Posts Tagged ‘ansuz’
I love this mantra. It comes from an absolutely beautiful and powerful working created by David Rankine which you can find in his wonderful book Becoming Magick: New and Revised Magicks from the New Aeon. I think of it whenever we pass through this time of year, moving through the runes ansuz, raidho and kenaz: inspiration becomes action which becomes manifestation. It fills me with a sense of anticipation and I become convinced that I can jump straight from thought into action Now, if you get David’s book you will see that his working takes a much more balanced approach – I would highly recommend it. As I am a rune-girl I have been looking to the runes to help me rein in some of my most ridiculous beliefs about how much one person can achieve in a finite amount of time.
I, like you I suspect, have a to-d0 list which is far too long. Like a fair number of people I am also stress-prone, I like to heap unachievable deadlines upon myself and then beat myself up mercilessly when I don’t achieve them all. This is one of the reasons why I am studying stress management (the choice to seek a qualification in it also being an example of my tireless pursuit to give myself more to do). That aside, I find that working with the runes helps me to get some perspective. Working with the rune calendar has proven invaluable, balance is key to the runester and, just as singing in your rune circle will bring you balance each day, working through the rune cycle each year ensures that you aren’t taking a lop-sided approach to life.
At this time of year we need to start conserving our energies, laying in a good stock of positive, sustaining energy for the winter ahead. Even though our lives are less obviously tied to the cycles of nature than used to be the case, we are still animals, creatures of the earth who develop, grow and live through the cyclical tides of the seasons. We may not be close to starvation (but there are those in the world who are), and we may not freeze to death (although there will be people who do), but many of us will suffer from seasonal affective disorder or at least find ourselves less bouncy and energy-filled. The hard work of the summer must give way to a more rested, considered approach as winter draws near; give yourself a break, slow down, chill out – why not spend some time meditating with a lovely rune
Following my Raidho meditations last half-month I have reinstated my ‘thinking time’ walks. These are always the first to go when I am stressed, I tell myself I don’t have time and end up lying on the sofa at the end of the day, boggling at the television after a day of frustration and inefficiently used time. I then wake up the next day feeling tired and crotchety and begin the whole cycle again. I find that if I allow myself time for my thinking walk then I am much more likely to find the time to cook proper meals, do my meditation, and make plans with friends. Corrina Gordon-Barnes from You Inspire Me calls this sort of activity your one ‘non-negotiable’ ; Corrina works with self-employed women but I believe her advice holds true for anyone struggling with a to-do list that’s ’whelming’ them (that’s one of my personal promises to myself by the way, I am never ‘over-whelmed’, but I admit to being frequently ‘whelmed’).
So, once you’ve found that bit of routine that is your own, personal ritual, then you can start to tackle your to-do list with a bit more presence of mind. That’s when Kenaz comes in, the fiery rune of creation and manifestation. Use this month’s Kenaz meditation to help you remove those deep blocks and obstacles holding you back, and find the clarity and the energy you need to move forward. Break your to-do list down into managable chunks and focus just on the day’s tasks. If your head is whirling with ideas, then take time each day to scribble them down so you don’t forget them. For small projects, check to see if the idea is still burning brightly three days later – if it’s still drawing your attention after three days then it’s probably worthwhile. If it’s a fairly big project, then three days won’t be long enough – give yourself three weeks and then check back to see if the project still draws your enthusiasm and energy. You can use the time to consult with knowledgeable friends, colleagues and contacts – then when your three weeks is up you’ll be ready to get started if you’re still feeling passionate about the project. The point of waiting is to ensure that the idea isn’t just a throw-away inspiration – place it in the Kenaz furnace and see whether it fizzles to nothing or burns more brighly and fiercly from its time in the flames.
On Thursday this week we will move into the half-month of Gebo, the rune of gifts and fair exchange. Life changes take approximately three-weeks to become habit so the Gebo rune can help us to stick to the commitments we have made during the period of inspiration, change and manifestation we have just passed through. I will be asking Gebo to help me stick to my ‘thinking-time walk’. When I make it into Wunjo , the rune of fulfilment and joy on 13th October, I will know that I have re-established my old habit and am giving myself the best possible chance of having a fruitful, plentiful winter.
