For the week of 30 October 2022

Living in the Scar

Hagalaz (wrought iron) is the half-month rune through 13 November. Jera (reindeer antler) is the intuitive rune, and Tiwaz (ceramic) indicates Anticipation’s message to us. For this Dead Time the spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Key in Spring, with element Stone in the direction of Beyond. Read right to left is Hagalaz, Jera, then Tiwaz.

[ppp_patron_only level="1.00" silent="yes"]The Weekly Rune - Hagalaz Audio Blog, for the week of 30 October 2022 [/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

This week we transition from the first aett to the second. This  process is one of mixed feelings, moving from the mercurial experience of our agency intermingled with that of others producing a state of Joy, into… something we can’t know. Yet we know in the traditional order of the Futhark, Hagalaz introduces a fuller awareness of what it means to be human-in-form. And while that awareness isn’t pleasurable, it is always affirming of our humanity.

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?

Hagalaz is the rune of conflict, usually that which is not under our control. We’re talking natural disaster-level conflict. When we examine that from an animistic viewpoint, Hagalaz encourages us to consider how we respond to change, how we adapt to it. Other than the displeasure associated with change, itself, the dynamic posed by this rune is that we are left marked by change. 

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We are scarred from change, and this is what is really at the heart of Hagalaz. It isn’t that the challenging thing happened; it’s what transpired in our lives, after. It’s how the space for the pain of the event was held. And in many cases in American settler culture, no space is held for pain, and this is why pain becomes trauma. 

If a rune can signify the broken path, it’s Hagalaz. If any rune symbolizes both our break from our awareness of ourselves as Naturekin and the aftermath of culture built on that lack, it’s Hagalaz. 

Bayo Akomolafe makes an excellent argument that without colonization trauma wouldn’t exist, that it is a colonized invention. Again, from an animistic viewpoint, this means that without the broken path, trauma wouldn’t exist. Were we engaging our agency in a way that reflected interrelationship with our ecosystem, we would have a sense of interdependence. Had we the wiring for interdependence, we would have a sense of belonging. With belonging we have community–non-human and human community. And of course, had we human community, our wounds would be witnessed. Our change would be held by elders with the life skills and spiritual technologies to help us move through it. We would not have trauma.

But of course we do have trauma, so we have to come back to how we’re in relationship with it. Most of us are in relationship with trauma via a scar–physical, emotional, mental. Scars are the connective tissue that binds some version of who we were to who we have become. They are portals into potential of who we are and how we move among that didn’t exist to us before the Hagalaz event. If we sit with this rune in this way, the experience is not suddenly positive. The change isn’t automatically diminished. What stands is the possibility of the moment, or ourselves, being more than we could conceive of, prior.

That’s a lot. I’m just gonna let it sit.

Jera as our best possibility with Hagalaz this week brings allies, tools, skills, knowledge. Five of the last ten runecasts included Jera. The significance of this recurrence is the bold reminder that we are never alone. Ever. There’s no such thing, and any feelings of isolation are the successful projection of settler culture. This reminder is important now as we rouse from old ways of being that can’t be brought forward, as we greet possibility to shape what may be.

Anticipation through Tiwaz is an interesting intersection. Tiwaz is the rune of embodiment being challenged. We traditionally talk about it as representing Tyr/Tuisto, and battle. It’s a battlecry signifying a change of plan is needed, with the assurance that the new plan is the way to go. That whole scenario is tinged with anticipation. The challenge with Tiwaz is a felt sense of not wanting to let go of the heartsong strategy, yet realizing that without letting it go, another can’t come. Even in this exchange there is a hint of movement, of letting go so that a cycle can unfold. To do that well we must be embodied. We can’t be looking forward or back.

If there’s a way to make the plight of Tiwaz more personal, it’s quite possibly an indication that we are getting in the way of our own embodiment. It’s realizing the need to move on to Plan B, without  the readiness to make room for it. We think of this rune as brutal and blunt, though subtlety can take us out just as easily. 

That’s where Anticipation has us slow down. It’s not a state of doing or notdoing, but whatever comes between those. It’s a projection of what isn’t but might be, should be. When we look at it that way, it’s a lot like a scar. It’s a reference point of something we’re moving away from and to a place we might go, though can only anchor us in now, in possibility.

This runecast is held with the influence of the Dead Time and Wild Hunt barely at bay. This seasonal influence in the global north grows in significance, and it hints also at possibility. The earthly helping spirit of Key underscores the freedom before us at this time, how we can choose to be open to new possibilities or shut off from that potential. The ideas of opening, closing, choice, boundaries–they’re all about adaptation, along with Hagalaz. They’re about coming through something destructive from the ground up–like a pandemic–and coming out the other side ready to meet What Comes Next. 

Spring has come up in the runecast quite a lot lately, as well. I appreciate its heralding of this time of new growth and creativity. I deeply feel that now is in the scar. It’s a time of living in the connecting tissue between life before, what life is now, and how we use our agency to shape where it’s going. Nothing in that but creativity and wyrdweaving.

Element Stone – Baltic amber bottle brings slowness, steadfastness, timelessness to the recipe. It can’t not be embodied, this dulls the influence of Tiwaz this week. There’s no rushing Stone, in either its formation or its degradation. Both processes only shift it from one form to another. It still remains. What’s significant with Stone is that it is resonant. It’s not just sitting there doing nothing. It picks up on vibrations, is shaped by other elements, flavored by various minerals. It adjusts to suit the environment, albeit on its own terms and timing. In this way it teaches us to adapt.

That said, I experience the direction of Beyond as 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 that strata of managerial oversight that aligns with respect for all life. It is the direction of Source.

Two second aett runes and one from the third. This week’s motivation and navigation come from working the hustle of bodies in agency and embodying through what we shed in that frenzy. Still notes of letting go, living through. The regenerative nature of this runecast is our deepest reminder that we’re becoming exactly what’s needed for What Comes Next.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What unexpressed pain do you carry?
  • How does it show up in your body?
  • How does it show up in your ecosystem?
  • Who is your Beyond?


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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.

  • Hagalaz – Haw, Hawga, Hah, Hahg
  • Jera – Yer, Yeruh, Yair, Yairuh, Yer/Yairaw
  • Tiwaz – Tee, Teewuh, Teewaw


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.

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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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