For the week of 5 February 2023

Algizing the Change

Algiz (lapis lazuli) is the half-month rune through 12 February. Uruz (wrought iron tile) is the intuitive rune, and Eihwaz (porcelain tile) indicates Vibration’s message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Barred Owl and element Timing in Summer, in the direction of All Things Here. Read right to left is Algiz, Uruz, then Eihwaz.

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

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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

This midpoint of Algiz finds us in the curious days post-Hunt, the ground warming ever so slightly, yet still very much a betwixt existence. It’s a rich return to ecosystem relations, yet we don’t usually frame it as such.  Historically this time of year, we talk of Brigid, Imbolc, groundhogs, and planning planting. All the elements are there, but we don’t sit with the intersection of life-bearing beings and darkness.

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?

When we arrive at Algiz in the second aett, we’re tired and wired. Tired from navigating the tension inherent in the growth of this aett, yet still wired for it to culminate in something meaningful. Relationship to meaning is always that dangling carrot that motivates humanity, for better or worse. What is so lovely about Algiz is its reminder to us that we are also the action of dangling, as well as the carrot.

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In the last couple of runecasts I’ve talked about how Algiz generally stimulates conversation of protection, though overlooks that fundamental in that protection is Nature kinship. Not proximity or in philosophy, but actual, literal wellbeing is dependent on relations with ecosystem. One can’t be well without the other being well. One can’t be protected without the other being protected.

When we sit with Algiz as representing our relationship with ecosystem alongside this timing of near-light, we hold a potent blend of magick in our laps. The intersection of ancient mothers, life-bearers, and what we have projected as wildlife resurging makes it even more promising. Now is the time of the entire year that we embody our most primal Selves, with no excuses. 

From the Nordic Animist Calendar, Disting, Goa - Honoring the disirI’ve seen sitting with something over the last two weeks that has weighed on my mind. It isn’t ON, yet in this Algiz timing left me wondering about the possibilities. I read an article during my convalescence that indicated to Turtle Island indigenous people the concept of ‘wild’ didn’t exist prior to colonization. There was no wilderness. Even the darker, deep forests were tended, even if only with light human reverence. For that reason, for them all of Earth was tame; it was family. 

Not all of my family is tame in the sense that they won’t bite, so there’s that. But the idea that ‘wild’ is divisive in harmful ways left me sitting with innangard and utangard (also utgard) in the ON tradition. They have been put forward as separations between what is known territory and unknown. Literally, we would be in the yard (gard) or beyond the yard. When I dug deeper into those words, they were more along the lines of chaos and order, with a preference for order and a respect for chaos. Innangard and utangard (another name for Jotunheimr) were boundaries, distinctions between states of being, without demonizing or celebrating either. In fact, experiences in utangard were necessary via ordeal, to help us stay close to our Nature awareness of ourselves. So not tame in the sense of domesticated, or foreign in the sense of being unknown. It was known, and we respected that it occupied a different territory than we do. And we were still in relationship with it.

Again, when we talk about coming back to our awareness of Self as Nature, the habit is to say, ‘ to remember our wild,’ or ‘to allow the human animal.’ I think going forward it will be easier for me to just leave it, “Algiz.”

Uruz as the best way to Algiz suggests we need to be more in our bodies right now. We need to be more embodied. This could mean to literally be in place-space a bit more than usual. It may be that more physical engagement with ecosystem needs to be shared, sung, whispered. However holding awareness of soul-in-form can be further steeped into where we stand, that’s what is being called for with Uruz. It’s not enough to just know or liminally acknowledge. Our approach to Algiz this week must be our bodies outdoors, where possible.

Eihwaz returning to soon in this supportive role speaks volumes, particularly resonant through the voice of Vibration. This was another exchange in which I had to listen closely to understand what was being conveyed. In fact, I had to listen with my body. I recently had ear surgery, of which the loss of hearing has resulted in teaching me to hear through my bones. It’s something we do all the time through bone conduction without realizing. 

When Vibration first came to my awareness, I knee jerk reacted to the nuage overuse of it and pushed it back. It came again and I let it express what it needed to. I found myself in a dark wood with a slight opening between trees. I felt the ground rumbling (not unlike a few weeks ago with Resonance), and I realized the rumbling was rushing through the clearing in the trees toward me. I let it rush to me and up into my body, where I felt Vibration engage my energy system, which responded by creating a completely new resonance I’d never felt before.

