For the week of 2 April 2023

Sacred is Mundane is Sacred

Ehwaz (ceramic tile) is the half-month rune through 14 April. Hagalaz is the intuitive rune, and Algiz indicates Signal’s message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Phlox and element Fire in Autumn, in the direction of Within. Read right to left is Ehwaz, Hagalaz, then Algiz.

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

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

This week we move into Ehwaz, which we often stop at calling the rune of ecstatic trance. Yes, it’s sort of that, but more important, it’s the rune of what we learn from the engagement of those unseen relationships and what we do with it, which really means the emphasis isn’t on the travel, but on how we live once returned. 

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?

Meaning ‘horse,’ Ehwaz is associated with Sleipnir, which is also a word that means Yggdrasil. In these relationships, we have mythic horse as vehicle for travel of the World Tree, and the Tree, itself. As we’ve discussed many times, these overlaps of forms and functions in how they relate to human-persons situated in ecosystem point to animism. They are indicators of the relationships of All Things, and of how we find our responsibility within the relationship at hand. In his upcoming rerelease of Runes and Astrology, Nigel Pennick says of Ehwaz, it is “a move of house or an alteration in lifestyle,” at a psychic level. The implication here is that we aren’t just tripping with our soul travel, but deeply internalizing what we learn from it with the purpose of changing formed being in some way.

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This shift in emphasis has never been more welcomed.I never expected to say that moving from Berkana into Ehwaz would be a relief. Berkana is a chill rune. It’s the rune of allowing the process of recovery and rehabilitation that gets us back in the game, all things considered. This season with Berkana has been intense. It can’t not be having come through the peak of a pandemic only culturally to pretend that we are unchanged, having knowingly created more unquiet dead. We have carried a lot of heavy things that needed tending into Berkana, and as much as I am relieved for what it has taught me, it can go the hell on.

In terms of shifting into Ehwaz, perhaps we are now charged with finding the soul implications of what we have healed, what we are tending in a new and more on pointe way. Maybe we can meet their spiritual manifestations and talk with them, learn how to root them more fully into our daily lives so that next Berkana season, the Ehwaz of now has given us a wider foundation to stand on for our next rehabilitation.

Hagalaz as the best way to work with Ehwaz speaks to how we relate to scars from our ordeal. Yes, a thing happened. Yes, we’ve done a great deal of tending our response to that thing and how we go on. But it still left a scar. It still left us different than we were prior, and the way we move among has to reflect that. In fact, if it doesn’t reflect that changed Self, if we try to keep moving the way we did before, we will generate more crisis.

That is what I have learned from disability, and I keep learning it over and over, even up to this time with Berkana. The hardest part of honoring scar for me isn’t that we live in a culture that doesn’t honor scar, but how I have internalized those cultural teachings not to honor scar. And when we don’t honor scar, we aren’t in acceptance of the current state,  which means we aren’t moving forward with the full range of skills gained, or with the wisdom of scar, itself. That has been a focus of my time with Berkana, and  the reinforcement of Hagalaz holding space for that wisdom to come forward feels like an Ally.

Algiz speaking through Signals was very specific when it came up in creating this runecast. The moment I drew Algiz from the bag and asked what Beyond Earth helping spirit accompanied it, my dog was asking to go outside. But to know that was what she wanted means I have to have been really paying attention to her body language. Sometimes she’s very obvious–she goes to the door and rings the bells hanging on the handle. She communicates the way we’ve asked her to in that regard. Other times she needs me to communicate her way. She looks at what she wants very pointedly, and if I’m not giving her attention, if I’m not tuned into where she directs her gaze, I won’t know what she needs.

That’s about as true an experience of Nature Spirits (Algiz) giving Signals to human-persons that we can have. What feels relevant in this week’s cast is putting ourselves in the place to be aware of them, and not to assume they will come on our terms–literally. 