For friends, colleagues and students in the sourthern hemisphere, the time is of course different. You are in the lovely half-month of Berkano, the rune of growth and potential. While we in the North are carefully conserving our energy with the sensible Raidho rune of the rider and checking that we are not giving or receiving too much (Gebo) - you will soon be speeding along on the steed of Ehwaz. Enjoy!
The half month of Ansuz began on Sunday 13th August, its billowing wind whipping through the thorn bush of Thurisaz. These two runes are often thought to be in opposition to each other: Thurisaz representing the wild forces of chaos and Ansuz the ordering forces of the Aesir. This is, however, a huge over-simplification of the complex relationship between these two runes. As I discussed in this year’s Thurisaz entry, it was the Aesir who set in motion the conflict that continues to rage between the ‘gods’ and the ‘giants’, so any division of giants as ‘bad’ and gods as ‘good’ is already flawed.
Another popular way of viewing the relationship between these two runes is to see them as representing the heart and the mind. During our lives our hearts and minds are often in conflict with each other, presenting different options, speaking to us of potential futures. As we work to resolve these conflicts we learn about our deepest nature and stretch the limits of our lives, daring to reach further than we had previously thought possible. We often speak of people who are ‘ruled by the heart or by the head’; the agreement seems to be that one must always have dominance over the other. For me, the lessons of these two runes include the teaching that we should strive always towards harmony between heart and head rather than subjugation of one by the other. That is not to say that tension between heart and head should be avoided, rather we shouuld see conflict between what we feel and what we think as an opportunity for growth: once the lesson is learned harmony is restored.
Not surprisingly, as Odin’s rune, Ansuz has a particularly complex and confusing nature. In the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc the rune is ‘subdivided’ into three runes called Os (meaning ‘deity’ or ‘mouth’), Ac (meaning ’oak’) and Aesc (meaning ‘ash’), while the Old Icelandic and Old Norse rune poems give it the meanings of ’Odin/god’ and ‘estuary’ respectively. These successors to Ansuz reveal a spectrum of meaning for Odin’s rune: at one end we have the wild, uncontrollable nature of the All-Father, the lord of the Wild Hunt, the frenzied master shaman; at the other we have the solid and deep-rooted ash tree, or the enduring, sovereign oak.
I mention these different kennings for Ansuz as a precursor to focusing on one of this rune’s particular forms of energy work: the breath. Ansuz is both the rune of inspiration that flows unbidden into the mind, and of the spirit-inspired words that then flow forth as a result. The God Bragi is also a patron of Ansuz, he is known for his wisdom and is the god of poets, skalds and word-smiths; legend has it that Bragi has runes carved directly on his tongue. It is important to remember that, where our modern culture often champions the written word, the northern tradition was an oral tradition: wisdom was transmitted on the breath itself. Working with the breath is interesting because, in different forms, it can work to calm and centre, to induce a trance state, or to enter a state of spiritual ecstasy.
Calming and centering
One of the first techniques people following a path of energy healing, gnosis or magical work will learn is how to use the breath to calm and centre themselves. A common technique is to breathe in for four counts, hold for four, breathe out for four and then hold for another four (and repeat). Some recommend increasing the number you count to over time, but I tend to just slow my counting down and stick with four. Many schools of thought will then encourage you to choose a particular word to use as a personal mantra to focus on as you count to four each time – the idea being to empty your mind of all extraneous thoughts so that you enter a place of calm and serenity. When I took my first steps on this path I chose the word I still use to this day: rune. It has stood me in excellent stead because it is so simple and the word itself carries no tangible ‘meaning’, it simply indicates something that is mysterious, whispered or unknown.
