RUNE TALK

Do you want to learn more about the Runes? Are they really almost two thousand years old? Learn more with a fun experiential talk with Susan Hintz-Epstein in which she incorporates slide show history with hands-on interpretation. You will make your own first Rune deck using a simple set of three by five cards.

Rune Cast
Rune Interpretation – fifteen minute, thirty minute, or sixty minutes

 

To arrange a Rune Talk, call Susan at (518) 947-0645 cell or email: susan@nornirscorner.com.

I Write Because…

Someone asked me who the audience for this book, The Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty: Call to the Well of Soul, might be, so to find the answer, I went within, to locate who I was writing for. I had a story – the Norns, Scandinavian Goddesses of Fate & Destiny, and Hela, Norse Goddess of Death, had shown up to spirit-lead me into a path of shamanic practice. But why was I writing?

I write because the act of writing liberates me. I began because I had too much stuff wedged way down inside me — too many negative emotions, pain and suffering that no one else wanted to hear, and I didn’t either. The meanest teachers ever from third and fifth grade, the things somebody said that made me feel bad – awful – about myself, the sense of abandonment and betrayal and loss, mistakes I had made – I had deaths inside me, tears inside me, and the JUNK that I was holding on to because at some very deep level I had come to believe that this was what defined me, made me who, how and what I am. Somehow along the way of writing, releasing bit by piece, I realized that things inside me were turning over, and I was freer. Overcoming fear, overcoming what is buried within, digging up the dead from inside myself was very liberating. NOT in the sense of self vindication, but in the sense of LIBERATION! Working with the GNG (Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty) freed me from all that, and I want to share liberating aspects of the teachings.

I expect the story to primarily interest women who follow the Norse pantheon, who wish to understand with greater clarity an esoteric interpretation of the Lore, who are maybe already working as healers or energy workers, and are interested in the self-transformation inherent in Rune study and the Worlds of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life. Since Creek Woman introduced me to the Norns, who taught me aspects of the Weave, I have followed a path that has proven very liberating for me as a woman. Norse women were regarded as equal to, but not the same, as the men, and everybody in the community worked together for the survival of all.

This book explores my inward journey as I was led primarily by the Norns and Hela. Life review, Vision/Shamanic Journey, and the Runes were among the tools to release the emotional suppression that separated me from my true self, and lift me up into the wonder of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life and Worlds. The Old Norse teachings are an amazing roadmap into the soul and the understanding of the human consciousness process.

I consider myself a reformed Christian who now follows the heathen path of my long-ago Ancestors. I do not reject the healing ways of Jesus, but I questioned everything that rang false to my conscience. If Jesus loves everybody, then why would people who lived before Jesus ever came to Earth be doomed to hell? Yes, that really was a question I asked my mother, and she answered, “Because they didn’t know him.” Well, how could they? I wanted to find out what the soul was, did any part of a person live beyond the death of the body, and how would we know?

At the ripe old age of eighteen, I met people in college and we discovered we shared memories of past lives in common – just from different viewpoints. I did not have to question rebirth – I had the experience of it. I learned from other religions – Ba’hai, Buddhism, Taoism – and I kept what made sense to me. I studied Gurdjieff, and I met teachers who had learned directly from Gurdjieff’s pupils. I was led to what I needed to learn. But all along self-doubt still assailed me, because I couldn’t see that I was worthy to learn, to follow my own life path.

In a day and an age when the word “Soul” seems to be a neglected or forgotten concept… In a day and an age when the common denominator among humanity seems to be a hidden rage rising ever closer to the surface… I feel that the deep concepts of the great thinkers Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Sigmund Freud are poignant for our time. When they said, “The Subconscious ought to be more properly the Consciousness of humanity,” what did they mean? Might it be true that people need this knowledge more than ever before when it is upon mutual good will that the survival of our species on earth seems to depend?

