Rune Draw for April 7 to 13 2019

Good morning! The Rune draw for April 7 to April 13, 2019 was THURISAZ, OTHILA, and HAGALAZ. With these three showing up there are two ways to divine the week ahead: the outer life and the inner life.

Outer life: THURISAZ indicates natural forces beyond our control. These may be adverse astrological influences or things as large as tsunamis and floods, wildfires, or earthquakes. OTHILA’s influence suggests that these disruptions will come in the arenas of real property, real estate, land holdings, or even within family. HAGALAZ, the force of sudden change, suggests that the best thing one can do is ride it out, but look for opportunities disguised as loss. When the Chaos of Change arises, look to the best that can be had from the situation.

Inner life: THURISAZ indicates that the emotional and mental clearings some of us have been doing over the past few weeks are going to continue, and OTHILA points out that this effort lies in the direction of the Ancestors. Most of us have baggage that has accompanied our families over the generations, and for those of us who are doing the work of inner cleansing, HAGALAZ promises change. This is a time to look to our Roots, discern what is good, what is not so good, and what can be done about it. The deepening process of forgiveness, even when you are not forgiven in turn, frees your heart and your mind to best carry on your own life. I have heard it said that the work we do in this vein also frees our ancestors and descendants forward and backward for seven generations.

If you have not worked with your ancestors before, there are practices you can establish – whatever appeals to you. When I began working with the Norse, I read the blog of Galina Krasskova, who suggested creating an Ancestor altar. You can establish this space anywhere in your home. I put together old photographs of my departed ones, and eventually I added to that a structure of three shelves that to me represent the Otherworlds of the shaman – the middle world, upper, and underworlds. But a simple space with photographs and items of reminiscence will do. I often light a candle, offer water or coffee, or even a bit of good homemade food in honor of all that they sacrificed in order that I might be here today. A friend of mine recites the names of her dead daily, so this can be a mental practice also. As in anything, trust your intuition, as it is the whisper of your soul.

I leave you today with a blessing and an invitation before the end of April 2019. If you sign up to my email list at the link here, you will receive a FREE Rune reading by email and the photo of the Rune drawn for you.

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.

 

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.

MANNAZ

MANNAZ

Mannaz is the Rune of humanity and all that is encompassed by humanity – the descent of man from the gods; the family structure, social status and social structure; the attitudes that family, friends and enemies hold toward one another; individuality and the self; consciousness, morality, the intellect, and invention; and the capacity to work cooperatively together for the benefit of the community. Mannaz deals with the group, whereas Ehwaz dealt with a partnership with a single person. Mannaz, drawn as the Rune for Joy (Wunjo) with its mirror image speaks to the pleasure people take in one another. No person is an island; the ability to survive and thrive require mutual interdependence and understanding.

Northern mythology contains more than one story of how humanity came to be descended from the gods. In one tale, Odin and his brothers gave Ask and Embla life; Odin blew the breath of life into the first human beings. In another story, Heimdall, a son of Odin, journeys to Midgard, guests with three married couples, sleeps between them as their guest, and each wife later gives birth to his sons, thus imparting the blood of the gods into the human race. Each son was believed to have inspired a social class – the warriors, the crafters, and the farmers. Mannaz is therefore a Rune that inspires cooperation between people in the community for the benefit of everyone in that community. In this it has a connection to the Rune Raidho.

Receiving this Rune in a reading can mean cooperation, compatibility, mutual understanding, teamwork, or conversely the development of the self in relation to one’s higher purpose. If Mannaz arrives inverted, it can mean that the group attitude is hostile toward the questioner, self-delusion (the things one does not wish to see), depression, suffering, immorality, or even mortality.

EHWAZ

EHWAZ

Ehwaz is the Rune associated with horses, movement, loyalty and trust, emotion, and the partnership between horse and rider. Those who have worked with horses know that horses are emotional creatures, reacting instantly and instinctively to feelings of fear or comfort, pleasure or pain, associating movement with emotion. Scientist Candace Pert discovered the molecules of emotion, centered in the body. The way we feel about things, the things we want and desire – these are all motivational factors in how we move about our life. My Gurdjieff teacher used to say emotion = e + motion. Knowing what motivates you will get you energized to get moving on it.