When you use this technique you might like to focus on the aspect of Ansuz that relates to the Ash or Oak. The calming breath meditation is best carried out lying down, or sitting with your back straight. Focus on the trunk of a tree, feel its rootedness in the earth, the strength and stability of your trunk. Feel the living vitality of the wood, and the solid, protective bark that shields you, allow your roots to sink down into the earth, anchoring you securely. When you are ready allow this visualisation to fade and focus exclusively on the breath, starting with the count of four technique, and then moving to a single word ‘mantra’ if you feel drawn to do so.
If you are having difficulties then you might like to try a variant of this technique known as ‘nostril breathing’. Close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale for a count of four, then close both nostrils with your finger and thumb and hold for a count of four, then open the right nostril and exhale for a count of four, then close both nostrils for a count of four; then repeat ( this time closing the left nostril and inhaling through the right to begin with).
You will find a lot more information on these techniques in the following: Magick without Peers: A Course in Progressive Witchcraft for the Solitary Practitioner (covers a number of breath techniques focusing on preparation for magical work), Helrunar: A Manual of Rune Magick (includes a section on breathing and another on Vowel Song for runes), The Pathwalker’s Guide to the Nine Worlds (focuses on preparation for journeying or ‘faring forth’).
Entering a receptive trance state
In myth Odin and his two brothers created the first man and first woman from two trees (an ash and an elm) so we might all be said to be descended from trees. Odin and his brothers gave the gifts of sense, soul and blooming hue; these are approximate translations and there is much debate as to what these three gifts actually mean, the most common guesses being consciousness, spirit and life force. As part of their training my students journey to witness this scene for themselves; sometimes Odin chooses to reveal a personal mystery to the journeyer but others see the process of the life gift being given. On my own journey I saw Odin literaly ‘breathe’ life into the ash and elm tree. The You Tube meditation I have created is designed to help you to reach a light trance state which it is useful to cultivate if you want to embark on the path of ‘direct revelation (i.e. one where spirit communicates directly with you). For me the mystery of Ansuz is one of direct revelation, the rune opens us to receive the gifts of spirit, the divine breath passes through us.
I have not included a space protection rite with the meditation as it would be too long for the video, but I would recommend using a simple space protection such as the Hammer of Thor rite unless you have a permanent sacred space already set up. Setting up a safe space to work in is common sense whenever you are opening up your awareness to perceive and sense things beyond your everyday reality. Setting up a protective space is the difference between picking up the telephone and dialling a number to speak to a specific person and publishing your number on the internet with a big flashing sign saying ‘Ring me’.
This would be a fine blog indeed if I were able to open the gateway of divine ecstasy to anyone reading this page; I should say right now, in case you were wondering, that that isn’t going to happen. In many traditions, the attainment of divine ecstasy is the ultimate goal of years of daily practice and dedication. In the case of the rune Ansuz I would strongly counsel against working exclusively with this rune in the hope of achieving divine ecstasy through union with Odin. There is a reason why there are 24 runes – you need to take a balanced approach to working with them if you are to work safely. Odin is not a gentle and benevolent God, he is a complex deity who doesn’t suffer fools gladly; he will not come skipping happily down the World Tree to shower you in golden sunshine if you repeatedly dial his number and shout at him to bring you spiritual ecstasy. The northern tradition is a tradition which rewards hard work, dedication and a fair exchange of energy, a brush with the breath of the divine is all that is required to help us on our way to the next stage of our individual journeys with the runes. As one of my greatest teachers reminded me this week, perfection is something touched only briefly.
While I am waxing lyrical about the terrors of Odin, I must mention Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which includes a wonderful starring role for Odin. I was reminded about it by one of my students recently and, although it isn’t a traditional take on Odin and his lore, it does provide some interesting food for thought about the relationship between humans and our gods.
Seven rune readings are fraught with controversy but potentially very rewarding. While the number 7 doesn’t have much by way of traditional lore, both The Runecaster’s Handbook and Galdrbok have interesting things to say about the potential for working with seven of the nine worlds mentioned in the Eddas. The argument goes that, although there are nine worlds, only seven of them can be visited (as Niflheim and Muspellheim are realms of pure force – ice and fire respectively – rather than being actual places); as such, only seven of the worlds have descriptions that can be used to create a rune spread.
