For the week of 11 December 2022

Wyrdweaving New Normal

Jera (wrought iron tile) is the half-month rune through 28 December. Tiwaz is the intuitive rune (cedar stave), and Mannaz reversed indicates Graciousness’ message to us. For this Wild Hunt season the spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Coyote foot bone in Spring, with elements Earth and Fire (glass bottle) in the direction of Back (South). Read right to left is Jera, Tiwaz, then Mannaz.

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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

The first couple of days of the week Isa lingers, with Jera moving fully into half-month on the 13th. Smack in the middle of the Elder Futhark, this rune indicates a time of sitting with reward. Not “aware,” but reward. It comes after work, hard work, and with the demand that we hold steady in those efforts.

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?

Moving from the metaphoric winter trio runes, which have basically slowed our roll until we came front-and-center with some needed wisdom and capability of regulating around them, Jera presents quite a change of trajectory. We’ve had several months of tension, molting, and learning who we are in that aftermath. When finally we’re able to get some momentum, we’re greeted with this gentle, methodic pace.

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Jera is the root of the word “year,” and as it’s the only rune made up of two distinct characters in the Elder Futhark, it carries a full representation of cyclicity and movement between those characters. In a sense, the unseen relationship between them says as much about their significance as the characters, themselves.

The memo with Jera is to have a fuller vision that encompasses that cyclic nature of things. While we ascertain the success of our harvest and what we need to change for next year, sit with how we have used our agency around all of it, and how we need to hold that differently for next year. More specifically, Jera is the point that we realize how relationships is everything in how we apply our agency. And even more on the nose than that–we accomplish nothing alone. Not our harvest, our enjoyment of it, our planning for next year. There is no such thing as ‘individual,’ and Jera as the result of, the manifestations that come from, our engagement of relationships and agency affirms this truth of souling in form.

This week sit with how agency is being held, how it shapeshifts into something greater than itself when combined with the agency of others. Hold space for the harvest, as well as those who facilitated it coming into being.

Tiwaz is always welcome in my book. A battle rune, it indicates a turning point, in which we have realized we can’t go further the way we have been and must apply our agency with blind faith toward Plan B. The thing about Tiwaz is, that sacrifice is worth it. Plan B happens, we just have to make room for both the mourning of Plan A and what is, in the present. 

In a big way, Tiwaz is about grief, and also how life still goes on. That can be promising and really difficult, at once. However we look at it, what has led up to Tiwaz has challenged our experience of embodiment at a deep level, and we are charged with finding the new balance of being in form. This week that may look like realizing harvest but also what was lost to produce it. It may take shape as realizing personal cyclicity is letting go of an old Self and welcoming a new one. It may be that the relationships that supported this harvest need revisiting for the next.

Mannaz reversed through the depth of Graciousness gave me pause. At first I couldn’t suss out the difference between graciousness and gratitude. Where gratitude is to be thankful for something, graciousness is when the experience of gratitude evokes within us kindness, warmth, compassion, and courtesy. It is most often an after-effect of gratitude, in which we are changed by the gift, by the giving–the Geboing. 

Mannaz tends to point to where we are social, where we are with our people who share like mind. It is a coming out rune, of sorts. However, when reversed, it suggests we have something we need to greet alone, or can only greet alone. Maybe we don’t have people who can meet the way we harvest, or who can even see our harvest. Maybe we can’t see it, ourselves, and we need to Tiwaz our way into our own visibility. 

Wherever the disjoint of being who we are in relationship is happening, take some time this week to allow harvest, itself, to inform us. Look at what Self has created and learn what those creations have to say about how both go forward into the next harvest. Where something needs to be let go, at least be willing to consider what that would look like (Tiwaz). Where there is a need for Self-support in how harvest is honored and the next is planned, offer it space to speak (Mannaz). This week our best looks like creating space for where our experience of the efforts of our labor (and the effort itself) can be informants to our process.

Earth helping spirit who raised their hand to help us with that is Coyote (foot bone) in Spring. We’ve had Spring in so many casts over the last couple of months. The new growth and support for creativity is welcomed. Coyote’s trickster visage and ability to live at the edge reinforces that need for innovate ways of moving among. 

