For the week of 16 April 2023

The Post-Home Self

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Mannaz (carved reindeer slice) is the half-month rune through 29 April. Tiwaz (polished lapis lazuli) is the intuitive rune, and Isa (carved porcelain tile) indicates Season’s message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are fossilized Gastropod (sea snail) and element Stone in Summer, and the direction of Right (East/Austri). Read right to left is Mannaz, Tiwaz, then Isa.

The full runecast will be publicly available here, two weeks from publication. You can find it in full on Patreon, now.

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 a two-week examination of our relationship with the rune.

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

As has been the case with all of the third aett runes this cycle, stepping into Mannaz looks a bit different than it has in the past. The rune of ‘humanness,’ it speaks to what I call ‘humaning.’ It’s hard, unpredictable, and the parts that are predictable are driven by our personal and ancestral wyrd, orlog, and systems navigation, which we can’t change. All we can do is respond the best we can. We have no guarantees, and in a more traditional reading of this rune, we lean toward heartkin. We seek out social engagement that can support our truths. 

Learn more about this seasonal progression, and how to draw its insights into the personal spiritual path in Runic Book of Days.

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.
  • If you’re on a device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the buttons to log into Patreon or become a community member. 

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What Does It Mean?

We’re not doing so great with that in many ways in American settler culture right now. We’re not protecting our children in schools or healthcare offices, brown and black bodies from policing, or uterus-bearers from legislation. In this climate it makes it difficult to want to bring our truths to light. It makes it scary to. Along with this reticence Mannaz comes into its time, and as with Berkana and Ehwaz, it brings a bit of tension. Mannaz is a powerful coming out rune, though that’s often not easy to do.

It almost feels like the third aett half-month runes have been reversed in our experience of this cycle.

Tiwaz as the best way to Mannaz expresses that our most ideal way of connecting isn’t going to happen. The connection will, but not the way we’ve wanted. Something in the expectations needs to be dropped for now. It needs to be grieved and genuinely let go, so that the way connection can best happen has the room it needs in our life. 

Usually with Tiwaz in readings, the big reveal of what can’t be has already happened. There’s no surprise there. What needs facilitating is the letting go. Not easy, though we can rest in knowing the new route to connection fulfills our original need.

Curiously when I drew Tiwaz from the bag, it asked for further elaboration from the Morbid Curiosity deck. The card that I drew reads, “Which fictional character’s death hit you the hardest?” 

The place where I feel relationship between this question and what Tiwaz is encouraging us to do with our concerns around Mannaz is in the moving from Plan A to Plan B aspect of Tiwaz.  With fiction we get to try things on. Fiction gives us feelings cosplay to explore how we would react in given situation. What might Plan B feel like? How could we be able to go forward?  Maybe we can explore feelings around what it could feel like to shift our expectations, give Self room to see what it might feel like to approach the connection we’re seeking differently. This buffering with ‘what if’ seems to be about cultivating empathy for Self and having grace for the feelings that come up when we are afraid to risk being authentically social.

Isa speaking through the voice of Season referenced a bigger version of Season than our on-the-ground ones. It meant Season of life, as in formed life stages, as well as maybe even soul stages. I don’t think me pinning that down further is helpful to readers, though what is, is to consider each our own life stage. In what grander scheme of things are we? Are we feeling restful, energetic, done? Is a rite needed? Maybe a change of geography? Are we right where we need to be? 

Isa occupies this runecast to give us the permission we need to slow down and work out what that Tiwaz moment needs, so that we can find our bearings to Mannaz in a way that’s right for us–which, of course, includes the right to choose not to Mannaz. Such is the truth of personal season. We’re allowed to read the weather and respond accordingly. 

Supporting us in that endeavor is fossilized Gastropod. They are gentle, nonbinary, pretty relaxed, and as such are well-embodied.  Behaviourally speaking, they like to travel, but don’t rush. They move purposefully, which means they take their time about everything. They have soft bodies that are protected by a hard shell, the sturdiness of which contributes to our high fossil record. Gastropods carry their house everywhere they go, which means they have a continually good security system. They know when to say no, and everything they do is their truth. They can’t not be embodiment as they move through life. 

This friend holds the space of Summer this week, indicating good times, coming into power. Summer is represented by the tree button. It occupies Right (That Side), which is East/Austri, the Atlantic Ocean-colored dwarf. For me, Right is the direction that indicates water, flow, being carried. It specifically is Ocean, which represents home, in that all water flows to the Ocean. All of life emerged from the Ocean. So when this direction comes up in casts, explore what homes means, at the most sacred and embodied level. Literally, consider where the body feels best. Consider what makes a space feel sacred. Consider how to get more of those needs met in the immediate living space. And for this week, it could point to what needs to change in human-person-centered concepts of home. Perhaps it’s time to envision post-home.

Elementally, what we can’t bring with us one step farther is best handled by Stone (Baltic amber bottle). Stone offers slowness, steadfastness, timelessness. It can’t not be embodied. There’s no rushing Stone, in either its formation or its degradation. Both processes only shift it from one form to another. It still remains. What’s significant with Stone is that it is resonant. It’s not just sitting there doing nothing. It picks up on vibrations, is shaped by other elements, flavored by various minerals. embellished by ecosystem. It adjusts to suit the environment, albeit on its own terms and timing. 

The repetitions through both the runes and the supporting cast this week are themes of going slow, staying true to Self, and finding home where we roam. 


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What does social engagement mean to you?

  • Where does it situate in your spiritual needs?

  • What risks can you take where social engagement and spiritual needs overlap?

  • What ones can you not?


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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.

  • Mannaz – Mah, Mahn, Mahna

  • Tiwaz – Tee, Teewuh, Teewaw, Tyr

  • Isa – Ees, Eesuh


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Originally published on Soul Intent Arts.

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

I’m an animist, author, deathwalker and death doula held by Tuscarora, Woccon, and Sissipihaw land. 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 several books on soul work and runes, and when moved 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


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To bear your unique gift to the world.

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To leave the planet better than you found it.

Ancestor Well

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