For the week of 18 September 2022

The Season of Letting Go

Kenaz is the half-month rune through 28 September. Isa (cedar) is the intuitive rune, and Uruz indicates Occasion’s message to us. The Spirits of Place and season walking with us this week are the active element of Water, rooted in the direction of Back (which for me is South), with Honey Bee in Spring. Read right to left is Kenaz, Isa, then Uruz.

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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

Kenaz brings the dawn of something long-tended, though not fully in awareness. It’s a seemingly sudden and dazzling juxtaposition of light (fire) in pitch darkness. The way that I work with it is succession with Ansuz and Raidho, as in:

inspiration + storytelling = meaning
soothsaying + storytelling = meaning
soothsaying + movement = lore
confidence + experience = authority
Ansuz + Raidho = Kenaz

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?

To step it back even further, I sit with Kenaz as the Thurisazing of our creations. Where Thurisaz is the quickening of ourselves, the point in the progression of the Futhark that we know we have to put some effort into this soul-in-form thing, Kenaz is the point that we have to make the same effort with our creations. We have to recognize that they have their own agency. We have to take that step to formally recognize their power, de-personalize it, and let them go out on their own into the world. The step we have to take to fully recognize ourselves, we also have to do to recognize the selfhood of what we put into the world. Our story. Our lore. Our agency over ourselves. It’s all its own life force.

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A more personal way of looking at that can be Kenaz as the synergy moment, in which how we move among is taking root. It’s not just this thing we’re creating or how we hold ourselves in the world. It’s a point of actualization that we’re in the world. We’ve left a mark. We can’t really know what our mark is or its impact, though we’re responsible for it, regardless.

Isa suggests we sit with that this week. The rune of not moving onto the next thing until the current one is internalized, Isa suggests this is the best way to approach the Aha! of this experience of Kenaz. It comes with the understanding that we can’t go back to the way things were, we can’t just leap forward to some as-of-yet undefined and undetermined way things will be. We must be now, which, as we near The Dead Time in the north, is a natural time of shedding.

If we take a moment to sit with what the seasonal message is from Kenaz, maybe it’s a good time to reflect on our mark, to assess what we’ve done with our agency and what we need to be doing with it. Examine if there is murkiness or possessiveness around letting go of our creations and seeing their life force move on its own in the world. Maybe deeper understanding is needed to know what this betwixt pandemic space demands, and how we continue to create within it.

Keep in mind this is the season of deathwalking in the north. Lifeforce is beginning to turn inward, downward. This process is on the wind, and it can carry away what we no longer need to hold on to, also. We just have to recognize what needs to go and hand it over for the sweeping away.

Uruz brings us back to embodiment, which is an interesting message through the voice of Occasion. Occasion invites us to make spectacle of ourselves, our creations, our time. Blow them up out of proportion in a celebratory manner, so that we can inject new life force into them, into ourselves. So that we can see ourselves, our creations, and what we’re doing here in a new light (see what I did there–Kenaz–light…).  If we can make this hinge time an occasion, we mark it. 

Where does embodiment fluently meet Occasion? Where have we internalized that embodiment must be quiet and humble? We are the occasion. Being here is the occasion. Being in form is the occasion. 

And the way we embody the crap out of ourselves is to mythologize ourselves as Occasion in a way that hybridizes us as neither here nor there. We relieve ourselves of the burn of having to be in the past or future, and can just playfully, curiously, boldly be now.

Along the backdrop of element Water in the direction of Back/South, we’re in a groove of flow. All water flows to the ocean. There is no deterrence, which gives the assurance that we are flowing in sacred order, as well. The support brought in by enhances this flow by assuring we don’t take with us anything that isn’t needed. For me, South is very much what is behind me. It is where I’ve already been, and it’s a path continually cleared by the deathwalkers of my cosmology–the worms and fungi. It is the place of the past and letting go, so that we know what comes is what is right for us. Again, deathwalking what needs to go. Back is also the place of the Ancestors, who walk behind us. They too, can help in the letting go and making of now fabulous Occasion. They are masters of it.

The Honey Bee, y’all I don’t even know if I can say this part without crying. I’ve been holding the cosmology relationships to the Spirits of Place for TWR loosely, to suss out who’s showing up for TWR and who’s showing up for me. Some overlap, some don’t. For instance, I’ve learned that the fossils are not mine. They are not in my cosmology, but that of TWR. 

One presence that began speaking loudly that it needed a place in both (though in different roles) was the Honey Bee. So, my grandfather was a beekeeper. He was a flawed and also amazing elder who behaved like an elder, and for that reason, I always respected him deeply and adored him. 

He died suddenly the summer I turned 17. It was a hazy, wyrd moment that had a very strange preface, which I wrote about in an anthology a long time ago. I have never been more devastated by loss. I have my own relationship with Honey Bee, though I knew it needed to be represented with honey because of him.

The honey in the vial is the last honey that was extracted from his hives. I’ve had it all this time, but only this summer–when I was completing the death doula course–could I truly bring that grief to a foundational place to find a new relationship with him and ancestralize him. That ritual was placing the honey in this vial, and in one other, which will go in my Ancestor cabinet.

Honey Bee supports this intentionally transitional time. Honey bees are conductors of souls; they are natural psychopomps. They are the epitome of sacred order, always focusing their agency to the wellbeing of the collective through teamwork, resilience, adaptation, methodic engagement, interdependence. It may be appropriate to work with Honey Bees this week in helping let go of what can’t be brought forward into the unknown ahead of us.

And Spring shows us what can come of finding flow with ourselves and our creations. It is new growth and creativity–creativity we haven’t dreamed of manifesting. Spring is what’s before us, where we haven’t been, yet can still trust is in sacred order.

Two runes from the first aett, one from the second. And of all the runes from the second, it’s the one saying stay put for now. Get it really right before we go further. 

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How comfortable are you with staying put?
  • How comfortable are you with letting go of what’s no longer needed in your life?
  • How comfortable are you with the unknown?

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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.

  • Kenaz – Kehn, Kenuh, Kawn, Kawnuh, Kain, Kainuh
  • Isa – Ees, Eesuh
  • Uruz – Oo, Ooroo

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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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Ancestor Well

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