For the week of 29 January 2023

Re-humaning

Algiz (amethyst) is the half-month rune through 12 February. Algiz (cedar stave) is the intuitive rune, and Berkana (polymer clay/rosemary tile) indicates Reason’s message to us. For this feeding the roots time, the spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Mink Rib in Spring, with element Mycelium in the direction of Within. Read right to left is Algiz, Algiz, then Berkana.

The full runecast will be publicly available two weeks from publication.

What's a Runic Calendar?

The Elder Futhark runic calendar I work with is based on the work of Nigel Pennick. It has the potential to provide humanity keys for how we live in season with All Things. Through #theweeklyrune I share the Futhark’s insight on how to live better as animists, to make better choices based on keen insight into the present, and to help each of us be more active in creating a better life for us all. That realization includes living with All Things as family, learning to tend what can’t just be fixed, and using every tool at our disposal to do so. The runes are such a tool, and in the Old Norse tradition, this process is wyrdweaving at it deepest potential. The runes provide one way that we can create ourselves as fit elders, so that upon our good death, we can be well Ancestors.

What’s a half-month rune?

“Half-month” is an astronomical concept in which each month is divided into two parts: days 1-15, then 16-month’s end. In terms of the runic calendar, each half-month rune is one of the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark, and governs for a tad over two weeks (14 and 1/4 days, or a fortnight).

How is the Runecast Done?

The Weekly Rune is a (mostly) three-rune cast, situated among spirits of place. Those runes are the half-month, the intuitive rune, and the sacred overview. When the runecast falls at a half-month transition, the fourth rune is included. The half-month is a set rune, which for the most part follows the traditional ordering of the Elder Futhark. However, in the calendric ordering observed by Pennick, the order is slightly different. The intuitive stave (meaning, I draw it blind) indicates the life force most available to us, and suggests how we can best handle the half-month energies. The final rune (also drawn blind) provides a high overview of the current time, and speaks from voices other-than-human, which are non-human concepts and beyond Earth beings. These sacred voices are Allies, and have been Nature, Earth, Continuity, Creation, First Ancestor, Survival, etc. I note who’s speaking each week, as it is revealed.

Spirits of place are represented through osteomancy, season, elements, and directions. Each brings a nuance of how to work with the half-month rune, or how to engage forces of the season on a more personal level in the reader’s geographical and cosmological context. Osteomancy honors other-than-human Helping Spirits on Earth. The elements indicate our best deathwalking/enlivening/tempering force for the time, and the directions offer relationship to place as the best energetic grounding or area where work is needed. These additional beings in the cast give us actionable ways to engage the runes in season and move among with them. Readers should feel free to work with Spirits of Place that most resonate with this runecast, even if they show up differently in their cosmologies and relationships.

New to Runecasting?

  • Catch a couple of my IGTV videos, which explain the intention and process behind the runecast, and what makes it different from other ways of casting.
  • Listen to my What in the Wyrd podcast, which is available across all popular podcast platforms, including Google Play and  iTunes.
  • A few people have asked the reason that I switch between different rune sets for TWR. The short answer is: because. The more nuanced answer is, I ask which sets wants to speak each week. I don’t assume the same elements are in play according to the timing of the runes; I also don’t assume the same elements of my runes are appropriate to speak each week. I did a podcast on this subject, so there’s more info there. (See above)
  • Also, for deep work on coming into relationship with the runes in season, check out my book, Runic Book of Days.

Why Join Patreon?

This is the free version of The Weekly Rune.  Get the full benefit of the  ad-free, detailed version every Sunday, by joining my private runes community at Patreon. The paid runecast includes:

  • more detail 
  • ad-free
  • audio blog, with galdr of the runecast and instruction on how to use each sound for felt sense resonance
  • the current runes’ impact on human life force 
  • insights on how to best manage the curves and twists therein
  • introspective prompts to nuance and tend self-work

Other Patreon offerings:

  • Community connection via ​Discord
  • live video classes
  • runic insights,  book excerpts, release newsfree classes
  • optional services with me
  • discounts on soul tending services

The Runecast

When we begin moving through the second aett in season, it brings a time of re-examining who we think we are alongside challenges in form. We confront natural disaster and deeper truths of who we are as we navigate the interdynamics of human-person agency. In our recent runecasts, we talked about Perthro being the rune that breaks the 4th wall of the Futhark, by which I mean, it’s the first point in the progression of working with the runes to understand how to human well that we get the memo that we weave wyrd. We have a say. We are part of the process, not just beings the process is happening to. With Algiz that peering behind the curtain widens with the awareness of belonging, through Nature.

