For the week of 6 December 2020 2020

The Face of Joy

Isa is the half-month stave through 13 December.  Wunjo is the intuitive rune, and Eihwaz shares Countenance’s message to us. Read right to left is Isa, Wunjo, 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

Isa is a pressure cooker of sorts. The spot we can’t move passed until we’ve gotten what we need there is just never going to be a comfy place, even if we appreciate it for what it is. In this seasonal progression with Isa, it’s really difficult to separate out its personal dynamics from the collective ones, as we are struggling with and feeling both at the same time. If there’s a positive spin to be put on the tension around the world at this time, this runecast brings it through the most optimistic rune in the Elder Futhark, and a message of turning corners.

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?

Isa is the point that we want to keep moving along our merry progression, yet in order to do it well we need something we don’t have. The only way to get it is to… get it, which means doing the work to either understand what’s needed, or to admit that we already know and for some reason are dragging our feet about doing the work. Neither of those scenarios is fun.

Multiply that times most of the world’s population. Most humans (and I would add other-than-human beings) are feeling the pressure on humanity to regroup and get things on track for the whole, or careen further into collapse. So, yes, we can view our time with Isa through the personal lens of, “What do I need to learn/do/heal before I can move on to the next part?” though viewing it only that way is taking it out of animistic context. A more helpful way to view it may be to observe what humanity as a whole needs to learn/do/heal, and locate the personal role, therein. They are not separate from each other. Just as we are both the individual and collective experiences playing out at once, we are also Isa’s sacred seed, that which sparks alive encased in ice until it’s ready to emerge into the world, we are the encasement, and we are that which emerges.  Read more…

Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

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

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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.