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Runelore

Runic Book of Days - A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick by S. Kelley Harrell, 2019 Nautilus Book Award Winner
Mannaz, Soul Intent Arts
Mannaz, Soul Intent Arts
Mannaz, Soul Intent Arts
Runic Book of Days - A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick by S. Kelley Harrell, 2019 Nautilus Book Award Winner

Shower – lamentation of the clouds and ruin of the hay-harvest and abomination of the shepherd.
Runic and Heroic Poems, Bruce Dickins, translation

E;der Futhark rune Uruz, with the text Force + Embodiment = Manifestation, 14-29 July #theweeklyrune soulintentarts.com

Uruz

Traditional meaning – aurochs
Association – Audhumbla, humans are Nature
Pronunciationoo-rooz
Galdroo, ooroo, oo-rooz
Element – ice
Dates – 14-29 July
Verb – to embody
Animistic Qualities – life force, primordial (human) nature, untamed inner wild
Challenge – To see Self as naturally empowered

Listen to What in the Wyrd Episode 108 – Embodying with Fehu

Traditional lore – In the Old Norse cosmology Audhumla is the feminine principle, the auroch that nourished life into being. She is ice/rime that engages fire to ignite life (form).

Animistic lore – Uruz depicts the alchemy of force (Fehu) meeting embodied form to produce action. Metaphorically, this rune represents the unconscious, which if not tended well, can be disastrous in relationships. If unembodied force meets form, it can produce disruptive outcomes. For this reason, supportive attention to the unconscious can go a long way to shape our wyrd, for our benefit and that of our communities.

Uruz as runes oracle – Taming Shadow

Elder Futhark runes Fehu, Ingwaz, Kenaz reversed with a white seashell on an orange background

When we encounter Uruz

we aren’t only engaging base primal forces, we are them.

Show Transcript

I’m Kelley Harrell, author, animist, and creator of The Weekly Rune. Soul Intent Arts is my soul tending practice, and you are listening to What in the Wyrd–my podcast in which I talk about runes, animism, soul tending, and how all of those intersect through Nature on my path.

Before we start, I give Props to the runes, they keep me in my lane, as long as I listen to them, anyway, my Allies, the Ancestors, and to everyone who listens to and supports the podcast. I appreciate your kind notes and comments about it and hearing about your experiences with the runes. I really love it, and I’m happy to share this space with you.

I also want to thank my Patreon supporters. They’re the folx who make the sharing of my runework through the podcast and the runecast possible with their financial support. If you have benefitted from the runecast, the podcast, or the loads of free articles on the runes, animism, energetic hygiene, and soul tending on my website, you can show your support through 

  • buying my books–at soul intent arts dot com or elsewhere online–
  • by making a one-time contribution through Paypal or Square
  • by contributing regularly through Patreon. Just go to patreon.com and search for kelley harrell. 

You can also subscribe to the paid version of The Weekly Rune there.

Thank you.

The Weekly Rune has been published, and if you’re not sure what it is, it’s a runecast with the spirits of place that I’ve done for years focused on Nigel Pennick’s calculation of a runic calendar and the current half-month rune, situated into place with the elements, directions, season, and bone allies. 

If you’re not sure what a half-month is or what runic calendar I work with, listen to the early episodes of What in the Wyrd, or just go read The Weekly Rune. It’s explained fully at the beginning of every runecast.

Uruz

When we approach the galdr, we have Uruz – Oo, Ooroo

Uruz literally means aurochs, a wild, gigantic, untameable, now-extinct ancestor of cattle. It’s telling that the first rune in the traditional ordering of the Elder Futhark is Fehu, which actually indicates everyday cattle, and the second rune in that ordering is their primal progenitor.  To me what that says is in the traditional ordering of the futhark we enter into soul-in-form with an emphasis on  basic needs being met, while the second rune, Uruz, emphasizes that we fully be here. Huh. Taking care of our basic needs, so that we can tend our deeper beingness.

Hmm. As someone who came through their esoteric education in the late 80s and early 90s, there was a huge emphasis on ‘you create your own reality,’ the Abraham-Hicks stuff. It was put forward as if you just accept that you’re a co-creator, but you are the only one ultimately responsible for everything in your life that you like and don’t like, with an underlying message of you are whole. On the surface it conveyed as an empowering message in a time in American settler culture when trickle down economics wasn’t trickling down, people were starting to turn away from the church, the hippies of the 60s were wearing Jordache. It was a potent message at a time that  the quasi-privileged middle class, in particular, started to realize they weren’t held by the system. So anything self-help, self-care sounded like a legit return to power that the church had taken a long time ago. We weren’t supposed to see ourselves as powerful. And we ate that shit up. It gave birth to the Instagram gurus of now.

