For the week of 20 June 2021
Humaning Well, Despite
Dagaz is the half-month rune through 14 June. Nauthiz is the intuitive rune, Wunjo reversed indicates Tenacity’s message to us, and the mink rib occupies Summer. Read right to left is Dagaz, Nauthiz, then Wunjo reversed.
The Weekly Rune - Dagaz Solstice 2021
The Elder Futhark runic calendar provides to 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.
At each Solstice I publish the full edition of The Weekly Rune for everyone to enjoy. The full version is ad-free, comes out every Sunday, and is only accessible by joining my private runes community at Patreon. If you value this runecast, join there and receive:
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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).
The Weekly Rune is a three-rune cast. Those runes are the half-month, the intuitive rune, and the overview. The half-month is a set rune, which for the most part follows the traditional ordering of the Elder Futhark. The intuitive stave (meaning, I draw it blind) indicates the life force most available to us, to the focus of the half-month rune into sharper focus. It 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 different voices. These voices have been Nature, Earth, Creation, though are sometimes others. I note who’s speaking each week, as it is revealed.
New to The Weekly Rune?
- 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.
This week’s cast marks the June Solstice. We’ve spent the last six months, with the runes’ encouragement, fostering a new aspect of ourselves into embodiment. The last aett has seen us manage the backlash of bringing that aspect to light internally and socially, to understand how it situates amongst our Ancestors, and what it brings to our Descendants. This week’s time with Dagaz begins in the brightness of realizing how this new way of embodying furthers our calling, and in true form of the Elder Futhark, reveals shadows of that knowledge, as well.
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?
Every Solstice presents us with extremes, and this one is no exception. Over the last year, though most certainly the last six months, our experience of the runes in season has brought us into an expression of ourselves that can’t be denied. That embodiment of self now not only walks in our skin and has say in how we move through the world, it also now has strong influence on how we leave it. This is the final message from Dagaz as the half-month rune, and as the final rune of this year’s journey together.
Dagaz is the last rune of the third aett, thus is the last rune marking this seasonal experience together. When we make the commitment to walk with the runes in season, we are agreeing to a journey of embodiment among all the relationships and communities of our lives, and all of those of those who walked among them before us, those who will walk among them after us. This is animism and wyrdweaving at their most lived expressions, and part of our Solstice honoring–no matter where in the world we are–should include gratitude for the wisdom the runes have brought us over this last year. Among everything done to be present for this stellar experience, create space for the runes in it, and celebrate how they show up for humanity still.
As we talked about last week, when we relegate Dagaz to just meaning “day,” or “daylight,” we miss its animistic focus on all the many hues and states of being that occur in a day. It’s not just about the light or the productivity, but also the shadow, twilight, and darkness. In Runic Book of Days, I talk about how Dagaz and June Solstice are about the nuance more than the extremes. It’s not just about the light and dark attention-getters of Solstice. Rather, where the two meet and what happens in that space is the alchemy that changes trajectories. Humans are comfortable with extremes. The nuanced gray areas and overlaps are where we struggle, and this is also true at a spiritual level. When we begin to explore and accept ourselves as soul in form, we don’t just get to relish the parts we like. We begin to establish relationship with the parts of ourselves that aren’t clear, aren’t even evident, and whom we may have great discomfort.
I want to talk very specifically about the discomfort of the last year, by which I mean since last June Solstice. Last June we were in world turmoil from COVID and in learning how we were in relationship with harmful systems of othering. We spent a great deal of TWR talking about how we knew we were up in the air with no where to land, and being challenged to find grounding despite that fact. Having come to new places in both, there’s a big push to just return to normal. However, as runes travelers we know there is no normal to go back to. We now have a place to land, but the discomfort of admitting that what greets us there is too painful for most folx to sit with. So we end up mired in a new betwixt. We currently sit in a twilight space that is in some ways harder than where we were last year. This space holds the tension of not having deathwalked our trauma of last year while the big systems force us to get back to a normal that doesn’t exist anymore. This, right here, right now, is the queen of the meeting of extremes that challenge how we can further our callings.
THIS discomfort is the stuff of Solstices, and it’s the way of Dagaz, x200. The runes for this week’s cast offer insight on how to not just hold space for aspects of ourselves we aren’t comfortable with, but how to embody ourselves in a way that blesses us anyway.
