For the week of 25 October 2020

The Dark Harvest

Wunjo is the half-month stave through 28 October, at which point Hagalaz moves to the fore until 13 November.  Jera is the intuitive rune, and Eihwaz indicates the Gloaming’s message to us. Read right to left is Wunjo above, Hagalaz below, Jera, then Eihwaz.

I truly believe that #theweeklyrune includes the keys to making better choices based on keen insight into the present, to help each of us be more active in creating a better life for us all. That realization process includes learning to tend what can’t just be fixed, and using every tool at our disposal. 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 we can create ourselves as fit elders, so that upon our good death, we can be well Ancestors.

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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).

Learn More

The Weekly Rune is a three-rune cast. Those runes are the half-month, the intuitive rune, and the overview. The half-month is a set rune, which for the most part follows the traditional ordering of the Elder Futhark. The intuitive stave (meaning, I draw it blind) indicates the life force most available to us, to the focus of the half-month rune into sharper focus. It 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 different voices. These voices have been Nature, Earth, Creation, though are sometimes others. I note who’s speaking each week, as it is revealed.


New to The Weekly Rune?

  • 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.

The Runecast

Seems that Eihwaz just has to be included for now, trailing from the mid-point of extremes last week into the final say this week. As we transition from Wunjo to Hagalaz mid-week, we light the candles that close the personhood successes of the first aett, dim them at the darkest hour, then light those that will sustain us into the challenges brought by the winter runes.

Where Wunjo culminates with results of having worked the threads of wyrd that we can affect, Hagalaz takes us right back to adversity and a loss of control. The second aett introduces (or re-introduces) us to the heavy fusion of spirit and form by demanding that we apply everything we’ve learned in the first aett while navigating others doing the same. If we lived as individuals blazing our own trails, maybe Earth life and the second aett wouldn’t be so challenging. We don’t, though, which means we have to learn to live our ideals among diverse others who may have different ideals. We have to learn to find the continuity of furthering our callings amidst the chaos of life. This week’s cast sheds insight into how that’s doable, though it pulls no punches about the challenges that fully immersed human-spirit living brings.

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 sudden external change. Because it is translated as “hail,” we think of weather disasters, unpleasant outcomes from forces of Nature that we just have to deal with. I’ve seen some folx say it’s harsh to have the rune of Joy followed by the rune of calamity, though isn’t that how life is? We don’t get to stay in any one place for long, and with that realization we’re tasked with how we respond. 

But that’s where it all gets interesting. How we respond is totally wrapped up in our experience of Nature. If we were collective animists we would have a felt sense of communal wellbeing, communal care, and know that a certain amount of our response would be tended by those who have our best interests in mind.

However, we’re not collective animists.  We’re holding space for direct relationship with being as much as we can, without the spiritual reinforcement of a village.

We do not share a felt sense communal awareness of wellbeing. 

We do not all have access to communal care.

We do not have reason to believe that our experience will be tended by someone with our best interests in mind.

And that’s just the privileged people. Read more…

Purple text reads "Runes for Change" with a grayscale billowy tree with purple runes carved in it and an owl perched in the branches

Gain animistic insight into the runes, learn to elder well with ancient wisdom, and cultivate a strong spiritual path

by joining the Runes for Change community.

For suggestions on how to weather the season gracefully, subscribe to my private runes community on Patreon.


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


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.