For the week of 8 January 2023
The Time of Reverberation

Eihwaz (polymer clay tile) is the half-month rune through 13 January. Tiwaz reversed (carved reindeer antler tile) is the intuitive rune, and Ehwaz (ceramic tile) indicates Reverberation’s message to us. For this week of Wild Hunt season the spirits of place anchoring the runes are Mink Rib in Summer, with element Plastic in the direction of Front (North). Owl came along for the ride, as have Death (plastic skull) and the Wild Hunt (reindeer button).  Read right to left is Eihwaz, Tiwaz reversed, then Ehwaz.

[ppp_patron_only level="1.00" silent="yes"]The Weekly Rune - Eihwaz Audio Blog, for the week of 8 January 2023 [/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).

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.

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

In the global north, we’ve spent a good bit of time in the throes of the Hunt, and by this late Eihwaz are feeling it. In my location the winds will still be blowing in our wildness and out the dead for some time, though the upheaval of such transition is felt. While so many are making new year resolutions, let’s sit more realistically with the commotion of place and turn to inner spaces for guidance. 

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?

Eihwaz is the rune of what it means to be evergreen, to stand in a space between life and death–which is to be soul-in-form–and to not turn away from what experience brings. Friday 5 January marks old Jul in the northern seasons, at which time we stoke our sacred fires. These runes suggest that we tend our fires with our hearts tuned to our lived experience and the spiritual relationships that help us move through it.

To access the audio blog recording and continue reading:

  • If you’re on a desktop, log into Patreon or become a community member with the buttons at the right sidebar.
  • If you’re on a device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the buttons to log into Patreon or become a community member.

[ppp_patron_only level=”1.00″ silent=”yes”]

Eihwaz is often construed as death (a later attribution), though its representation of Yew really holds the extremes of the tree. It can kill even as it can survive almost anything. In terms of humaning well, that’s a pretty good skill to have. We don’t talk much about hexing or bane work, though in truth, it all comes from the same place as healing. And that’s what Yew, thus, Eihwaz, can teach us. We have to know what to sacrifice for what benefit. We have to understand the cost of justice. We have to be prepared to live with the consequences of such choice–because there are always consequences. There are always relationships forged, even in hexes. 

The medicine in our last week with Eihwaz is something of not turning away from suffering–our own or that of others–to see what our role in it is, and to do what must be done to tend community. This, while the Hunt continues, may feel a little destabilizing. For now, our charge is also not to stop that slide, not to force ourselves out of that discomfort. Rather, we feel it through and still show up to the things in our lives that need us.

Tiwaz reversed is the sticky spot in this cast. We often talk about Tiwaz with a battle narrative, Tyr/Tuisto, and the assured downfall of elder gods. All of that yes, with the felt implications of wound, of scar. 

Upright, Tiwaz bothers people. It speaks to a situation in which some cherished thing will not be, and we have to go on. What we go on to is a sure-fire success, the next great thing, some relationship that viscerally supports who we are and where we’re going. Even with that assurance of what is coming, we’re so reeling with loss that we can’t grok moving at all, let alone toward what goodness. Reversed, we are stalled by the loss of what can’t be. We can’t even comprehend what comes.

Ultimately in my vernacular, when we talk about the dynamics presented by Tiwaz in any orientation, we’re talking about grief. And after 30 years of runecasts for others, when it’s reversed, the grief has hijacked who we are at a deep level. It is interfering with our ability to navigate sacred order and do what we came here to do. 

In my experience, it is the most potent rune in the Futhark to point out where we have not and cannot move forward without intervention regarding mental health and soul tending. For this season, it would be wise to explore such areas in our own lives. For myself, that area is pretty clear. The relief of the Hunt moving on what is ready to go has been welcomed. The subtler context of those winds reviving my own wild has been more fraught. The projection of who I think I am untamed isn’t matching my actual wild Self, so there’s some work to be done there.

Ehwaz through the voice of Reverberation comes with a plan. I had to really sit with what the take-away was when pulling this rune. It came with a vision of being stampeded by a herd of wild horses. It was a bit alarming. For those who have read Gift of the Dreamtime, such was my first experience of dismemberment. 

At first I paused, thinking that was the case again, and holding space for that work to be done if so. But the reverberation of the ground never stopped to allow rememberment to happen, and I finally realized all was as intended. 

Reverberation is sound with resonance. It is the relationship between sound, matter, and space, such that they loop and affect each other. They are in relationship, albeit one being shaped by resonance, literally before our eyes.

Now is the time of Reverberation. It is the time of shaking things loose. And the resonance that can accomplish such is scary, loud, and disarming. We’re talking barbaric yawp, human-scale big bang kind of reverberation. We know that some new normal is coming, perhaps several new normals. And we know we aren’t there yet. Pre-Solstice runes escalated our awareness of how we must wyrdweave our way to new normal, to weave the normal, itself. It is not a destination to which we arrive. It is also not merely the journey there. We create it with every thought, every act, with the recognition that everything we do reverberates through our Selves, systems, communities, our pasts, and our futures.

