over the coming weeks, though offer condensed insight here. In the west, we generally don’t focus our lives on spiritual healing, by which I specifically mean alleviating that which obscures our joy, our connection to All Things, the way that indigenous cultures do.

The result of this omission is that we take our traumas and hurts into our deathwalk, which means that when our consciousness releases from the body, that distress remains. It has to go somewhere, which is to the successors of that line. Because we don’t focus on peaceful life, thus transition, instead of gaining the wisdom of our elders, we take on their pain.

Othala indicates that we are carrying a weight greater than a single life can bear. It’s telling us that before we can seat into the role of elder in our lines, we must bless those who came before us. We must relieve them.

Go into this week with the awareness that your ancestors need and deserve delivery from their pain, and that by giving it, you gift yourself their fortitude, their timelessness, and the wisdom of ages.

Weekly Rune – Sowilo

The Weekly Rune - Sowilo- Intentional Insight's by S. Kelley HarrellSowilo – Sun – This cast brings the second appearance of Sowilo as we enter this cycle’s Dark Time.  I’ve never drawn the Rune of light once during the Dark Time. Twice is, indeed, telling.

It’s no accident that cats  can locate the smallest patch of sunlight, curl themselves to fit it almost precisely, and extract every second of warmth from it for the coziest of naps. Such precision and creature comfort is the tone of Sowilo, at this time.

This year has been tough on a lot of people, financially, socially, physically, mentally. A lot of work has gone into mere survival. For many of us, the same amount of effort goes into rest. We just don’t give ourselves a break, or the ability to enjoy a natural reprieve. Likewise, Nature doesn’t often offer them.

Sowilo offers a safe, snug ray of light to rest on, for now. Allow the resourcefulness of cats at this time. Find the places where you can find respite, perhaps warmth. Give yourself the opportunity to accept the breaks you’re given, and use them to express gratitude, to regain strength, and to muse on what comes next.

The Runic Wheel of the Year, Soul Intent ArtsAlas, even cats know the sun slips away. Such is Nature, cycles, timing. When the skies part and offer you a blessing in the form of rest, take it. Don’t push through and keep working. Don’t spin on what you should have done, and how you can do it all better. Those are constants. Good, bad, or indifferent, they are our standard mode of operation. Step out of rote patterning and take this time for yourself, to lie back and dream. As you know, through dreams come our most profound insights into ourselves, life, and our deepest desires.

Kick back and play hookie, because as sure as the sun rises, it sets. Claim your path of sunlight, recharge, and boldly carrying that renewed life force, persevere into change.