Learn more about this seasonal progression, and how to draw its insights into the personal spiritual path in Runic Book of Days.

What Does It Mean?

Algiz appeared as a supporting rune in last week’s cast, and I mentioned how often when we talk about Algiz, it’s with protection at the fore of the conversation, though what gets left out of that dialogue is how that protection is through relationship with Nature. It is through the web of kinship of all of Nature. It’s not a gift in which bunnies encircle humans and lay flowers at their feet promising protection. It’s not transactional, but reciprocal. Protection isn’t given, but exchanged through deep, intentional relationship.

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Only once before in TWR has the describing rune been the same as the half-month rune. So when Algiz says the best way to Algiz is to Algiz, it’s pretty clear: take it to the ecosystem. It feels like a double down on last week’s encouragement to really understand what we can weave into being personally and collective and do it, while having healthy boundaries around what we can’t, and to go this in relationship

Yes, most of the hardship we’re enduring on the planet now is human-born. The systems we navigate against every day are human-created. To be really specific, they are supremacy-born. They are colonization-born. These aren’t life approaches that evolved from interdependence. They were intentional breaks from it. The story there is, when we aren’t living in cohesion with our place-space, we aren’t working with sacred order. We aren’t functioning from within community, and that’s what Algiz teaches.

We accomplish nothing without ecosystem. We accomplish nothing alone, but in community. We accomplish nothing for ourselves that isn’t beneficial to community. So if there’s a guiding principle with double Algiz, it’s be where we stand. Become active in the ecosystem relationship. Function from the heart of it in everything we do, because moving among in that way creates a new normal where there’s no difference.  

Which is what all of humanity came from.

And it’s where we have to go in order to create a normal that’s truly better than what we’ve come from.

With Algiz, I also want to challenge each of us to sit with how we think of and word our relationship to Nature, ecosystem. The words my brain wants to go to are “re-wild,” as is the buzz word. To recall our “human animal.” But even those phrasings stem from a colonized origin. They still posit us as adjacent to ecosystem, rather than part of it, or as something we were part of at one time, then left. We never left; our awareness changed, pretty much as a trauma response. We wouldn’t have thought of ecosystem as something we coexist alongside (and lord over) prior to colonization, as indigenous people now don’t. We would have seen ourselves as indivisible from it, reliant on it, and responsible for it. Our existence would have been bound to it, the inangard as much as utgard. 

Even in spirit ally relationships with Nature beings, we often see them as side kicks there to inform us. Algiz takes that hierarchical trash to the curb and reinforces that we do the work in ourselves to situate ourselves in ecosystem with reciprocity on all levels.

Berkana with the voice of Reason gave me pause. When I think of reason I think of projected logic, which in settler culture defaults to preferring colonizer perspectives and the routes taken to arrive there. Against the playing field of “science” and “data,” all else is considered uncivilized. I’ve also experienced this in a more modern context of atheism, projecting that what isn’t ‘rational thought’ (again, by whose standard) is irrational. So I had some unpacking to do before I could let the presence come in.

When I asked Reason to let me feel it, I felt brushings of sacred order, though with a decidedly human contribution, and that’s when Reason clarified. We have a say, and we have to be viscerally clear what that say is (Ansuz), because whether we are or are not, our agency becomes its own life force once expelled. It goes on to live not just in the world but in orlog, for all time.

So yes, Reason. Think it through. Feel it through. All routes to connection are valid data. Determine how Self is in relationship, particularly with this week’s emphasis on ecosystem. What Reason comes through ecosystem? How does ecosystem experience and reflect sacred order? What challenges or blocks does Self experience in knowing human Reason influences wyrd and orlog?

Berkana takes the edge off some of the challenge of this week. How is Self in relationship with ecosystem? How is the Reason of Self applied to foster ecosystem? These are hard things to ponder, because they challenge the ways in which we support systems that undermine our efforts with all of the aforementioned. Associated with nurture and rest in its own way, Berkana affirms the work we’ve done. It offers affirmation that we really have arrived at the wisdom, skills, and experience that we have, and encourages us to take a moment to realize this, and let it become truth.