The root word of “psychology” is Psyche, the Greek word for “Soul.” “Soul” actually refers to the deepest, most profound aspect of our selves, the Wellspring of emotion from which we each find our best joy in life — or our worst habitual urges. The range of emotion colors all that is transcendent in humanity. Emotion is considered the feminine aspect of the self, and Thought the masculine aspect of the self. The marriage of the polarity of Emotion and Thought in an individual is the Alchemical Sacred Marriage. It is through the Well of Soul that we find our way.

Many of us get along well enough in life. But for some of us something happens, and we find our self locked into a moment of rude awakening. It might be as St. John of the Cross called a “dark night of the soul,” or the Bible a “prodigal son” moment. Whatever the cause, the shock comes as a “whole body insight” that life is not as we assumed it was. These are the moments we experience as friction that can lead to growth for our soul. If we listen – to the well of emotion deep within us that speaks through dreams and art, or those moments of intuition that break through into waking consciousness – we are guided for our ultimate highest good.

To begin to awaken our innate potential as independent individuals leading mindful and fulfilling lives, the practice of becoming emotionally open with our selves is part of what is addressed in this book. To become aware that the shadow side of emotion – an honest look at feelings of anger, envy, laziness, lust, greed, gluttony, or pride when they arise – is as a guidepost to what the soul truly needs – and to be able to suspend the “bad” emotion in its tracks to instead look at the “gift” it offers is to identify that which is truly needed for our well being.

Everybody is worthy. Women are worthy. Men are worthy.

I feel this idea so important for children too, because mothers are the greatest influence in children’s lives from the age of birth to six when their basic personalities are formed. We can nurture their joy of life or stuff it down by our actions, reactions, praise or criticism. I have made mistakes in my own mothering, and it is from my experience and my love for children and mothers that I speak.

I have my story about how shadowy goddesses from the Norse pantheon led me into right relationship to myself. From right relationship to myself everything else flows: love of my son, my husband, my community, my country, my Earth. There should be no shame or guilt in any of the choices I made as an individual, as a woman, as a mother. Rather as I honor myself I honor the larger whole to which I belong. I hope that my story will interest others.

 

Perthro and the Well of the Norns

Another viewpoint on Perthro:

The Old English Rune Poem reads "[ Lot box ] is always play and laughter among bold men, where warriors sit in the beer hall, happily together." Neither the Old Norwegian Rune Poem nor the Icelandic Rune poem address the Rune. Consequently it is often interpreted as the Rune of Chance, Gambling, and Luck.

However, I was studying Runelore, by Edred Thorsson, in preparation for a Rune Talk workshop. More specifically I was hand copying the list he provides in the Appendix (see p. 204-205) for the Anglo-Friesian Futhork, and I noticed the similarity in the drawings, and alternate drawings, of Runes numbered 14, 21, and 32, scratched below:

Rune Perthro Variations
Perthro - alternate interpretation

 

When I noticed that the shape of the Frisian drawn stave for Rune 14 Perthro, and Rune 21 for Lagu, water, was the same, I realized that in olden times Perthro probably stood for the Well of the Norns, or Urdr's Well located in Asgard where the Aesir meet at their lawgiving. This would give the Rune Perthro its current interpretation of chance, luck, and mystery, but what was lost was the Rune's original connection with the Well of the Norns. If this was indeed the original interpretation, the meaning could have been lost along with the traditional practice of women's mysteries, which were probably associated with the mystery of the womb and childbirth, around the time of the Romans conquests when the influx, migration, and intermingling of peoples disrupted old customs and introduced new ones. I have included Anglo-Frisian Rune 32 because of the similarity of the shape and the fact that the Rune's name, Stan, means Stone.

