Body-by-the-minute, a rune a day.

A conversation with body through runes.
Each morning that I sit down to the runes with the focus on attention to Body, I feel better about who I am in it. Body doesn’t feel better, but I feel grateful for devising a way to give it focus without focusing directly on it. The gymnastics to create copacetic distance contribute to exhaustion.

Sowilo is the rune of the sun, the quintessential life force of our solar system, an Ancestor of everything we know and are. As someone born of the moon, I appreciate the light but ever seek shade.

The vibe of Sowilo is along the lines of pay-it-forward. The sun shines on us so that we may shine on others. I think of how I have shined on Body and feel an immediate inner withdrawal. Every time I point my focus directly at Body something closes off. My therapist would call that dissociation, though it doesn’t feel like it. Rather, it’s more like looking directly into the sun. We can. We shouldn’t. It’s overwhelming for how we’re built, and where Body is concerned, whether I’m insightfully looking right at it or I’m not, it’s still shining, and that is what I can behold. How Body shines. In what dynamics Body shines. How ecosystem flourishes in this awareness. It’s the difference between looking at Body and looking from Body.

For most of my early esoteric studies, by which I mean the 80s-early 20s, there was this projection that to be present meant to be tuned in at every level, all the time. That was embodiment. The goal. Constantly bring awareness back to Present. For someone who is aware of too much data all the time, that seemed exhausting and a lot like neurodivergence. I can do it that way, but it doesn’t make me more me, or more in touch with place-space. It actually makes me less present and more fried.

But what I can do is observe and just be. Take in what I take in, be whatever I be in any given moment, and from that stance I am suddenly more. I am place. The less aware of I am of what the sun is doing, the more I can behold that which it does. The same is true for my relationship with Body. Body doesn’t need me to have piercing insight into its every machination to be with it. It only needs my awareness on it.


I know there’s a lot of discourse on embodiment right now, and ascription to what it is and how it’s achieved. At least for now, I’m more embodied when I’m not trying to be. 

For today I’m not going to try to shine on Body. I’m not going to look directly at it, I’m just going to be among it and peer from it. I’ll take those moments at the edge of where I am and everything else verges in, and know the overlap is still me. Still ecosystems of Body.

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Gain animistic insight into the runes, learn to elder well with ancient wisdom, and cultivate a strong spiritual path

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S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

I’m an animist, author, deathwalker and death doula. For the last 25+ years, through Soul Intent Arts I’ve helped others to ethically build thriving spiritual paths as fit, embodied elders, who upon death become wise, capable Ancestors. My work is Nature-based, and focuses soul tending through the Elder Futhark runes, animism, ancestral healing, and deathwork. I’m author of Runic Book of Days, and I host the podcast, What in the Wyrd. I also write The Weekly Rune as a celebration of the Elder Futhark in season. Full bio.

#beyourcommunity ~ #youareecosystem

elder well, die well, ancestor well


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The Spirited Path Soul Tending Intensive
Reawakening with the Runes mini class

Elder Well

To bear your unique gift to the world.

Die Well

To leave the planet better than you found it.

Ancestor Well

So that your descendants never elder alone.