‘You create your own reality.’ I felt it immediately. Like for real, I felt the truth of it, but as someone who was sexually assaulted in childhood and managing chronic illness and being in public while female, AND capable of seeing that with all my shit going on there were other people having a hard time in their lives due to things they couldn’t control–sometimes a much harder time than me–because of all of that I also felt the shame of it–and I’ve talked about that in other blog posts on my website. ‘You create your own reality’ was just another way to victim-blame. It was another spin on original sin. 

And that’s why I ultimately dropped it like a hot potato, not because it was wrong, but because it was harmfully, disruptively incomplete

I have to pause about this point in my spiel and say I always have someone who tells me, “Well it’s because you just don’t understand the Law of Attraction.” May be.

Yes, we do create part of our reality. As does our personal present and past, our physical and mental states, our communities at present, our parents stuff (whether they subsequently resolved it or are still wrestling with it), the stuff of our past communities, our ancestors, our culture, to say nothing of, I don’t know, Laws of Nature, stupid luck, privilege, mobility, timing, the literacy to understand that any of this is a factor in your life AND the skills to, say, reconcile what of it you can. 

This is the stuff of wyrd, the personal and collective layers of truths and dynamics we couldn’t change if we wanted to. We cannot make certain aspects of our lives be untrue. ‘You create your own reality’ doesn’t leave room for those facts and denies the impact of them on our experience. It denies interdependence, thus animism. We are in community, by Nature. Literally.

What we can do is do our best to expand the range of options in how we respond to… life. And again, the definition of “do our best” has everything to do with privilege. Not everyone has the resources to take that vagus nerve class or go to therapy or get a gym membership. 

So even when we talk about empowerment, we still end up at the Haves and Have-nots. Maybe the Have-a-little-bits.  What’s that sound like?

Where I’m going with this is, we can’t have a conversation about how we respond to our lot in life without also talking about what options are available to us in how we do so. When we break it down to that capability to identify and expand the range of options in how we respond, we’re talking about… our assets. We’re talking about our wealth. Our Fehu.  We need to have some Fehu in place to Uruz effectively, which is to fully be. It is to embody ourselves.

Therein lies another of the settler cultural rubs. One of the most pervasive dynamics I’ve encountered in working with clients over years is wanting the Uruz before the Fehu (And for those of you who are hardcore about the Futhark, you probably also know about the uthark. Whole different conversation, but it’s worth mentioning.). I encounter a lot of people who want enlightenment–whatever the hell that is, the brightest guides, the mysteries of the cosmos revealed, their life purpose delivered on a platter, but they’re ignoring their trauma, their soul loss, their anxiety, their awkward holiday dinner table family dynamic.

It isn’t that you can’t put the Uruz before the Fehu, it’s just a fork-ton easier to support the Uruz when the Fehu is already there. Practical needs come before spiritual ones, in the traditional ordering of the Futhark.   And in settler culture, this formula is still pretty solid. I’ve watched countless people have the mysteries revealed without having done the trauma work, and it always leads to more crisis–either theirs or that which emerges from the unbalanced teachings they pass on to their students. I’ve watched people ascend without ever having truly been here, and it eventually implodes every time. I’ve lived my own version of it. I’ve without question bitten off more than I was prepared to chew in soul work without having done the human-relationship in-form part of it. I was trying to create a reality of transcendence that didn’t honor the broken systems that created my trauma, which left my creation no sound basis to rest on.

Chop wood, carry water. We need to be fed. We need to figure out how to stay warm at night. We need to know where the water is. We need to find our place in community. These are the basic needs, the assets that ideally are in place and the education in tending them given, so that when we are ready for the mysteries of the pluriverse part we can give that the focus it needs. We can do it knowing our base needs are met and supported by greater than ourselves–human and non-human community, and Source.

We can’t build our transcendence from Out There. We have to build it from right here, where we stand, right now. And in-form, that transcendence happens through the body, not despite it. 

When we talk about fully being, we’re talking about embodiment. With Uruz we have the aurochs, Audhumbla, who licked herself free of the Niflheimr ice blocks. She literally worked with the elements around her (tending, Fehu) to bring herself into being, then liberated herself to be an individual life force among those elements–interdependence with agency–which we might call embodiment. Uruz is the rune of the being who worked with the elements she had to bring herself into being. With Uruz we arrive at the verb to embody. To tend our full range of assets as best we can–even if all we have is fire, ice, and poison–so that we can stand in our agency as an embodied being.