In the early 90s I had a teacher in the mountains of NC, Marian Starnes, who said, “To get to the 5th dimension we all have to go. It’s all or nothing, and the next window for us to do that is now (Age of Aquarius),” to which I immediately thought, “Bullshit.” I couldn’t fathom that a lot of folx could put in the elbow to evolve but the ones who didn’t would decide the fate of the whole. I couldn’t understand not being rewarded for my effort. And I had no fucking clue what she meant by 5th dimension.

I do now. Her words have stuck with me all this time, because they bothered me. They pissed me off, because they carried a truth I couldn’t suss out. I didn’t understand my youthful white privilege of settler culture dream or my projection of ‘evolved.’ Only in the last year do I understand what she said in a context that I grok: We are all in relationship. There is no such thing as Individual. We are either working toward all of our care or we’re not. Whatever happens dimensionally, vibrationally, energetically, spiritually–we are literally all in it together.

We’re only as aware of our sacredness as we are aware of our deepest wound.

It’s fitting this presence comes with Ehwaz. ‘Horse,’ this rune carries powerful imagery for human-persons. It speaks to the relationship between us and Nature, how when we move with awareness of our inherent relationship to Nature at the fore, vast boundaries can be broken. Literally, when humans and horses work together, we can accomplish things we wouldn’t have been able to alone. 

When we take that relationship deeper into the ON implications of Sleipnir (horse as Yggdrasil) as the vehicle of soul travel, we realize the range of support to which we have access. Indeed, we can travel into the soul of ecosystem itself, and with ecosystem, through and beyond ecosystem. With those relationships, we can travel into dimensions, realms way beyond our own, who can help us carry our grief

This week we leave Eihwaz in a space fully feeling the toll of humaning. We can only but know what it really feels like to be here, to mitigate the tensions of form, and to still be viscerally driven to fulfill our calling. None of it slows down. Grief (Tiwaz) doesn’t wait for us to be ready to bear our gift. So we reach into our inner cosmology (Eihwaz), into our relationships of place (Ehwaz) for support.

Among these is the Helping Spirit of Mink Rib, presenting in Summer. Known for its slinking, Mink has access to spaces others don’t. They like spaces they can control if not gatekeep. They are good resources for discerning when boundaries need adjusting or obliterating. Ribs, in particular, are about providing support, and evolving boundaries. They are connective tissue, determining what’s needed in shifting circumstances. All great characteristics to have in this third chapter of the Wild Hunt.

That Mink Rib comes in Summer implies good times, coming into power from allowing what is. It may not feel like it, and it may not be easy to accept what gifts it bears.

The element of Plastic in the direction of Front  stands out in this runecast. Plastic is an evergreen and Tiwaz substance if there ever was. Born of a need to preserve and support an ever-growing population in innumerable manifestations, Plastic has taken over how we live, for better or worse. It’s banework represented by Little People Dog. 

Plastic is a life force born out of tension of knowing a change was needed to support a mass population and from impatience to get shit done. I think it could even be the new totem of humanity. It meets deep needs that can’t be financially or energetically supported another way en masse. Plastic saves lives and it kills them. Maybe better than any other human creation, it represents the epitome of humanity: brilliant to a fault. 

Plastic serves as a keen reminder to hold and express our agency with care, because what comes out of it goes on to live its own life.That is banework at its core. It’s an apt message for half-month runes offering insight into a society crafting new normal.

In the direction of Front, which happens to be North in other folx’s vernaculars, Plastic embodies our Ancestors. It is literally long-dead matter, protecting and preserving us.  In the place of cold, ice, Front encourages us to think ahead, as we forge new bonds. It is the direction of lineage, particularly emphasizing the Descendants. They are everything ahead of us, and the benefactors of every choice and decision we make now. Luckily Front is also the direction of  knowledge and wisdom, which allows us to draw on our Allies as much as our skills and experience to know and do what’s best for ourselves, and our communities.

This runecast is anchored mostly in the third aett, which speaks to our resilience. We can go through hard times and bring something of value from the experience. We can situate our personal experience in a way that blesses the collective trajectory. And for this particular cast, that will be framed with grief and finding the way to stay embodied enough to ask for help.

[/ppp_patron_only]

[ppp_patron_only level=”1″ silent=”yes”]

Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you experience the spiritual aspects of your ecosystem?
  • How do you know when they are engaging you?
  • How do you recognize grief in your body?

[/ppp_patron_only]

[ppp_patron_only level=”1″ silent=”yes”]

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.

  • Eihwaz – Eye, Eyewuh, Yew, Yewuh
  • Tiwaz – Tee, Teewuh, Teewaw
  • Ehwaz – Eh, Ehwuh

[/ppp_patron_only]

Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

Gain animistic insight into the runes, learn to elder well with ancient wisdom, and cultivate a strong spiritual path

by joining the Runes for Change community.

For suggestions on how to weather the season gracefully, subscribe to my private runes community on Patreon.

#beyourcommunity

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

A black wood-grained background with the Elder Futhark in a circle and the words "What in the Wyrd," "Soul Intent Arts"
The Spirited Path Soul Tending Intensive
Reawakening with the Runes mini class

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.