Posts Tagged ‘Opportunities for Growth’

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

NaudizThe Rune Poem: Verse X Naudiz

Hardship lies heavy on the heart
Yet oft to the children of men
It becomes nonetheless a help and a healing,
If they heed it in time.

Any journey through the runes, including this series of 24 runic affirmations, is nothing if not transformative. It’s been nearly three months since my last post, and the time between has been full of Naudiz’s energy, the second rune of the second aett (“rune family”) in the Elder Futhark.

In my case hardship took the form of an employer who, having recently experienced a great personal tragedy, proceeded to make the lives of those working for him very difficult. As I was already splitting my time between two jobs – this one, which provided for me financially and another, which doesn’t pay as well – I decided to resign from the former and focus fully on the latter. Looking back over the last few months, I realize this was the only viable choice. I certainly could have remained without financial worry by keeping the old job, but would’ve been miserable had I continued subjecting myself to a boss incapable of separating his personal life from work. What good is money if it comes at the cost of happiness, and what good is a job if it doesn’t allow me to contribute in a satisfying way? Though the choice to focus fully on the second job (which is really a career) will bring short-term financial hardship, it’s one that has already brought greater freedom and joy. Given time and hard work, it also has the potential to create more income than the job I’ve left.

And so the meaning of Naudiz becomes clear: hardship as something to be endured, with “help and healing” for those who “heed it” and persevere. Said another way, we can choose to see any unpleasant situation life presents as a chance to create something we love. Of course we can also choose to do the opposite, and many do. For some, playing the victim and assigning blame instead of taking responsibility for their happiness is the safer, more predictable bet. After the last few months of unhappiness, I’m done with “safe” and am ready to unfold into a joyful new world of unknowns.

The affirmations offered in this series’ previous post are also fitting for Naudiz:

I peacefully and lovingly release situations and relationships that are not for my higher good.

I view every situation as an opportunity to grow stronger and more joyful.

These affirmations by Orin and Sanaya Roman appear in the book Living with Joy. If they don’t ring true for you as they’re written above, feel free to change them! The words don’t do the work on their own…it’s words + repetition + intent and emotional connection that make affirmations such powerful catalysts for positive change. Create ones that feel good and reflect who you are.

Click here to see other affirmations in this series.

Additional source material: Oswald the Runemaker

I’ve been a runology student for 20 years. See the About page or click here to learn more about my work with the runes.

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WunjoToday’s rune is Wunjo. It’s commonly known as “joy,” but its meaning runs deeper than simple happiness on a personality level.

In his book Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic, Edred Thorsson offers the simplest, most concise, and yet most profound explanation of this rune’s meaning I’ve ever seen:

When all members of the clan are harmoniously working together, while integrated into their environment in a syncretic manner, a true state of holiness exists. (34)

In this context syncretic means growing together by setting aside differences and working toward a common goal. It seems the Germanic tribes, with whom the Runes originated, knew the value of syncretism and what would happen without it. In the words of American writer, historian, and philosopher Will Durant,

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

What was true for the tribes of the Migration Period is still true today, though in a broader context. If petty differences are set aside and all find and use their gifts for the greater good, the global tribe will continue to evolve. One way to experience the essence of Wunjo, the “true state of holiness” Thorsson spoke of, is to do anything that shifts our focus from our own wants and needs to those of others.

I look at this rune today and ask myself, “What is my role in the tribe?” As I commit to finding and living that role, I experience the joy of Wunjo.

Edit on 3/15/11: I came across this quote and thought it was appropriate:

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

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GeboA sister in spirit got in touch with me yesterday and asked about the significance of the rune Gebo. She is searching for her next home, and saw this rune in two trees nearby while praying about the issue.

The traditional meaning of Gebo is “gift,” but runes are like layer cakes and their commonly understood meanings are just the icing. There’s a lot more going on under the surface.

Gebo teaches us about the balance that’s needed between giving and receiving to support well-being on all levels, mental, physical, and spiritual. We should expect to give if we want to receive, and should neither consistently give without receiving nor receive without giving. This applies to all things – material goods, mental/emotional/spiritual energy, etc.

In her book Northern Mysteries and Magick, Freya Aswynn says that “giving gifts was a serious matter” in the Northern tradition (33), and that it was dishonorable to give or receive without an exchange. This concept was (and still is) present in several cultures around the world. For example in many Native American tribes, it is still considered disrespectful to ask for a blessing from a spiritual leader or the Creator without first making a meaningful offering. In this way Gebo shows us that sacrifice is necessary to manifest the gifts we seek. (Let me point out however that the original meaning of sacrifice was to make sacred. Its associations with concepts like ritual killing and pious suffering are primarily due to the influence of Christian doctrine.)

