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Posts Tagged ‘Pagan’

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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Just for now…stop, breathe, and listen.

Today’s affirmation comes from the fourth rune of the first aett (or “family”) of the Elder FutharkAnsuz. Its traditional meaning comes from the Rune Poems, the oldest of which translates as follows:

The Mouth is the source of every speech,
The mainstay of wisdom,
And solace of sages,
And the happiness and hope of every eorl.

–The Anglo-Saxon rune poem, Verse IV

“The Mouth” in the first stanza as often interpreted as the Divine. In the Northern Tradition this is either the god Odin or Loki, depending on how the rune falls (upright or reversed, respectively). However the Divine has many faces and names, and means different things to different people. For example I see “The Mouth” as my own inner knowing – that part in each of us that answers with a soft but clear whisper when asked, “What now?”

Think for a moment about how much of your day you spend in constant motion, chasing tasks and giving your valuable time to anyone who asks for it. “Most of the day” is probably your answer, and almost everyone else would say the same. Now honestly consider how many of these tasks and meetings leave you with a greater feeling of peace, freedom, and joy once completed. “Not many” is probably your answer, and again many would echo this.

What if, even once today, you stopped what you were doing and asked yourself, “Does what I’m doing now contribute to my highest good?” Then take a deep breath, go within, and listen for the answer. If you don’t receive the answer right away, don’t worry…just keep pausing, breathing, asking, and listening. With practice you will receive the guidance you need.

Ansuz affirmation:

I am aware of my innermost self. It guides and directs me.

A note about this affirmation: if the words presented don’t ring true for you, change them! Make it something that feels good and reflects who you are. For example, some may want to replace “innermost self” above with the name by which they address their Higher Power (God, Goddess, Buddha, etc.). The words don’t do the work on their own…it’s words + repetition + personal intent and emotional connection that make affirmations such powerful catalysts for positive growth.

Click here to see other affirmations in this series.

Rune source material: Oswald the Runemaker

Affirmation by Orin and Sanaya Roman

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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Today I learned that an acquaintance of several years recently took her own life. Intuitively I always knew she wasn’t happy, and watched as she looked externally and unsuccessfully for fulfillment and purpose. My heart aches for both the sadness that led to her choice as well as for the grieving family she leaves behind. Sensing that she has not yet moved beyond the veil, I lit a candle and placed it in the window when I got home this evening.

Dear sister,

May the eternal and unwavering light of your soul ascend to the highest levels of peace and love.

Go now, and leave this sadness and turmoil behind. You are free.

In accordance with your free will, So Mote It Be.

–From my Book of Shadows


Beloved one, you are dead, but you are not alone.

We are here with you, the beloved dead await you.

You go from love into love. Carry with you only love.

May our love carry you and open the way.

–From Ulla Mentzel

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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,

J.

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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.

Blessings,

J.

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While meditating on the meaning of this rune a few years ago, the following imagery came to me:

A horse and rider are caught in the rain. The road has become muddy and too difficult to move on, leaving the rider little choice but to stop and wait out the storm. The wait is less bearable due to lack of fire for warmth and food. The rider feels defeated, but knows the only sensible choice is to wait.

According to Freya Aswynn in Northern Mysteries & Magick, one lesson offered by Ehwaz is how to adjust to changing circumstances (75-76). In its inverted form, difficulty adjusting to change seems implied. In my imagery above, the rider is certainly unhappy about (and having difficulty adjusting to) waiting out the storm.

In Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic, Edred Thorsson says “Ehwaz is a combination of two sympathetic, yet dually arrayed forces or entities that work harmoniously together toward one goal” (59). With horse and rider, the latter’s progress is dependent on the former’s ability/willingness to move. Delving deeper into this duality, I begin to see the rider as mind and the horse as heart/emotion. The rider is less “in the moment” because he’s focused on the destination, and anxiety and restlessness arise from difficulty in adjusting to circumstances. The horse, a being of instinct and impulse that knows only the present, simply is regardless of whether it’s galloping down the road or standing motionless in the rain.

It’s a short leap to relate Ehwaz reversed to the challenges inherent in overcoming addictive behavior. Horse (body/instinct/impulse) has been trained by rider (mind) to a certain pattern of behavior. Anyone who’s spent any time around horses knows that getting them to take action contrary to their training or will is a difficult task. As someone who’s struggled with addictive behaviors, I can say that though I was keenly aware of (and very unhappy with) the destructive patterns I was engaging in, the impulse to follow through with those behaviors nearly always took precedence.

How are these patterns undone? I’m not entirely certain, though I do know that impulse and instinct must be retrained, and that takes time.

Other posts about Ehwaz reversed:

Ehwaz, reversed

The Birth of the Warrior, Part IV

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