For the week of 23 December 2018

Plan, protect, adapt

Jera is the half-month stave through 28 December. Uruz is the intuitive stave, and Hagalaz indicates Nature’s message to us. Read right to left is Jera, Uruz, then Hagalaz.

Every year for the week of Winter Solstice, I publish the full, unabridged cast, so that everyone gets a glimpse of what the Patreon members support year-round. So for this week, please enjoy this free full runecast, find warmth in the light, and I wish you peace in the new year.

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 reality for us all. That realization process includes learning to tend what can’t just be fixed, and using every tool at our disposal to accomplish that. The runes are such a tool, and in the Old Norse tradition, this process is wyrdweaving at it deepest potential.

You’re currently reading the public version of The Weekly Rune. If you want to get the full benefit of the  ad-free, detailed version every Sunday, you can show your support by joining my private runes community at Patreon.  The paid runecast includes:

  • more detail 
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  • insights on how to best manage the curves and twists therein
  • introspective prompts to nuance your self-work
  • galdr of the runecast, with sound files and instruction on how to use each sound
  • live video sessions
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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, the half-month rune is based on 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 are usually 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. The latest episode discusses the nuances of Raidho.
  • 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.

Runic Book of Days - A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick by S. Kelley Harrell

The Runecast

Coming through the dark quiet of the last couple of months with the winter runes, then Jera, has been an active time. We carry the narrative of winter being still and quiet, against a cultural narrative of busy-ness and holiday chaos. The tension of that contradiction isn’t to be ignored.

Jera gives us pointers in how to address that disjoint well, and move forward in its wisdom.

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?

Jera is the rune of “Hearth Accounting,” so I say. It means “year” in the Old Norse culture, and it refers to this inventorying process of seeing how to close the current year and move fully prepared into the next. This rune continues the stillness of Isa, sort of. Where Isa had us focused on needs-assessment, Jera delivers us into making plans around that new information. We’re not required to act on it yet, just brew possibility in its name.

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In the most recent episode of What in the WyrdI talked about our cultural ineptitude with space. We see it, we feel it, we want to fill it. We aren’t comfortable with emptiness at all, and the fact that it visits with Jera during the most chaotic time of year is telling. Everything seasonal is hibernating. It’s redirecting its energy to the roots, to its unseen. Dormancy is its activity for now.

To get bearings on how to function through this time, revisit the needs-assessment process of Isa. Cull out what is an absolute requirement in mitigating the holidays, and what can be done without. Once that’s shaken clear, follow suit. Draw the boundaries needed to protect solitude, those needed to maintain family relations, and those to create the personal process of how to do the holidays. There is room for personal ritual amidst the collective ones. Take the time to figure out what they are, and lay some plans to pursue them. This assessment can be the most useful function of Jera’s clarifying inventory. It can be the most sanity-saving one.

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Uruz tells us how we can best manage Jera. Uruz is Mama Bear energy, and I use that only as a modern metaphor–it has no historic precedent. In fact, within historic precedence, it’s Mama Aurochs energy. It’s Audhumla, the feminine principle in the Old Norse Cosmology, here to tend, nurture, and protect the soul in form. Recall that Audhumla brought herself into being, as far as we know. She has no source, thus represents the thoughtform creative process we all embody, and that cast iron will to shape our own being.

Given that, Uruz encourages us to stand firm on boundaries–sit or lie down on them when needed–to sustain our wellbeing. Associated with that fusion of being souls in form, Uruz directs our attention to vitality, to body, and what it takes to sustain both well. Also, because Audhumla is Jötunn, Uruz brings the right amount of wildness into the mix, to make sure we’re appropriately on edge, awake, and tending.

Pace. Observe. Tend. Such are the watchwords of the week.

Get the Winter Solstice Runecast

Hagalaz comes from the voice of Nature in the present dialogue, reminding us that whatever comes in this assessment and tending, stay adaptable. Stay teachable. In this more removed framing of the runecast, Hagalaz doesn’t have to bring the overbearing fright that it can in a more direct position. It does, however, mean that regardless of how things are going, they can change. They can turn, and so can we. We have the ability to adapt and redirect, to be flexible, and respond thoughtfully, mindfully. In fact, Hagalaz is the Futhark’s reminder that really, that’s all we have. We can gnash our teeth and hover in distress over things we can’t control, or we can grieve, find our places of influence, and get on with it.

This week our job is to hold space for ourselves, and maybe for those who rely on us. Within that space, clear out what’s not working and sing in what is.

And right now, that’s enough. We’re enough.

For suggestions on how to do that gracefully, subscribe to my private runes community on Patreon.

Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What skills enable you to adapt well?
  • How well do you cope with openness?
  • How do you tend your ensouledness?


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.’
  • Jera – Yair, Yairuh
  • Uruz – Ur
  • Hagalaz – Hah
Originally published on Soul Intent Arts.