As Winter melts into Spring, I have been musing on the shape of trees. In winter we can see their “bones” or structure most clearly. As I walk I see Fehu everywhere, reaching up to the skies. These are primarily deciduous trees, and come summer we will not be able to see this shape for the forest of leaves present. But it makes me think about how they are indeed “mobile wealth”. In ancient times, cattle or livestock were the mobile wealth of the people. They provided food, clothing, and even transportation at times. They could be sold or bartered for other goods needed. But in the Pacific Northwest, I propose trees could be seen as mobile wealth. They provide shelter, food, and can be sold and moved to other locations by means of transporting the seed or seedlings. The indigenous peoples made clothes, baskets, canoes and more out of the trees. Fruit trees provide an abundance of food each year, which not only is portable; but we developed ways to preserve it for the times there was little food available–dried, pickled, preserved in oil/fat/honey. And it doesn’t take much reading to determine the wealth of the lumber industry and it’s effect on the prosperity of the Pacific Northwest.
I also see Ansuz in the conifers. Cedar is considered a being of ancient wisdom who can still be heard if we slow down, and quiet our minds to really listen. Cedar’s branches are as arms extending downward to the people, sharing her gifts. Marija Gimbutus was an archeologist who decoded the Language of the Goddess and tried to explain the mythos and culture of our ancient matrifocal societies. Two parallel lines indicate moving water, or a flow of something. Coming out of the mouth it could mean wisdom, or a flow of gifts from outstretched arms. The picture above is a young redwood whose ancestors hold legendary wisdom. It takes practice to slow down enough to be able to connect to tree wisdom as time moves so much slower for these beings of incredible age. But it is easy to see the limbs shaping Ansuz and imagine the ancient wisdom flowing out to us, if only we are present to listen.
As you walk about in your neighborhood, on the land you tend, or in parks, nature reserves, or national forests; look for the runes in the branches, limbs, flower and bud. It will certainly enrich your experience and my provide a new teacher for you.
Today is March 14th, 3.14 or Pi Day. It is one of my favorite under-celebrated holidays. For the record, I have never met a pie I didn’t like. Ask my co-workers…each person hosts the birthday treats for the next co-worker birthday. And each year when I am asked what type of cake or treats I prefer, my answer is always the same, “Pie, any kind of pie.” But pie is so much more…
It is probably a coincidence that we bake pies in a circle, and Pi is a fundamental mathematical number constant which defines a circle; but there is magic in what seems to be a coincidence. One of the strongest structural forms is the arch, which is part of a circle. And since the Elder Futhark were designed as linear symbols, I assume to be easy to carve or chisel into solid surfaces, the closest symbol to an arch is Uraz. Uraz or Auroch the Ox is an embodiment of strength and endurance. The arch is one of the elements of ancient structures which survive today due to the incredible strength created as each point of this circular fragment pushes against and at the same time supports the adjacent points. Something to think about, isn’t it? The strength of Pi.
I took the weekend off to spend with my daughter Steph. She lives in Bothell, Washington with my granddog Shea. It always does my heart good to spend time with them. Here are a couple pictures of us on our walk at Bothell Landing Park
I drew Laguz and Mannaz this morning. I hate to admit it, but if it wasn’t for Shae we probably would not have taken a walk. So in the most practical of ways she partnered with us to take a healthy action. And it was at the creek with the sound of children playing and ducks landing which always soothes my soul.
The runes are big concepts, but can be seen as smaller moments in your daily life too. How exhausting if every time you drew a rune it indicated a major event? I think we are conditioned to look for the biggest, newest, shiniest thing, and as a result minimize or miss entirely the gift of the simple small actions in our life. A simple daily walk is a great way to build up strength and endurance in your circulatory, respiratory, and musculature systems. I didn’t have to work out with a trainer or run a marathon–just take a walk with loved ones.
