For the week of 24 September 2023
The Optics of Calling
Kenaz is the half-month rune through 28 September. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Death (plastic skull), whispers of the Hunt (stag button), Pain (flaming red figure), Surprise (wee present), and Barred Owl (ceramic bead) in the direction of Front (blue dwarf), with element Water (water (lol), in the season of Autumn (tree button).
I’m moving along with the book edits, and am excited to explore TWR a different way with you this week. Find the full runecast on Patreon.
Also, find my daily #thebodyawake rune pulls on Instagram.
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 earthly other-than-human Helping Spirits, which includes humanity’s animal and plant Ancestors, and other earth-centric Ancestors and 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, or the energetic tone of the cast. 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.
- 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 full version of The Weekly Rune is only on Patreon, and it includes:
- more detail
- no ads
- 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:
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.
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What Does It Mean?
This week Kenaz asks us to understand what burns in our lives, and how we respond to it. The burning is represented in different ways through the different cultural rune poems, from representing a powerful flaming torch in a darkened space, body inflammation that causes pain and social distancing, and comingled sexual creativity that generates an entirely new life force. If we approach Kenaz from an animistic perspective, we could look at this energy as consciousness lighting us to do what we came here to do: calling.
Key in holding space for us to explore that this week is Front, or North/Nordri. Focused on the Descendants, we may explore how we focus our burning now betters the family lines, community, or even the planet. It offers opportunity to conduct a sharp status report on how we’re aligning with what we came here to do.
Water as the agent in how we literally do that suggests we be really clear in our intention. Water can bless or kill, often both at once, bringing the implication that how we move has consequences, even when we think it’s the right thing. Exploring our intention is still warranted.
The seasonality of Autumn is on pointe for the north, as we slip closer to coolness and The Dark Time. We are pressed to wrap up sun-focused activities and reallocate our energy to matters of conservation, retention. Along with Autumn are the helping spirits of Death and The Wild Hunt. I find myself reluctant to say we’re moving into the seasonality of these entities, though the fact is, where I live we’re there. I sit with my reluctance as intra-pandemic trauma, and aa general inability to align myself with the traditional seasonality that’s in my head and the climate-changed seasonality my body feels. With that, it’s time to let the murmerings of darkness and shadow be acknowledged. It’s time to come into personal awareness of what turning inward at this time means, and understanding how what we find there is in relationship with our calling.
This is where Barred Owl as key earthly helping spirit is very helpful. Their skills lie in being able to see through facades and cut through bullshit–our own and that of the world around us. I feel like Barred Owl’s best incisiveness right now is to help clarify what calling is in this time on the planet. To permit shifts and wiggles in how we’ve historically perceived it and allow calling to shapeshift to meet the needs of now. The bars symbolizing protection on their chest are available for us too, to feel safe in bringing our truth to the world. This week is their invitation to take advantage of them.
The remaining presences this week are Surprise and Pain. They aren’t life forces I like to see together, though like them or not, they are components of bearing our fire to the world. Our calling will shock us. It will challenge us, humiliate us, champion us, harm us. And others. Probably others. We’re not perfect, and even though talk of calling is often wrapped in sacred hopes, we’re still human-persons doing the best we can. We’re not going to do calling “right,” whatever that means. This week with Kenaz we have an opportunity to sit with and examine the optics of that, and scrap it all if we feel like it. We’re not taught that flexibility of choice with spiritual matters, but Kenaz says otherwise. We are the fire, we are the fuel that it consumes, and we are the forged thing that takes life from it.
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.