For the week of 26 March 2023

Being the Conduit

Berkana (polished amethyst) is the half-month rune through 30 March. Thurisaz is the intuitive rune, and Ansuz indicates Roots’ message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Pinecone and element Plant in Spring, in the direction of Beyond. Read right to left is Berkana, Thurisaz, then Ansuz.

The full runecast will be publicly available here, two weeks from publication. You can find it in full on Patreon, now.

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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.

This runecast isn’t divinatory in the sense that each half-month rune represents events to occur in its fortnight. Rather, the timing of each rune allows us to greet where we are with what the dynamics each rune represents. It offers a two-week examination of our relationship with the rune.

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

Our time with Berkana has been challenging. It’s definitely not been one of the quieter Berkana eras, pandemic considered. But maybe that’s just it: Berkana is a spot of respite, but it’s active. We talk about Isa as being active rest, from the vantage point of needing to crystalize what’s needed before we can move to the next vantage point. 

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?

With Berkana, the rest is internalized, and also externalized. It’s a time of active healing, gaining the education to tend things that likely won’t fix. For that reason, Berkana can come with a bit of angst, and that’s what has characterized our time with it this year. We know now, that some things of the last few seasons won’t be fixed.

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The ‘dues paid’ aspect of Berkana is telling, as well. Whatever the injury, however it continues to manifest in our lives (or doesn’t), we don’t have to go back through it again. We did that. It left a mark. The mark persists, though we still have a life to live. We still have a calling to bear, and we can, and we will, on our own terms.

Thurisaz as the best way to Berkana has us revisit how our inner cosmology is working. Where Uruz is the point that we realize we’re a soul in form, Thurisaz is the point that we realize we can do things with it. We have agency and can evoke change with it. How functional we are at what we do with it has everything to do with understanding our unconscious. And we don’t, in American settler culture. We don’t put any emphasis on understanding our unconscious motivations or drives, so we often can’t associate why we do what we do with how we became who we are.

Pause this week and sit with that. Whatever Berkana has provoked, ask Thurisaz to trek with you back to the point that it marked the unconscious. What was going on in life? How was it internalized? What is the relationship between that experience, or possibly wording, and how it is being lived out now?

We can update our tapes. We can change how our inner cosmology functions, so that it better supports how we move among. Maybe this is the last step in the rehabilitation that Berkana brings. This rune indicates that something that has needed deep care has gotten it or is getting it. The thing about healing, tending, or rehab, is the thing that brings you to that point is only the first such focus. Once there, once the juiciness of care has been given to something sore, many other sore places emerge, because they finally can. Because they want the same kind of care.

So yes, we think we get to Berkana season and can finally kick back a bit, honor our healing and tending successes, only to find things we never even thought about that need care. It’s because we did a lot to take care of ourselves. We did a lot of shit right. We’re supported, and we can give what it needs.

Let that sink in.

 Roots speaking through Ansuz brings much of this runecast full circle. The overlapping plant pressences in this cast are so supportive. Yes, they provide literal and metaphoric roots to support us, they also hint at facilitating relationships that bring even more support. More on that in a minute.

Ansuz is about speaking our truth, giving life via breath to our agency. Given that it follows Thurisaz in the traditional ordering of the Futhark, we move from realizing we have agency that packs a pretty big punch to imbuing that agency with our truth. What  a freaking powerful alignment that is! Which again speaks to why it’s so imperative that we have an actively engaged relationship with our unconscious, so that we make the most healthy use of that formula. Because we’re totally capable of not aligning with our unconscious and making huge changes with our agency. We all know what that looks like–dynamics that set up the need for Berkana. 

When we look at this combination of rehabbing Self (Berkana) with deep investigation of our unconscious (Thurisaz), with our truth  as the leading agency applied to that process in how we live on (Ansuz), we’re newly composed, probably still a little raw, and in need of a little internal inventory. The statement from last week’s cast still holds:

Berkana not only holds aspects of our ordeal and aftermath, but also that we have come to terms with them. We are allowing the medicine and are compliant in giving what it needs from us to do its job, creating the life in which it can root. This doesn’t mean we’re all healed or done; rather, that we have cultivated from our time with Berkana a way of continuing to move among that still tends our scars. With this particular arrangement of runes, it means living out loud, accepting who we are.

Roots as a life force encourages us to dive deeply with that. Having accessed our truth and tested it against how our unconscious responds to it, really, thoughtfully anchor that sense of Self, and let it lead. Roots speaks to a wider array of support also, with the literal roots of our place-space. This is echoed through the element of Plant.

So appropriate that all of this plant support comes in the season of Spring, which is new growth, creativity. It is literally putting down roots and pushing upward to blossom. The roots of our place can help us anchor who we are, having come through challenge and taken time with Berkana to rebalance ourselves. This is the relationship we have to ecosystem. It supports us, as we support it. This is a good time of year to delve into what that really looks and feels like, and to learn what our ecosystem–our roots–needs from us, as well.

Pine Cone is our close earthly Ally this week, both bringing and reminding us of longevity, peace, enlightenment, regeneration, fertility. Pine cone encourages us to draw on our immediate resources and think bigger. We are here to create, and our capability within that is far greater than ourselves, as is the impact of our creation. Pine cone roots the vision and wisdom of Self with the manifestation and support of ecosystem. 

Plant in many ancient creation myths is the first ally of humans. Plant is food, medicine, protection, and conduit to the godden. Plant has feelings, intelligence, and awareness, and the ability to sense our intentions and respond to our actions. When Plant visits it’s time to bring our awareness in closer, quieter, and listen to what the smaller voices of our ecosystem are saying, because they have a direct connection to the big multiversal voices. 

This theme of unification of the smallest with the largest is carried through also with the presence of Beyond in our runecast. The greatest protection of our space this week comes from Beyond/All. Beyond/All is the container of all that we know and beyond. It is the direction of sacred order. It’s the realm of Watchers, Norns, Multiversal Jotnar who caretake the machinations of all life. Given that, it can also be the microbes, the mitochondria, the bacteria. It’s that strata of managerial oversight that aligns with respect for all life. It is the direction of Source. This is who is best holding space for us this week, and can best protect it. 

This cast is laced through with plant-persons as human-person medicine. That can be experienced many ways, though what stands out to me is that Plant can be our conduits to Beyond. Really small details in our lives that we likely overlook can tap us into things bigger than we imagined. The more we examine that relationship, we begin to see that we are conduits, as well, to everything.

Likewise, with the third and first aetts represented, the messaging here is to come back to our foundational Self awareness to tend what’s needed right now. Moving from the assurance of that place sets us up well as we are asked to go deeper in the seasonal runes that follow.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you honor plants in your cosmology?

  • What plants do you resonate with most?

  • With what plants do you have tension?


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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.

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

  • Thurisaz – Thoor, Thooree

  • Ansuz – Ahn, Ahnsoo, Awn, Awnsoo, Oss


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.

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elder well, die well, ancestor well


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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.