Quote from the Younger Edda, "...the norns, that dwell in the fountain of Urd, every day take water from the fountain and take the clay that lies around the fountain and sprinkle therewith the ash, in order that its branches may not wither or decay. This water is so holy that all things that are put into the fountain become as white as the film of an egg-shell. As is here said: An ash I know/Hight Yggdrasil;/A high, holy tree/ With white clay sprinkled./Thence come the dews/That fall in the dales./Green forever it stands/Over Urd's fountain. The dew which falls on the earth from this tree men call honey-fall, and it is the food of bees. Two birds are fed in Urd's fountain; they are called swans, and they are the parents of the race of swans." (Snorri, Chapter VII, V. 16

This passage from Snorri's Younger Edda supports my idea when I consider that the Rune itself looks like a cup, pot, or can turned on its side to pour or release water. The connection to Stan/Stone seems equally obvious to me because earth contains water. Earth and water are two elements that mingle in order to provide the chemistry necessary to life.

Water also provides a metaphor for the changing states of the Soul, and the presence of the swans at Urd's Well are a clue to the involvement of the Valkyries that ride to choose the slain for Valhalla. Only those who had lived lawfully would be chosen for that high estate - another clue given by the presence of Urd's Well is by the Thing and that the Norns are responsible for overseeing Ørlög, the Norse word most akin to karma, fate, destiny.

 

How I Met The Norns

Excerpt from Chapter One of The Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty: Called to the Well of Soul

On January 23, 2013 I undertook a study with the Runes as presented in Kenneth Meadows’s book Rune Power. By February 19, I had meditated with the Runes on a daily basis, and the Runes had imprinted themselves into my third eye in a remarkable way. I drew a Rune before sleep that night: It was GIFU, divine gift.

I slept restlessly. Around 2:00 a.m. I came fully awake, and I sensed the Creek Woman summoning me to the Mesa. I sat down in the dark, as it is easier to “listen.” She talked to me about the heaviness of water seeping into earth around rocks: the striations of earth and of ice through which one can know the very ages of things long past. The Creek Woman is a very old being. At a later point she told Alan and I that she is an Elohim that assisted the Creator in the shaping of the world. On this night, she showed me the Catskill Mountains when they were newly folded into their forms and rocks fell from the sky with their making. She spoke of glaciers and the inexorable advance of Ice, Ice as Maker. Earth and water are very dense, very heavy, and yet water can be light as rain, light as air. Water forms the life giving rain, yet can cause death by drowning. Water rising as vapor into clouds – riding the clouds – is another way to shaman journey.

Suddenly, the Creek Woman brought me the Norns. I could sense their great age, as old memories, or old archetypes. They sat with me around the Mesa. Urdr, of advanced age appearing, sat to my left in the West. Verđandi, of middle age appearing, sat across from me in the North. Skuld, of youthfulness appearing, sat to my right in the East. When they came in, they brought with them the night’s full moon energy, and it was with the moon’s energy that we worked. Energy flowed between us rabidly like the shuttle of a loom. Our speech was telepathic, yet much was known without words through the energy that flowed between us. The Norns tossed the shuttle one to another and then again to me. I was given the opportunity to ask these Ancient Ones things that weighed most heavily on my heart. The energy passing between us reflected the pattern of What Was, What Is, and What Is to Become.

The Norns represent Time in the Norse Cosmo-vision. Urdr, with her great age, represents that which is Past, from which the threads of the Present have been woven. Verđandi has charge of the Present. Perhaps the Present holds the greatest potential for conscious choice, because here lies our moment of choice: Now. Skuld, the youthful one, holds the future, and the power of cutting the threads of fate, and she rides with the Valkyries, as does the Goddess Freyja.

At the time the Creek Woman brought me the Norns, I was concerned about maintaining right relationship with someone dear to me. I asked the Norns what part I could play to influence the situation, and GIFU appeared. My best influence would be via the pathway of partnership and love. Right then, a serpent coming from the south raised its head hard against me, and I understood that symbol to reveal the opposition that was coming at me. I had the work of acceptance and forgiveness to do.

