Jera is the twelth rune, its name literally means ‘year’. In modern rune calendars Jera is placed at the Winter Solstice which seems appropriate to me as, amongst the runes of winter and darkness jostling on either side of it, it holds out the promise that the wheel will turn once more and summer return. Jera is an interesting rune because it has two separate parts which seem to revolve around each other in an eternal dance – the two halves of the year forever spinning around the axis of the World Tree (represented by Eihwaz, the thirteenth rune) – Jera is the only rune made up of two separate characters.
Jera representes the agricultural year with particular points for sowing and harvesting. The change it brings is slow and requires patience, planning and hard work. In a reading, the runes around it will tell you more about whether it represents things coming to fruition or a new period of sowing.
Energetically, Jera is a gentle rune and is useful for work focusing on long term plans and things you wish to bring into manifestation at a slow and steady pace. You might use its energy to temper the enthusiasm of more dynamic runes such as Fehu and Ansuz – ensuring that your plans don’t run away from you or fizzle out after a short burst of energy.
Traditional meaning: Year, harvest
Gods: Sif as the goddess of the harvest. Freyja and Freyr as twin god and goddess and as representatives of the Vanir who are skilled in earth magics. Baldur and Hodur as symbols of light/ hope and darkness/despair. Verdhandi as the Norn of the ever forming present. Summar (Summer) and Vetr (Winter), sworn enemies who continually circle each other (see Magin’s article for Summar and Vetr).
Elements: Earth is the primary element identified with Jera, both as the ‘Earth’ itself and as the element which is often seen as the manifestation of the other elements combined. In myth earth is normally personified as a feminince force that changes with the seasons rather than as an elemental force in a more traditional sense.
Colour: Green, black, blue
Half month: December 13th-December 28th
Plants: Oak, rosemary
Body: Third chakra, digestion
Aroma: Rosemary, bergamot
Object of power: Mill-stone, scythe
Discover Jera for yourself: Journeys with the Elder Futhark – The Second Aett
Jera is the fourth rune in the Second Aett (second family) of the Elder Futhark. Visit the Resources page to download your free Journeys with the Elder Futhark – The Second Aett includes the Jera journey.
Magin’s articles featuring Jera
What other practitioners say…
- Oswald the Runemaker’s summary analysis of Jera
- RuneSecrets analysis of Jera
- Galina Krasskova’s commentary on Jera
- Kenaz Filan’s commentary on Jera
- Magin’s discussion of the half-month of Jera 2010
- Balancing Shamanism’s You Tube video for Jera – the poetic take
- Lurch579’s You Tube video for Jera – musings on Jera as harvest and balance
- Kaedrich’s You Tube video – wearing the rune to bring success
- Whitewolfheathen’s You Tube video for Jera – looking at its symbolism