Algiz is elk, or sedge, both of which are Naturekin with strong territorial protections. If we embody that energy for ourselves, we become so deeply in relationship with our place-space that we take it with us everywhere we go. Those relationships are part of us. That is truly amazing protection. And if we can double down on that and listen to, respond in kind to the Signals of our ecosystem, we are a responsible member of that community.

With Signals, we’re talking subtlety, the kind of communication that isn’t (or at least doesn’t start out as) spontaneous. We have to hold it intentionally in our awareness, so that we create the opening to observe Signal within our ecosystem. And it may take a lot of time, patience, and space holding to become fluent in that exchange, so that the potential for conversation is truly there.

It’s also worth sitting with what scars we have around being that intimate with ecosystem. Where we are intimately limited in Other is where we are intimately limited in our form relationships, our  human-person relationships–in all relationships. One will not be magickally more peacefully salient than others, and if it seems to be so–there’s work to be done there. Also, where our ecosystem relationships center us and not the whole–there’s work to be done there. These are good runes for doing that work.

Often when Ehwaz has come up in TWR it’s been about engaging Allies or other Beyond Earth counsel about our earthly dynamics. This week it’s about engaging the spiritual aspects of our earthly dynamics. For as much as we’ve had the triple world cosmology shoved down our throats in modern soul tending, we don’t emphasize Midgard. And that’s the one this cast focuses on most.

With that, this cast is the second one in which a local Nature Spirit loudly asked for representation (the first was Pine Cone). This week Phlox joins us. Sometimes relationships are born of desperation, and mine with Phlox is such. I needed groundcover quickly, and Phlox came to the rescue. Now it’s all through my yard, and a primary presence in my Frithgard space. 

Phlox is regarded as harmonious, and my relationships with it has been that. I can also attest to its tenacity and ability to thrive in genuinely trying conditions. This week this Ally can help us to find those qualities in ourselves, and bring a little color to the whole experience.

Autumn as the backdrop for this saturation into ecosystem brings bounty, harvest. It indicates a time that we are ready for where we stand and have the resources to make use of it. With Fire   (Old Norse bál/báls bonfire) as our elemental creative force, we’re capable of deep transformation that could come in the form of total decimation of our projections of life in form, ir it could be the life-giving warmth that we need to really feel at home in our skin. A deathwalker in its own right, Fire transmutes what is no longer needed through flame, and this week is a good time to make offerings.

I have something brewing for how the direction Within will be represented in future casts, though Mink Skull is a great stand-in. This direction further emphasizes the soulfulness of here, form, Midgard. From this inner vantage point what we need most right now is –in our own backyard.  That this runecast is occurring in Within reinforces that we set the parameters. It informs us that there are parameters to be set, as well as we have to take action on them (As in, if we don’t, other forces will plug in random parameters that may or may not be beneficial). 

Within is the direction of the center of who we are–our center of personal cosmology, stretching out into All Things. It is soul in form. It is animisming in interdependence and belonging. It is our direct personal relationship to being here, now, embodied. Within speaks to our capability of allowing body to be both the boundary for and determiner of our experience here. It reiterates our accountability to formed being, the reminder that we have foot in both worlds that meet at the heart. Despite that the heart and passion can easily dictate how we move among, we are challenged to remember to move with our whole Selves, with our whole Within. 

It both exalts what is wonderful about being in form, while fully honors that we are also Other. It fosters us to remember that we do not and cannot forego honoring all of who we are. We literally do not have to choose.

This week we have the second-aett half-month rune, with two framing runes from the second aett. It would seem within that is challenge to be in the everyday, yet still root beyond that. Which all things considered in this runecast really means, the beyond and the everyday are the same…

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you experience the sacred in the everyday?

  • What is your relationship to characterizing things as mundane or sacred?

  • How do you hold space for the signals of your ecosystem?

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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.

  • Ehwaz – Eh, Ehwuh

  • Hagalaz – Haw, Hawga, Hah, Hahg

  • Algiz – Awl, Awlyee, Ail, Ailhaw, Ailha

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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

@kelleysoularts

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Ancestor Well

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