Jera is the twelth rune in the Elder Futhark.  Its name literally means ‘year’.  In modern rune calendars Jera is placed at the Winter Solstice (northern hemisphere) 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 summer will return.  Jera is the only rune made up of two separate characters.  They revolve around each other in an eternal dance as the two halves of the year forever spinning around the axis of the World Tree (represented by Eihwaz, the thirteenth rune).

Sowilo and Gebo are also runes which can be envisaged as spinning around a central axis but Jera is always distinguished for me by its slow and steady pace.  Nothing rushes it as it is connected externally to the cycles of nature and time. 

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.

Whenever I draw the Jera rune my first thought is ‘slow down and pay attention’.  It is a really helpful reminder to look out over the horizon to what your current plans will bring you in times to come.  You reap what you sow – so pay attention and remember your long term goals.

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.

I love to work with the runes as 3 dimensional energies and Jera works particularly well for this.  Choose a central ‘axis’ rune such as Eihwaz and then envisage the Jera rune slowly turning around it.  As it moves it gathers, or releases, energy in accordance with your intention.

Although it is not a ‘zingy’ rune like some of the others the mysteries of Jera run very deep and very powerful.The divinities associated with Jera are particularly fascinating.  As you would expect there are strong associations with agriculture, earth magics and the cycles of nature.  The connection with Verdhandi, the Norn of ‘that which is’ calls us to mindfulness of the present moment which is interesting given Jera spans a year in time.  The ‘twinning’ of deities can also be found in the Ehwaz rune.  The twinning of Ehwaz speaks of reflection, mirroring and recognition of the self within the other.  The twinning of Jera speaks of the inherent tension between two halves of the whole.  Light and darkness, night and day, summer and winter.  In Jera, the cycle of creation and destruction finds its apex, its moment of manifestation.   

Literal meanings:  Year, harvest

Rich meanings: Success, balance, time, slow progress, abundance

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One Reply to “Jera”

  1. Jera is usually seen as the wheel of the year, the cycle of sowing and harvesting where everything has its right time and place. However, in the aftermath of Maggie´s work with Loki, the binding and bound god I thought a lot about what Magin said that we can communicate with Loki although he is “technically” bound for the murder of Baldur.

    It made me think of Jera as an Ouroboros that bites its own tail in a never-ending cycle without beginning or end. And it made me think of how important the past is in a world that always seems to search for something new. After all, the past grows larger with every passing moment, offering us more and more information while the future always remains a dream in the making.

    The way I see it now is that the past is still there and readily accessible with all its wisdom. The past is not dead like in Stephen King´s´ ”Langoliers”. It is not eaten away or destroyed. It is waiting for us – glorious, colourful and vibrant. What my own journeys confirmed is what Maggie said: We can communicate with Loki (or any other denizen of the spirit worlds for that matter) in any stage of his existence at any point of his history – or to use a modern word – his timeline. That is because everything that was still is present in a cycle that cannot be broken. He is still there in the moment he blood-bounded with Odin, the moment he helped create the walls of Asgard, the moment he engineered Baldur´s death, the moment he was bound and punished and that moment back in time when e meet him in a pathwork.

    Since the past is never really undone I might even go so far that through the stories we can imagine and express we might be able to create an alternate past, a parallel timeline so to speak where things happen differently. It seems to go nicely with a different concept Maggie once mentioned that the stories – the sagas of old – were considered to be true even if they might have lacked factual, scientific truth. As someone who is sitting by the goddess Saga´s hearthfire now and then to exchange stories this makes perfect sense. Of course in a factual sense this is still unproven rambling … for now … whatever exactly “now” is …

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