So then, what must you make sacred to attract what you wish?

To my sister, I heard and saw these things as well when meditating on this rune’s meaning for you:

  • A cave, and a waterfall. Find a way to spend some time inside/near either or both, whether this means visiting an actual physical location or journeying there in ceremony or meditation.
  • I heard the word “neighbor.” Does a neighbor have a gift you’ve refused, or have you given them a gift without an exchange of energy? Could be past, present or future.
  • Gather scattered energies and focus them on your desired outcome. Be cautious of the balance between give and take – are you giving too much and expecting to little? Or, are you expecting too much and giving too little? This could pertain to legal matters or a contract, and/or the spiritual energy you’ve invested in reaching your goal.
  • I see bats. You taught me about bat medicine – do they have a message for you? Cougar is also present.

Love and kindness,


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A client contacted me with a request to give a reading on his relationship. No background information was given or solicited, except for the names of the two people involved. Here are the results:

Overview: Ehwaz, converse

EhwazThe relationship isn’t going well. There is disharmony and confusion about how to move forward – you’re unsure what to do at this point. Trust and loyalty are issues – big ones.





Fehu, reversedChallenge: Fehu, reverse

Differences when it comes to money – making it, saving it, and/or spending it – are present. Can these views & behaviors be reconciled? I’m not sure. These differences are part of the trust and loyalty issues mentioned above.




KenazAction: Kenaz

Radical renewal is called for. This renewal can take one of two forms – either a break up or an agreement to self-examine, sacrifice, and forgive past transgressions for the good of the relationship. Please understand that you can’t make her agree to self-examine, sacrifice, and forgive.

If your partner is unwilling to reconcile, there will be signs. Silence is one. If signs are apparent, you must accept responsibility for moving on in a timely manner, for your own good and for hers.

If reconciliation turns out to be an option, know that you each must identify and let go of ideas and behaviors that hurt the relationship in the past. Being honest with yourselves and each other is a crucial part of this process, as is forgiveness. It also involves remaining watchful for the occasional return of old, familiar, and unproductive patterns.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service. I sincerely hope this helps you move toward more peace and joy…if not in the present, at least in the near future.



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The Wise have long known the power of words to shape reality. In late summer 2009, I posted a simple candle ritual which I’ve recently revised and started using again. Both are simple, beautiful, and (for me) evoke strong emotion – I just felt the words could be shifted to enhance the affirmation’s power.

What it was:

May I be like this candle – a gentle and unwavering light in the world, radiating warmth and illuminating truth.

What it has become:

Like the flame upon this candle, may the unwavering light of my soul radiate warmth, illuminate truth, and shine through all levels of my being.

And so it is.

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It’s been just over a year since my last post. In that time I’ve experienced some dramatic highs and lows, and return now to ground zero to begin rebuilding.

When I was younger, writing helped me through difficult times by providing an outlet for feelings I couldn’t or didn’t know how to express otherwise.

I did not fear the night when I was younger
Back to maple, eyes to full moon above
Dreaming of all I was to become
of places far
and love all-consuming

As years have come and gone
Scars have grown in number
Sometimes I touch them and remember the pain
When once so easy to pick myself up and try again
Now my will has waned

The voice inside tells me, “There is always a way.”
And so here I sit, pen in had, looking for a way
out of this crippling apathy

Lately, when gripped by the terrible fear that I no longer know how to pick myself up and start again, I’ve remembered the power of gratitude. No matter how down I am, no matter how alone or desperate I feel, focusing on even one thing I’m thankful for has been my lifeline out of the consuming darkness of apathy and self-pity. As I hold this focus of gratitude longer, I begin to remember more and more that I’m thankful for.

If you ever feel this way, please join me in doing this exercise, which I’ve recommitted to doing daily. Find that one thing you’re grateful for and write it down! Feel deep gratitude as you look at what you’ve written, and then keep writing! Together we will stop living in our heads and remember how to live in our hearts, for as Little Grandmother says, NOW IS THE TIME.

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Fashionably afraid - SARS Masks are all the rage!A woman wearing a mask similar to these sat next to me on the bus this morning. After she settled in, she pulled out a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and applied some to her hands.

Soon after I began to feel the woman’s fear and anxiety, which seemed to intensify as the bus filled. It struck me how much she was living in fear of sickness, and how this fear would likely draw to her exactly what she’s trying so hard to avoid. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s the universal law of “like attracts like” – that our thoughts and beliefs about reality create our experience of it.

I’m grateful to her for this timely reminder.

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