Berkana comes after ordeal. It is the medicine given and that which evolves from the care taken to recover, to rehabilitate. We live in a culture that has us dash from one ordeal to the next, with no downtime between to process. Even with regard to our spiritual enlightenment (cringe), we’ve internalized the drive to want the intuitive evolution without rooting the transformational experience into our physical, energetic, and emotional lives. Berkana is the reminder that enlightenment experiences mean nothing if they’re not embodied, thus, it is our reminder to do that at this time.

We’re building a new normal. Our culture isn’t going to give us time to shake off the crud of the one(s) we’re moving from before we’re required to do heavy lifting for what is to come. We have to make the time for that the best we can. In this runecast, Berkana is reminding us that also can be done in relationship with ecosystem. They are moving along this progression with us. They need support for the changes we’re undergoing, just as much as we do. This is a place where interdependence can happen, but we, the human-persons, have to initiate it. We have to demonstrate consistent intentional presence in our ecosystems to gain that trust. And it just happens that a really good way to Berkana is time in Nature.

The Helping Spirit Mink (Rib) in Spring portrays this week as a time of new growth and creativity, suggesting that Reason may come in unexpected ways. Mink supports this element of surprise also, in that they can squeeze out of tight spaces and access spaces others wouldn’t normally be able to. They move silently and often unseen, so they overhear a lot. They fondness for tight spaces indicates a boundary, in that they like to control and gatekeep what comes and goes. These are good qualities to take into forming our own Reason. They present an intentional, methodic approach to moving in the world in such a way that monitors what comes in and synthesizes how it influences our Reason, our relationships to our own ecosystem’s secret spaces.

Element Mycelium is also incredibly supportive. Mycelium underlies every aspect of life–death, support, birth. It may be the original midwife and deathwalker. Given that, there is no one “meaning” with it. It may be more useful to explore it as the backbone of life, and check in with it to learn how to deepen bonds with ecosystem or how to be fruitful with Reason. In short, Mycelium holds the secrets to souling-in-form well. 

That this runecast is occurring in Within reinforces that we set the parameters. It informs us that there are parameters to be set, as well as we have to take action on them (As in, if we don’t other forces will plug in random parameters that may or may not be beneficial). 

Within is the direction of the center of who we are–our center of personal cosmology, stretching out into All Things. It is soul in form. It is animisming in interdependence and belonging. It is our direct personal relationship to being here, now, embodied. Within speaks to our capability of allowing body to be both the boundary for and determiner of our experience here. It reiterates our accountability to formed being, the reminder that we have foot in both worlds that meet at the heart. Despite that the heart and passion can easily dictate how we move among, we are challenged to remember to move with our whole Selves, with our whole Within. 

Within both exalts what is wonderful about being in form, while fully honors that we are also Other. It fosters us to remember that we do not and cannot forgo honoring all of who we are. We literally do not have to choose, though we do have to consciously move from Within. 

Everything in this cast reinforces that we have to be active in how we hold and use our agency. With regard to  Algiz, we have to learn for ourselves how ecosystem fits into this. 

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What is your relationship to your ecosystem, really?

  • What do you want it to be?

  • What changes can you make daily to move closer to that?

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Galdr

The way that I use galdr is through chanting. I find repetition of the base phonetic helps me feel the rune. Remember that the Elder Futhark isn’t a language. It was originally an alphabet, incorporated into mythical origin. It functions phonetically, both in spelling and pronunciation. Given that, galdr isn’t terribly different from the overall pronunciation, and the emphasis is on the intention of the chant, not so much the pronunciation.

My personal emphasis in galdr is on the vowels initially and I incorporate the consonants later. For instance, with Ansuz, I focus on ‘ahw-oo,’ before incorporating the middle ‘n,’ such as ‘ahwnsoo.’ There is no right or wrong with galdr (although I guess there could be a flat-out wrong?), though often the final consonants aren’t pronounced, as in ‘ahwsoo.’ Practice galdring different ways, and go with the way that you feel in your body.

 

  • Algiz – Awl, Awlyee, Ail, Ailhaw, Ailha

  • Berkana/Berkano/Beorc – Ber, Bair, Beor, Berka, Bairka

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Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

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Originally published on Soul Intent Arts.

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

@kelleysoularts

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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.