Nauthiz as the rune helping us better engage Dagaz is about ritual. We’ve discussed the Germanic notfeuer, or ‘rubbed-fire,’ in which the emphasis isn’t just fire for cleansing, but that the relationship created to fire for the purpose of cleansing needs to be engaged and acknowledged in a specific way. It needs to be done such that all other fires in the area are extinguished, and the fire for the purpose at hand must be hand-rubbed to blaze. With this imagery in mind, Nauthiz is telling us that our experience of June Solstice must be as personal and thoughtful. However we honor it, we have to be willing to meet it on terms that are very clear. We have to be willing to put down what we’ve done historically as Solstice ritual and listen intently for what this experience of Solstice wants. We must be willing to deathwalk what of our experience of the last year can be, so that we can cope with all the pressure to find new normal. We must engage deep ritual around this shift so that we can deepen our calling and meet this challenge. We will not meet that challenge without some approach to ritual.
Where in the past we’ve just done our rituals, re-enacted a current iteration of some previous blessing, that won’t meet the need for this season and for what happened over this last year. Take the time to feel into the relationship to this experience of Solstice, call in the spirit of Dagaz, and learn how they can reconcile the tension of this time and support calling. It may be more simple or elaborate than before, but it will be what’s right for all involved.
Wunjo reversed through the voice of Tenacity is where things risk getting too personal. Wunjo reversed doesn’t mean a lack of joy or that joy can’t come. Rather, our perception of joy has become clouded or jaded in some way. Most often this estrangement in relationship to joy is the result of disappointment, which in some ways is more sinister than a lack of joy. Do not sidestep the disappointments of the last year. Do not make the Solstice ritual sunny-side only. Bring in the dead. Let them go. And be honest with acknowledging the disappointment in the many systems, top to bottom, that have failed us, thus contributed to our tension.
When I asked what bigger life force was speaking through this third rune, I didn’t get a name and felt sense as I usually do. Rather, I had a vision and felt sense, which showed simultaneous folx in the northern and southern hemispheres plowing fields. One was in the dark while the other in light, and both were struggling. Both knew the risks and payoffs of tending the field well. They were intimately in relationship with how Nature can swing in their favor or it could leave them hungry. What stayed with me about these folx plowing their fields in their extreme experiences of being on the planet wasn’t how they worried about the potential for disappointment from their hard work, but how they were united in choosing to do it with a good attitude anyway. And it wasn’t just good attitude. It wasn’t sunny-assed fake-it-til-you-make-it. It was in Flow (Ingwaz), embodying their wyrd (Perthro). They plowed while embodying the strengths of their Ancestors (Othala) and fully, actively engaged in the relationship with their Nature Spirits and Spirits of Place (Algiz). No specific word came through, though the one that flitted around the edge of the vision was Tenacity, and we have it. Tap into the runes for it. Tap into the well Ancestors and through the disappointment know that even though the hard work of plowing may not yield sustenance, we can still stay in Flow. We are still in relationship with the spirit world around us. We are still in deep animistic family no matter what, and are loved.
The mink rib in Summer brings further support to stay embodied as this new Self, as we make our own new normal. Mink are great secret bearers and move through the world very quietly. In this same way, so can we stay carefully attuned to Flow, the Source that moves through All Things. We can do what we need to deathwalk our traumas of the last year, and still support our callings. In fact, doing so allows us to support them better. The rib represents support and boundaries that can evolve as needed, which is precisely the kind of stability we need to navigate disappointment and traumatized world.
This week’s cast leaves us in a powerful position to close this runic year, and carry new strengths into the new one. I know many of my readers come to TWR from Runic Book of Days, folx who are walking with the runes in season for the first time. Thanks for making that commitment to Self and the planet. I really do experience that the Elder Futhark are keys to how to human well, and working with them over the last year has only deepened my awareness of what support and wisdom they bring us. Thanks for being how we bear the runes forward together to the Descendants.
Half-month Rune Prompts
- What does normal mean to you?
- Does you relationship to normal support your calling?
- What ritual best expresses this relationship?
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.
- Dagaz – Dthah, Dthahg, Dthahguh
- Nauthiz – Now, Nowdth, Nowdthee
- Perthro – Pair, Pairth, Per, Perth
S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
Kelley is an author, animist, and deathwalker on traditional Sissipihaw land in North Carolina. She teaches rune work, ancestral healing, and deathwalking, as well as mentors and leads the soul tending training intensive, The Spirited Path. As an interfaith minister, she has served her local community and an international client base since 2000 through Soul Intent Arts, and advocates embodied soul tending and sacred activism through Nature. #beyourcommunity
elder well, die well, ancestor well
So that your descendants grow from your wisdom.
So that you leave the planet better than you found it.
So that your descendants never elder alone.