For the week of 15 November 2020

Burning it down

Nauthiz is the half-month stave through 28 November.  Thurisaz reversed is the intuitive rune, and Ehwaz indicates Vigilance’s message to us. Read right to left is Nauthiz, Thurisaz reversed, then Ehwaz.

I truly believe that #theweeklyrune includes the keys to making better choices based on keen insight into the present, to help each of us be more active in creating a better life for us all. That realization process includes learning to tend what can’t just be fixed, and using every tool at our disposal. 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 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).

Learn More

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.

The Runecast

Moving through Hagalaz this year has clarified a lot of things, which is curious given that we’re in full-on Dark Time in the north. This clarification has come in the form of recognizing the value of Shadows, and how we situate ourselves to give in the dark. The Dead Time is the great leveler of resources, and the last couple of weeks has had us assess where we need to provide to community.

Curious then, as Nauthiz is about need. It’s usually read as an intersection–literally a crossroads–which we can’t move through until we understand what need doing so meets. Most often when we talk about Nauthiz it’s in a personal context. “What need do I not recognize in myself?” “What needs are mine to fill?” “What needs do others fill?” In the spirit of animism, those questions are never only about ourselves, as all things are continuously in relationship. When we truly sit with them in that way, they become “What needs am I not recognizing in my community?” “How can I fill them” “How do I rally others to show up to community in this way?” Fortunately this week’s runecast is on pointe with the answers.

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?

Nauthiz is the rune of needfire, which is/was a widespread European tribal practice to burn off harm. The ritual literally was to run cattle and self through a fire. It wasn’t just any fire, though. The fire had to be rubbed into being (hence its literal translation from the Germanic notfeuer being ‘rubbed-fire’), and all other fires in the vicinity had to be extinguished, else the sacred fire couldn’t do its job. Given that distinction, this fire was created with purpose and had a specific sacred duty. When ‘need’ is de-emphasized, as in this meaning and how the fire was created is more relevant, the significance of this ritual is less about the outcome and more about the relationship to the element involved in it. Which as we all know strengthens the wyrd of the outcome. Read more…

Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

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For suggestions on how to weather the season gracefully, subscribe to my private runes community on Patreon.


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


Elder Well

To bear your unique gift to the world.

Die Well

To leave the planet better than you found it.

Ancestor Well

So that your descendants never elder alone.