For the week of 10 April 2022

The Economics of Solitude

Ehwaz is the half-month rune through 14 April. Thurisaz reversed is the intuitive rune, Tiwaz indicates Sways’ message to us, and the dark lettered olive shell occupies winter. Read right to left is Ehwaz Thurisaz reversed, then Tiwaz.

[ppp_patron_only level="1.00" silent="yes"]The Weekly Rune - Berkana-Ehwaz Audio Blog, for the week of 10 April 2022 [/ppp_patron_only]

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).

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
  • 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:

  • live video classes
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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. 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 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 has held us in a space of acknowledging how we are in relationship with the unseen, perhaps even very specific relationships, therein. Where this rune is often light-heartedly spoken of as indicating ecstatic trance, our experience of it this season has been more nuanced. Just because we can access unseen doesn’t mean we value the relationships we find there. Despite that we can hold such space doesn’t mean we value the space, the act of engaging it, or understand its usefulness. This week’s runecast delivers a hyper-distilled lesson in how to truly evoke the life force of Ehwaz in our lives, and how to cope with what that awakens in us.

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?

One thing I’ve talked about a great deal in soul tending mentoring is that merely the ability to go into trance or engage the unseen doesn’t mean we’re actually doing either of those with integrity, or that we’re capable of creating a life to sustain what that kind of soul travel demands. Even when we look at this rune as indicating only that we are responsible for considering the impact the way we live has on the unseen, soul travel or not, its implications are that we be very familiar with the impact that relationship has on us. The framing runes explain this dynamic a bit more clearly and give insight into how to live into being a soul in form who knows it.

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Ehwaz–take it to the unseen level, sit with the truths about that relationship. Got it. There’s an implication in that information also of “and do something about what’s found; be active in it.” That in and of itself, if we’re really taking it seriously and owning that we are responsible to the unseen of our lives and adjusting how to show up in that better, comes with certain joy, but also challenges. Thurisaz reversed takes those challenges on and triples down by saying we need to be prepared to really pace ourselves in those adjustments.

Where Thurisaz reveals the places that we are driven by our unconscious, reversed this rune indicates that maybe we haven’t explored our relationship to our unconscious (our own unseen) well and that’s affecting our ability to move fluidly with the unseen of our lives (or The Unseen, period).  A concern with Thurisaz in any regard is chasing enlightenment, because we’re looking for some external shazaam that we aren’t looking for within. In the case of this reversal, we could be in very poor relationship with the unseen around us specifically because we aren’t in regular communion with our unconscious. This is berserker territory when not tended, and while that’s not a total danger with this rune as merely a complement to the half-month rune, it’s a vivid indicator of where to look in our lives if our time with Ehwaz needs deeper attention. The leading wisdom of Thurisaz reversed is slow down, particularly with unseen relationships, think first, and not just think, as in give mental energy, but ponder. Be with it. To go into this with specificity, it means whatever unseen relationship is rearing most to be explored right now, figure out where your unconscious is on it before making any moves. Because if the unconscious isn’t in the same place on that relationship as the conscious mind, the wanted outcome isn’t going to happen. What’s described in the relationship between Ehwaz and Thurisaz reversed is solitude, though a very busy version.

Tiwaz through the voice of Sway is savvy. We know it as the survivor rune, the one that has us express our grief, Sway brings creative problem-solving into the mix. I’ve talked about Tiwaz as the pivot rune, but Sway is more organic, more attuned to our bodies. Years ago, my friend Marsha, who is well-versed in various body therapies, told me that when we rock as a response to duress, it engages our fight, fly, freeze, fawn response through the psoas. Engaging that musculature in that way sends all these messages to the brain that further trigger nervous system responses to distress. It puts us in the feedback loop of our neurology to do whatever we’ve always done under those circumstances and amps us up. However, if instead of rocking we sway when we feel anxious, we never trigger that primal, wired response. Instead we divert our brain chemistry from that loop and become able to respond in a way wholly unique to that situation and with wider awareness. In this way, Sway has us approach Tiwaz this week–a way that’s new, fresh, in keeping with our organic being, and that gives us the option to respond well.

The dark lettered olive shell and winter both further this self-awareness emphasis before we can be really present in our external unseen relationships. Winter represents a time that we aren’t pushing forward in endeavors. We’re focusing on endurance and making the best use of our resources. The shell is from a mollusc found along the southeastern US coast (this one is from Carolina Beach, NC). It’s unusual to find a dark one, though regardless of color they are known for their reddish brown writing-like design. The behaviour of these molluscs is predatory, though they are completely comfortable with their slow life pace. Metaphorically, we could say they have no sense of time, but a keen sense of timing in how they move and their reasons for doing so. They can sense severe weather or regional disaster and seal their shells for up to three years to survive. If there’s a lesson in there from Oliva sayana, it’s that we have to be really comfortable with ourselves to get through hard times, and probably all the other times, too. It also might express that we have to be very frugal with our time and energy. We need to be fully in what we do.

It doesn’t always work that way for us humans, though. We can’t withdraw and prioritize our survival when the shit hits the fan, which is why we need to expend as much energy as we can to tending our inner unseen, so that we can be impeccable when we engage the outer unseen.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • In what parts of life do you need to sway right now?
  • How can you instill Sway as a way to respond?
  • How can you prioritize good relationship with your inner cosmology?


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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
  • Thurisaz – Thoor, Thooree
  • Tiwaz – Tee, Teewuh, Teewaw



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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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Elder Well

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Die Well

To leave the planet better than you found it.

Ancestor Well

So that your descendants never elder alone.