Laguz has deeper resonance on this day. We all come from the ocean of the womb, and our bodies consist of mostly water. Mother and daughter bonds run deep and ours is no exception. I am an Aquarius woman-the “water bearer” who gave birth to my Pisces daughter. So spending time near the water is very important to us. For her birthday we went to Golden Gardens Park in Seattle after dark and walked in the ebb and flow of the tide while Shae ran up and down the beach and darted in and out of the water. I appreciate the deeply reflective and loving woman she has become. Such rich moments to keep as treasures from this visit.
Blessings on your day,
I have created a new way to read the runes, which is light, portable and very accurate. My prototype RUNE DICE were a big hit and many are looking forward to them being available sometime this summer. What is different about my dice is they are 8-sided so each represents a full aett or family of runes. I am using the Elder Futhark which consists of 24 runes, arranged in three families of 8 runes each. The green houses the first aett, which reflects the life on earth and all the realms of middle earth. The black houses the 2nd aett, which reflects our deepest journeys in Hel. And finally the white houses the 3rd aett; the realm and lessons of Asgard, home of the Gods. Here is a picture of a reading I took today, asking to show what I brought back from my time at NWTS last weekend.
To read them, the top face of the dice are read as the primary runes; and the runes you can see on the sides augment the reading. What I see in this reading is:
Algiz-Elk or bird. This weekend bird showed up to leave footprints behind that I could follow. I came to learn how to publish my booklet to accompany these rune dice and to learn from the tarot tribe. All were so generous with their information! I want to shout out to Mellissae Lucia and Carolyn White for sharing their knowledge and encouraging me on this project. Both gave great presentations and I highly recommend them both. Digging in and learning how to assimilate the shared knowledge as I make my individual journey is the inner work I have before me. I was also able to meet Carolyn Cushing of Soul Path Sanctuary in person after being wisdom sisters for ages in the Gaian Tarot Circle and Dark Goddess Lodge. JOY!
Thurisaz- Thorn or axe. This is the day to day practical work of hacking through any barriers (real or imagined) that keep me from realizing my goals. I can also set up a thorny barrier to protect myself from intrusion and distraction so only really important issues/concerns can sway me from my task.
Othala-Legacy or transformation. My final result will be to leave behind a new way to read and work with the runes. And bringing them to manifestation has the power to change not only my life but live of others as well.
The augmenting runes have something to say as well…Pethro– is the dice cup, luck and fortune won and/or lost. Both it and Ingwaz-the womb are containers for the rune dice concept while it germinates and matures prior to being released in this summer. And Raido- the journey or traveler represents not only the journey of this creation, but a very real trip to Thailand which was determined this weekend.
I came for inspiration, education, and connection and left with all three in abundance!
Blessings on YOUR journey,
Here are some of the rune sets I have for sale at the Metaphysical Fair at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas, Oregon this weekend. I also have rune/tarot reading cloths. Lots of great vendors here-you’re sure to find something you love to take home with you.
I have brought a Prototype of my new rune dice set for people to play with this weekend. The readings have been awesome and people love the feel of tossing them onto the reading cloths. Stop by and take a look!
Kenaz in the flowering of Spring. Not only is this at a V in the tree, it is renewal at a site of loss. Spring is a healer, a time of renewal and recovery. Kenaz is a primal force of creation–based in the deep connection of “ken”ship or knowingness. What is the core essence strives to be…finds a way to continue.
See you all at the NWTS this weekend! Deb
Laguz is the rune of the lake and its shore, the water that surrounds us and that we are made of, the subconscious that shapes our conscious lives. It can indicate not just these places, but the liminal space where the two meet. It is in this mutable place, this time out of time that mystery lives and magic happens.
Think of the mists that surround Avalon; the Lady of Lake and the gift of Excalibur.
Have you ever been to the shore, and played in the tide pools and the estuaries? They are teeming with life and possibility. Many creatures that live there have the ability to live in both salt and fresh water as their environment is constantly changing. While powerful, these places of mystery and magic are fragile and must be respected and cared for.
Impermanance is another hallmark of the liminal space. Nothing stays the same. Taking the action, making the decision is the gift of the moment. It may lead to a result; but the result is not obtained in this border of in-between. Laguz is about the internal actions and feelings; about you changing as a result of being in the space. There is often a spiritual aspect to address or respect when this rune show up.