The World Tree
Before we go any further I think it is worthwhile drawing a quick comparison between the World Tree and the individual. The concept of a macrocosm and microcosm will be familiar to people working in other Western magickal traditions, but briefly speaking, the idea goes that the macrocosm (the cosmos, universe, all creation) and the microcosm (individual), are intimately connected and reflect each other. While the terms ‘microcosm and macrocosm’ come from the Greek Neo-Platonic School of thought, the concept occurs in many traditions including Kabbalah, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Tibetan philosphies.
In Norse mythology, not only are the worlds connected by the mighty tree Yggdrasil (which therefore embodies all creation), but man and woman were also made from trees which were given life force by the Gods – it isn’t too big a leap to intuit a microcosm/macrocosm model at work here. Thorsson provides a seven world spread which can be used to look at a person’s characteristics (see below), and others have gone further and suggested that the seven chakra system may usefully be meshed with rune work (modern rune practitioners often refer to the Chakras as ‘Hvels’ (wheels) and it is this merging of Eastern and Western systems that often proves controversial). Whatever the provenance of rune and chakra work, I can vouch for the fact that students of mine with no previous experience of the runes and plenty of experience with the chakras have identified particular rune energies as flowing from the same chakras as modern rune practitioners have identified.
Seven rune readings, are therefore particularly suited to investigations into mindy, body and spirit – the forces that make up the individual and the way in which they relate to the world around them.
Seven realm reading
In The Runecaster’s Handbook Thorsson lays out twenty-one runes (three horizonal rows and seven vertical), assigning the first row to the past of the situation (Urd), the second to the present (Verthandi) and the third to that which should become (Skuld). I would recommend practicing with just one row to begin with as you will get plenty of material from just seven runes. Preparing for your reading as normal (see One Rune spread) and then lay out seven runes which will be indicitive of the following:
- Hidden, instinctual or ancestral influences (realm of Hel, the underworld)
- Creativity, memory and emotions (Svartalfheim, realm of the dwarves)
- How you respond to crisis, change and chance (Jotunheim, the realm of etins/giants)
- Manifested reality (Midgard, the realm of humans)
- Planning, cognition and intellect (Ljossalfheim, realm of the elves)
- Vitality, harmony and balance (Vanaheim, realm of the gods of the land)
- Higher consciousness (Asgard, realm of the gods of the ‘heavens’)
Seven ’chakra’ reading
When looking at Thorsson’s seven rune spread I noticed some interesting similarities between the realms and the qualities assigned to the seven chakras. Although there isn’t a complete overlap, it gave me enough food for thought to investigate further. The method I have ended up with draws on Caroline Myss’s seven stages of power and healing (Anatomy Of The Spirit); Myss combines the chakras, kabalah and the Christian sacraments to describe her seven stages and has ended up with some fundamental principles for each chakra which seem to me to correspond well with both the seven worlds and with the first seven runes in the Elder Futhark (note that other runes are normally assigned to the chakras but this system works well for me as it focuses on the flow of energy from one rune to the next, linking the chakras together). Below I give the meaning of each of the seven positions, and an example reading (note that the picture of the example reading as number 1 at the bottom and number 7 at the top as this is how the chakras appear on he body):
- Tribal power, where you come from, connection with all other things. This corresponds to the underworld and connections with ancestors (note Othala (ancestors, home) is the 24th rune and its energies therefore flow into Fehu as the first rune). I assign Fehu to this chakra and therefore connect it to Audhumla, the cow who nurtures all beings. In the example reading the first rune (at the bottom) is Ingwaz; this individual has a great deal of unrealised potential and can draw strength from the power of the land and her divine ancestors (in Norse mythology, man is descended from the Gods and Ingwaz affirms the seed of the divine in each one of us).
