For the week of 20 January 2019

Appropriate influences from the past

Perthro is the half-month stave through 28 January. Othala is the intuitive stave, and Thurisaz indicates the Futhark’s message to us. Read right to left is Perthro, Othala, then Thurisaz.

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 reality for us all. That realization process includes learning to tend what can’t just be fixed, and using every tool at our disposal to accomplish that. The runes are such a tool, and in the Old Norse tradition, this process is wyrdweaving at it deepest potential.

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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, the half-month rune is based on the Elder Futhark, and governs for a tad over two weeks (14 and 1/4 days, or a fortnight).

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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 are usually 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. The latest episode discusses the nuances of Raidho.
  • 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.

Runic Book of Days - A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick by S. Kelley Harrell

The Runecast

Working with Perthro over the last week has given us a sharp lesson in where we’re strong in our weaving, and where we need more work.

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?

Perthro is the rune of chance. In the last episode of What in the Wyrd, I talked about the difference between chance and luck, which well summarizes the aspects we need to consider when judging ourselves against Perthro. If anything, when it arrives seasonally, we have the opportunity to assess our comfort level with the unknown, not just in life, but in ourselves. Most often this rune is superficially treated as a yes/no on some life dynamic or circumstance, which is completely permissible. However, leaving it only to such simplicity misses the nuance it can bring, in terms of self-awareness.

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When we encounter Perthro, we have to be very secure in the unknown, and the unknowable. It represents both the dynamics of ourselves and life that affect us. Within this rune lies the formula for how to create and cope with all that life brings, along with the realization that even parts of that formula are also unknowable. If this exploration of Perthro is beginning to sound circular and open-ended, that’s because it is.

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When working with Perthro, we have to examine the framing runes very carefully to hone its focus. This week, Othala is the rune describing how to best work with Perthro, and it always points to lineage. It focuses on the hyper-distillation of the present, which we can only really understand by looking back, and forward.

Othala is about issues of our Ancestors, and by default, how we are becoming an ancestor to our descendants. It pairs really nicely with Perthro, as Othala encourages us to be very clear in our Innangarðr and Útgarðr. Where Innangarðr is the known territory, the boundary of our clan, Útgarðr (sometimes Útangarðr) is the wild beyond, past the point of the known border. In the Old Norse context of clan dwelling, these boundaries are established when we were born. The mapping of what’s safe, what’s wild, and the point that we should push beyond what we know and into the void would have been wisdom passed on by elders.

Listen to the Runecast Galdr

Thurisaz from the voice of the Futhark suggests that we work deeply on finding center amidst difficulty. As this is just a commentary rune it doesn’t mean difficulty is coming. And yet life is life. Difficulty is always coming as much as is ease. Learning to cope, in general, is the best magick we have. The medicine Thurisaz brings is to use part of our times in ease to develop those coping skills and be trained in when and how to use them, as needed.

Pointing back to Othala, the runecast offers the Ancestors as a means of learning to find that center. Certainly they faced uncertainty and security. Perhaps engaging them this week would shed insight into how we can best weather the same.

For suggestions on how to do that gracefully, subscribe to my private runes community on Patreon.

Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How has your comfort with the unknown shifted over time?
  • How do you honor your Ancestors?
  • What are the most important features of strong elderhood to you?


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
  • Othala – Oh, Ohdh
  • Thurisaz – Thur, Thuri
Originally published on Soul Intent Arts.