For the Week of 21 January 2024

Resisting DIY Soul

Perthro is the half-month rune through 28 January. The intuitive rune is Eihwaz. The earthly spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are all of them, in the direction of Beyond (world marble), with element Timing (wee hourglass), in the season of Autumn (absent tree button…). From right to left are Perthro (wrought iron), then Eihwaz. 

Why Join the Runes for Change Community?

Runes for Change provides community and resources to gain insight into the Elder Futhark runes oracle, elder well with ancient wisdom, and cultivate a strong spiritual path. When you join Runes for Change, each week you will receive the full version of The Weekly Rune, which is only available to the Runes for Change community. The runecast includes:

  • fully detailed runecast
  • an audio recording of the runecast with galdr and instruction on how to work with each sound
  • the half-month runic impact on human life force
  • insights on how to best manage the curves and twists therein
  • devotional introspective prompts to nuance and tend self-work for the week
  • Early access to What in the Wyrd episodes
  • Community connection via ​Discord
  • Excerpts of articles and upcoming books, exclusive first peeks at current projects, and galley copies

Optional Runes for Change offerings:

  • Community-only classes, self-paced and live
  • Soul Readings (diagnostic overview of spiritual needs)
  • Soul Tending Session (soul retrieval, shadow tending, energy balancing, etc)
  • HighSeat with the runes
  • discounts on soul tending services

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 earthly other-than-human Helping Spirits, which includes humanity's animal and plant Ancestors, and other earth-centric Ancestors and  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, or the energetic tone of the cast. 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.

What's a bindrune?

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What Does It Mean?

The tone and voice of this week’s runecast is quite different from its norm. Our movement into Perthro brought relief from the intensity of Eihwaz, only to leave us hanging to come to our own conclusions and choices around how to go forward with the information we gained. This is a natural liaison between these runes, in that Eihwaz is the death-rebirth rune, followed by Perthro as the *shrug* rune. Not the “here’s what you do next” rune. Or the “how do you feel about that?” rune. And I’m sure that’s functioning as designed. I have never gotten the memo that human persons are motivated to hold themselves in places of hard growth without external coercion to do so. That we are colonized into domesticity on top of that leaves us often not even recognizing that hard growth is what’s needed, let alone how to allow it to unfold.

So, Perthro. One point of what’s different in this cast is that Eihwaz now presents as the rune of where we can place demands on Perthro. This is different from our usual Modifier rune. It normally presents as how to best work with the Object rune. When I posed that intention I got a hard no and the quick reframe that Eihwaz comes now to urge us to bring life and death urgency to Perthro. We can’t specify the outcome of the roll of the die, but we can know impeccably our odds of each side of it. 

Cast the lots. Weave the magick. Do the rituals. Make the phone calls. Pull out the owed favors. Our unseen and seen acts must be woven together into doing. Now is the time to cash in on every skill and relationship that can help us to shape the life we need from the initiation we received from Eihwaz. The forces around (and within) us are aligned in a way right now to make great strides with where that specificity can move us, not just personally but collectively. 

One of the threads of this runecast for the last year or so has been that we have shifted from what was our normal to a new one (or ones) that hasn’t arrived. It’s been up in the air for a while and we’re in the settling part of it. The debris of old normal and the evolving particulate of the new one are commingled. We are moving among it. We are tasting and feeling the new normal, but it’s still not tangible enough to plot ourselves in, because we haven’t created it yet. And it is on us to create. It won’t just happen.

And we can’t do it alone. New normal doesn’t come in a bubble; it comes for us all, because of us all. This isn’t the time for DIY manifestation or spirituality. We need to call on our Allies on every level, but especially the earthly helping spirits. This is why no larger voices showed up in the runecast this week. We are local community, and we have to act like it. Literally. This is also why ALL the earthly helping spirits who have spoken through TWR are included today. WHen I asked who wanted to step forward in support, they all did. For this reason, take time this week to reacquaint with your ecosystem Allies. They’re waiting for us to make the first move.

The Weekly Runecast for 21 January 2024 on Intentional Insights- by S. Kelley Harrell

The direction best holding space for application of our creative force is Beyond. It’s been distant, maybe even vacant for the last few months. Maybe it had to be so that the space could be cleared for human persons to step up and do. Beyond/All is the container of all that we know and beyond. It is the direction of sacred order. It’s the realm of Watchers, Norns, Multiversal Jotnar who caretake the machinations of all life. Given that, it can also be the microbes, the mitochondria, the bacteria. It’s not just Out There, but also that strata of managerial oversight that aligns with respect for all life at all levels. It is the direction of Source. And the reminder with this direction is that Source is with us. Source is us. And what we do with our time here is Source.

We are held.

Element Timing reminds us that greater laws are in relationship and are carrying out duties that while we have no control over them, we also don’t have to lift a finger to make sure they keep doing their job. As rough as souling in form is, we don’t have to be mindful of everything

There is a nornic component to the element, as with the direction this week. Greater forces are at work, and their true creative license will always be sacred order. It isn’t possible for it not to be. It isn’t possible for ours not to be, either, and this is what the synergy of Perthro and Eihwaz remind us this week.

Timing is ability to pace Self according to the cycles of Nature, to be in relationship with Nature such that one’s habits and body rituals sync with natural occurrences (up at dawn; relax when the shadows grow long). It’s also a point for realization that we are naturally synced with Nature. We don’t really have to work at it.  The transmutation Timing offers is the faith that time will take care of need, despite that our comprehension of time is very short.

The seasonal backdrop brings the feel of Autumn–of preparation, bounty, maturity, harvest, turning from the forest. In Autumn, our focus turns 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. Autumn is also the wind up for the Wild Hunt, the ethers of which may be potent to call upon for the work of Perthro. 

Maybe we have some things left to deathwalk. Maybe things were deathwalked but we need to make their funeral. Maybe we need to tuck back some resources for later. Maybe we need to enjoy hearty indulgence.  Whatever the need, action is waiting to be taken.


Half-month Rune Prompts

  • Feel into your capacity to do the seen and unseen work we’re being asked to do to create where we want to go. Do you have those skills? If not, explore where to get them.
  • How would you describe your relationship with not knowing?
  • When you reflect on life shifts with Eihwaz, what in them needs further attention? What needs to be asked of Perthro?


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
  • Eihwaz – Eye, Eyewuh, Yew, Yewuh, Eoh

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S. Kelley Harrell

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

Kelley Harrell is an animist, author, deathwalker, and death doula held by Tuscarora, Woccon, and Sissipihaw land. For the last 25+ years, through Soul Intent Arts she’s helped others ethically build thriving spiritual paths. Her work is Nature-based, and centers soul tending through the Elder Futhark runes, animism, ancestral tending, and deathwork. She hosts the podcast, What in the Wyrd, and also writes The Weekly Rune as a celebration of the Elder Futhark in season. Work with her in the Runes for Change community or in her intensive soul tending training, The Spirited Path.  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.