For the week of 2 October 2022

Heard, Seen, Now

Gebo (wrought iron) is the half-month rune through 13 October. Mannaz (reindeer antler slice) is the intuitive rune, and Dagaz indicates Momentum’s message to us. The Spirits of Place and season walking with us this week are the active element of Acid (lemon zest vial), rooted in the direction of Front (Descendants), with Owl in Winter. Read right to left is Gebo, Mannaz, then Dagaz.

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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

Gebo is a comforting rune to move into. We slip into it from the jarring, though supportive revelations of Kenaz, and with it we are afforded a bit of luxury in the form of partnership. When a lot folx talk about Gebo, it comes with a dodgy relationship overtone that veers more toward romance.  That’s not what I’m talking about here. The kind of partnership and relationship with Gebo is more along the lines of a bond forged in some mutuality, some kinship. It’s when we’re met with others who can really see us, and are where we are. That could work out to be a romantic partner or loved one, though that would just be icing on the cake regarding the underlying theme of kinship.

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?

Gebo is synonymous with ‘gift.’ It is the gift, itself, the transaction of giving and receiving, the bond formed through the transaction, and the spirit of gratitude about the whole affair. This is a wonderful place to step into, given how groundless and chaotic our experience of social engagement has been for almost three years. Indeed, this spirit of kinship has abounded over the last few years, though we are positioned to see and respond to it differently now. Through the pandemic and accompanying cultural collapse, we’ve stepped out of a way of being that didn’t fit or support us as a collective. Now, we’re ready to forge our bonds based on that commonality, and around creating how it can be different going ahead.

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Mannaz as the best way to work with Gebo is perfection. This is the rune of mental activity and of reaching out to a social group. It carries the nuance of ‘coming out’ with a newly held facet of consciousness, and bringing it to others who can support it with you. It’s less about the kinship aspect then Gebo, at least on the surface, and emphasizes the internal gymnastics we have to go through to pluck up the courage to present such a thing, which is the bridge between the mental and social roots of the rune. 

Remember that Mannaz is named for Mannus (Bori), son of Ymir (Tuisto/Tyr), and father of Odin, the lineage of which speaks to the old school always being replaced by what is more needed–and usually with struggle. Life evolves, we update to meet the needs. That is the message Mannaz brings regarding Gebo this week.  Life has evolved. We have updated. It is appropriate to both our survival and our continued adaptation that we bring what we’ve learned to folx who can hear it, and that we be kin with those who can support and teach us. The meshing of bonds on different levels is super appropriate right now.

Dagaz speaks to the moment being at hand for this depth of kinship. The rune of June Solstice, it is about extremes, but more specifically where they meet, where they are the same. In that vein, humanity’s extremes are meeting right now, internally for each of us and externally in life. But we aren’t finding where we’re all rooted out of the same elements and multiversal relationships. Rather, we’re focused on difference, or creating difference. 

The voice of Momentum through Dagaz further gives a sense of urgency to the moment, to this time. We are called to do what we’re here to do, right now, right here. While the coming out bit of Mannaz hints toward some drama around that, Gebo assures the right bonds will come out of it–not only for ourselves, but for the collective. 

A few tools have presented themselves for our support this week, through our Naturekin spirits. Acid is the element that erodes away what we can’t, or perhaps shouldn’t take further.  It’s outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any, and to go farther with it will be counter to our intentions. Read through the thread of incoming normal and internally changed Self to greet it–this is a great time to work with Sacred Acid to loosen and drop the crud, so that we don’t bring it ahead with us.

Front, which aligns with where most folx plot North, cold, encourages us to think ahead, as we forge new bonds. The direction of ice, air, and lineage, Front specifically emphasizes 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.

Winter aligns with the icy cunning of Front. It represents  rest, grounding, endurance, resourcefulness–all needed things to hunker down and be prepared for the new life coming.

Barred Owl as our feathered Ally this week sees through the bullshit–of our culture, and of being human. They’re a take-no-shit ally that moves easily between living and spirit worlds, and for that reason can’t be deceived. They see behind the masks of human and other-than-human worlds. As someone who has walked closely with Barred Owl for my entire adulthood, that skill seems cool as long as isn’t pointed at Self. It also means that with Barred Owl comes the challenge to realize the deceptions of settler culture and still stay rooted in soul calling. Owl, in general lives and walks beyond illusion, though it also brings protection. The bars on its chest indicate sacred space. Keep that in mind while vying for space to  birth self-truth this week. The earthly Ally helping us to do that is fierce, not just in defending it, but also in making sure we stay in our best lane in how we birth it. Its appearance means validation of feelings, that we’re heading in the right direction, doing the right thing.

We’re tasked this week with being brave. We have to find a way to step out of patterns and ways of being–personally and culturally–that didn’t feed us, so that we can gather the relationships and spaces that meet our needs now. The better our needs are met, the better able we are to serve our communities. 

The first and third aettir are represented in this cast. The components to be embodied and despite the fray, choose it over and over, walk closely with us this week.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • When you think of kinship, where do you feel it in your body?
  • What in you needs to come out to fully welcome ‘new normal?’
  • How do your extremes inform your sense of Self?


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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.

  • Gebo – Gay, Gaboh, Geh, Gehboh
  • Mannaz – Mah, Mahn, Mahna
  • Dagaz – Dthah, Dthahg, Dthahguh


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


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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.