The scene shifted, and I was above the Mesa as if I were a giant being looking down on New York City. I saw the Twin Towers. It had been twelve years since the Towers fell, yet dark times remained on the city. I saw armies, powerful armies, blanketed by the black despair of human sleep. Again the scene of blackness descending upon New York City, and when I asked whether this was to come, I was told, “It may be.” It seemed the action against the Twin Towers in 2001 sparked the blackness in human hearts again and again, one act of violence leading to a retaliation leading to another act of violence in a cycle that never stops. Humans give hatred their power instead of love.

This breaks my heart. I understand the emotions that lead to retaliation, yet rising above anger and despair is all that can break this cycle of repetitive violence. We are what we choose to be, yet any real change can only happen individual by individual. In the face of the darkness that enslaves my species, I have no greater personal power than to live with as much love as I am capable of carrying. This I promised the Powers I sat with this night that I would do.

The scene pulled back from the despairing visions of the City, and shifted back to where I sat with the Norns. The Norns and I sat together quietly for a while as I absorbed all I had been shown and told. Then they guided me through weaving new potentials for these situations. Spinning the energy of the full moon counterclockwise, I sent my loved one the energy of the Rune GIFU, and over the darkness that had descended on New York City, I sent the healing energy of Reiki contained in the potency of the Rune INGWAZ.

I thanked the Goddesses and they reminded me to be vigilant with my light so that I don’t lose my way. I vowed to toss nine coins into the creek the next day to represent the exchange of energy and knowledge. Before they left, I asked if there was a way to neutralize the negative energy of my enemy, and I was shown INGWAZ: containment.

I developed the habit of taking my emotions to the Mesa in prayer. I had been praying hard for resolution to a difficult situation involving other people. Most specifically, I had been praying in the way that I thought things should go. The Norns dropped in, and Verđandi commented, “The crows fly to the Well of UNSEEING.” I knew of Odin’s Ravens, Hugin and Munin, meaning Thought and Memory respectively, so I asked, “Thought and Feeling?” Urdr said, “Yes.” She warned me that when I pray in the way that I had been, I usurp other’s boundaries with my own ideas of the way things should be resolved. When Urdr said this, I realized that my own wants and expectations were getting in the way of true and open communication with the other people involved.

Throughout the rest of that winter, other lessons would come in that were not always comfortable. I had to see myself as I am, and no longer hide my shadows from myself. Among these were reactive patterns of anger and resentment. I understood that I would need to revisit and recapitulate my past in order to experience a true present, and the Runes acted to guide the process. JERA and RAIDHO showed up one day to indicate that progress cannot be rushed. Rather it is a cycle that will take place at the right time.

Gloria, a dear friend from Reiki Master class, has experienced a symbol she names CARDUOM – a cross with a spiral contained within the circle. This symbol links the heart directly to God through the path of suffering, and is very powerful. However, the concept of suffering has to be understood in the right way. It is not to suffer like a martyr. Rather to understand Gurdjieff’s concept of conscious labor and the practice of intentional suffering.

The Goddesses told me in a dream that KENAZ is the Opener. KENAZ is the shaper. It is the blacksmith and life is the forge. I am not without power, because how I choose to respond to events shapes the tempering of my soul. Very little comes easily; I have to fight for what is right, and I often feel sad and tired. One day I asked how I could clear the negative energy that accumulated from my interactions with people with whom I yet had unresolved issues. I was shown that SOWELO could break apart the negative energy, HAGALAZ would clear that energy away, and that ALGIZ can be used to connect with and protect the vulnerable. OTHILA confirmed that by the security of law and order to protect and cherish family is my right. MANNAZ reveals that the divine human in me meets the divine human in others, even when events aren’t so great. As long as I remained open and willing to face events, things could meet resolution.

