For the week of 9 October 2022

Preparing for The Hunt

Gebo (polymer clay) is the half-month rune through 13 October. Fehu (porcelain) is the intuitive rune, and Jera indicates Preparation’s message to us. The Spirits of Place and season walking with us this week are the active element of Air, rooted in the direction of Above (Sky Parent), with Fossilized Ammonite (from the Dubki Clay Quarry in Saratov, Russia) in Winter. Read right to left is Gebo, Fehu, then Jera.

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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

We’ve entered Gebo on a fairly well sustained high note. Kenaz was characterized by a lot of astrological noise, and so much human chaos. The ability to ease into Gebo and be met, if not carried, for a bit has been nice. This week’s cast brings the same level of support, albeit from different corners of the cosmos.

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?

As the rune of bonding via exchange, Gebo represents the heart of interdependence. It’s the perfect symbol of how our ability to give along with expressing gratitude is crucial to the bonds that sustain not just as in our individual lives, but how humanity functions, as a whole. My inclination is to say that settler culture has forgotten this integral part of relating, though the truth is we haven’t. We just carry deep wounds around it.

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Our ability to express gratitude goes only as deeply our ability to feel our own worth. The receptors in our brain that allow us to feel gratitude can’t work when we feel shame or unworthiness.

They literally can’t function at the same time (check out the work of Dr. Odelya Gertel Kraybill). The result is, we get help with learning to regulate through that kluge, or we go through life knowing that we want to be grateful but not really feeling it. 

Raise a hand if:

  • Collective wounding generates feelings unworthiness
  • Personal shame causes isolation
  • Gratitude practices crowd social media streams

All of that is secondary, tertiary, complex wounding. It’s a continual double down on our brain’s inability to stop a process that isn’t and cannot work in our favor, and Gebo says that’s not getting it.

Take some time this week to suss out what feelings really come up around gratitude, what the body has to say about it, and what actions Self actually takes to be in good relationship with gratitude. Anywhere discrepancy rises between what Self believes and what the body says is room for deeper communication. It’s a Dream Team kind of exploration.

Fehu as the best runic way to address Gebo suggests this exploration will be profitable. Literal profit, maybe, but most definitely the moving-out-what’s-not-working-and-bringing-in-what-will kind of profit. From an animistic standpoint, we think of Fehu as the rune that teaches us that we must tend what is most precious to us: our life, our relationships. Those are our greatest wealth. Gebo comes later in the first aett to make that more personal. With it we’re not just tending relationships, we’re bonding. We’re deeply grokking the interdependence of our relationships. With Gebo we realize that we need each other. And ideally, we need that to be a reciprocal expression of duty out of love and support.

Jera visited with Kenaz a couple of weeks ago, and its tone now is very much the same: we have good support at our disposal right now. The rune of harvest, Jera speaks to a dynamic in which our agency to grow sustenance has yielded support that sustains us. It’s its own little micro cycle of agency-return. We feel the alchemy we worked, which creates its own kind of relationship interdependence. 

From a spiritual standpoint, this speaks to us becoming active with our Allies–which for this function can be any beings who advocate on our behalf, human or other-than-human. Realize these relationships for what they are and make use of them this week. Be active in them. Ask for what’s needed, take what’s given, then plant it knowing it will grow.

The voice of Preparedness that came along with Jera was more detailed than just that. In fact, it was very specific. It was the voice of Preparedness for The Wild Hunt. In the next couple of months, in the north we will confront the winds that sweep away what is no longer needed, no longer functional. We don’t have to ask for this function of Winter; it just is. However, in order to use our agency in this seasonal ritual, we would do best to realize what we need to let go of, and situate it with intention for the masters of The Hunt to sweep away.

That was really hard to communicate with just “Preparedness” in the opening paragraph of this runecast =)

This is a warning, an omen, and a gift.  It’s a reminder that we have to be involved, we have to use our agency to make use of these natural forces that benefit us. The Wild Hunt always comes. It always does its job to deathwalk what’s no longer needed on every level–directionally, dimensionally, vibrationally, systematically, personally, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically… It is the winds of banishment working on our behalf. 

Prepare for them by sitting with what needs to be let go. Breathe deeply into the tight places of the Self to create space for those winds to sweep through. Clean out the household clutter. Hold the space for others to do the same, so that we can all enjoy shedding what holds us back. It’s coming. Start welcoming it now.

The direction holding space for us this week, thus the best to appeal to for runecast matters, is Above. In my cosmology that is the domain of Sky Parent, Sky Family, which is all aspects of Sky. From an animistic vantage point, Above is the transconscious strata, where All Things converge. There we explore our direct personal relationship to the origin of All and what our role is in the sacred order of All. In traditional ON lore, it would indicate Asgard, which would point more to the godden, to cosmic currents in which we are small ripples.

The element of Air represents the forces that carry our intentions to where they can best root. Air’s strength is transmission, dispersal, sweeping clean. Our best way to engage it is to allow it, to find the flexibility in ourselves to sway with it, and to learn how to embody its qualities in our own lives. This is particularly timely with Preparedness’ instructions regarding the coming Hunt.

Fossilized Ammonite as our Helping Spirit this week helps us to have good boundaries in all of this bonding and sweeping. Its spiral shell hints a labyrinth-like focus to stay the course and go deeper, though honors patience and timing, in that it has no beginning or ending. There is only now, and our embodiment determines our boundaries. Even with fond relationships, even with letting go, we still have to have them. Taking some time with Ammonite as Ally may help clarify boundaries this week.

Winter as the atmospheric tone best consulted this week brings rest, grounding, endurance, resourcefulness. These are all good things to take into partnership, and they’re also really great ways to begin that re-regulation with gratitude.

This week we have two runes from the first aett, and the one smack in the middle of the second. What these runes stitch together is the importance of our personal embodiment with grounding into the support and strength of our Allies. This combo makes our relationship bonds true–not just for us, but for those we choose in bonding.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • With whom do you have your strongest bonds?
  • How do you recognize when to let go?
  • How do you communicate your boundaries?


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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
  • Fehu – fee, feehoo, feh, fehhoo, fay fayhoo
  • Jera – Yer, Yeruh, Yair, Yairuh, Yer/Yairaw


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.

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