For the week of 11 June 2023

The Light, The Dark, The Sliver Between

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Othala remains the half-month rune through 14 June, at which point Dagaz (carved polymer clay tile) moves to the fore until 29 June. Sowilo (Sowilu) is the intuitive rune, and Jera indicates Weather’s perspective. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Wheel with element Poison, in the direction of Below (lapis lazuli), in the season of Autumn (tree button). Read right to left is Dagaz, Sowilo, then Jera.

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 an examination of our relationship with the rune and what it may teach us about current events and dynamics.

What do Spirits of Place have to do with runes?

Everything we do is rooted in place. We are ecosystem. We are relations with place. In order for that relationship to truly be exalted we must formally invite Spirits of Place into our rituals, and ensure that we craft our rituals to the benefit of the whole ecosystem.

I don’t live in Europe, where the Elder Futhark flourished. I don’t live in 200CE, when the runes were in wide use. But my Ancestors did, and to honor them I must carefully include them in my place-space rituals, including this runecast. In order to do include them in a way that benefits the whole ecosystem of my present, I introduced my ancestral Spirits of Place to the Spirits of Place I live among now. Negotiations were made and boundaries were drawn to support this full relationship I walk among to bless us all, as well as readers and their ecosystems.

In this runecast 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 week on a more personal level in your geographical and cosmological context. Osteomancy honors other-than-human Helping Spirits on Earth, which includes humanity’s animal and plant Ancestors, and other earth-centric helpers. The elements indicate our best deathwalking, enlivening, tempering, and/or transmutational force for the cast, and the directions offer insight into the best boundaried space for where transmutational work can be done. Season provides an expression of how we can best hold our agency. These additional beings in the cast give us actionable ways to engage the runes for the week and move among with them. Feel free to work with Spirits of Place that most resonate with this runecast, even if they show up differently in your 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.
  • 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
  • Soul Reading and Soul Tending sessions, based on tier
  • optional services with me
  • discounts on soul tending services

The Runecast

Dagaz is the closing rune of this runic calendar. It represents a year in intentional relationship with the Futhark, a cycle of intentional relationship with Self and ecosystem, and deep faith in the runes as devotional allies in humaning well across season. It also heralds one of the most spectacular stellar events of the year, and brings wisdom for how to navigate it.

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?

Meaning “day,” Dagaz is the rune of a cycle around the sun. It conjures similar utility as Jera, in that instead of assessing the entire harvest–sowing to reaping–I compress it into the observation of what brought meaning to our day. How did we support ourselves? How did we support others? What should we repeat tomorrow? What should we never repeat again? What made it all worthwhile? 

I know there are lighter tones to Dagaz, though for me it’s always a somber time, and a very uncomfortable part of the year internally and externally. I’m just not a light person, and in my part of the globe, June Solstice is bright extroversion that leaves me exhausted and wanting to hide. In the dark. 

The thing that I can appreciate about Dagaz is its sliver, which features most prominently the week of Solstice. Dagaz is two meeting forces, two meeting extremes of the year, which both point to a microscopic moment that is neither extreme, nor wholly what those extremes are verging into. Between those extremes is a sliver, nonspace, a question mark of the year gone, the year to come, and us standing between blessing the worst and hoping for the best.

I get the light part of Dagaz. It isn’t that I didn’t, or don’t. But much like stepping into elderhood, there are no fireworks or celebrations of rites of passage–not in American settler culture, anyway–for finding the light. For that reason Dagaz comes with a sort of “So what?” By the time we get to Dagaz in season, we know what we’re in for, in form. We’ve done the soul-in-forming of the first aett. We done the soft-body collisions of the second aett, and we’ve been re-tenderized by it all again in the third aett. We know the deal, and part of the step into elderhood is whether or how we can remain committed to it. Again. 

That choice is what’s in the sliver of Dagaz for me, every June Solstice. 

Sowilo brightens the light up a bit, so to speak. It reminds us that we’re not in it alone. We are in a gorgeous sacred ordering of community holding and rooting for us, needing us, and wanting our elderhood as much as we might. It also brings assurance that what we do roots. It pays forward in ways we’ll never know, can’t know, and that’s also part of sacred order.

Weather speaking through Jera is a first in the runecast, and a big life force, indeed. Weather is always changing. We can sort of predict it, but we always feel it. The vibe that came in here was to be capable of rolling with what comes. Elderhood and recommitting to form isn’t locked in a place. It’s not one commitment, or even one place. It sways. Sometimes it’s juicy with offerings we couldn’t dream of, and other times it’s totally barren and we come to know exactly what we miss.  Weather is, and that’s really all we can count on with ourselves, communities, place-space. 

Jera has a very hopeful tone, sort of like the supportive harvest big sister to Dagaz. The thing about closing this particularly runic cycle is we haven’t closed the trauma of COVID, with any collective intention. We’ve said there’s no  more emergency, but we didn’t go back and give the full death rites, the true witnessing of long COVID, the acknowledgement of how our systems failed colossally and continue to. The tension of now, the erratic Weather of now is real. And there’s still harvest. There’s still blessing to be gained from it, seeds to be saved and planted to meet needs later.

This first week with Dagaz means everything. Everything is on the table for how we feel and honor it.

The place-space holding us this week has qualities of bounty, rooted place-space relationship, patience, and cyclicity. Autumn sets the space, with preparation, bounty, maturity, harvest

Focus turns away from the forest and to tending hearth, getting stores, ground, home, and harvest ready for needier times. It’s a time tending both outdoors and indoors, and conserving energy for the cold to come, honoring Nature’s retreat underground. It suggests we give what we can, and save the rest.

Holding space for us from Below is Earth Parent, which is also all of our Earth Family–our immediate relations in Nature. It can be considered animism, itself, in that it is focused on the direct personal relationship to the organism that made us, and all the relationships that entails. What emerges from those relationships are our collective story, including the ancestors and planetary currents. For me, there is a cave aspect to this direction, very much directly within the vantage point of Earth and all that they are. Earth is our most direct elder, and consulting with them could be very affirming this week.

The element of transmutation this week is Poison, which represents bane work. It is the alchemy of which small amounts heal though large amounts kill. It suggests balance, duality, proper application of the medicine, its timing, its dosage. Poison requires knowledge and skill to be functionally in relationship with us. We need lore and relationship with it. Poison may be the best representation of the balance of science/lore, and of impulse control. This feels particularly useful to me from the standpoint of being willing to sit in the sliver of Dagaz, not rush it, just feel it, feel me, there.

Wheel as our earthly helping spirit references the natural sequence of timing and seasons, in that each season depends on the other in order to keep the movement going. It references the life stages that all things move through; movement, in general, of feelings, currents, thoughts, dynamics. Like Air. Like Weather, Like Dagaz, Wheel is connected to sacred order. It never isn’t. It’s a strong reminder that we can’t be off-path, just less aware of where we may be on it.

And even that’s okay in blinding bright light.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you honor June Solstice?

  • What does it represent in your cosmology?


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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.

  • Othala – Oadth, Oadtha, Oadthal
  • Dagaz – Dthah, Dthahg, Dthahguh
  • Sowilo/Sowilu – Soh, Sohl, Sohwi, Sohli

  • Jera – Yer, Yeruh, Yarrow, Yair, Yairuh,Yairaw


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

by joining the Runes for Change community.

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


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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.