Five days after the Creek Woman first brought me the Norns, Urdr told me a story: In the long ago, humans had fallen far, far from the stars of their origin and needed to find a way back. So she and her people divined symbols and meanings of the symbols to help the Nordic people find their way back to the stars. URUZ is like a great storm suddenly parting into calm and there you see the Aurochs standing. THURISAZ took form when a man pricked his finger on a rose bush and invented the knife. She laughed. She said the entire Cosmology evolved from natural life in practical application. So they developed the Runes and left them for the man to find: Odin.

At midnight of another sleepless night six days after the Creek Woman brought me the Norns, I arose at the hour of GIFU succeeding into WUNJO, and felt an inrushing presence building around the four sides of the Mesa. The sense of love and presence was very strong. I began to hear an INVOCATION:

ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT WAS, ALL THAT WILL BE

We are the women of all times reading the Wyrd for

husbands, lovers, sons and fathers.

ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT WAS, ALL THAT WILL BE

With that, the Presence of the Norns held me warmly in circle. I am awed and humbled, because I know that I am in the presence of an aspect of the Divine Mystery.

About Hela – an excerpt from the Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty, my book in progress

The story told in the Prose Edda is this: Loki’s three children with the giantess in Jötunheim, Angrboda, were the Fenris-wolf; Jormundgand, the Midgard-serpent; and the Death-goddess, Hel. When the Æsir realized these children were there and what unhappy prophecies were made about them, Alfather Odin requested the children be brought to him. He placed the serpent into the waters around Midgard Continue reading “About Hela – an excerpt from the Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty, my book in progress”

RUNES FOR CONSCIOUS BEING AND CONSCIOUS BECOMING

The book Rune Power by Kenneth Meadows almost jumped off the shelf at me back in January of 2013 when I had too much time on my hands from being stuck indoors during a hard winter. That was the beginning of my journey with the Runes. I had been a Gurdjieff student for several years with Ann Kelly and later Donald Petacchi, and the bridges toward conscious being were obvious to me between the two systems. I am not saying one is exactly like the other, but the roots for conscious evolution are apparent within both.

One of things that impresses me about this work is that to be in right relationship with the GNG (Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty) I have had to work hard to maintain a certain level of integrity in my being. For this reason I give honor to TYR. I do NOT do this work to support white supremacy or any form of racial hatred or genocide. I use the Runes for knowledge, becoming, and for healing issues that other formats do not seem to cover, such as the deep inner work of releasing repressed emotions. In all the ways I have been guided by the Norns, by Hela/Holle/Hulde, and occasionally by Freyja/Vanadis, Odin, Loki, and Sigyn. I call them the GNG, because I have faced hard issues in myself to bring the shadows out into the light of healing. I am working on a book concerning their lessons.

When the Norns first came to me, they showed me a Vision of the horrors of World War II, and they told me to make it right. I wondered, how could I or anyone make that horror right? Later, when Odin first came to me, he said, “Wilkommen al kriege,” meaning the struggle is within self, and showed me the same horrible scenes of mass destruction, and said to make it right. Again, I wondered, what was the meaning for me? Later I began to teach the Runes and their wonderful properties for expanding human consciousness, I felt the power of the GNG with me, and I knew. This work is to be shared. As we evolve toward the Gods there is less room in our hearts for hate, for destruction, for any of these lower self issues, and more room in our heart for the higher self issues, of love, of prosperity, of being. And this is why I work hard to maintain a level of integrity in myself that the Gods will accept so that I might be in right relationship to Them.

I am still new at the Norse traditions in many ways. I value the work of Kenneth Meadows, Galina Krosskova, Edred Thorsson/Stephen Flowers, Freya Aswyn, and Raven Kaldera. I can inform myself by reading their work and learning from their experiences. I make no value judgments because I know my own imperfections. Instead I relate each one to his or her own experience and decide whether what they are speaking to is applicable to me as I am working through learning the Lore and the traditions. I have a long way to go, I have come a long way, and I stand in respect to the many Rune Masters who have maintained the tradition of the Runes throughout the ages for those such as myself to find.

