Making ancient runelore actionable through direct personal relationship

I know that I hung
on a high windy tree
for nine long nights
pierced by a spear—Odin’s pledge—
given myself to myself.
No one can tell about that tree,
from what deep roots it rises.
They brought me no bread,
no horn to drink from,
gazed toward the ground.
Crying aloud, I caught up runes;
finally I fell.

Hávamál (146)
Patricia Terry translation

Livable runelore?

For so long, we didn’t have access to credible resources on the Elder Futhark. The Internet has opened literally a world of information about their history and cultural context, and how to work with them as an oracle. My approach to the runes brings that rich heritage forward in a way that helps us not just receive the guidance of the runes, but to live it. By working with seasonality, timing, and place through runic calendars, my work centers the Elder Futhark’s animistic roots, which are all about relationship. As I say in my soul tending practice, if something isn’t relatable in personal context, it isn’t very useful. What’s wonderful about the runes is that they aren’t just relatable to us today, their wisdom and guidance is livable. It has stood the test of time.

As animists, runelore is not just representative of concepts we can live with, but ways of being we can live through. This distinction with the runes is the difference between nouns and verbs: the runes don’t just demonstrate a quality, but through intentional relationship with them they impart guidance on how to embody them as an experience. This is wyrdweaving at its deepest potential.

My challenge to you in learning your personal relationship with the runes is to find the places where they are already in you and make them active in your life by engaging them. Throughout season 6 of my podcast, What in the Wyrd, we explore the runes as verbs, and pages will be added below.

Runic date and elemental correlations are from Nigel Pennick’s Runes and Astrology. Rune poem translations are from Runic and Heroic Poems, by Bruce Dickins.

















Reclaiming the Runes One-year Intensive

Immersion animistic runework with Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

Putting the ‘elder’ back in ‘futhark’

The Reclaiming the Runes Intensive offers a primer on the runes as a sonic force,  an alphabet, and as a system of storytelling, timekeeping, and divination. It is your opportunity to learn the Old Norse cultural and cosmological significances in the Elder Futhark, the meaning of each rune, and how to work with them as an oracle and calendar. With this course you learn the historic and animistic roots of the runes, and create your unique relationship to them.

Learn More
Runic Book of Days - 2019 Nautilus Book Award Winner

Runic Book of Days

A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick

2019 Nautilus Silver Award Winner

National Indie Excellence Book Award Finalist

A step-by-step guide to working with the runes throughout the year through rituals and initiations to come into direct relationship with them.

Kelley Harrell, M. Div.


I’m an animist, author, deathwalker, and death doula. Through Soul Intent Arts, I’ve worked with a local and international client base since 2000. My work is Nature-based, and focuses soul tending through everyday animism, ancestral healing, and deathwork.

To learn more about my work, read The Weekly Rune, and listen to my podcast, What in the Wyrd.

We don't heal in isolation,

but in community

~S. Kelley Harrell

Other Courses

Explore other self-paced studies, such as Introduction to Soul Tending, Working with Nature Spirits, and more.


Explore short-term studies, such as coming into deeper relationship with the runes, with Reawakening with the Runes

Contact Kelley to discuss Reclaiming the Runes, and enquire about the details.