For the week of 14 August 2022

Be the Wee Nornir

Ansuz is the half-month rune through 29 August. Isa is the intuitive rune, and Thurisaz indicates The Norns’ (Nornir) message to us. The Spirits of Place anchoring the runes this week are Helping Spirit, Reindeer (antler slice) in Winter, with the active element of Mycelium, rooted in the direction of Above. Read right to left is Ansuz, Isa, then Thurisaz.

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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

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  • discounts on soul tending services

The Runecast

We’ve moved out of Thurisaz, only just. As so often happens in TWR, this week the passing rune edges in still to provide framing of the current half-month. With that we are reminded that we’re moving from the quickening of Thurisaz into the expression of what we do with that choice through Ansuz.

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?

Ansuz is the rune of expressed agency. It’s the first rune in the first aett that comes from our earthly awareness, rather than our unconscious rumblings. Associated with Odin, when we internalize that powerful connection as animists, we’re talking about how we hold and express our godden-ness. We are soul-in-form versions of divinity, and that unique formula comes with unique challenges, responsibilities, and expectations.

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I’ve talked a great deal in the past about how Ansuz is about speaking our truth, and it is. Though to cast it in a broader and possibly more relatable light, it’s about expressing our agency with responsibility. And the way we do that is by sitting with our calling. If we just run willy nilly (I have literally never typed that phrase before) through life, taking every class, healing all the things (in ourselves and others) without really stopping to cull what our calling needs from us, we’re not really living our calling. In fact, that would be an example of an out-of-balance Thurisaz (which is why I think it’s showed back up this week, in a lesser emphatic role). And if we’re approaching the progression of the Elder Futhark as keys to humaning well, we need to be very clear in why we chose to be here, so that what we do supports leaving it better than we found it. And the way to do that is to take the time to get really clear in our relationship to all of the aforementioned.

Isa as the way we can best engage Ansuz ushers in the vibe not to rush through what we think our truth is. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re wrong about what our truth is, though there may be flavor and nuance that we’re assuming or overlooking. Or it could be that we just need to reacquaint with if how we’re really moving through life matches how we think we’re moving. And again, that’s not a call-out so much as a good routine practice. We are changing all the time, as is life. Likewise, moving among with our calling at the fore isn’t static. We shapeshift all the time to cater to routine, fatigue, stress, excitement, boredom, and we don’t realize we’re doing it. All of those microshifts leave us engaging our relationships differently, and we need to build in self-checks on a regular basis to be sure we’re really in step with walking it like we talk it. This week is such a check.

The teaching of Isa is rest, but it’s not the chilling by the pool kind of rest. Or is it? Active stillness is the ley of this rune. As it is the last winter rune and part of a trilogy that situates with big intuition, it represents needing to acquire certain info before moving on. The teaching of the initiation must be internalized as knowledge and wisdom before we can go further. So if relaxing by the pool brings that, go for it. Whatever allows awareness of assessing walking it like we talk it, and having a plan for doing exactly that plus self-checks along the way—that’s the homework for this week. That’s Isa’s relationship to Ansuz.

Thurisaz from the mouth of the Norns is, well, attention-getting. Thurisaz as the rune in which we must choose what we’re doing with our human agency is a pretty big deal. For those who don’t recall, the Norns are the keepers of, kind of everything. Most folx recognize them as the keepers of fate, from the more popular Old Norse literature. If we broaden our exposure to the less popular poems, though, there are many norns, who maintain all sorts of important things. In fact, each of us is born with our own personal norn. They are Jotnar, who existed before the godden (non-gendered general deity reference), which means they have more power than the godden and the godden outright fear them. 

Most folx are usually only familiar with the trendy big three Norns–Urd (ON for wyrd) (clear, observable actions come to fruition–anything that was or will be), Verdandi (the process that produces what Urd completes), and Skuld (that which should come into being given the actions of the other two sisters). These three women sit at the base of Yggdrasil, which means they literally hold the fabric of our existence together. To me that means that overall, norns tend sacred order. Specifically, the primary three Norns are the ones more closely involved with human agency. In my vernacular that makes these Norns the beings I’ve experienced as Watchers. They tend the wyrd of humanity, and continuously maintain the integrity of the tapestry while adjusting for how we (and other variables) affect wyrd and create orlog.

That is the depth of power speaking through Thurisaz, and it doesn’t get more primal or BIG. The Norns speaking through that nuance is promising. It implies we have a great deal of choice in how we express our quickening (Thurisaz), and in how we then express our agency (Ansuz). We are wee norns. We are descended of both godden and Jotnar, in the ON cosmology. When the appeal is put back on how we express our agency (Ansuz) we should sit with what we’re choosing to do with it. We should think through the ramifications of how we deliver it, and that’s what the Norns remind us of this week. We, as wee norns, do weave wyrd, and it ripples out impact to more than just ourselves. 

Likewise, we are watched over by norns, and this might be a good week to say some kind words. I’m not a huge fan of making demands on the norns, though there’s always room for gratitude and honor.

The logistics of this week’s runes emphasize the first and second aettir. They put us squarely in figuring out how to soul-in-form well, with that intersecting Isa-urge to let things unfold as they will, so long as we’re remaining attentive to the unfolding.

The Spirits of Place anchor us in Winter, season of rest, grounding, endurance, resourcefulness. That goes hand-in-hand with Isa. As well, the focus on the direction of Above indicates support. In traditional ON lore, it would indicate Asgard, which would point more to the godden. In the way that I feel Above, it is Sky Parent, which is all aspects of Sky. From an animistic vantage point, Above we’re in the transconscious strata, where all things converge. There we explore our direct personal relationship to the origin of All and what our role is in the sacred order of All.

Element Mycelium is also incredibly… supportive. Mycelium underlie every aspect of life–death, support, birth. In 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 what area of life needs the most support at this time, and what insights mycelium has to provide that support. With regard to Ansuz, this could be in the arena of speaking personal truth, of honing agency to benefit community. However it shapes up, Mycelium holds the secrets to souling-in-form well.

Reindeer as Helping Spirit symbolizes wisdom, resourcefulness, cleverness, and inventiveness. They have to be very resourceful to survive harsh winters. They are tenacious, are honored for their nobility, and represent continuation of the tribe. They are overall quite gentle, and aware of their surroundings, which hints at inherent mindfulness, though they can be physically defensive if provoked. In terms of the runes for this week, this Helping Spirit can bring discernment and enlightenment of ways to respond to bringing personal truth to a world that doesn’t want to or cannot hear it. Deer are generally good omens, representing innocence, kindness, grace, and good luck.

When we glance at this week, it’s similar to the last couple, which have brought loads of support from diverse levels. This is pretty amazing after the bleakness of the last couple of years and the continual messages we got through the runes that humans needed to sort out human business on their own. We’re still the only ones who can be most effective in this realm, but at least we have lots of clear support in doing so.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you identify your truth?
  • What does it feel like in your body?
  • What comes up with you think of yourself as a norn?

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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.

  • Ansuz – Ahn, Ahnsoo, Awn, Awnsoo
  • Isa – Ees, Eesuh
  • Thurisaz – Thoor, Thooree

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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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