- Partnership, emotional and physical relationships, authority and control. This corresponds with the realm of the dwarves who often provide support to the Gods and are able to harness the power of the earth through their skill and creativity. The rune Uruz complements Fehu as it manifests the strength of the mighty Aurochs (a wild cow now extinct) and brings health and vitality, it is strongly connected with rites of passage and the forging of character and tribal power. In the example reading I was guided to draw two runes, the Kenaz rune (creativity and skill) hidden by a slightly inverted Ansuz rune. This suggests to me that the person is trying to control her emotions through the application of logical thought when, in fact, channeling these emotions into creative endevour and expression would be more helpful.
- Personal power in relation to the external world, individuality, self esteem. Corresponding to the realm of the giants, this relates to the person’s ability to deal with events outside their control. The 3rd rune is Thurisaz which builds upon the strength and endurance of Uruz. Thurisaz is often linked to the subconscious as well as forces of chaos and destructiveness – appropriate when we consider how a loss of personal power and self esteem impacts upon the individual. In the example reading the inverted Raidho indicates that the individual does not feel able to support herself or progress on her life journey. As the rune energies seem to flow upwards from one chakra to the next, I would anticipate that the advice given in relation to the second chakra would help with this issue but a further reading might be needed once the Ansuz blockage has started to dissipate.
- Emotional power, mediation between body and spirit. The heart chakra corresponds to Midgard, the realm of mankind and will therefore say a lot about the individual’s feelings about the world around them and the way in which he or she projects his/her identity. The corresponding rune is Ansuz (logical thought, communication, inspiration) which, again, flows out of the Thurisaz rune – emotional power relying on a healthy partnership between the subconscious and conscious minds. In my reading, the individual has Mannaz (the rune of man) inverted and is struggling with her self image and sense of identity – again I believe this is tied in with the previous runes and that work on chakra 2 will start to remedy this problem.
- Power of Will, union with the divine. This chakra corresponds to the realm of the elves and relates to intellect and foresight. The corresponding rune is Raidho which is both the rune of journeying (moving forward with your life journey) and reliance on the parts of the self that connect with the divine. Again, I have found that the energy of the preceding rune is also important – the inspiration of Ansuz flows up from the heart and unites with the ‘right action’ of Raidho to influence the way in which the individual expresses herself. In the example reading, there is a blockage at the throat chakra – the person is finding it difficult to trust in her own destiny and the choices she has made, she seeks logical assurances (with the Ansuz rune earlier) to remedy emotional difficulties and is not aligning herself with possibilties Wyrd has sent her way (represented by the inverted Perthro rune).
- The Power of the Mind, link between mind and spirit, source of wisdom. Vanaheim is the realm of the Vanir, powerful beings who formed an alliance with the Aesir and govern magic, sensuality, wealth and the natural world. The corresponding rune here is Kenaz which is associated with perception, enlightenment and knowledge as well as creativity and crafting. In the example reading the rune Sowelo is a very positive influence, suggesting that the person is open to guidance from her higher self and that the wisdom she is seeking is available to her and will guide her true.
- Spiritual connection, internal awareness, transcendance. The realm associated with this chakra is Asgard, the realm of the Gods. The corresponding rune is Gebo, the gift, a rune of exchange and connection. Again, the example reading is very positive, the rune Wunjo indicates wholeness, joy and an integrated self – in a sense Wunjo represents the harmonious union of all seven chakras within the indivual. The presence of Wunjo suggests that our querent is on the right path, despite the seeming obstacles present within the lower chakras.
On Monday we moved to the half month of Kenaz. After the inspiration of Ansuz and the planning and action of Raidho, Kenaz gives you the opportunity to combine thought and action to manifest your desire. Kenaz is the rune of the artisan, the craft worker, and particularly of the blacksmith who uses the magic of the forge to transform the elements. In a sense, each of us is our own smith – because we are able to create outselves anew each day. This half month should therefore be a good time for creative projects, burning away the ‘dross’ in our lives, and re-forging ourselves. I ended the half-month of Raidho by going on a firewalk at the Martinsell Centre which was an immensly transformative experience, and began Kenaz doing some decorating and beginning a new painting…
The negative side of Kenaz is the responsibility that comes with its gifts – will yor act of creation be ‘good enough’? Kenaz is not just the fire of the forge, it is the torch light: the light that shines the way but also reveals the shadows lurking ahead. Kenaz is sometimes described as an ‘ulcer’ and, for me, its negative side can be about worries and fears, those ominous shadows that stop us manifesting our desires – although all too often they are just a trick of the light.
