For the week of 2 May 2021
Trusting the baseline
Laguz is the half-month rune through 14 May. Dagaz is the intuitive rune, Mannaz reversed indicates Flight’s message to us, and the mosasaur tooth occupies Summer. Read right to left is Laguz, Dagaz, then Mannaz reversed.
The Elder Futhark runic calendar provides to 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.
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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).
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.
This week’s cast hosts three third aett runes, all of which bring strong commentary on closing cycles. We’ve moved on well from Mannaz, though it offers a last-minute caution in its reversal. Laguz is the rune of being in Flow, though we most often experience it as worrying that we’re not. Having come through the filtration and renewal of the December Solstice, I suspect we are more prepared to allow the inspection of Flow and are better informed to make adjustments where needed. We now have a baseline of embodiment that can examine disjoint and even step[ into it where necessary and remain embodied.
Learn more about this seasonal progression in Runic Book of Days.
What does it mean?
Everyone refers to Laguz as the water rune. We can take that and run with our contemporary associations made between water and emotion, though doing so is exactly just that: contemporary. There isn’t a clear precedent in the ancient writings tying water to emotion in the Old Norse culture. What we have instead is a connection to bodies of water, that it is uncontrollable and holds many mysteries we still don’t understand. When Laguz comes up in season, we sit with where we are in flow with ourselves, our lives, our communities, and all those positive, floaty qualities of water. We can’t discount how water changes, can be volatile, and has the power to destroy. Read more…
Laguz ultimately presents the question: Are we aware that we are in Flow? I am quick to say we are always in Flow. The question is whether we’re aware of it. There are many life factors that occlude our ability to find, feel, or honor Flow. This isn’t a ‘you create your own reality’ thing. Even with awareness, we can’t just up and shift systemic dynamics that insist we stay unaware. There’s a reason our relationship to Flow is a little bent and that we chastise ourselves for thinking we’re out of it. Our entire culture is built on that kind of self-defeatist, divide-and-conquer response. However Flow is experienced or falls in and out of awareness, keep in mind that knowing systems were set up to thwart that awareness and every split second spent aware of Flow is deep activism and reclamation of self.
Dagaz as the rune pointing toward the life dynamic we’re most likely to experience Laguz is focused on finding meaning in each day’s events. This might mean setting aside time each day to be aware of Flow. Explore the right time of day to do that. Is it something to open the day with? Close it? What meaning does awareness of Flow bring to how we experience the day? Ourselves?
Mannaz visiting again, reversed, though as Flight gives a certain levity to the week’s trajectory. It suggests big picture, distance, not being stuck on the small details, and movement. When Mannaz is reversed there’s potential for not being heard, or that what we’re hearing isn’t the whole story. It doesn’t have to imply deception, just that we need to be willing to take a more active role in how our social engagement is going, at a brass tacks level. That Flight brings this messages seems contradictory: have distance but be willing to sit with the details. Acknowledge that they have a place in Flow, yet don’t get stuck on them. Allow space for their meaning to emerge without letting them take up too much space. And as ever, monitor the people-involvement where Flow is concerned. What relationships or interactions interfere with awareness of Flow? What ones foster it? This is the discernment we need to have right now, and the willingness to act on what we learn from it.
The mosasaur tooth in summer heralds good things. It points to a non-emotionally charged time and capability to meet needs. When we talk about survival it’s often in a cut-throat way. Definitely a component of the mosasaur. However, we don’t have to be aggressive or passive. We can choose. We can fall back on the skills of our Nature Ancestor to just do what needs to be done, while still in Flow, still compassionate. Where Mannaz reversed fosters social discernment and monitoring how it affects us, the mosasaur tooth brings a similar selectivity rooted in needs-assessment. That the seasonal emphasis feels like summer implies that all of this awareness, discernment, and needs-assessment not only has a beneficial outcome, but that the process of doing so reveals as much. It’s not often that we get the double bonus of a supportive process and outcome, and that alone is worth sitting with this week.
Also, as we approach Walpurgisnacht and confront our own experiences of ordeal, then carry that insight into June Solstice–thus closing our time with the third aett–it’s curious to note that each of the runes this week is from the third aett. Our comfort level with naturalizing our embodiment is paramount. The narrative of the third aett is that of having realized who we are and cultivated how we move in the world come what may holding that awareness. But it doesn’t stop there. It thrusts us into the deep knowledge that that’s it. Embodiment is baseline. That’s all there is to humaning well, and making peace with there not being cookies, balloons, or a big party–or even an end. There’s no end at all. This is it. It’s all about eldering well. The third aett realization that learning how to elder well is both glorious in its simplicity, horrific in its honesty, and required to echo through every choice we make in our time here.
Half-month Rune Prompts
- What does embodiment feel like to you?
- How do you recognize when you’re embodied?
- Is it the same as holding awareness?
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.
- Laguz – Lah, Lahg, Lahgoo, Law
- Mannaz – Mah, Mahn, Mahna
- Dagaz – Dthah, Dthahg, Dthahguh
S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.
Kelley is an author, animist, and deathwalker on traditional Sissipihaw land in North Carolina. She teaches rune work, ancestral healing, and deathwalking, as well as mentors and leads the soul tending training intensive, The Spirited Path. As an interfaith minister, she has served her local community and an international client base since 2000 through Soul Intent Arts, and advocates embodied soul tending and sacred activism through Nature. #beyourcommunity
elder well, die well, ancestor well
So that your descendants grow from your wisdom.
So that you leave the planet better than you found it.
So that your descendants never elder alone.