For the week of 22 January 2023

The Godden Who Wanted Our Success

Perthro (Baltic amber) is the half-month rune through 28 January. Ehwaz is the intuitive rune, and Algiz indicates the message from The Godden Who Wanted Our Success. For this post-Wild Hunt time, Death remains closely in our space. Helping Spirit Key sits in the seasonal blur between Winter and Spring, and the element Metal is in the direction of North. Read right to left is Perthro, Ehwaz, then Algiz.

The full runecast will be publicly available two weeks from publication.

[ppp_patron_only level="1.00" silent="yes"]The Weekly Rune - Perthro Audio Blog, for the week of 22 January 2023 [/ppp_patron_only]

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

Perthro is a revelatory rune, which seems unintuitive to say given its overall mysterious presence. It’s the rune of what we don’t know, and in many cases, what we can’t know. So we can either approach that truth with trepidation and take it very seriously, or we can realize that which is out of our hands, maybe take it not so seriously, and manage what we can. It may not be the uber-clear data we want, yet it brings data, still.

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?

That ambiguity is the force of the time, for now. We’re moving out of Hunt season, although the dregs of Death remain in the wake. Things are stirred up, and not just in this observation of season. Every year we move from the sweeping deathwalk of the Hunt into cleared, prepared space to intend, to plant, to tend. What’s different this Perthro season is that clearing went deeper than just the last year’s growth. 

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It went into our bones, the places where we are inseparable from our ecosystems, from our orlog, from our lineages. Deathwalking at that depth has churned up some shit. Literally, the scouring of those winds upturned ancient debris that has needed to be released, and right now we’re feeling the muck of it. We recognize that it needed to go, yet are suspended in not knowing what to do next.

At this direct turn of Mercury, this is all very affirming, but it doesn’t feel that way on the surface. It feels discombobulated and contrary to our habit of discomfort. We’ve had windows of this clearing before, but nothing like what’s happening now is in lived human memory. Now is truly a time that we have been laid open, bared, though with so many resources and skills at our disposal. To make use of them we must appeal to who was here when a similar leveling occurred–plants, elements, Ancestors. We have to reach way back into Naturekin relationships and deep down into rejuvenating mycelium and do what those place-space beings did to survive, do what they do to thrive every day.

Ehwaz provides intel along that line. So fitting that it is ‘horse,’ and it directs us to delve into the deeper layers of our relationships. The implication is that we can’t get where we need to go if we don’t, and it very specifically indicates Naturekin relationships. 

Ehwaz is often held up as the ecstatic trance rune, which is solid, though that said ecstasy comes through the ecosystem relationship is the part that gets left out. It’s not human soul travel as a marvel, or the human functioning as conduit into mystical other. It’s co-engagement with Nature Spirit that reiterates the human as family within Nature, and the seamlessness and strength of that bond is what brings about the needed support, direction, or release. 

In keeping with the tone of Perthro in this tapering Hunt season, we need to look to our ecosystem relationships for stability and direction. Our best attempt at doing so right now is via Ehwaz, which is re-integration of ourselves as Nature, to ourselves. Nature already knows we’re family. We’re the ones who don’t. When we explore our soul relationships to place-space via Ehwaz, we learn not only how to hold space for that integration ongoing, we also learn how other members of our ecosystem deal with distress. We learn how they regain balance. We learn in-season how to pivot with our peeps.

Algiz speaking through the voice of The Godden Who Wanted Our Success is all kinds of something. First off, Algiz is the rune of protection, the splayed palm that says “stop.” It’s also the rune of place, maybe more than any other in the Elder Futhark. It’s not just nebulous protection, but honed, initiated, deep relationship to place, such that we live the relationships. We animism out loud, no matter where we are. Our place-space and the relationships therein walk with us, everywhere we go.

That alone is ridiculously potent, particularly given the other runes in this cast. The second potency I couldn’t make up if I wanted to is who speaks this protection this week. The Godden on Our Side.