OTHILA

OTHILA

The name Othila is derived from the root word for “noble” or “prince.”[1] This idea may hark back to the earlier Runes suggesting the blood of the god in the people, especially that of the ruling class, including the idea of sovereignty. The Othila Rune itself is a combination of the Ingwaz and Gifu Runes, indicating the inheritance we acquire through the bloodline, our genetic code, the DNA.[2] Traditionally families held the land that supported the clan, and they were willing to defend this land with their blood and their toil. The old mystery relating the blood to the soil speaks to the relationship of the king to the land. The king held the hamingja, or the luck, for his people, and when the luck stopped, the king was considered unlucky, and became sacrificed. The blood spilled through battle and sacrifice sanctified the land for its people. Othila relates to one’s relationship to the land. So the Rune Othila has also become the Rune of the family estate and real property. It further represents the virtues of loyalty, troth, and frith toward one’s family and one’s country.

The Othila Rune deals with real property, estates, landscapes, ancestral lands, family and clan, and what we have inherited from the ancestors through our essence, genetic memories, our DNA, and the attitudes, beliefs, and karmic matters that have come down through the family lines. The original interpretation came down from the days when our ancestors held their lands through the generations, so Othila also relates to one’s relationship with the land. This would be especially true for farmers and those who depend in some way on the land for their livelihood. It can have any of these meanings in a reading, depending on the surrounding runes. If Othila shows up with Ansuz, Tyr, or Jera, for example, it might relate to a Will, an estate settlement, and/or legal problems with same.

Othila is a Rune that one can use to meditate on the Ancestors. I have used Othila and Raidho to practice “bloodwalking,” a technique taught in Raven Kaldera’s book Wyrdwalkers. This is a trance journey that involves going inward rather than outward. I tend to follow my own heartbeat, and let it’s drum sound carry me backwards. Kaldera describes other ways of going about this. Any of these ways are advanced techniques.

 

The third ÆTT is about humanity in the world. The masculine (Tiwaz) and the feminine (Berkano) principles cooperate through partnership (Ehwaz) and social groups (Mannaz) to contain and order (Ingwaz) the activities of the group (Laguz) throughout the day (Dagaz) and hold their own place (Othila) for those activities necessary so the group can survive and thrive.

[1] Freya Aswyn, Northern Mysteries & Magic, p. 85

[2] ibid., p. 85

DAGAZ

DAGAZ

Dagaz means day, and encompasses the complete twenty-four hour cycle of day and night. To the ancient peoples, the day began in the evening, and included the liminal times of dawn, noon, and evening twilight. So it is that Dagaz measures one complete rotation of the Sun. The ancient peoples thought that the Sun moved from east to west during the daylight time, and from west to east under the earth at night. This may seem naïve to modern people, but when we realize that the ancients built many standing stone structures that measured the marvelous exactness of the winter and summer solstices, we must credit their ability to calculate the seasons of the year from their close observations of nature.

Dagaz is a Rune of conscious being and conscious becoming. The process of awakening consciousness, or becoming enlightened, is really the struggle between the sleep of conditioned thought and the fresh creative forces pushing us from the subconscious to wake up into Wholeness. Sowelo, the Rune that stands for the Sun, is the Rune of Wholeness, or becoming that which you already are. The Sun and the Moon are the two stellar bodies that relate most closely to Dagaz because of its inclusion of both daytime and nighttime. Because of this feature, Dagaz is also a Rune of opposites and that which lies inbetween the polarity – as the twilight lies between the two sides of the day.

Dagaz represents the ancient law of three, the duality of the polarity, and that which they become upon blending.[1] We see this triune law reflected in the trinity of ancient goddesses; the trinity of Odin, Villi and Ve; and even the Christian trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Writer Raphael Pattai, in the Hebrew Goddess, expressed the opinion that originally the Holy Ghost was the female aspect of Father, Mother, and Child. The best example for this expression I have found is the Valknut consisting of three intersecting triads, one of which represents the affirming force or creative force, and is made up of Odin, Villi, and Ve; one of which represents the destructive or resisting force made up of Hela, Fenris, and Jormundgand; and the triad of Being made up of the Norns Urdr, Vernđandi, and Skuld.

