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 the only rune made up of two separate characters. They 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 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 (Sunna’s Chariot in Jera): December 13th-December 28th
Individuals with Sunna’s Chariot in Jera are team players. They are quietly optimistic and positive in outlook and will work steadily towards goals focused on the greater good. They can sometimes be overlooked in favour of louder or more self-promoting individuals and will need to work to ensure they reap their own harvest and get the recognition they deserve.
Learn more about birth runes
Plants: Oak, rosemary
Body: Third chakra, digestion
Aroma: Rosemary, bergamot
Object of power: Mill-stone, scythe
Jera is the twelfth rune and the fourth rune of the Second Aett (second family) of the Elder Futhark. I will be publishing the rune journeys on their half months through 2018.