For the week of 11 September 2022
Our Own Mythology
Raidho is the half-month rune through 13 September, at which point Kenaz steps up. Fehu (Baltic amber) is the intuitive rune, and Ansuz indicates Consciousness’ message to us. The Spirits of Place and season are taking this week off, with the active element of Plastic (Little People Dog), rooted in the direction of Left (which for me is West). Read right to left is Raidho above, Kenaz below, Fehu, then Ansuz.
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
- 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:
Raidho has been uncomfortable to work with this season. The last couple of years with it have reflected the need to disengage from old norms while finding comfort with foundationless grounding. This season we finally get the greenlight to go with the kind of movement Raidho represents, and it’s caused a good bit of tension.
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?
Raidho is the rune of agency put in motion. What we gleaned from speaking our agency into the world with Ansuz, we now must take it into the world and see if it stays true. We must take ourselves out into the world and see if we stay true to our calling.
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That’s enough tension on its own to contend with, though when we factor in the changed way of moving we’ve had with what’s becoming post-pandemic life, our new freedom to move about the planet is awkward at best. Our bodies aren’t used to movement like this, and I don’t just mean the aches and creaks of becoming more physically active again, but the tension trapped in our frames, the trauma we carry in joints that now don’t move as easily. The rigidity is literal and figurative.
And anywhere we have that overlap there’s not just mythology, but a story. Lore.
Let’s come back to my recipe for a moment:
inspiration + storytelling = meaning
soothsaying + storytelling = meaning
soothsaying + movement = lore
confidence + experience = authority
Ansuz + Raidho = Kenaz
As we spend the last few days in the action part of this equation, given the last couple of years it’s appropriate that we feel insecure about what meaning we’re deriving from it all. And we’re not required to draw any meaning from it. It’s interesting–I read of world views that draw no meaning, and those who hang their every breath on it. For the sake of safety, I’d say somewhere in the middle with a healthy dollop of situational choice is appropriate. For myself, I think it’s less along the lines of “meaning,” and more that humans lives are short. I don’t assume that we get to live long enough to see the full span of events play out, which would greatly affect how we interpret the span and the events.
Because of that, the movement from Raidho into Kenaz is another wee nornir moment. We have the opportunity to choose how we’re moving along in our lives, making this transition from lock-down sedentary to moving carefully among. We get to slow the weave and really choose what we want this part of the tapestry to look like.
That said, Kenaz traditionally means torch, as in a small light in considerable darkness. Also, depending on the rune poem, it means boil, as in cyst, underlying irritation that eventually pushes out to some complication, yet relief. When we sit with that commonality of tension and fire metaphorically, we’re talking about our agency existing for a reason. We’re talking about imbuing everything we do to some important end, which is our calling. It’s our unique gift that only we, each of us individually, can bear to the world.
So when we reflect on the stillness we’ve internalized over the last couple of years and this application of Raidho being more active, it may bear reflecting a bit on how this shift in mobility is affecting how we perceive our calling. Maybe it felt like we were phoning it in the last couple of years. Maybe the stillness or chaos was exactly what we’d been looking for. Regardless, the discomfort and restlessness of getting back into a groove that can’t be locked down is real.
For the last couple of months the runecasts have been pointing to a new normal in the distance. Yet, that’s also not the right wording. It’s more like we’re re-finding flow with considerably less cultural noise. ? We’re not there yet, but we’re feeling the need to be ready for it, and to somewhat have our relationship to how we do what we do here re-sorted for readiness. And maybe that’s what this seasonal iteration of the recipe is really about: refining our relationship to all the parts, particularly with the timely restatement of Ansuz. More on that later…
The appearance of Fehu as the rune in closest relationship with the half-month runes this week suggests that the transition to Kenaz needs attention. It needs tending. This may be highly personal, though look to the places where movement isn’t desired (Raidho), where we don’t want to come into some knowledge that’s been taunting us. This doesn’t mean force movement and awareness. Rather, it means nurture the relationships to those things. If we can focus on the relationships rather than the things, we’re a lot less likely to be unconsciously limiting ourselves or them.
Ansuz through the voice of Consciousness refers to bigger truths, perhaps not even personal but collective ones. What is the collective truth hitting closest to home right now? How does it situate with calling? How is that collective truth in relationship with personal ones? These are big considerations for a time in which we’re just getting our movement groove back. But maybe there’s something stabilizing about their answers, something de-personalizing that makes finding new stride more empowered.
The lack of Spirits of Place was real. k literally got no resonance to include them, and went with it. The element of Plastic in the direction of West. The inclusion of Plastic as an element was a complicated exploration for me. It didn’t exist before humans, and now occupies a significant space in form. When I thought of how to represent it in divination the plastics of my childhood rose most prominent–the ones that aren’t in any way green and will be here long after I’m gone. Little People Dog represented that cross section well, and I’m happy to have him along. Plastic is a life force born out of impatience, symbolic of cultural disconnect, yet meets deep needs that can’t be financially or energetically supported another way en masse. Plastic saves lives and it kills them. Maybe better than any other human creation, it represents the epitome of humanity: brilliant to a fault. Plastic serves as a keen reminder to hold and express our agency with care, because what comes out of it goes on to live its own life.That’s an apt message for half-month runes offering insight into a newly jump-started society. We have an enormous opportunity to leave better lore, and it literally starts with our relationship to our calling and how we choose our expressions of agency and movement right now.
The Ancestors know how to do this; they’ve done it. Ask them for help this week.
Left (this side-West) represents lush green, with endless opportunity for fertile growth. The version of our relationship to flow that’s unearthing now is our destiny and our promise. We have so much opportunity to reinvent how we bear our calling, how we hold our agency, though we have to manifest it with the understanding that it’s what we’re leaving the Descendants to deal with. It has its own legacy, which means we have to wyrd it right.
And we are.
Three/four runes from the first aett: readying our agency for the world.
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Half-month Rune Prompts
- How is your body experiencing stasis at this time?
- What might deeping that experience?
- What might be interfering with it?
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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.
- Raidho – Rhye, Ryedthe, Ryedthoh
- Kenaz – Kehn, Kenuh, Kawn, Kawnuh, Kain, Kainuh
- Fehu – fee, feehoo, feh, fehhoo, fay fayhoo
- Ansuz – Ahn, Ahnsoo, Awn, Awnsoo
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
To bear your unique gift to the world.
To leave the planet better than you found it.
So that your descendants never elder alone.