What I took from this visceral union of my body and the earthly elements was a firsthand experience of what wyrdweaving new normal must be, particularly through the education of Eihwaz via Algiz. Eihwaz is the rune of yew and all the lethal associations that can be made with it. It’s also the rune of the hvels, quite possibly Sacred Self. The dynamic it exacerbates is when we step into our own, in such a way that we can’t unstep. We can’t unbe that fullness. It’s a wonderful and frightful experience, in which  we have to figure out how to navigate a world that doesn’t support who we deeply are.

Vibration brings the layer of feeling that the entire planet is going through this. For whatever reason, human-heralded or not, the entire experience of Earth (maybe beyond?) is shifting into something more sustainable. But in order to outcreate the parts of it that no longer support life here, we have to first outcreate ourselves. Through Algiz we are reminded that we’re not doing this alone, and we can’t do it alone. Continuing to think we’re in a silo of existential distress is continuing to miss the point that everything is undergoing this change. For us to be the custodians of it, we have to let that change vibrate through us. We have to feel the support it inherently is bringing us, so that we can then live and reflect it back into the world. 

The energy that is available to us now can support us. It is built to by its own intelligence. We have to confront our fear of letting go of what has been and of not knowing what comes next, so that we really can be that change. We are being offered a gift of bringing that vibration into our body from our ecosystem

Everything happens there first. Everything is known there, first. Now is the time to confront our trust of that relationship and truly let it in. Be the Algiz. Let that bond live through us, so that we really can outcreate what’s absolutely needed here. And now in particular, this ancient life-bearer twilight of season is when that rebirthing begins. It is the fertile darkness before light. What has died has been swept out by the Hunt. What remains is intentional decay synthesized by mycelium as life-giving nutrition. It’s the original life-bearer, the funkiest, darkest mother we can know, and now’s when they’re laying the new foundation to outcreate.

It is doable. It’s happening.

Among our helping spirits this week is Barred Owl who sees behind masks, sees hidden realities, and takes no shit. Owl is emotionally uninvolved yet absolutely engaged and gauging every step needed, corralling us to make sure we take them. There is no bargaining with Owl, who cannot be deceived. This will be a week of thinking we want awareness, believing we’re doing it, and learning through Owl how we’re in our own way and how to get out of it.

Element Timing – tið – time/timing – reminds us of greater ecosystem, that of the cosmos and greater laws are with which we are in relationship and carrying out duties. Timing tempers the frenzy that can result from feeling we have to rush headlong to some mystical truth, reminding us to pace ourselves according to the cycles of Nature, to be in relationship with ecosystem such that our habits and body rituals sync with natural occurrences. Timing serves to make Algiz more attainable, more personal. It adds a wider sense of relationship to ecosystem and how we move among.

These beings visit us in Summer mode, implying good times, and coming into the power of birthing having paid off. As well, the revelation of this new direction, All Things Here, increases our awareness of ecosystem. Indeed that we live through local relations, who connect into other ecosystems that form the world, the sky, and everything beyond can be hard to grok. Bringing the scope back to the backyard is really helpful in keeping things within discernible parameters. All Things Here threw me when the words first came, though when felt, it was clearly capping at Earth relationships. It wasn’t All Things, ever, as I typically sense it. 

Even writing this I struggle to dial it in and not leap to the sun, the galaxy, the multiverse, Nature extending beyond what is knowable, within my body, beyond the stars. But this direction was clearly a reminder that Earth functions as one organism. We aren’t beings occupying a space of it or engaging it a certain way. We are it. We are place. We are the space place occupies on all levels, and vice versa. 

Of all the reminders in this cast that we are where we stand, the support of All Things Here may be the greatest. I’d be remiss not to note that this runecast and direction had clear planetary Frithgard leanings. When I first experienced it in March 2020, it was revamping itself to be the best support it could to us. Now, it’s live, doing its job, and the more we can live into those wisdom traditions and draw them down into how we move, the more healthily we create that new normal, the more completely we outcreate Our former way of moving.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you sing to the fertile darkness?
  • What beliefs complicate experiencing ecosystem as family?
  • How do you experience twilight?

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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
  • Uruz – Oo, Ooroo
  • Eihwaz – Eye, Eyewuh, Yew, Yewuh

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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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