Too much emphasis on embodiment, not enough on dismemberment - Kelley Harrell, Soul Intent Arts

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

A conversation with the body through runes.

Sometimes I’m slow to learn how to support myself. For whatever reason it’s taken until now for me to turn to the runes to support my body.

Since having COVID in early 2020, I’ve been low level off, by which I mean on top of the disabilities I already tend. It’s just been constantly something, and I know so many people having the same experience, and this is BEFORE calling off the state of emergency later this week. I cringe to think what it’s going to be like after. 

4th time since November, and I really don’t want to go to the doctor. Whether it’s antibiotics or steroids, what they give me hammers my other conditions and what balance I maintain, then it takes my body two months to recover from those. Before COVID this happened twice a year. It was at least a copable rhythm. But now, this, I’m not even getting that much downtime.

Part of my next book deconstructs our modern approach to embodiment as the fix-all for pretty much everything, which is not to say embodiment is bad. Rather, who says what embodiment is, one person to another? The way we deny the taboos of embodiment is what’s bad. The way we just skip right over the precursors of trauma. Too much emphasis on embodiment and not enough on dismemberment.

Devotional practice works for me, at least until my neurodivergence gets bored with it, and this morning I decided to draw a rune for the best support I can give my body right now. I’m going to do that for a while, to deepen how I’m in relationship with my body and hold helpful mindfulness about it. I’ll share them as I go.

Eihwaz is the rune of the yew tree, representing the extremes of life and death, but epitomizing what lies between them: Now. Be-ing. The synergy point of our most sacredness in flesh and weaving the wyrd of what we do with it. Alchemy of agency. Always agency, the center of which is a wide swath of what might include embodiment. More than that, it is a profound way of processing, “I am here!” without defining what I or here mean, and allowing their inherent relationship to define itself. 

And so I will not define my body’s experience of here, today. I will observe it, without judgment, which I’m pretty good at. And I will allow understanding of how my experience of my body is crowded with many things beyond my control–systems, bacteria, viruses, microbes. And some time today I will go sing to my yew.

#EDS #disability #chronicillness #COVID #runes #thebodyawake #eihwaz


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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.

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