Today my head has been full of the words from the Havamal and Odin’s quest after the Runes – quietly, behind the scenes the words have been “playing” in my mind; like a song that is stuck in my head (but not at all annoying). All of this repetition has brought a new layer of understanding to the words while simultaneously encouraging me to seek out other interpretations. I’d very much like to share this one:
Something about her manner makes me feel as though she is reminding me of things I once knew and have forgotten rather then teaching me something new.
Also, as the words repeat in my head, they become slightly shifted. Not much, of course, and perhaps being shifted closer to a more “true” translation – I sure the version I have is very accurate, but language has so much nuance and so many emotions that translation can never truly be perfect. I’m always reminded of the very opening of the Aeneid in this regard: Arma virumque cano translates as “I sing of arms (weapons) and a man” but it means so much more – just these three (though technically four) words – and some sense of the meaning is lost; I sing of a war and a hero (and trust me, I could go on). So much can be changed or dropped or lost in translation; which is a shame because words are so important.
Words are something that Raven has come into the life to teach me about. The importance and effect of words – the power that they can hold.
I’d mentioned a while back that I was starting to journey to meet the spirits of the Runes – and I’ve been continuing to do that. I haven’t really been sure how to share what I’ve encountered, but I do feel that it is, in part necessary – and now, even though some of these journeys happened 6 months ago, is the time to begin sharing. For the record, my journeys are not recounted here in full – only that which I’ve been called to share.
My second journey took me to Isa:
I am Isa – the cold biting ice…
I am the serenity of stillness,
A quiet retreat from which all possibilities are born.
I hold the patterns of all things…
A pause with the promise of the continuation of the cycle
Like the pause between inhale and exhale.
Icicle – Isa in nature
Clearly, Isa is making reference Niflheimr – the primordial ice, the proto-matter of the world. Also, Isa speaks of the importance of its place among the Futhark. It is the pause before continuation of Jera and the stillness after the chaos and disruption of Hagalaz and Nauthiz. Isa also holds the patterns of all things – look to the Runes, all of which are composed of lines and many composed abound a main stav.
Yup, that’s right – I’m gearing up for another intro level rune workshop. Though I have to say I leaned a few things from my last workshop and have developed some tips to keep in mind.
1 – Runes are a system – not a set of stones:
At my last workshop, I had each person create a set of runestones – I feel like this was maybe not the best course of action, as it may have put too much emphasis of the medium rather then the energies. You don’t need a set of stones or cards to learn the runes – in fact, once you know them you can transcend the limitations of a physical rune set. There have been many occasions when I wanted to use the runes but had no set with me. So I made one, on the spot with paper and a pen. I want to convey this to my next class, and as such we’re not making rune sets.
2 – Runes exist in all things – they are not separate from the rest of reality:
All too often rune books focus on the external meanings of the runes without taking some time to explore the immanent and internal nature of the runes. This was something I realized while reading Runes for Transformation by Kaedrich Olsen. In this book is an exercise in which you try to uncover the runes in all things; a boat, an airplane, a tree, and anything else you can think of. I’ve decided to include this exercise in my workshop this time around.
3 – Runes have many uses – not only divination:
This is something I tried to cover in my last workshop without much success, but I think it’s important to at least introduce to new students of the Futhark. Ultimately I’d like to introduce my new students to: transliteration (writing in runes), bindrunes, divination, and galdr if it seems fitting. Not to say that these students mus learn or use all of these techniques. Rather, I feel knowing they exist will help them better understand that vastness of the runes.
4 – Personal gnosis is important in understanding the runes:
This is something I’m coming to understand through my recent journeys. And I want these students to know that it’s okay for them to come to their own conclusions and that their opinions and experiences will influence exactly how they understand the runes. To this end, I’ve decided to lead a guided meditation to help each student find his/her rune of power (more on this later) – that is a rune that is important for him/her to connect with at this time.
As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been working with an ancestor, Annawynn, to learn more about the energies and ways to use the Runes. She told me to do a few things; one of which was to go to the lower world and journey to meet the spirits of the Runes.
So, last night I did just that. I asked Crow to take me to the spirit of a Rune – whichever Rune I needed to meet. Crow took me to the spirit of Fehu. I spoke with this spirit to learn about the real “nature” of the Rune. Some of what the spirit told me was nothing new but it did expand one key concept: Fehu as the medium of exchange.
Not only is Fehu money (our most prominent medium of exchange) but Fehu is the energy field that connects all living thing and allows for energetic transfers. The field is not strong, nor weak – it simply is and always has been. It is the beginning of all forms of exchange – energetic or otherwise.
I’m planning on (1) journeying every night for the next few weeks and (2) making a video, perhaps in one shot at the end of each week, expanding on my experiences with the spirits of the Runes.
This time last week I was informed that friend that I’ve gone to school with all my life was in a car accident on his way to work and was in ICU.
Saturday morning, I was informed that he was taken off of life support, as per his wishes, so that his organs could be donated.
Tomorrow, I will be going to his memorial service.
So, what does this have to do with Wunjo? I realized that this man, Alex, was Wunjo personified. To me, Wunjo is joy (of course) and freedom and love between people. Alex was always happy, always smiling, always and forever a joy to be around. He spent a good bit of his childhood with his grandfather, a truck driver, and has been at all lower 48 states. Right after high school he went right to work out in the western part of the state. Alex was also one of the most gentle, caring, and loving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. His mother simply says he had a heart of gold.
Saturday evening someone else got that heart. When I received that news, I cried. Knowing who Alex was, that is exactly the first thing he would have wanted to give.
That is truly the beauty of Wunjo – giving love, sharing freedom, and inspiring joy.
Requiescat in pace – and may our souls have the pleasure of crossing paths again and again.
I’ve decided to add a new category to this blog: Book of Shadows. Posts in this category will include information either taken directly out of or based on entries in my personal Book of Shadows. Now, I know a lot of folks say you cannot/should not share your Book of Shadows or even let other people look at it. I only follow this to a degree – the information I’ve gathered and processed from outside sources is something I freely share; personal information or the like will remain with me. I think it’s important to share some of my knowledge, but I know it’s unfair to myself to share it all. In the spirit of sharing, I’ll leave you with on of my favorite poems:
THE WITCH ALONE – Scott Cunningham
Beyond the town, beneath the moon
Beside the standing stone
There lives a woman, fair of faith
We call the witch alone
She sings to sun and moon and stars
And gathers herbs and weeds
With which she fashions ancient charms
And other magic deeds
She worships not at altars built
By hands of mortal men
But in the misty glade
Beyond the farthest glen
What need has she of flashing swords
Of crystals glowing bright
Of censors and of colored cords
That grace the Wiccan rite?
Her tools are fashioned from the earth
And wind and fire and rain
Her rites are dances wild and free
That call the gods amain
When spring and summer pass to fall
And twilight fills her eyes
She’ll lie upon the browning grass
And smile as she dies
For though she leaves her mortal shell
Of flesh and blood and bone
She knows she does not die but lives
On, as the witch alone….
~Take care and Blessed be
Today I went down to my local “New-Age” shop and offered free Reiki – granted, I didn’t have many takers today. Ever since I’ve started learning about various forms of healing, I feel it is an obligation to offer healing – in many forms – to my community. Today was an offering of Reiki, perhaps next time drums or crystals.
I believe that our world is in need of all the healing it can get. If I can provide even a little bit of that, I believe I owe it to myself, my family, and my community. I’ve met a lot of healers who feel the same actually, and what warms my heart.
~Take care and Blessed be