For the Week of 18 February 2024

Collective Galdr

Sowilo is the half-month rune through 27 February. The intuitive rune is Raidho. The earthly spirit of place anchoring the runes this week is Honey Bee (heart vial), in the direction of Right/This Side/Atlantic Side/East (mossy dwarf), with element Air (feathers), in the season of Spring (tree button). The Beyond-earth support comes from Urd (Yggdrasil deck).  From right to left are Sowilo (carved polymer clay tile), then Raidho.

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?

Sowilo has brought a lightness to our transition out of darkness that is timely, supportive, and not without its own demands. Closing the second aett, the aett of the agency circus and sheer chaos, Sowilo brings the only soothing moments. And the peace it brings begins with animistic reverence of the sun.

Most of our existence [not all of us] on Earth is due to the sun. It is the center of life as we science, and as such is built into our psyches as the ancestral barometer by which we validate our aliveness, literally and liminally. The sun is a celestial parent who holds deep sway over how we move among, and within. It literally challenges our cells to uplift our mood, and this is an integral understanding of Sowilo: we get vitamin D to have the wherewithal to leave it better than we found it.

No small task, and this week we have a couple of hints in the runecast for how we pay that aliveliness forward.  Raidho is the rune of taking the show on the road. It is about movement, and occurs at the point in the first aett that we are beginning to share our story with the world. We take our truth out into adventures somewhat to test its actual truthfulness, to allow it to shift as needed, to learn more about how our truth is an expression of us. So many needs met by this travel and the relationships forged through it. This is our first hint that we can’t keep our good fortune to ourselves, however we perceive that fortune to be.

With Right (That Side/ East/Austri) as the direction holding us this week, in my cosmology that indicates water, flow, being carried. It specifically is Atlantic Ocean for me, which represents home, in that all of life emerged from the Ocean. All water returns to the Ocean. For me it also represents the many fields that grew the food I grew up eating, which speaks to ecosystem home and literal nurture. So when this direction comes up in casts, explore what home means, at the most sacred and embodied level. Literally, consider where Body feels best. Consider what makes a space feel sacred. Consider how to get more of those needs met in the immediate living space. 

For me Right also is the place of dreams, the primordial soup of our desires mingled with multiversal forces that can help create them into being. It is the direction of realizing our agency, of truly grokking that how we as human-persons align with form is unique in evoking deep change here. And with that unique potential is the responsibility of using our agency to benefit all touched by its impact. This quality of recognizing what we have and giving it is an essential aspect of Sowilo.

The element Air is the second hint of how we Sowilo well this week, in that it represents the forces that carry our intentions to where they can best root. Air’s strength is transmission, dispersal, sweeping clean. It carries our words, expressions, incantations, galdr to their destinations. Our best way to engage it is to allow contraction and expansion, as with breath, to find the flexibility in ourselves to sway with it, and to learn how to embody its qualities in our own lives.

Where this becomes personal is honing in on the incantations and utterances that carry our gifts to who needs the benefit of them into the world. This week brings an exquisite opportunity to shine on others through our galdr, our spells, our songs. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive or meticulously plotted. It could be as simple as, as we move through the week exploring our own needs and what dynamics have to be in place to meet them, asking for those shifts to be made, that we ask them to be made for all who share such need. The approaches we can take to this expression are limitless, but remembering that Air is our best transmission of our efforts this week is important.

Spring, which presents new growth, creativity is also the seasonal point that human-persons can more safely venture beyond their own thresholds–utangardr–return to the forest. The space that Spring holds is one of opportunity to verge outward and explore new territory. This week, with this regenerative energy and the potency of Sowilo, we can be confident that our songs and incantations will have the creative forces of Spring driving them, as well as planting them for rich growth.

The earthly spirit helper who can help us best step into the new consciousness of this week is  Honey Bee. My grandfather was a beekeeper, and because of the years of helping him tend his hives, my relationship to Honey Bee is represented with honey. The honey in the heart-shaped vial  in the photo is the last that was extracted from his hives before he died, when I was 17.

Honey Bee supports transition. They are conductors of souls; they are natural psychopomps. They are the epitome of sacred order, always focusing their agency to the wellbeing of the collective through teamwork, resilience, adaptation, methodic engagement, and interdependence. It’s not just hive mind with honey bees, but hive being. It may be appropriate to work with Honey Bees this week in helping let go of what occludes expression. Or perhaps they have insight into new ways to working with Air to pay our agency forward to the collective.

The beyond-earth voice this week is Urd, from the Yggdrasil deck. This deck takes a different direction on the norns, so I will mention that, as well as the traditional perspective here. In this deck, Urd is the present, that which is still malleable and conditional, what could occur. She changes places with Skuld, the youngest sister who presents what is possible.

In most traditional approaches to Urd, she is the elder of the wyrd sisters. She holds the past, that which is unchangeable yet continues to influence our present and future options. She is manifestation, while Verdandi, the middle sister, builds upon what Urd has created in the present. I stick with what I know in terms of how I greet Urd, as the great holder of the past and all the feels it brings up. 

Given the past focus of Urd and our closure on this second aett with Sowilo, it may be worth exploring how our time in this aett has set us up to go forward. The step into the third aett is a doozy and it’s not one we want to bring baggage into, for our own sake as well as that of others. Sowilo is a lovely place to play to our own strengths to do better–with the sun, the warmth, and all nurture that can bring. For this part of our time with Sowilo, it’s also appropriate to let go of what may be getting in our way of bringing our unique gift to the world, because part of the challenge of the third aett is bringing that gift, even knowing all the challenges against doing so.


Half-month Rune Prompts

  • How’s your relationship with Air?

  • What needs vocalizing in your life?

  • How can you approach this expression in a way that blesses the collective?


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, Sig
  • Raidho – Rhye, Ryedthe, Ryedthoh, Rad

Runes for Change community, Soul Intent Arts, Kelley Harrell

For more insight into the runes, eldering well with ancient wisdom, and cultivating a strong spiritual path

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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.