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

Deepening your connection with Jera

My Elder Futhark journeys are based on the traditional meanings of the runes.  To get the most from the journey follow these steps:
  • Make sure the room in which you are working will be free from disturbance.  Do a simple warding if you want to.
  • Have a look at the basic correspondences for Jera.  Make a note of any that stand out for you.
  • Make sure you know the shape of Jera; if you have a rune set select the Jera rune and hold it for a short while.
  • Listen to the recording.
  • If you feel a bit light headed or not fully back from your journey, have something to eat.
Discover all 24 runes of the Elder Futhark

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