For the week of 7 August 2022
Choosing the Quickening
Thurisaz is the half-month rune through 13 August. Jera is the intuitive rune, and Mannaz indicates Devastation’s message to us. The Spirits of Place anchoring the runes this week are Pine in Spring, with the active element of Acid (lemon), rooted in the direction of Beyond. Read right to left is Thurisaz, Jera, then Mannaz.
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 persons 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:
Our time with Thurisaz has been quiet on the surface (?) but very busy beneath. If we look back to where we were in our last season of Thurisaz, heart-deep in pandemic life, we focused on refining our needs and seizing the inner moment. The nature of this rune is to bring us deeper within ourselves, though this round is definitely more social.
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?
Thurisaz is the rune of the unconscious awakening. Where we have embodied with Uruz, Thurisaz forces us to navigate through life with that awareness at the fore. This state of being isn’t supported in settler culture, and is actively undermined at every opportunity. What’s nice about this season with Thurisaz is that it closes with company. Specifically, in community, and with Allies.
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- If you’re on a device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the buttons to log into Patreon or become a community member.
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Folx cringe over certain runes, pretty much consistently–Tiwaz, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Eihwaz. Those don’t bother me as much as Thurisaz does, not because it doesn’t generate tension, but it’s a tension I’ve felt most challenged by in life. More than bone deep, the focus of Thurisaz is to be Self, move through life fully, soulfully embracing Self.This is quickening, and in Old Norse the word was kvikna, and it meant to give life to, as in return from the dead. I’ve interpreted and misinterpreted that every way possible, as is the way of settler culture. The most pervasive way I’ve misinterpreted it is to assume that I wasn’t embracing myself as much as I could at any given time.
If Fehu is the tradition of interdependence–tending wealth so that we all stay alive, and Uruz is where we realize we are soul in form, then Thurisaz is a first point of self-initiation, in which we quicken. We choose life.
I feel like this runecast is a Self-check along that line. It’s not about us not being ourselves. Rather, it’s realizing that we hold as much of ourselves as we can at any given time, all the time. That’s not what’s in question. What’s in flux is how we continue to expand our understanding of what that is and who we are. I’ve spent most of my younger adulthood thinking being who I am is a moment I’ve worked to get to though will stumble into, recognize, and somehow be able to hold onto or subsequently summon on demand.
It’s just the moment.
Every moment that we take the time to observe who we are in relationship with Self and the world around us.
And we are the version of ourselves that we are in each moment. The same, different, becoming, all at once.
The initiation isn’t drawing something up from within us that wasn’t already there. It’s cultivating a life that lets us live our primal soul-in-formness. It is the chosen quickening, making us not just matter walking around, but fully aware kin of All Things.
Take some time this week to recognize the fullness of Self, not what it should be by personal spiritual or cultural judgment, not where it should be with trauma or body love. Just be with Self fully where it is, and let it be.
Jera as the best way to approach Thurisaz points to our toolbox. Whether that’s skills, resources, or relationships–maybe all of the above–the encouragement and support for working with what we have is pretty solid. That is, of course, understanding that part of our toolkit is the ability to do thorough examination and realize we need a tool that isn’t there. It’s pretty good coverage of bases, really, and it’s very affirming. Maybe not cookies kind of rewarding, but it’s meaning to have the runes affirm that we have resources for how we sustain awareness of ourselves, and that we know how to use them.
That said, Mannaz through the non-human wisdom of Devastation suggests maybe we need to lay waste to what doesn’t support our awareness of ourselves. Mannaz is the social rune, and most definitely a coming out one. It’s the point in the progression of the Elder runes that we are ready to present some new facet of consciousness (our own or that which we weave into being) to our supportive [human] peers.
The reason I say ‘supportive peers’ rather than ‘all peers’ is that Mannaz represents Mannus (Borr–father of Odin), who in Nordic-German mythology was the son of the god Tuisto (Tyr/Tiwaz–kinda also Ymir/Buri). Out of an act of desperation to preserve life after the gutting and distribution of Tuisto/Ymir, Mannus created the three races of Germany (Ingvaeones (Freyr–Vi), Irminones (Thor–Villi), and the Istaevones (Odin–Vodin). Mannaz is the rune that anchors humanity as custodians of Earth. That is the level of community, wyrdweaving, interdependence, belonging, and responsibility working with this rune carries. What comes out of it facilitates those qualities, or the sovereignty of Self has no threshold to root. Without that, our agency means nothing. So yes, supportive peers, who can see us, foster our Self-ness, and help us step out of and deathwalk the ties that would severe our inner awareness.
The Spirits of Place suggest this is excellent timing for such, with the placement of Pine in Spring. Where Pine brings longevity, peace, enlightenment, regeneration, fertility–all the things that speak of what we plant taking root, Spring supplies the resources that give the roots what they need to become blossoms. It’s a fortuitous time for the quickening of Self, and we can should take advantage of the support we have right now.
Acid as a corrosive element that dissolves detritus supports the idea of Devastation, of laying waste to what doesn’t support us. Because this elemental alchemy moves very slowly, I feel it’s pointing back to my original statement–that we examine where we are not seeing our own fullness, not allowing it. Any time we work with the elements in a catabolic way we’re opening opportunity for distress. For that reason I say approach this one carefully and with clear intention. It hurts to let go of things that are in our way (internal and external), even when it’s in our best interest.
Beyond is the direction of sacred order. It’s the realm of Watchers, Norns, Multiversal Jotnar who caretake the machinations of all life. It’s that strata of managerial oversight that aligns with respect for all life. Truly with this wide overtone to Mannaz, support for our wyrd, we really are covered on pretty much every level of community. In our ministration to Allies and honoring of support, let it stretch fully from the Spirits of Place in our own yard, to our humankin, and our Beyondkin. We really don’t often have the channel as nurturingly open as it is right now, and perfect timing, I say.
I gotta say also, that while this runecast is very supportive of exquisite weaving of our wyrd, it reads strangely against the backdrop of chaos that is life on the planet right now. Yet, it very much tracks. Last year this time we were in this place of having revived normalcy forced down our throats, when we hadn’t been given time to process any of our losses. Normal was gone, and nothing was there to take its place.
This deep recontextualization of Self (Fehu-interdependence, Uruz-embodiment, Thurisaz-quickening) is where it starts, and it is very much fixed on us being really clear in how we weave our wyrd, with the interagency of All Things as the focus.
Two runes from the first aett, one from the third: Our wisdom stands amidst our inner reckonings.
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Half-month Rune Prompts
- What ritual allows you to honor all of you?
- How do you respond to tension around honoring all of you?
- How can you respond better?
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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.
- Thurisaz – Thoor, Thooree
- Kenaz – Kehn, Kenuh, Kawn, Kawnuh, Kain, Kainuh
- Mannaz – Mah, Mahn, Mahna
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.