Uruz. To embody. It means to realize all that you are through the body. Embodiment is bringing our awareness fully into our body, such that our spirituality, our divinity isn’t just believed to be within us, we feel it in our cells and senses. We hold all that we are. That’s what Audhumbla did. She literally and figuratively brought herself into being, and we are charged once in form to do the same. We are all born, but we are not born initiated. That’s on us, and intentionally embodying ourselves is a key requirement of soul-in-form initiation of the human variety. It is what grants us full access to our agency.

And if we’ve learned anything, the distribution of Fehu to hold us for that initiation is variable in settler culture. It’s imbalanced at best. We don’t all come in with the same assets at our disposal, which means that how some folx arrive at Uruz, at embodiment, is already challenged right out of the gate. I will go so far as to say that in settler culture, it is challenged for us all, though some of us haven’t realized that fact, and it’s challenged on purpose. It’s not a side effect. We’re still creating ourselves against realities that were never designed for our success, or are so privileged and successful within the present systems we don’t understand what everybody else’s problem is. We don’t understand when they say they can’t Fehu. Both of those scenarios don’t leave much room for embodiment or interdependence.

And this is why embodiment isn’t always fun, because embodiment by definition means so inhabited of Self that awareness of transSelf (which is true enlightenment) emerges, which means we become aware of those inequities. It stirs big feelings. Initial embodiment can be full of grief and sadness. Why was I not always embodied? Why has this been missing in my life? How different could my life had been had I elders to teach me this? What’s my responsibility to support others’ embodiment? How do I get them the Fehu they need? How do I hold embodiment under duress? Instagram don’t talk about that part of embodiment. 

I think that’s the real rub of Uruz. We talk about this rune with regard to the body and care around health. Yes, it’s about the body, but specifically about the fusion of awakened consciousness into the body. Uruz is the point that we recognize our soul-in-formness. It’s not passive. We  KNOW it. And in order to do that well, we have to work our assets (Fehu). We all have unique wyrd regarding those assets, though what we do have in our favor can be orlog. Where wyrd is our personal and ancestral, kinda sorta cultural path that we can somewhat influence, orlog is how we’re in relationship with all of that, and more. It’s how we engage it, what actions we take around it, what verbs we employ with the lot we’re handed.

I have a good friend who reminds me on occasion that in dynamics we can’t change, we can still change how we’re in relationship with them. And the change that we can make with Uruz is to embody ourselves as fully and deeply as possible. Not only does it serve Self and all relationships around you well, but being firmly, wholly you is the most radical rebellion you can undertake in all of your life. And that is the kind of rebellion that changes bigger systems.

What verbs do you associate with Uruz? How does working with those verbs help you engage Uruz?

Thank you for listening. If you have questions or insights about working with the runes as verbs, or in season, or however you feel called to work with them, or you just want to drop me a line you can do that at Kelley, that’s k e l l e y at soulintentarts.com.

Also check out earlier episodes by downloading them from all various podcast platforms. You can learn more about me, Runic Book of Days, and my work by visiting soulntintentarts.com or on Instagram @kelleysoularts. You can also find notes on this episode on my website, under the menu option Read… Liveable Runelore.

I’m Kelley and this has been What in the Wyrd. Thank you for all that you do in the world.

Purple text reads "Runes for Change" with a grayscale billowy tree with purple runes carved in it and an owl perched in the branches

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Embodying with Uruz Introspections

  • What does embodiment feel like to you? 
  • What is your relationship to manifestation?
  • When you think of manifesting what you want or need, what feelings come up?
  • Assuming these feelings are your unconscious, is your unconscious aligned with what you want to manifest?

Runic Book of Days

A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick
2019 Nautilus Silver Award Winner
2019 National Indie Excellence Book Award Finalist
A step-by-step guide to working with the runes throughout the year through rituals and initiations to come into direct relationship with them.

Runic Book of Days - 2019 Nautilus Book Award Winner

@kelleysoularts

on Instagram

S. Kelley Harrell

S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

Kelley Harrell is an animist, author, deathwalker, and death doula held by Tuscarora, Woccon, and Sissipihaw land. For the last 25+ years, through Soul Intent Arts she’s helped others ethically build thriving spiritual paths. Her work is Nature-based, and centers soul tending through the Elder Futhark runes, animism, ancestral tending, and deathwork. She hosts the podcast, What in the Wyrd, and also writes The Weekly Rune as a celebration of the Elder Futhark in season. Work with her in the Runes for Change community or in her intensive soul tending training, The Spirited Path.  Full bio.

#beyourcommunity ~ #youareecosystem

elder well, die well, ancestor well

@kelleysoularts

We don't heal in isolation

but in community

Gift of the Dreamtime Reader's Companion

~S. Kelley Harrell