For the week of 19 February 2023

Soul-in-form, 2.0

Sowilo (porcelain tile) is the half-month rune through 27 February. Wunjo (Baltic amber) is the intuitive rune, and Kenaz reversed (porcelain tile) indicates Cosmic Breeze’s message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are pinecone (I forgot to put it in the photo!) and element Bone (turkey wishbone) in Autumn, in the direction of Back. Read right to left is Sowilo, Wunjo, then Kenaz reversed.

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

[ppp_patron_only level="1.00" silent="yes"]The Weekly Rune - Sowilo Audio Blog, for the week of 19 February 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

In our last week with Sowilo this season, we may find Self in any aspect of paying it forward. We may be the sun, the rays. We may be the basking tendril just peeking from the soil. We may be the shriveled invertebrate nowhere near shade. It’s possible that we’re all of that at once. What’s important to internalize in this close of the second aett is that tides change. No matter where we are in that warm life-giving light, we’re charged with not flying away with the highs, and not sinking beneath the lows.

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?

Sowilo is the rune of the sun, and as such, to live its energy seems like a challenge in how to give light without blinding, how to offer warmth without combustion, and how to foster growth without forgetting to rest. Yes, overall the experience of Sowilo is a positive, uplifting one, and our time with it speaks to boundaries around doing vs being. The medicine of ‘live’ and ‘rest’ is the alchemy of Sowilo. 

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I think with Sowilo it can be easy to rush through it, to feel anticipatory grief. We don’t see and experience it because we’re more fixated on the rune that follows it in the traditional Elder Futhark progression, which is Tiwaz. This time in the sun precedes battle.

I’m not one to be particularly negative or positive; I consider myself a realist. So when I say that I know good times won’t last, it’s just a fact, not a projection. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t used to stress over that awareness, enough to affect the quality and duration of the good time (a self-fulfilled projection). When I began to have severe chronic health issues, my habit became over-doing while the energy was available, which made the lower times even lower. It’s closer to the truth now to say that I appreciate the good time, I enjoy it while it lasts. Because it isn’t going to last, and that is form by design.

Given that, the component of Sowilo that helps us most enjoy the good time is community. We’re not alone in paying it forward. We’re given so that we can give. Both ends of that are community. Community is how we hold onto the medicine of warmth in our lives. It’s not the experience of the good time–or even the warmth–itself, that sustains us. It’s who was with us during it, who also internalized memories of it, who also holds felt sense of that moment, and feeling place as memory’s presence. In community we have deeper lore, even of ourselves and our experiences, and this could be a very important perspective to hold onto in this last week with Sowilo.

Curious that for many folx, the brightness and support of Sowilo is on par with that of Wunjo, and Wunjo is who helps us best Sowilo this week. 

Wunjo is the rune of  joy, which is the point that we realize our agency is beneficial to ourselves and others. We feel good about doing good. We like being in tune with orlog and weaving our wyrd. In this runecast, Wunjo helps us remember that no matter where we are in paying it forward this week, we are a blessing. By virtue of our experience here, walking it aware, and ultimately having the goal of paying it forward, we can take heart that at least on that front, we’re humaning the best we can.

Kenaz reversed through the voice of Cosmic Breeze is new. What I experienced when this presence came in was stirring movement high above the trees, well above normal  earthly influence. The life force of the movement was well out of earthly reach, as well, though its role was to move things at an earthly level when forces at the earthly level couldn’t. It felt like it was a rare occurrence, as if it only intervened with formed affairs in emergency situations. I couldn’t think of what to call it, other than Cosmic Breeze. 

Kenaz is the rune of a burning that must be relieved, which when viewed through a lens of soul-in-form seems plausibly pointing to calling. We burn to be in alignment with it and see it done. Reversed Kenaz describes when the burning doesn’t abate. Maybe we don’t know how to focus our energy. Maybe how we’re called has shifted. Maybe everything we’re doing to bear our unique gift is leaving us unsatisfied. Maybe we know damn well what our calling is but don’t have the resources or spoons to live the way we’d like. Or maybe we’re enjoying the burning more than fulfilling the calling. Somewhere in there hesitation is happening that’s creating tension for us, and this week supports us learning more about that. 

Where this seems to intersect with Cosmic Breeze is further affirmation that we’re not alone, even when we’re not feeling aligned with things that are vital to us. There are forces, maybe not personally on our side (though some are), that are working their agency to keep our influence in our lane, to our benefit and to that of others. Perhaps being in conversation with them, or at least acknowledging them this week could further help us feel more attuned to how we’re helping others to be in their lanes. Again, a reminder of the bigger pay-it-foward–both to us and from us.

The Helping Spirits with us this week are Pine Cone and Bone in Autumn and Back. Pine cone is a key landvaettir for me. I’ve never known my experience of Naturekin without it. Their fragrance, prickly scales, and earthy color all speak home to me. Spiritually, they represent longevity, peace, enlightenment, regeneration, fertility. Like fossilized Sea Snail’s shell in last week’s cast, the pattern of Pine Cone’s scales follows the Fibonacci sequence. This week Pine Cone brings us promise, not just of what may come, but in our effort to greet it in a balanced, open, and healthy way.

Bone speaks to returning to our foundation, our structure, and remembering its inherent relationship to eco system, to our calling, to All Things. Bone is the epitome of dna, not just of the individual, but of its entire species. It holds memory, wisdom, and secrets about form’s connection to Earth that we don’t understand at a conscious level. Regarding Turkey, it’s not respected in American settler culture, and has become synonymous with how European settlers conned and harmed Turtle Island indigenous people. In this way Bone can remind us of the strengths and wounds of our lineage. It reminds us that while all aspects of us are sacred, how we come into relationship with that sacredness and allow it to inform how we move here has to be sacred, too. In the way we engage Cosmic Breeze for data on our lane, so may Bone inform us of the places where we need to repair the pavement.

These spirits in Autumn indicate it’s a good week for the homework we’ve been given. It’s a time of  preparation, bounty, maturity, harvest. Given that so much rests on our ability to rest and reconnect with what we can offer based on our time with Sowilo, it seems with the supports of the allies in this cast, we will be ready for what comes next. 

Back, or south, is the direction heat, fire, and of the janitors continually deathwalking what is no longer needed. As they do so, fungi can lay down the new network and teach us all how to use it. Back is what is behind me, place of past and letting go, so that we know what comes is what is right for us. This week all of our effort to regroup and return to business is supported by the Ancestors, who literally have our back.

This week we have tenderness in our closure of the second aett, with two runes coming from the first. This indicates a need to go back to the source of us–how we soul in form, and see where our understanding of that may have changed, or where we need to be more careful with ourselves. Something about the way we currently position ourselves to pay it forward isn’t supported, and the fix for that stretches way back into how we envision what we do here.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How has this time with the second aett (late October – mid-February) affected you?

  • What has changed within you, in that timeframe?

  • How do you go forward in a way to support that change?


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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.

  • Sowilo/Sowilu – Soh, Sohl, Sohwi, Sohli

  • Wunjo – Woo, Woon, Woonyo

  • Kenaz – Kehn, Kenuh, Kawn, Kawnuh, Kain, Kainuh


Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

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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.