For the week of 2 July 2023

Elf Shot and the Dawn of a New Cycle

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Fehu is the half-month rune through 14 July, fully in the sign of Cancer (carved porcelain tile). Wunjo is the intuitive rune, and Ingwaz indicates Mountain Jotnar’s perspective. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Fossilized Belemnite with element Plastic (Little People Dog), in the direction of Beyond (world marble), in the season of Autumn (tree button). Read right to left is Fehu, Wunjo, then Ingwaz.

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 an examination of our relationship with the rune and what it may teach us about current events and dynamics.

What do Spirits of Place have to do with runes?

Everything we do is rooted in place. We are ecosystem. We are relations with place. In order for that relationship to truly be exalted we must formally invite Spirits of Place into our rituals, and ensure that we craft our rituals to the benefit of the whole ecosystem.

I don’t live in Europe, where the Elder Futhark flourished. I don’t live in 200CE, when the runes were in wide use. But my Ancestors did, and to honor them I must carefully include them in my place-space rituals, including this runecast. In order to do include them in a way that benefits the whole ecosystem of my present, I introduced my ancestral Spirits of Place to the Spirits of Place I live among now. Negotiations were made and boundaries were drawn to support this full relationship I walk among to bless us all, as well as readers and their ecosystems.

In this runecast 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 week on a more personal level in your geographical and cosmological context. Osteomancy honors earthly other-than-human Helping Spirits, which includes humanity’s animal and plant Ancestors, and other earth-centric Ancestors and  helpers. The elements indicate our best deathwalking, enlivening, tempering, and/or transmutational force for the cast, and the directions offer insight into the best boundaried space for where transmutational work can be done. Season provides an expression of how we can best hold our agency, or the energetic tone of the cast. These additional beings in the cast give us actionable ways to engage the runes for the week and move among with them. Feel free to work with Spirits of Place that most resonate with this runecast, even if they show up differently in your 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.
  • 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
  • Soul Reading and Soul Tending sessions, based on tier
  • optional services with me
  • discounts on soul tending services

The Runecast

Fehu is the time of rune that can be very bracing in terms of figuring out where we stand with it. Beginning this new cycle likely brings up lots of things–as any new cycle does–relief, fatigue, confusion, maybe excitement. Fehu represents assets that we must tend, which of course implies that we have assets to tend. In a modern context, we make assets all about money, which comes with all sorts of baggage that isn’t traditionally part of this rune. 

Learn more about this seasonal progression, and how to draw its insights into the personal spiritual path in Runic Book of Days.

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.
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What Does It Mean?

I posted this on Instagram last week:

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I’ll just leave that right there.

Wunjo as the best energy we can take into Fehu is exhilarating. I’ve probably only used that word three times in my entire life, and this is my favorite. It’s not just about the assets and the interdependence. It’s also about having recommitted to another year, another cycle of tending how we soul-in-form, and navigating that as wonderfully and sloppily as possible among others doing the same. I mean, who doesn’t want more of that? 

But truly, to come into the sobriety of this transition with Wunjo, to know that we have the best multiversal supports possible, that our efforts do mean something even if they don’t land exactly the way we wanted them to, to know that what we put in does come out somewhere, for somebody, sometime, in some supportive way… That’s worth something. And that sweet truth is what softens the entry into this new runic cycle.

Ingwaz as commentary from more knowledgeable voices than ours is less about the words and more about the presence. Some of y’all know that the first well Ancestor to come to me was Mountain, and the Jotnar who came for this cast is a relative of theirs. I didn’t hear a voice this time; rather, I saw an enormous lumbering boulder. It walked slowly toward me with limestone chips sloughing off with its jagged strides. It was Stone presence, Mountain presence, Bone presence, Earth presence, Asteroid presence, Beyond presence. This one being comprised so many aspects of All Things, yet was clearly its own Self, just as we are. 

We come from so many elements, cells, lines, stars. Yet we are ourselves. We are family and 

sovereign. That reminder from Mountain Jotnar aligns with the memo of Ingwaz: We are new consciousness emerging from the multiverse. All the time. And right now is an opportunity to be intentional about that. We can be intentional about who we are, what we bring, how we bring it, and in aligning our assets (Fehu) to support that. We can be intentional in allowing and acknowledging what forces of the multiverse that can see our effort and support us (Wunjo) to do so.

