I am reminded today that transformation does not occur when we are sitting on our bottoms watching TV, or when we are taking shelter in our comfort zones. It happens in the forge (Kenaz) and the storm (Hagalaz). It happens on the edge of life and death (Berkano), when we move into our woundings and find a strength we did not know we had (Eihwaz).
There are runes we fear to draw such as Thurisaz, Nauthiz and Hagalaz. But these runes can sometimes represent our greatest opportunities for growth. The aggression and anger of Thursisaz can also be a reminder to reassert boundaries, stand in your power and take pride in your passion. The dark abyss of loss and despair that Nauthiz can signify is also the place where you find your deepest truth. As you work with the runes you are likely to find ones that come up for you over and over and which, for some reason, you struggle to connect with or you truly dread. These runes are likely to be your greatest teachers.
As we move through the half-month of Hagalaz (destroyer, change-maker, chaos bringer), remember that you can baton down the hatches, stand and take it, ride the power of the storm, or become part of it. You carry the seed of every rune inside you. To embody their power without you must embrace it within.
If you are struggling with a particular rune the first thing to do is to acknowledge it as a teacher. Open yourself to its mysteries and accept that these may unfold over a long period of time and may not be easy. I, for example, have been working on my relationship with Berkano for almost ten years. I have learned many lessons from it over this time but it is only now that I can honestly say that I greet it as a friend. I can also say that the journey was worth it.
If you have a rune that rubs you up the wrong way research as much as you can about it. Don’t be afraid to sit with one particular meaning for a long period of time. Ask the rune to share its mysteries with you and look for its presence in your life (which may come about unexpected ways).
Chant the rune’s name. Wear it. Trace it on your body. Make an oil blend honouring it or charge an appropriate crystal within its energy. Let its energy flow through you. Try visualising its energy in different colours to see how this affects the way you feel it. Read about the deities and myths associated with it. If you forget about it for awhile don’t worry; that’s okay. If it reasserts its presence in unpleasant ways, try to laugh – even if it feels like a smack in the face.
Above all, know in your heart that in time you will find your own way into the rune’s positive aspect. No rune is good or bad. Trust that the length and hardship of the journey will make the milestones along the way all the sweeter.
This brings me back to Hagalaz, the destroyer. In its form as the hail stone it destroys our crops bringing loss and suffering in its wake. But the hail stone of Hagalaz is also a seed. Not the seed planted and reaped over the course of a single year. It is the seed of divine consciousness evolving through the eternal flowering of time and space. You are part of that evolution and your journey is part of that flowering. Some runes sing out to you in joy, others shout in challenge – either way you’ve got their attention and they think you’re worth it.