Settler culture colors trickster as the bad guy with a sole intent to create harm. However, its animistic roots lie more in a being who stands between spaces and advocates for the most vulnerable of those spaces, and is an agent of change to tip the status quo to be more balanced. Trickster takes on so many forms, and stands at the brink of possibility. Coyote, itself, brings its own polarity to this trickster role. Walking in great wisdom, Coyote also carries an element of irreverence. This lack of respect for proper roles in Coyote is often considered folly. It doesn’t care how change happens, even to its own detriment or exclusion. The outcome must be that change happens. We’re talking about a creature that knows how to adapt to situations, though more importantly how to adapt itself to change situations.

Coyote is the one who highlights the relationship between wisdom and folly, which are the meeting place of taboo. We don’t use those words enough, but Coyote understands that what is foolish and what is wise are kin. To hold their relationship and make it active in the world is to engage taboo, or to create a spot of bother from which something entirely new emerges. To understand wisdom isn’t to throw out folly, but to see how they are in relationship, to see how we have to be willing to risk folly in our current context in order to bring a better-suited context to meet the needs of community. 

Foot bone represents stability, movement, travel. Footprints are a way that we impress matter to indicate we are/were in form. They show connection to Earth Parent. Foot indicates grounding, as barefoot puts us closer to the wild, to our awareness of animism. Foot is where soul, agency, and matter meet and generate change through movement.

When we talk about Coyote foot bone, the focus is on making taboo moveable in the world, becoming the taboo that is willing to trouble things to their breaking point enough to create new ways of moving and being in the world. 

Back is the direction others consider South, which in my cosmology is heat, fire.  It’s also the direction of the janitors continually deathwalking what is no longer needed, so that fungi can lay down the new network and teach us all how to use it. It is what is behind me, place of past and letting go, so that we know what comes is what is right for us.Ancestors, who are literally behind me.

Earth  and Fire represented as Glass are the elements best for wyrdweaving this week. Earth, which is Jǫrð, or Fjörgyn, or Hlódyn, in Old Norse,  is the giantess who represents standing deftly, solid, but yielding when necessary. She is Sky Parent made from death, the remains of Ymir. She is the place of support and what feeds, symbolic of what dies is what feeds.  

Fire   (Old Norse bál/báls bonfire) is creative force, capable of deep transformation (of metals into tools/weapons, of matter into ash), also characterized by extremes of decimation, and life-giving warmth. A deathwalker in its own right, Fire transmutes what is no longer needed through flame. 

Glass as an expression of earth and fire gives sharp testament to the transformative powers of these elements.  As something that protects yet can also cause exquisite harm. Glass reminds us we too are capable of both assuring protection and terrible extremes. 

The memo with these elements is that we are at a precipice of choice. Something is coming to an end–the season. The year. A harvest. A relationship. A way of moving among. An aspect of Self. Though what we bring forward from that experience is on us, and it’s not an option. What we bring forward in life force is a being, which lives on well past the thing or dynamic. We either choose how we relate to it from here forward, or we continue to relate to it without using our agency in that relationship.

This seems to be the theme of how we move into new normal, in that it isn’t movement toward something anymore. Whatever energy needed to shift, to come within our awareness, it’s here. It’s malleable and ready for us to interact. It is very much a sleeves-pushed-up, hands-in-the-muck wyrdweaving that must be done with how we serve our time here at the fore, along with the rest, joy, play, growth, and love we need along the way to actually do the weaving.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • Can you live in Graciousness without having to experience gratitude?
  • What is your role in New Normal?
  • How is this upcoming Solstice speaking to you?

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Galdr

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.

  • Jera – Yer, Yeruh, Yair, Yairuh, Yer/Yairaw
  • Tiwaz – Tee, Teewuh, Teewaw
  • Mannaz – Mah, Mahn, Mahna

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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.

#beyourcommunity ~ #youareecosystem

elder well, die well, ancestor well

@kelleysoularts

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