Posts Tagged ‘Summar’
Following some very helpful feedback I have started updating my resource pages for each of the Elder Futhark starting with Jera. You will find links to other bloggers’ work as well as You Tube videos which all bring different perspectives to rune work. I am also adding in further commentaries for the gods and spirits associated with the runes as well as the commonest elemental correspondences.
For me the most important thing that any rune worker can do is to work directly with the individual runes, raising their energy, meditating and journeying with them to find their own personal connections. Research is, of course, important as a way in to the mysteries of the runes and I think that every student should study the rune poems closely. The opinions of others, however, are only opinions and the best way forward is to learn as much as you can, but to ultimately trust your own instincts and intuitions.
With this in mind I would like to share my own personal meditations on Jera which have led me to include Summar (Summer) and Vetr (Winter) amongst the spirit correspondences for Jera. The Old Norse recognised two seasons: Summar and Vetr. Summar was the son of the God Svasud ‘Mild-One’, and Vetr was the son of Vindaul ‘Wind-Cool’ and grandson of Vasud, the freezing ice wind. Summar and Vetr were considered to be enemies, and we can see them circling about each other within the shape of the Jera rune. The Prose Edda gives a number of kennings for Summar and Vetr: both are kennings for ‘time’; Summar is known as ‘Growth of Men’ and ‘Comfort of Serpents’; and Vetr as ‘Destruction of Serpents’ and ‘Tempest-Season’ (Teutonic Magic: A Guide to Germanic Divination, Lore and Magic).
Much of the lore relating to Jera speaks of the Summer half of the year and the harvest time when the land is lush and giving. The cycle represented by Summar and Vetr reminds us that, however unpleasant, the winter months are also important to the harvest. Winter is a time of rest and sleep, energy is gathered in and conservered, that which is weak and diseased dies away ready for strong new growth in the spring. Another common interpretation of Jera is as a rune that brings success; in this respect its cycle can be seen as the cycles of planning, work, tending, harvest, celebration, reflection and rest needed for any successful endevour.
The idea of work and rest is also reflected in ‘The Song of Grotti’ in The Poetic Edda. In this tale two giant women are captured by the King Frodi and are set to work at a magic mill to grind out unsurpassed wealth for him. Frodi is a hard task master and refuses to allow the women to rest; eventually they turn upon him and grind with all their might, grinding out his doom through defeat in battle. They grind so hard that the magic mill-stone cracks in two. It is not clear whether their efforts actually create the army that defeats him, or whether they are grinding out magic or Wyrd that brings the battle to pass – but whatever the case this story shows that what was originally good fortune can turn to bad if you do not allow the proper balance of work and rest.
The tale also links Jera in with Gebo, the rune of gift giving and fair exchange. If you look at the two runes you can see that they are the same revolving shape, Gebo embodies the rules that must be followed if success is to be attained – Jera embodies the manifestation of that success. Summar and Vetr are not the only figures in Norse myth charged with maintaining a natural cycle; Sunna (Sun) and Manni (Moon), Nott (night) and Daeg (day) are also charged with sacred tasks that keep the balance of light and dark, warmth and cold as they need to be for the harvests of the worlds to be successful.
Jera reminds us that you get out what you put in; even good luck can dissipate if we demand too much without giving in return. If Frodi had shown simple kindness and consideration to the mill-workers perhaps he would still be reaping the plentiful rewards of the mill today.