For the week of 9 July 2023

The Humanity in Wealth

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Fehu is the half-month rune through 14 July, (carved cedar stave). Berkana is the intuitive rune (Baltic amber), and Gebo indicates Indigeneity’s perspective. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are World Ancestor (wooden spoon) with element Timing (hourglass), in the direction of Below (lapis lazuli), in the season of Autumn (tree button). Read right to left is Fehu, Berkana, then Gebo.

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

I’ve talked about how our modern take on Fehu centers money, though this year’s runecasts with Fehu have totally thrown that aside. Where last week’s cast was flavored with joy and support from many corners, this one is all about humanity and where we stand. 

Fehu means wealth, specifically assets that must be tended. It also expresses how we enter into a new cycle–with thoughts of what we have to bring to it, how we cultivate what we have to share, the idea that making sure we all have good Fehu increases everyone’s assets.

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?

This week our best way to sit with Fehu is to sort of do just that–be with it and chill. Berkana (Berkano, Beorc) is the rune of nurture. It’s placement speaks to certain truths of life having been revealed, and we’re pooling our reserves to be ready to face them. It’s an optimistic rune that comes after the travail of Tiwaz, a sort of rehabilitation of Self without necessarily projecting what our next plan is (or should be). 

In the context of Fehu, this points to making our tending of what’s most important to us about ourselves. Really, deeply, honestly tending Self is what’s called for this week. I imagine for some of us that’s easier said than done for many reasons, among them being a lack of time, assets, or knowledge of how to do so. 

Also among those is quite possibly dread. On the surface we all would jump at the chance to kick back, rehabilitate, and be, and Berkana is that. But it’s also the realization that we have to do that to survive, to human, at all. And we don’t know how to. We haven’t been raised in a culture that prioritizes us, rehab, or teaching the skills to do any of the aforementioned. We literally don’t know what Body, Mind, or Soul really want and need.

Take some time this week to not just sit with what’s needed and give it where possible, but internalize that giving that rehab for Self chips away at that cultural imperative, which changes the trajectory for everyone. There’s a lot going on there that on the surface can seem selfish. As we sit with that possibility, also sit with the fact that selfish being a bad thing came from the same system that never taught self worth. 

Because at the end of the day there’s no such thing as Self care. We’re all in relationship with each other, and when we undertake everything we do with that awareness, everyone benefits.

Animism ftw.

Gebo doubles down on that. Literally. It means partnership and bonding with exchange of gifts, and everything that exchange can entail. Gratitude, giving, receiving. Bonding. So for our time with Fehu this week, we need to make it about our self-care, with the intention of that also being community care, and we need to let others help us accomplish that. There’s a true collective vibe to balance, giving, and receiving, when it comes to tending our most prized assets this week. Just as there’s no such thing as Self care, we’re also never alone. But to bring our awareness to that fact, to bring awareness to that fact with others who can meet us in it–that’s truly magick. That’s where the love, life, and soul-feeding beingness thrives. That is interdependence, and with the Gebo component, it’s also belonging.

The beyond-earth voice soothing through Gebo this week is Indigeneity. A first-time visit for this being, it speaks to us all being or having been indigenous to somewhere, and that the roots of that relationship still exist. That relationship still feeds us and facilitates our growth. 

It’s a painful thing for many of us, on many levels, to dig back into our indigeneity, because we inevitably bump into the reason we were parted from it. That’s very much Broken Path territory. My vibe on the presence of Indigeneity in this week’s cast is emphasis on being here. Midgard. Own it. Being human, really moving with intention in what it means to human as well as possible given the circumstances. Moving with respect for all of life, including our own. Moving among with the understanding that we are part of a much bigger neighborhood, and we are indigenous to earth. All of the components of our relationship to souling in form–ecosystem, family, community–are not in the way of our soulness. In many ways, our soulness is anchored because we human with intention. We indigenize our forms because we require place-space relationship to thrive here.

On that note, I’m as surprised as y’all are about some of the things that come up in these casts, and how they come up. It’s humbling.

The backdrop for this week is bountiful, held, patient, and wise. Again, we have Autumn  as the seasonal energetic tone–that of preparation, bounty, maturity, harvest, turning from the forest. In Autumn, our focus turns to tending hearth, getting stores, ground, home, and harvest ready for needier times. It’s a time tending both outdoors and indoors, and conserving energy for the cold to come, honoring Nature’s retreat underground. Autumn is also the wind up for the Wild Hunt, the ethers of which may be potent to call upon for the work of tending wealth. What may need to be let go so that we can more functionally show up? 

Holding space for us from Below  is the life force I refer to as Earth Parent, which is also all of our Earth Family–our immediate relations in Nature. It can be considered animism, itself, in that it is focused on the direct personal relationship to the organism that made us, and all the relationships that entails. What emerges from those relationships are our collective story, including the ancestors and planetary currents. For me, there is a cave aspect to this direction, very much directly within the vantage point of Earth and all that they are. Below is the inner machinations of Midgard. It focuses on direct personal relationship to Earth, which has everything to do with our sense of being provided for so that we can do our work here.

Element Timing reminds us that greater laws are in relationship and are carrying out duties that while we have no control over them, we also don’t have to lift a finger to make sure they keep doing their job. As rough as souling in form is, we don’t have to be mindful of everything

Timing is ability to pace Self according to the cycles of Nature, to be in relationship with Nature such that one’s habits and body rituals sync with natural occurrences (up at dawn; relax when the shadows grow long). It’s also a point for realization that we are naturally synced with Nature. We don’t really have to work at it.  The transmutation Timing offers is the faith that time will take care of need, despite that our comprehension of time is very short.

After not meeting them in this space for years, they arrive again after just visiting a couple of weeks ago. Our World Ancestors encompass the entire experience of humaning up til this very moment. They carry our wisdom traditions, our most indigenous relationships to place-space, our memories of the stars, the primordial sparks that motivate our potential. When the World Ancestors visit the runecast, we are reminded that we are not and have never been alone, that for all that has been traumatic and challenging of human time here, we are also fully loved, supported, and blessed, exactly as we are. They remind us that one day we will be an Ancestor. We, too, will reverberate through time and space forever. They remind us that we already do. We shine down on ourselves as we peer upward to behold our light. It is who we are, and in our steadfastness, we too shall pass.

Just like that we will be shifting into the second rune of this season. While we’re closing out this time with Fehu and thoughts of wealth, remember when we say ‘put Self first,’ we really mean ‘remember you’re included.’ We don’t Fehu well until we all Fehu well. And between the care given by Gebo and the bonds made with Berkana, we’ll get there.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How can you better tend yourself?
  • What aspects of Self and life are asking for rehabilitation?
  • How do you experience indigeneity?

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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

  • Berkana/Berkano/Beorc – Ber, Bair, Beor, Berka, Bairka

  • Gebo – Gay, Gaboh, Geh, Gehboh, Gif, Gihfoo

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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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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.