For the week of 4 April 2022

Forging Flexibility

Ehwaz is the half-month rune through 14 April. Ingwaz is the intuitive rune, Perthro indicates Hostage’s message to us, and Mosasaur tooth occupies summer. Read right to left is Ehwaz, Ingwaz, then Perthro.

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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).

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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 
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How is the Runecast Done?

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, and again, is based on Nigel Pennick’s calculations. The intuitive stave (meaning, I draw it blind) indicates the life force most available to us, to focus the half-month rune. 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 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.

The Runecast

Ehwaz is the rune of going deeper, not just randomly exploring the unseen, but finding the threads that connect seen with unseen. In this way, Ehwaz focuses active animism, that we not just intellectually or philosophically know all things are alive and connected in relationship, but that we live in alignment with that awareness. This week the nuance given to that awareness is in remaining open, observant, and willing to negotiate.

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?

We traditionally approach Ehwaz as the horse rune, with the relationship between horse and rider granting the potential to take humanity more deeply into our animacy. However, we don’t often delve into its power to give us perspective on that connection. Often animism is put forward as just observation of animacy, merely awareness that everything is alive and engaging. Then what? If we suck at our human-person relationships, are we automatically great at the other-than-human ones by some mystical virtue?

Spoiler alert: No.

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Yes, Ehwaz is the rune that allows us to delve more deeply into the unseen of our lives. To leave it at only that, though, is missing the vital connection between horse and rider, movement and space, and the fact that relationships, period must be tended. It’s not enough to just see the connection, acknowledge them, and even be active in them. We have to be active for them. We must dig into what they need and give it. We have to learn to listen, respond, reciprocate, and balance. When we think of the relationship between horse and rider this way, movement and space, it’s not just relationship, but partnership.

Which begs the questions, what does the horse need from us? What does the space or movement need?

Ingwaz as the best way to behave in or approach this dynamic this week suggests new consciousness can result from having this fuller attention during Ehwaz. Tending our relationships more fully won’t just improve relationships, it will allow us the atmosphere to bring forward a new part of ourselves. Maybe this is always true. Perhaps that is another layer of animacy at work: anytime we are more conscientious in our relationships, we make room to be more conscientious with ourselves. The inside and the outside are always in relationship.

Perthro, again, reinforces the optimistic tones of Ehwaz. Often with Perthro it gets painted as the divination rune. It’s the question mark. “Luck” as some folx say. But when we sit with how we culturally approach divination–wanting to know where something is going/the future, not having a plan, and being unclear about our resources–are we talking about divination, or about anxiety? Because Perthro is not about anxiety, yet in divinations I often see it held in a light of desperate questioning.

This rune is not that. Perthro is the reminder to bring what we do know to what we don’t and hold space where they meet. It reminds us that we can control only what we can control, without letting the head games of what we can’t control get the best of us. It also assumes that we truly are actively engaged with what we can control. We’re not just recognizing it then sitting idly by waiting for outcomes. What is in our favor is, and what isn’t in our favor isn’t. Those statements aren’t judgements, but facts.  Beyond literally doing what we can, the operative component of Perthro is in acceptance. Not approval, not dismissal, not fretting any of the aforementioned. Approval is finding where we are in relationship with something really and living through that, rather than through projection, judgement, expectations, worry, etc. So even though this rune doesn’t say everything will be fine in activating the animacy of our relationships, it reminds us where we have power, to get on it, and really let the rest go.

The voice of Hostage brings a unique quality to this runecast. When we think of hostage in a modern interpretation, we think of one group absconding with someone from another group, then making demands that must be met before the person is returned. In the Old Norse culture, hostage meant something very different. Usually arising from some difference–if not flat-out conflict–between groups, the situation would often be addressed by swapping people from both groups to learn about each others’ culture, for the purpose of figuring out how you could live together. I don’t assume it was always a nice situation, but again, we have this emphasis on building relationship and tending the details of it to a better outcome. In this manner, Hostage is the longterm approach to relationship-building, with an eye for everyone’s welfare in mind.

Where fluidity is really driven home in this cast is with the Mosasaur tooth in summer. Again, with all the power of energy bursting into usable, supportive gains, the tooth is, well, the bite of this whole thing. The Mosasaur was not a nice creature. It did what it had to do to protect its territory, including eat its own. What stands out to me about this creature was its capability of eating prey whole. Specifically, its jaws and skull (thus, teeth) were super flexible so that it could adapt to whatever specifications meant “get that food in me.” The reason that quality stands out to me in the context of this cast is because we could use more of that. We don’t have to eat our own or be an apex predator about it, although if we think of those actions in terms of boundaries we often are apex predators or the prey. We either have rigid boundaries or we have none.  There’s no between. We could stand to bring a little more flexibility to how we tend relationships, and explore the places where our boundaries can and maybe should flex.

But, of course, we have to seek out creating flexibility with ourselves and our relationships, because interweaving into how we move among is learned. Everything about this runecast is learned, and the only way we learn it is by putting into practice the principles of truly being in our relationships, paying attention to what’s needed, understanding that what’s within is without, the health of what’s within is without, and making the whole thing sacred. It’s also worth noting that two of the runes in this cast are from the third aett, with one from the second. The skills emphasized here are later development. They’re eldering well. They’re the sage’s way.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How might Hostage apply to the horse-rider dynamic? To the movement space relationship?
  • What is the role of flexibility in deepening relationship to Self? To others?
  • What elements have to be in play for you to be flexible?


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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.

  • Ehwaz – Eh, Ehwuh
  • Ingwaz – Een, Eengwa, Eengoo
  • Perthro – Pair, Pairth, Per, Perth


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


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