For the week of 17 July 2022

Embodied flow


Uruz is the half-month rune through 29 July. Laguz is the intuitive rune, and Hagalaz indicates Embolden’s message to us. The spirits of place anchoring the runes this week are Key in Autumn, with the active element of Fire, in the direction of Back.South. Read right to left is Uruz, Laguz, then Hagalaz.

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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 
  • 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

Fehu has moved through with an emphasis on knowing the value of what’s in our charge. It brings a message of interdependence, not just with our assets, but with how those assets situate in our greater relationships. Uruz follows that sense of responsibility with coming to grips with how we do that the best way we can, which in aurochs’ season means: at peace with ourselves.

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?

Uruz is the rune of the aurochs, which engenders the spirit of truly being present. This rune points to our unconscious primal nature, and urges us to be well with it so that we can embody ourselves as best as possible. The framing runes and spirits of place suggest that is very doable, though will take bold steps on our part.

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Laguz as the rune that best expresses how we can work with Uruz suggests we go with the flow. I don’t find that a remarkable aha! so much as it’s so simple it’s probably very difficult to do. At this stage of our relationship with the runes in season and working together, we know our flow. We know what it feels like to be in sync with our inner cosmology and to be in step with the world around us. The thing is, it’s really difficult to sustain, maybe especially right now. 

Hagalaz through the voice of Emboldened speaks to this dynamic of brave change, as well. The rune of hail, it speaks to unwanted change, particularly externally driven change that we have no choice but to adapt to. I don’t say this lightly, but I think that’s the law of the land right now. And we will be better off to hold ourselves and our relationship to flow loosely, so that we can be as flexible as possible.  Emboldened suggests this is an act of sacred courage, so that we’re not just going to wing it or half-ass it and be who we need to be, where we need to be, in the world. It will take contemplation and a reasonable amount of working with fear to be emboldened in the way that life on this planet requires right now. As Hagalaz has no reversal, its message isn’t optional. This is the deal.

The spirits of place for this week offer insight into how we can move in flow, emboldened, in very personal ways. Foremost is the very blunt element, Fire. Bál in Old Norse bál, Fire was a primal creative force. It represented a way to stay viable in Winter, as easily as it could be the extreme of decimation or life-giving warmth. Also, literally and metaphorically, Fire brought transformation, the capability to deathwalk what was no longer needed in flame,to return to Earth as ash. 

This deathwalking nuance of Fire is a factor in our relationship with flow right now. We can’t go by an old habituated or even fond but no longer functional version of flow. We have to be willing to let go of what we considered ‘to be in flow,’ even if it was somatically pleasing and fed us. When held against the anxiety of daily life, we have to be willing to sacrifice some darlings, and this is a fairly benevolent time and relationship to begin that exploration. 

This week, practice putting down the old relationship to flow. Really put it down, and if needed give it a funeral. Truly thank it and say goodbye to it, along with a way of life that is gone from the planet. Let that grief be felt.  I hear many folx wanting supportive change right now, though it can’t come if our hands are so full of a way of being that no longer works, that we can’t pick up the emerging threads of the new one. We have to be ready, and part of getting there is not to take anything extra where we’re going. Let this exercise in learning an updated relationship to flow be a way to hold everything more loosely right now, and in learning to carry a lighter load. 

Key allows us to have boundaries along this transition. We can choose when to be open or closed. We can choose what we reveal and what we protect. The implication of Key is that there are possibilities, and many of them are new ones we would never have thought of without the impetus to slow down, re-check flow, and realign with the new way.

Back/South in my cosmology represents heat, fire, also the janitors and fungi. It is home of the beings who recycle the dead into nutrition for Earth. Metaphorically, South also metabolizes what we deathwalk. It is the place of letting go so that we know what comes is what is right for us.

That these spirits rest in Autumn underscores that now is a time of preparation and of the bounty to secure good harvest. We don’t often get a trial run on a big life change, such as we have this week. What’s most significant about it, though, is it’s not just personal. It’s not just an opportunity to have better personal habits and energetic hygiene. By changing something as significant as how we flow with our Uruz, or primal selves, we become better embodied. When we are better embodied, we become the living alchemy that our communities need, that the planet needs.

We know every runic cycle that we are returning to the fray of deepening how we soul in form with the first aett, and this one is no different. What makes this trip around unique is that we know it, which means we can engage and respond from the wisdom of all our other cycles through it. This is a challenging week, but it’s also a time of comparatively safe training wheels for changing deeply ingrained patterns in how we’re in relationship with the bigger energies now.

Don’t forget to check out the new episodes in season 6 on the runes as verbs on What in the Wyrd, where other nuances in how to approach those relationships more aligned with runic wisdom might be evident. The whole point of looking at the runes that way is how to see through the runes the way we’re really moving in our relationships.


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Half-month Rune Prompts

  • What is the relationship between your primal self and sacred self?
  • Describe your recognition of being in flow, in detail.
  • Describe what has most recently interfered with that recognition.
  • Can you let it go?


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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.

  • Uruz – Oo, Ooroo
  • Laguz – Lah, Lahg, Lahgoo, Law, Lawgoo
  • Hagalaz – Haw, Hawga, Hah, Hahga


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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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