The Autumn Equinox falls within Kenaz. Make the most of the remaining light and hold your torch high - ready for the descent into darkness. At this time, prisoners were released, restoring the balance (and perhaps also cutting down on the number of mouths to feed!). Now is the time to burn away your worries and fears, to free yourself to create and harvest: ready for the gifts and binding power of Gebo.
My reading for this half month is The Craftsmanby Richard Sennet. Sennet suggests that there is a craftsman in every person and explores what this means and whether whether our competitive, consumer driven society has eroded the true meaning of ‘craft’.
Yesterday was the last day of the half month of Ansuz. I was teaching a course with some lovely runesters at the time and we definitely felt the departure of Ansuz as I forced the window shut during a gust so powerful the that the ceiling tiles above us were rattling! The group did some really inspired work, with spontaneous poetry and artwork appearing during the course of the day… I have also had a surprising number of people tell me that they have re-discovered their inner poet, or started a creative project, so all in all Ansuz was doing well on that front. Interestingly, Mercury was (and continues to be) in retrograde; Odin is taken to be the equivalent planetary ruler of Mercury in runic astrology, and he also rules Ansuz. Despite all the creative loveliness, I have never known so many horrendous problems with computers, lost messages and post gone astray!
Until 13th September we are in the half-month of Raidho. The new academic year is starting so students everywhere are preparing themselves for the next phase of their learning and parents are looking forward to a return to routine. This should be a great time for taking a quick look around you to check that you are making the most of opportunties, have a good rhythmn of life established for yourself, and are in tune with the world around you. I have re-organised my diary and have a number of new projects starting which I’m really excited about.
Runic astrology: birth months and hours
Michael Cramer from the Facebook Group Runes for Runesters recently suggested that I look into my rune birth-month and hour as part of the rune calendar experiment. The half-month of Raidho is a really good time to do this as the rune governs journeys and the cycles of heaven and life. I have been working with the half-months as given by Nigel Pennick in Runic Astrology: Starcraft and Timekeeping in the Northern Traditionwhich are as follows:
- Fehu: 29th June – 14th July
- Uruz: 14th July – 29th July
- Thurisaz: 29th July – 13th August
- Ansuz: 13th August – 29th August
- Raidho: 29th August – 13th September
- Kenaz: 13th September – 28th September
- Gebo: 28th September – 13th October
- Wunjo: 13th October – 28th October
- Hagalaz: 28th October – 13th November
- Nauthiz: 13th November – 28th November
- Isa: 28th November – 13th December
- Jera: 13th December – 28th December
- Eihwaz: 28th December – 13th January
- Perthro: 13th January – 28th January
- Algiz: 28th January – 13th February
- Sowilo: 13th February – 27th February
- Teiwaz: 27th February - 14th March
- Berkano: 14th March – 30th March
- Ehwaz: 30th March – 14th April
- Mannaz: 14th April – 29th April
- Laguz: 29th April – 14th May
- Ingwaz – 14th May – 29th May
- Othala – 29th May – 14th June
- Dagaz – 14th June – 29th June
Although Pennick doesn’t say (presumably because runes are a Northern tradition), the half months centre around the times of the Solstices; Dagaz reaches full power at the Summer Solistice and Jera at the Winter Solstice – as such, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere the half months will need to be calculated with Dagaz falling on 13th-28th December and the rest falling in sequence after it (e.g. Fehu becomes 28th December to 13th January).
