For the week of 20 November 2022

Holdfast Needfire

Nauthiz (wrought iron tile) is the half-month rune through 28 November. Ansuz (reindeer antler slice) is the intuitive rune, and Kenaz (reindeer antler slice) indicates Consequence’s message to us. For this Dead Time the spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Fossilized Crinoid in Spring, with element Acid (lemon vial) in the direction of Above. Read right to left is Nauthiz, Ansuz, then Dagaz.

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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

Considering Nauthiz is a winter rune, metaphorically, its time with us this season has been supportive. Last week it brought in reinforcement that boundaries are for how we hold relationship, and how needed they are in how we apply our agency.

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?

The rune of necessity, constraint, and figuring out how we’re going to persevere, Nauthiz is also a rune of finesse, refinement. In the setting of needfire, we’re brought to the basics in creating ritual to focus our agency, to help us be safe, to get through in community. There’s very much a survival depth to Nauthiz that is more than just making it through a time, a season. Rather, it poses making it through a life. Nauthiz, after the shake up of Hagalaz, introduces the concept that difficult change is life. It’s not a one-off, but a cyclic truth, and we have to have really good technologies to cope with that fact.

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Ansuz brings a sweetness to this otherwise difficult truth. Regarding speaking our truth, soothsaying, this rune reminds us that how we apply our agency is wyrdweaving. It is alchemy, spell casting. We tend to think that magick is secret skill weaving special life forces together for some shazam! outcome. In reality, it’s being impeccable with our word (a la Don Miguel Ruiz) or other applications of agency, along with holding space for the sacredness of how that agency engages the agency of the elements and spirits, to become. 

That can show up different ways this week. It may be that we practice being more embodied before we speak. It may be that we work on how our agency rubs up against that of the elements. Where I’m feeling it in particular is that we actively engage the elements. Talk with them. Be with them. Learn what they need. State what we need. Make that exchange happen. I learned from Sandra Ingerman many years ago that all manifestation is rooted into relationship with our Naturekin and Spirits of Place. Meaning, when we aren’t actively engaged in that relationship, we’re centering what we want on ourselves rather than for the good of our space. Such is the relationship that not only underscores all wyrdweaving we ever do, but it places us back in community, in ecosystem. It reinforces that we’re not doing any of this alone. We are not alone. It is not for us. We are ecosystem, even–and maybe especially– when we approach the elemental ritual basis of Nauthiz.

Being impeccable with our word, and continuing to hold the space for how its agency travels forward is the needfire of this week.

Kenaz from the vantage point of Consequence suggests motivation will come from a liminal space. This is a fire rune, though it’s more of a small spark in deep darkness, or a troublesome wee owie. The antagonistic poke of something just at the edges comes to full-blown revelation this week, and it’s usually something we’ve known but withheld from ourselves. We always think of Consequence as a smack-down, when in reality it just means “to follow.” In that light it brings a brightness to Kenaz, that suggests it may herald direct personal observation of our own wyrdweaving working. 

We know we’re doing magick, but really, how attentive are we to that fact ongoing?

Something I’ve witnessed a lot in the general pagan community over the years is loads of effort being put into how a ritual is created and carried out–not unlike notfeuer. But then as soon as it’s complete, party’s over. Candles are blown out. Altar’s packed up. Back to everyday. As if that slim slice of time and energy was the alchemy. 

Wyrdweaving isn’t an act or gesture; rather, it’s a relationship, which is why we cultivate strong place-space connection to bear our truth to the world. The magick doesn’t start with the inception of the ritual, and it doesn’t end when the circle is closed. It is a relationship(s) with agency, that continues, and we have to approach our wyrdweaving that way. It’s not special occasion. It’s not for high ritual. It’s when we brush our teeth, praise our bodies, and thank the oak tree.

This time’s-up tendency with ritual is also why many of us don’t realize that our need for the ritual was met. We turn it off. We drop the line. We see it as ritual on, ritual off, rather than a space we have to continue to hold and feed, sing to and nurture, as well as remain active in all the place-space relationships connecting us to it. 

All of what is needed going into wyrdweaving is going to be evident this week. The places where attention needs to be will speak. The relationships that need reviving will raise their hands. The results of our wyrdweaving will be evident, because we will have begun their creation with Consequence–what follows speaking our truth–in mind. We will have held the intensity of that gift the whole way through, along with our Allies, Ancestors, and ecosystem.

Assisting us with that endeavor is earth spirit helper Fossilized Crinoid Stem (the little star thing in the picture–called a sea lily) in Spring. Presenting in a time of new growth and creativity, these creatures are marine animals who attach to the sea bottom by a stalk with the root-like holdfast. I can’t say how excited I was to see needfire and holdfast in the same runecast. How curious that when we firewalk, we might hold ourselves in the midst of flame, to what fulfillment? This week it’s worth asking ourselves what we might gain from a spot of bother, how we might actually be very okay with it.

The direction holding space for us with Crinoid is Above. In my cosmology that is the domain of Sky Parent, Sky Family, which is all aspects of Sky. From an animistic vantage point, Above is the transconscious strata, where All Things converge. There we explore our direct personal relationship to the origin of All and what our role is in the sacred order of All. In traditional ON lore, it would indicate Asgard, which would point more to godden, to bigger cosmic currents. Know that when we appeal to Sky Parent, we engage our oldest conceivable Ancestor, whose outlook on our situation may be very informative.

Acid as the consort to Crinoid arrives as corrosion, the slow releasing of what is no longer needed. Acid is the element that erodes away what we can’t, or perhaps shouldn’t take further.  It’s outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any, and to go farther with it will be counter to our intentions. This is a great time to work with Sacred Acid to loosen and drop the crud, specifically that which might interfere with how we create the ritual and relationships we need for them right now, so that we don’t bring it ahead with us. This may be a good week to bump up banishing by working with Acid. And given our time in The Wild Hunt right now, we have so many Allies sweeping out what’s not needed, Acid is a good reminder to be active in that process. Offer up what is no longer needed.

We have two runes from the first aett and one from the second. While we’re dealing with boundaries and relationships in the context of how we apply our agency with Nauthiz, the core places to strengthen how we do that is by revisiting our embodiment.

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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • Where might sitting with bother be beneficial this week?
  • How might doing so hone how you speak your truth?
  • How do fire and acid show up in your cosmology?

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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.

  • Nauthiz – Now, Nowdth, Nowdthee
  • Ansuz – Ahn, Ahnsoo, Awn, Awnsoo
  • Kenaz – Kehn, Kenuh, Kawn, Kawnuh, Kain, Kainuh

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Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

Gain animistic insight into the runes, learn to elder well with ancient wisdom, and cultivate a strong spiritual path

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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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