For the week of 21 May 2023
The Support of Our Truth
Ingwaz (wrought iron tile) is the half-month rune through 29 May. Hagalaz is the intuitive rune, and Ehwaz indicates Wealth’s perspective. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Turkey Wishbone with element Stone, in the direction of Within (innan), in the season of Spring (tree button). Read right to left is Ingwaz, Hagalaz, then Ehwaz.
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 other-than-human Helping Spirits on Earth, which includes humanity’s animal and plant Ancestors, and other earth-centric 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. 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, 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
- 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:
Our time with Ingwaz this season has been more complicated–as has our time with all of the third aett. The complexity with Ingwaz has been framed by tense astral alignments, to say nothing of the malcontent that laces many of our daily engagements. For a rune that indicates stepping out into a new version of Self, Life, and/or dynamics, it has felt like a confining few moments with Ingwaz. And yet, what a great opportunity to explore how to be true to new Self in a time that is most likely to challenge it.
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.
[ppp_patron_only level=”5.00″ silent=”yes”]
What Does It Mean?
Hagalaz as the best way to work with Ingwaz this week makes the challenge aspect pretty clear, yet also supports adaptation as our strongest ally. It reminds us that just as Nature can challenge our new Selfness, it is also our strongest transmutational force to manage deathwalks and rebirths that need to happen along the way.
Ehwaz through the voice of Wealth brought this runecast deeper. The word/voice usually comes in as my fingers touch the rune for the beyond-earth presence, and this one came with a felt sense. The concept “Wealth” was clear, but I edited as soon as I heard it. When I pulled myself back and just felt into what was being presented, I felt Wealth as a force, perhaps even a Jotnar of its own kind, that naturally exists in the multiverse. It’s not good or bad, doesn’t choose who it touches. It’s just out in the world as a connecting force. I very specifically saw it as a uniting current whose agency flows through everything continually. I faltered with it again when I thought, ‘but why doesn’t everyone have it,” and the immediate response was, “they do.” But what we call wealth isn’t Wealth.
What was conveyed to me then felt more akin to what I hear people call abundance or prosperity, which also strikes a nerve for me. We don’t all have that, either, but the underlying memo was our awareness of Wealth is limited to how our culture has defined it. The being that it is, the life force that is its own agency in the world isn’t able to be tied to money, property, or social standing. It really is a force that works with the elements and seasons to keep everyone looked after. I also had beats on how it is manipulated and abused, which is how some of us don’t experience Wealth in the immediate context our culture creates.
Yet, it is there. It is locatable, engageable, and willing to deepen relationship. That’s where Ehwaz comes in. As the rune of using our agency to step into the unseen currents of being, we can do that with Wealth. We can feel it for ourselves and make offerings to it, express gratitude to it. In order to bridge the gaps of where our culture can’t support our Ingwaz, we can engage the unseen of Wealth to do so. We can recognize that even though our culture manipulates and abuses Wealth, we can tend it. We can be tended by it.
The place-space this week is bustling, demanding, steadfast, and proud. We’re held in Spring, which presents new growth, creativity. It represents the seasonal point that human-persons can more safely venture beyond their own thresholds–utangardr–return to the forest. It’s a time to verge outward and explore new territory.
Stone as the element in residence for our first more elaborate runecast also offers slowness, steadfastness, timelessness. It can’t not be embodied. 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, embellished by ecosystem. It adjusts to suit the environment, albeit on its own terms and timing. Working with Stone for transmutation demands patience and slowness from us, yet also diligence in seeing the transformation through to the end–well after the thrill of change has worn off.
Curiously, the direction Within – Inner Midgard – torso, nervous system, gut instinct, speaks to our animism, our personal relationship with being on the planet, and our capability of allowing Body to be both the boundary for and determiner of our experience here. That this runecast is occurring in Within reinforces that we have to take the initiative with whatever Ehwaz needs us to witness or learn. We have to set the parameters of how we Ingwaz. Within informs us that there are parameters to be set, as well as we have to take action on them–as in, if we don’t other forces will plug in random parameters that may or may not be beneficial, and as in our spirit helpers can’t do this part of the work for us.
Within is the direction of the center of who we are–our center of personal cosmology, stretching out into All Things. It is soul in form. It is animisming in interdependence and belonging. It is our direct personal relationship to being here, now, embodied. It reiterates our accountability to formed being, the reminder that we have foot in both worlds that meet at the heart. Despite that the heart and passion can easily dictate how we move among, we are challenged to remember to move with our whole Selves, with our whole Within.
It both exalts what is wonderful about being in form, while fully honors that we are also Other. It fosters us to remember that we do not and cannot forego honoring all of who we are. We literally do not have to choose.
The Turkey Wishbone has usually visited the runecast as an element. This week it comes as the earthly ally to hold space with us or help in some endeavor. We know Bone as the foundational structure of our being. Bone is the epitome of dna, not just of the individual, but of its entire species. It holds memory, wisdom, and secrets about form’s connection to Earth that we don’t understand at a conscious level. Regarding Turkey, it’s not respected in American settler culture, and has become synonymous with how European settlers conned and harmed Turtle Island indigenous people. In this way Bone can remind us of the strengths and wounds of our lineage. It reminds us that while all aspects of us are sacred, how we come into relationship with that sacredness and allow it to inform the way we move here has to be sacred, too, and movement starts with Bone.
Divination with Turkey’s clavicle or good tidings began with the Etruscans, who felt birds were predictors of the future. They would let the clavicle dry in the sun then touch it for good luck. We can thank the Romans and later the English for making a gentle divination into a competitive sport.
This week’s cast has a 3-2-3 cadence between the aettir, suggesting that while we’re rooted in reaching our fullest potential in elderhood, we’re sobered by the challenges of getting there in the fray of everyone else doing the same. If there’s a bright spot to call upon with Ingwaz this week, it’s to remember in that fray that we’re all trying to get there. One way or another we’re all trying to become good elders.
[ppp_patron_only level=”1″ silent=”yes”]
Half-month Rune Prompts
What feels most complicated for you, regarding bringing your truth to the world?
How might you engage Stone to help bear your truth?
How does Wealth situate in your cosmology?
[ppp_patron_only level=”1″ silent=”yes”]
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.
Ingwaz – Een, Eengwa, Eengoo
Hagalaz – Haw, Hawga, Hah, Hahg
Ehwaz – Eh, Ehwuh, Eoh
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
To bear your unique gift to the world.
To leave the planet better than you found it.
So that your descendants never elder alone.