To calculate your birth hour is fairly straight forward as there are 24 runes and 24 hours in the day. The position of Dagaz is again, important, as it will fall at the highest point of the sun (in ‘mean’ time this would be, 12:00 with the hour of Dagaz therefore being 12:30-13:30). Note that, for this sytem, Dagaz is the last rune in the 24 rune sequence with Othala being 23. Pennick then gives each rune a full hour, running in sequence from half-hour to half-hour but does indicate that this is a rule of thumb guide (e.g. Fehu will be 13:30-14:30, Uruz 14:30-15:30 etc).
To get a really accurate reading you should use local time which is slightly different because there are fewer hours of dark and daylight depending on the seasons, so the twelve ‘rune hours’ of night will be longer in the Winter and shorter in the Summer, and the twelve rune hours of day will be longer in Summer and shorter in Winter. Planetary hours are calculated in this way, which is handy for us because there are planetery hour calculators out there which save you having to divide the day hours and night hours into 12 equal segments yourself. Put the location of your time and birth in to the calculator to find the plantary hour of your birth. Each hour is given a numbers from 1-24; note what that is and then see which rune is corresponds to below (don’t get confused with the 1-24 numbers of the standard rune sequence, the numbers below are purely for the calculation):
- Dagaz (this will be the time that the sun is at its highest)
- Jera (this will be the middle of the night when the sun is furthest away)
I was born on 4th May at 15:00 so my half month is Laguz. 15:00 falls bang in planetary hour 8, the rune-hour of Uruz, so I don’t need to worry about the local time much, however, if I was born at 15:28 the accuracy of the calculation would be very important as, according to mean time, I would still be in Uruz, but, according to local time, the hour of Uruz was 14:12-15:26 so I would actually be a Thurisaz baby.
Following my scepticism at rune calendars voiced on the Rune Practitioners’ Facebook group, I gave a little bit more thought to the subject. Today being 13th August (and notwithstanding it being the Feast Day of Hekate, Hail Hekate!) this also means that, according to Nigel Pennick, we are moving from the half month of Thurisaz into Ansuz. As always seems to be the case when you pay a bit more attention, I have to admit that the last few weeks have brought up a number of ‘Thurisaz’ feeling occurences and events which have made me think twice:
- The eratic weather including some lovely thunder (which, yes, I did drum along to while chanting Thurisaz, but only in a very sensible balanced way, honest). August is normally a good month for storms and the ‘lightning moon’ is said to fall in August so, all in all, Thurisaz seems to fit. I know that drumming and chanting for a particular rune while looking out to see if anything related to it just ‘happens’ to occur around you is perhaps not the most convicing of reasoning, but hey, I enjoyed it.
- Every August we pass through the Perseids meteor shower. This fits not only with the nature of Thurisaz as a disruptive force, but also has intriguing possibilities when we consider the links between the thunder Gods Thor, Jupiter and Zeus, the latter counting meteoric rock among the objects sacred to him. I can think of no more appropriate rock for the disruptive power of Thurisaz than a super-heated one falling from the sky.
- New set of neighbours moving in at the beginning of the Thurisaz half-month. Lots of activity and noise culminating in (allegedly) one neighbour stabbing another yesterday - very quiet since then (I am assured it wasn’t fatal).
- Personally I have also been feeling very bad tempered and hormonal, but perhaps that’s just me.
So, I have resolved to continue the great rune calendar experiment and am now on the look out for all things Ansuz over the next few weeks. Inspiration, logic, communication, clarity and perhaps just a touch of tricksiness.
Following my last post I was asked what my rune of the day was and so, inspired by Ansuz (my rune on Monday), I decided to report on my ‘rune a day’ experiences this week.
Tuesday – Laguz
I used Runelore by Edred Thorsson for my rune revision, particularly noting: the downward flow of healing energy (think waterfall); the associations with organic growth; and the need for the energy of this rune to be effectively channeled (i.e. through the presence of other runes).
- I watered and tended my plants at home and work, honouring Laguz as water and organic growth.
- I incorporated Laguz into my daily Isa working (more on that another day), feeling its energy flowing downwards through my body, healing and cleansing me.
- I thought about the balance between directing will to shape the future, and riding the current and flow of the present.