The point is that Dagaz, being a Rune of opposites and what lies between them, is a Rune of transformation. The transformation can be conscious, it can be one thing becoming its opposite thing, or the transformation can be a complete breakthrough to a new understanding. The knowledge you had before has been transformed by the fire of the being of life experience, and has now become understanding.

Dagaz includes consciousness, unconsciousness, and the subconscious that lies between them. It helps to understand that we are born with essence – that is our hereditary proclivities, tendencies, and so on depending on what has come down from our ancestors. We acquire education and intellectual factors that may or may not agree with our essence; the development of essence usually stops around the age of seven when children are subjected to formal education. The struggle for awakening then, must take place with the growth of essence through resistance to conditioned thought. The result, after years of struggle and self-study, may be an awakened human being. This has been simply said.

When Dagaz shows up in a reading, look for oppositional factors, the potential for transformation, or a breakthrough to a new understanding.

[1] Gurdjieff calls this law the Triamazikamno, and defines it as the lower blending with the higher, or the higher blending with the lower, to actualize the middle.

INGWAZ

INGWAZ

Ingwaz is a Rune of masculine fertility and gestation in terms of things waiting to come to full fruition as the seed waits in the soil for the appropriate conditions for growth. There is also the concept of sacrifice (as the sun god is sacrificed at the autumn equinox to return with the spring), or as the end of the seed is the birth of the plant, and the abundance of plenty.

There are two ways to draw Ingwaz, one as a simple square of containment and the other as two X’s stacked one upon the other. The latter symbol suggests two Gifu runes, symbols of giving and receiving, implying that with Ingwaz there is a dual exchange. Ingwaz is a Rune of the divine twins Freyr and Freyja, the Vanir twins, who were their selves thought to have been conceived by another pair of twins, Njördr and Nerthus.[1] In some ancient cultures marriage between brother and sister was socially acceptable.

The intimacy between twins suggests to me of the divine hermaphrodite; I claim responsibility for this interpretation. My reasoning is that the Vanir gods and goddesses were credited for their special magical gifts and abilities that come from higher mind. I believe the divine hermaphrodite represents the sacred marriage in which the male and female aspects of an individual human being (either man or woman) are fully actualized and operational. Man is incomplete without woman and woman is incomplete without man: the polarities of male (active polarity) and female (receptive/passive polarity) combine to form the higher mind in an enlightened person, regardless of their physical sexual orientation.

Another thought I had was that the two X’s of Ingwaz might stand for both the gift (Gifu) and the need (Nauthiz). Nauthiz offers the gift of itself in revealing the action that must to be taken to escape the difficulty it presents, as the enclosure of Ingwaz contains the seed in the soil until the proper time for its growth. The gift and the need accompany one another.

[1] Freya Aswyn, Northern Mysteries & Magic, p. 80

LAGUZ

LAGUZ

Laguz has been defined both as “lake” and “leek,” from the Norse words laguz and laukiz. Traditionally it relates to flow (water seeks its own level) and protection (the leek in Norse thought holds protective qualities). The shape and its mirrored image form the Ehwaz Rune, which relates to emotion. In this case, water is the esoteric analog for emotion. Thus Laguz can relate to deep emotional matters and matters of the subconscious. Consider too the transformational capacity of water, which can manifest as liquid (water), solid (ice), or gas (water vapor), changing with the seasons and the heat of the sun. Emotions run freely here, as opposed to those that are repressed or blocked, as is the case with Isa. This Rune might also turn up advantageously in a reading, as in the case of things being “in the flow” of natural or correct timing. When inverted, its meaning is totally opposed.