Horses and travel correlate the Ehwaz Rune to Raidho, which corresponds to the travel of the heavenly bodies across the sky, to travel by horseback and by horse drawn wagon, and in this modern era by car, train or plan. The relationship of Ehwaz and Raidho to the path of self-evolution is illustrated by the old teaching story of the carriage, the horse, the driver, and the passenger who rides inside the carriage. In this tale, the carriage represents the physical body, the horse the emotions, and the driver as the intellect. The horse is yoked to the carriage by its harness (as emotions are centered in the body), and the driver directs the attention of the horse through the reins. However, to accomplish a real aim, the development of the master (the passenger in the carriage) is necessary to direct the driver. Otherwise all three would be going in their own direction: the carriage would not move, the horse would be freely following its own emotional whims, and the driver would be down at the pub drowning his boredom in beer. We can see these aspects of self in our body, our emotions, and our intellect. When these three aspects of self are united through consistent practice of intentional sensation, the fourth aspect develops – the master.

Ehwaz is the ultimate Rune of partnership between two beings: horse and rider, a married couple, a business partnership. Honest communication is essential for the harmony of such partnerships having a common goal. Edred Thorsson relates Ehwaz to the power of the twin gods, and goes on to say that the horse in Germanic thought is related to mans’ “fetch” which easily travels between the worlds of Yggdrasil.[1] When I consider the shape of the Rune, it is the mirrored image of Laguz, which means flow. Laguz, coming later in the third ÆTT, is a symbol for water, which always seeks its own level. When honest communication stops, like water becoming ice, partnerships falter and break apart.

Ehwaz in a Rune reading is usually a positive indicator of events moving in a favorable direction with correct motivation, but if inverted Ehwaz can mean one’s emotional energies are scattered and unfocused, causing one to spin one’s wheels needlessly in any endeavor. Look to the health of partnerships or any endeavor wherein you are working with another person in a common goal.

[1] Edred Thorsson, Futhark, location 1195 kindle edition. The “fetch” is related to the astral body; see GNG definitions.

BERKANO

BERKANO

Berkano often comes up for me as a protective Rune in galdr-song, and it does this in the role of the protective mother. Berkano is a feminine Rune connected to motherhood, pregnancy, birth, nurture, nourishment, shelter, new ideas, new beginnings, and related life changes such as weddings, funerals, or coming of age. I believe Berkano also to be associated with the Disir, the Matronae, and the Norns, including the group of women souls (and birth planners) who help the Norns with the work of overseeing ørlög. The Disir are strong matriarchs within the ancestral line of Norse clans, and they have also been associated with the Valkyries, Norns, and Vaettir, or land spirits. The Matronae are mother goddesses, appearing in groups of three, worshipped in areas of Germania, Eastern Gaul, and Northern Italy that were occupied by the Roman army from the first century to the fifth. These beings represent the female principle in her fullest empowerment.

In pre-Christian and pre-patriarchal times, women managed the tribes and the villages while the men were away at hunting or war. The Nordic women were practical, efficient, productive, and expedient. They had to make all the hours of the day count for taking care of children and the elderly; the animals who supplied meat, milk, and wool; the crops which would be needed to eat through the cold months; and the washing, spinning, and weaving of the wool and flax into the clothing for the kindred. The point is that women of those times were as respected and as capable as men in any area of life, and that women are not less now, nor should have ever been so regarded at any point in history. In fact women were stronger, as it was their role to bear life, and this they did without the modern advantages of hospitals, pain medication, or cesarean section.

When Berkano shows up with Perthro it is indicative of the women’s mysteries. Ancient ways of feminine initiation included birth and birthing rites; coming of age for young women upon the first menses; there were gender specific rituals that were used by the gythia (priestess) for those women who accompanied the men to war or on the hunt; and marital and death rites. Death was a fact of life for the Northern peoples; they considered women who had born living children to have come near the realm of death and returned. Women held a special power to work with the spirits through the practice of seidr, galdr, or shamanism. [See GNG Definitions] These powers would have been used to nurture the livestock and crops, calm the powers of life threatening storms, locate animals for the hunters, and as charms for good luck and protection put into the weaving of clothing and the processing of food.

TEIWAZ

TEIWAZ

Teiwaz, also known as Tyr, bears the name of the warrior god who sacrificed his hand to chain the wolf of greed (Fenris Wolf), thereby gaining more time for the existence of the world, because this wolf has the power to consume the world. Tiwaz is a warrior Rune of sacrifice, impeccability, the inner discipline of integrity, and the understanding that sometimes one must be the instrument of betrayal of trust for the greater good.

Let me start by defining the names, as they add depth of meaning to the story. Etymologically, the name Tyr is linked to ancient words for gods: Teiwaz; Ziu; Indo-European counterparts Zeus, Dyaus, and Jupiter; and words for “god” – Old Indian deva, Latin dei, and old Norse tívar (the plural of tyr).[1] A second meaning of Tyr’s name is “Beast” or “Animal.”[2] “Fenrisulfr” translates literally as the “Wolf of Greed.” [3] In this tale, the ancient poets bring together Tyr and Fenris as the mirrored aspects of passion: that which makes courageous sacrifices, and that which craves power and material goods.[4] These mirrored qualities of the human soul struggle within the warrior spirit – a paradox of integrity.