I’ve made it pretty clear in most of my work that I don’t deity. I just don’t, not because I don’t experience that the beings we have assigned such a title don’t exist, but because I don’t experience them as radically different from an ancient oak tree or Newgrange. They’re real. They’re powerful, but not in the deity-godden charged way we’ve been acculturated into. There’s no hierarchy, just regional wisdom, place-space experience that’s super valuable to those who can relate with it.

So when this particular voice spoke, I recognized who it was immediately, I just couldn’t come up with a simple of way of saying who it was. My experience of Earth creation includes forces that were strongly in favor of humanity’s (and all of life’s) agency, and ones that opposed us having it. The ones who were opposed have maintained a strong hand in shaping humanity’s time on the planet. Humanity, in response, has clawed its wyrd into orlog, in fantastically amazing ways and in ones that should never be repeated. 

The beings speaking through Algiz this week are the ones who wanted us to have every nurturing opportunity to blaze trails of agency in support of All Things. This voice pushing through brings me back to my experience with the Focal Point, 12 March 2020. I will never forget it. I witnessed a re-introduction and shoring up of the planetary Frithgard, with every wisdom tradition that has ever been on board. It was a period of time that was not only pivotal for humanity, but detrimental to those who had been secretly protecting that container and protector.

This gentle missive from The Godden Who Wanted Our Success is just as pivotal. Truths, wisdom, ways of being in relationship that have long been silenced, subverted, and denied by Those Other Godden are waking. They are waking within us, our ecosystems, and our star systems. And we have ridiculous support in bringing it all forward with human agency. And the Perthro of it all is we have everything to do with how it all goes forward. This is the part where new normal becomes the better we’ve said we’re doing, the change we’ve said we are.

Take time this week to appeal to the beings who are on Team Human Course-Correct, whether it’s dandelions, thunder, or Odin. Rally. Gather. Bless.  Bring them home, and in the midst of it, keep awareness on how relationships with our support crew have everything to do with how we shape our agency here.

The Helping Spirits holding space with us this week are the element Metal in the direction of

Front.  Metal is what gives Earth structure. It is hard, thus it represents boundaries. Metal is old, in terms of who’s been here longest, and it’s finite in supply. This suggests that it is shrewd in its energy, yet entirely up for the job. Its place in greater elemental relationships also has us reflect on our external experiences, to draw from them, and turn within to set our boundaries and honor our value. Likewise, Metal shines. It is brilliant and inspiring. Like it, we harden under duress, yet can be continuously shaped.  When metal gets too strong, however, it becomes rigid.

Front, or North, encourages us to think ahead, as we forge new bonds. The direction of ice, air, and lineage, Front specifically emphasizes the Descendants. They are everything ahead of us, and the benefactors of every choice and decision we make now. Luckily Front is also the direction of  knowledge and wisdom, which allows us to draw on our Allies as much as our skills and experience to know and do what’s best for ourselves, and our communities.

Key in the space between Winter and Spring speaks to foyers, openings, closings. Key represents freedom. It speaks to our potential to be open to new possibilities or to shut ourselves out. Keys can reveal as easily as they can protect. The implication of its presence this week is around choice, and careful selection, and thoughtful boundaries. Sounds familiar.

This spot between Winter and Spring speaks to a bit of restlessness, which may also be about a larger iteration of season than just the one we’re physically experiencing. There’s a bit of drive to do without the staples in place to do well, or perhaps feeling the resourcefulness to create without  a direction in mind.  However it shapes up, the push-pull feeling is real, and can be allied by coming back to the body. Season is where the body is, always. Whether we’re trying to dig out off feet of snow or do everything we can to build a better normal, it will happen. Winter will give way to Spring. We will do better.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How do you regulate tension around the current planetary energy?

  • How does that tension affect your day-to-day?

  • How does it affect your ecosystem?


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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.

  • Perthro – Pair, Pairth, Per, Perth, Peorth

  • Ehwaz – Eh, Ehwuh

  • Algiz – Awl, Awlyee, Ail, Ailhaw, Ailha


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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


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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.