The earthly supports for this runecast bring qualities of plenty, order, omen, and durability. 

Again, the runecast blows in with Autumn  as the energetic tone of things. It’s come up more often than not for the last three months, which tells me we can behave from a place of having enough. It’s not license to get reckless or squander resources, but we can acknowledge where our needs have been met.  With this continual energetic focus on turning away from the forest and to tending hearth, getting stores, ground, home, and harvest ready for needier times, there’s a push-pull energy in this repetition that we need to be mindful of. 

Beyond/All has visited a lot lately, as well. It’s the container of all that we know and beyond. It is the direction of sacred order. It’s the realm of Watchers, Norns, Multiversal Jotnar who caretake the machinations of all life. Given that, it can also be the microbes, the mitochondria, the bacteria. It’s not just Out There, but also that strata of managerial oversight that aligns with respect for all life at all levels. It is the direction of Source. This is who is best holding space for us this week, and can best protect it.

We’ve not encountered Plastic as element in a while. The inclusion of Plastic as an element was a complicated exploration for me. It didn’t exist before humans, and now occupies a significant space in form. When I thought of how to represent it in divination the plastics of my childhood rose most prominent–the ones that aren’t in any way green and will be here long after I’m gone. Little People Dog represented that cross section well, and I’m happy to have him along. 

Plastic is a life force born out of impatience, symbolic of cultural disconnect, yet 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, forever. Impact matters, and with the personal tone of this runecast, Plastic may be reminding us how applying our agency affects ourselves.

Plastic is banework in its own right, and quite possibly the true totem of settler culture.

The Fossilized Belemnite brings a curious life force to the cast. Members of the Cephalopod family, Belemnites exist to us as what look like fossilized bullets. They’re the only part of the Belemnite that has survived all this time–its armor, essentially. 

From a lore standpoint, ancient cultures on different continents record them as being connected to lightning, and in the Old Norse cosmology, they were the bits that lodged into the ground from the lightning of Thor’s hammer, regarded as elf, gnome, or pixie lights. In Scandinavian folklore they are still referenced as vatteljus, which translates to ‘gnome lights.’ 

For those who are up on their fair folk lore, we’re talking about elf-shot. This doesn’t situate in Old Norse cosmology directly, but came well after, in the Anglo Saxon cosmology, which absorbed aspects of the ON one. Likewise, there are indications of elf-shot in Viking culture. In a medical text of that era, Wið færstice, which means ‘against a sudden/violent stabbing pain,’ it describes elves shooting invisible arrows at humans as the source of sudden, terrible pain in the body.

Does this mean there are otherkin lying in wait to hurt us this week? I couldn’t say. What I can offer along this line is an awareness of Summer, which it is in the northern regions, and that the fae folk are most active here, right now. My take on the fair folk is our myths locate them as an indigenous people who were at the mercy of their own experiences of colonization, and they did not go well. They had their own version of making peace with how they would continue to hold presence in formed being, and, well, fae wrath is real and deserves empathy, if not compassion. 

Fossilized Belemnite reminds us to at minimum consider where we are caught in crossfires not of our own making, yet we are nevertheless involved, impacted. It also challenges us to question whether we are living life in such a way that only our armor will survive.

We’re firmly back in revising how we soul-in-form territory. The lag around it is real, as is the potential to create a new way of being we couldn’t fathom before, didn’t have the skills to until now. We have two runes from the first aett and one from the third. Yeah, I’d skip the second aett too, if it was an option.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What approach to souling-in-form is tugging at you right now?

  • What need is it expressing?

  • How do myths of quixotic beings factor into your experience of form?

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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.

  • Fehu – fee, feehoo, feh, fehhoo, fay fayhoo, feoh

  • Wunjo – Woo, Woon, Woonyo, Wyn

  • Ingwaz – Een, Eengwa, Eengoo

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Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

For more insight into the runes, eldering well with ancient wisdom, and cultivating a strong spiritual path

join 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

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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.