Fenris was one of three children of Loki, the Trickster God of the Aesir, by Angraboda, Hagia (head witch) of the Iron Wood in Jötunheim, home of the giants. Foreseeing the potential in these three children for great harm, All-Father Odin bound the Serpent Jörmundgand into the waters surrounding Midgard; sent their daughter, Hela, to her place overseeing the dead in Helheim (her appearance as half-corpse, half-young beauty reveals her power between death and life, the Other World and this one); and the Fenris Wolf. Whatever his reasons, Odin took Fenris to Asgard to rear among the Aesir. Tyr was given the care of this animal, and as the Wolf grew, his appetite became larger and larger.

The Aesir feared Fenris Wolf and desired to have him chained. They tried three times. Twice the wolf broke his fetters. The third time the Aesir commissioned the dwarves to make a very special chain that the wolf could not break. By this time, however, Fenris was mistrustful of the new chain, which was light and flexible, and refused to test his strength against it no matter how the Aesir cajoled him. Only when Tyr, who had fed and befriended the wolf, offered to put his hand in the wolf’s mouth as assurance against trickery, did the wolf agree to let him self be bound.

Try as he might, Fenris could not free himself from the new chain. He bit off Tyr’s hand at the wrist, and the Aesir laughed. Tyr, also called the Just, in sacrificing his hand, had brought a greater good to the larger number of people with his betrayal of the wolf. The Aesir themselves, representing as they do the higher mind, lied and tricked the wolf into testing the new fetters. The paradox in the story is the price one pays to do the right thing. The effort to do the right thing co-exists with the voice of self-deception. We have seen in the story how the higher mind, represented by the Aesir, lied and deceived the wolf, which lives within each of us.

There is fear behind greed: fear that there will not be enough, fear of loss, fears that the warrior in each of us must keep in check through self-knowledge, discipline, and temperance. Tyr was given the task of standing watch over greed. The greater group of the Aesir, warriors all, could not overcome its fear, and decided the wolf must be bound. Tyr, who knew how to feed the wolf, fed the wolf his hand, a part of himself, in the task of binding the wolf.

There is an old story attributed to the Native American Indians that has a grandfather talking to his grandson. “Within each of us, grandson, live two wolves. One is fearless and industrious. The other one is lazy and greedy.” “How will I know which wolf will win, Grandfather?” asks the boy. “The one you feed will win,” the Grandfather sagely tells his grandson. I believe that Tyr fed the wolf that part of himself that could rise above betrayal as long as life conditions were right. But when life conditions became untenable, he had to act against his own nature for the greater good.

This Rune is about impeccability – doing our best and being our best, especially under trying situations. It is about holding our own integrity, even when the choices within the circumstances we are facing may lead to poor outcomes. Tiwaz is the rune of warriors and soldiers, those who have fought for survival, and spiritual warriors. Tiwaz is about keeping your head high and doing what you know is right, even against the odds. Tyr sacrificed his sword hand, which was also his oath taking hand, in a mythology wherein one needs to be physically whole in order to be a leader. His sacrifice included betrayal. The pain of betrayal becomes shame a man of integrity must then live with, even knowing his action led to a greater good.

Tyr is the wounded warrior. I feel we must be mindful of those modern soldiers who return home from war, wounded in mind and/or body, betrayed by a government system (VA) that fails to meet their needs, or the Vietnam veterans who came home and were despised because the war they fought in was despised. Whether we the people agree with the reasons our government sent these soldiers to war, they went forward, putting their lives and their wellbeing on the line for the nation. They deserve honor and our respect for that. American leadership needs to step up and repair its damaged word to its wounded veterans.

Tiwaz’s appearance within a reading may indicate a soldier, the need for a warrior’s approach, a call for integrity of purpose, honor and justice, keeping one’s word, choosing the best course of action from contradictory choices, or justice. I did one reading in which Tiwaz turned up amidst romantic Runes, and the woman’s fiancé was a soldier. The battle one faces might be a real war; it might be in the legal, marital, or political realms; or contained within one’s job situation. There are also battles to overcome serious, life threatening diseases that demand one’s entire inner temperance and fortitude. I am inspired by those who survive years of debilitating cancers with a smile and cheerful attitude despite their pain. One has said that her bones feel better when she remains in a state of laughter. Another turns to her inner artist to keep going. I believe that every human being has some special purpose to honor. Tiwaz energizes us to keep going.

[1] Kvilhaug, p. 350

[2] ibid., p. 350

[3] ibid., p. 344

[4] Ibid., p. 351