Wednesday – Perthro
I used Simply Runes by Kim Farnell and noted associations with the hearth and fruit tree, luck and gambling, as well as her advice not to continue with a reading if you draw Perthro first (as it indicates that the Norns do not wish you to mess with fate).
- I struggled with the first meanings and how to apply them to my day. I wondered whether there may be a mystery to do with tending and comfort here - perhaps the mysteries of the home and hearth associated with Frigga who presides over this rune.
- I bought my first ever lottery ticket in honour of Perthro. It was very exciting until I didn’t win and sparked off some interesting conversations about what I would have done with the money. By nature I am risk averse and have no great faith in the lotteries in life. The symbolic act of entering a lottery and opening myself up to fate was therefore very helpful in reminding me that my desire to control and drive my own destiny might limit my potential future.
Thursday – Perthro (again)
I used Rune Rede by Ruarik Grimnisson. Perthro is characterised as: music, dance, intutition, mystery, awareness of strengths and weaknesses, and atunement to the flow of intuition and personal power. Interestingly, Grimnisson gives Perthro as being very positive for doing readings – and I tend to agree with him rather than Farnell as I can’t see the point in having a rune that tells you not to use the runes.
- I listened to A History of the World on Radio 4 about the swimming reindeer (one of the earliest examples of human art) and Front Row which included an interview with Robin Ticciati about conducting music. Both spoke to me of the creative process that combines skill and mastery with upwelling and intuitive force (note that Perthro and Kenaz are similar in shape as well as being sixth in their respectives Aetts). Anyone who creates art will know the joy of finally mastering your technique sufficiently to express yourself as you want to.
- I also got on the wrong train and ended up on a transport adventure involving many buses and trains – something which I dread. In my Perthro spirit I wasn’t phased at all and used the opportunity to thoroughly review my targets before my appraisal at work the next day – discovering that I haven’t done nearly as badly as I thought.
Friday – Fehu
I used Rune Rede again as I found it so helpful and noted Fehu as: kinetic energy, circulation, motivation of will, power of attraction, helping others gain status, and sharing wealth (but not your capital).
- All my meetings at work were cancelled except my ‘Action Learning Set’ which I really enjoy and provides an opportunity for helping others and gaining new perspectives.
- I got lots done because of my freed up time and inititiatd a new runes project in my lunch hour (Fehu was obviously helping get this started as I ordered standard delivery of the materials I needed from Amazon at 14:00 and received my parcel at 7:30 the next morning!).
- I spent some quality time with Mr Magin and took him out to dinner in homage to Fehu.
Saturday – Wunjo
I used Principles of Runes by Freyja Aswynn and noted Wunjo’s qualities as: bonding, sharing of ideals, will, achieving wishes.
As I was spending the day on the free Life Coaching Academy certificate course, which included meeting more than one hundred other people also interested in Life Coaching, this one didn’t seem too tough to manifest. I met some lovely people who I am sure will make excellent life coaches but decided at the end of the day that life as a coach isn’t really for me (for one thing I talk far too much).
The importance of having people around you who support you in being the best you can be (not the best you should be according to them) was emphasised at the course. I thought on the way some people can be critical but supportive and the way others can be downright rude, or perhaps just not see you for who you are and be offended by your attempts to grow and find happiness. I am extremely lucky to have more in the former camp.
Sunday – Ehwaz
I used Taking up the Runes by Diana Paxon which is a really great source as she references so many other quality works. I noted the use of Ehwaz to work with thought forms and extensions of the self as well as the concepts of otherness, partnership, the horse, and sacred twins.
- I took the opportunity to do some empowerment with my house guardian who has been a little bit lax in the last couple of weeks.
- I had multiple priorities for the day, hence my decision not to do the second day of the Life Coaching course, which would undoubtedly still have been useful. I selected those most in keeping with Ehwaz, submitting a proposal for a piece on sibling deities, and pulling together some ideas for a ritual using two complementary archetypes.
It’s been a great week and, knowing that I was preparing my report for you made me more careful with the detail of my write ups – something that I will endeavour to keep going with as it has been immensly valuable.