When Laguz shows up in a reading, pay attention. It is calling you to look under the surface; seek the deeper meanings. What part of your magical nature is it calling to? What will you choose?
All around me I can Mother Earth’s harvest – berry laden branches, fields of greens, beets, carrots, grapes on the vine, plums, tomatoes, zucchini…the list goes on and on. The Earth is so bountiful that the ancients recognized 3 harvests: Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain.
Lammas is the first harvest. It is the easiest of the three and is the harvest of the grains and has been celebrated with beer and bread. The harvest is collected by gathering the crops on top of the ground and storing them in a dry place. Early veggies and edible flowers are gathered now.
Mabon is the second harvest. It is the wine harvest, time to gather the grapes and berries and the veggies that take a bit longer to ripen—tomatoes, green beans, plums. Preserving the harvest takes more work; crushing grapes and berries into juice for wine. Other fruits are put up in jellies and jams. Salmon runs are caught, smoked or salted and put away for winter.
Samhain is the third and final harvest. This is not only more work; but is a harvest that requires sacrifice. The late ripening fruits and veggies like apples, squash, and pumpkins are associated with the Halloween holiday. So are skeletons; which symbolize the culling of the herds; harvesting the weak and old animals that wont survive the winter. It give us meat for winter and leaves more food for the remaining herds. We choose which animals live or die, we cover the root stock of crops to protect the from the harsh winter—to be uncovered next spring.
As the Earth is going through its harvest season, it is a great time to reflect on what you are personally harvesting in your life. I have created the Triple Harvest spread to review each of your harvests and how you may best preserve them. You will need to draw a total of 10 runes. I have several sets of runes that I use together to allow for more than one rune to show up in larger spreads. It is not a traditional practice, but I have found it to be very effective.
Here is the layout:
1 1st Harvest 4 Helper 7 Preserver SEED 2 2nd Harvest 3 3rd Harvest 5 Helper 8 Preserver 6 Helper 9 Preserver
First draw the seed rune and place it in the middle. Next, draw the three Harvest runes in order; these are the three harvests you have or will harvest this year. Follow this with the three helper runes; these are representative of the persons or processes that help you with the harvest. Last, draw the three preserver runes; these represent the steps you need to take to preserve your harvest
My seed that reaped the harvest is Othala—heritage and family. It is about being healthy and staying around a long time to provide for and enjoy my family.
My first harvest was Isa, with Ehwaz a helper and Eihwaz the preserver.
I learned to be still and calm. Meditation and visualization is key to helping me follow my instinctsand communicate clearly.
Second harvest was Isa again, with Mannaz a helper and Ehwas the preserver.
Being centered and calm is effective in my work with groups. I have had to work harder to harvest gains in this area. I have had coworkers that have partnered with me; and given me good feedback on what works and what does not work in observed interactions. Again, what will sustain the gains is to trust my instincts, work for a common goal and ensure there is effective communication.
My third harvest was Algiz, Laguz my helper and Dagaz my preserver rune.
I have been protected in many ways this year. My dreams have guided me in ways to improve my health. I have just started a new diet that has been very effective—I have truly started over—it’s a new day!
Try it out and let me know how this works for you!
May your harvest be bountiful,
On Tuesday, I facilitated a ritual at The Center for Spiritual Living in Bellingham. It was timed to coincide with the Venus Transit–which occurs once every 140-150 years. Venus is the feminine planet and when it comes to the forefront, so will the feminine attributes of healing, communication, community, and compassion. The 13 Grandmothers, leaders of Indigenous tribes all over the globe heard the planet call for help. They called for people all over the Earth to gather by the Fire in sacred space to bless the waters of the Earth that She might be able to cleanse, heal, and renew Herself.
96 of us gathered by the sacred fire and honored the 7 sacred directions. We heard Cloud’s Story and honored the waters within us and surrounding us. People brought water from all over the NW and places as far as Chalice Well in England; snow from the mountain passes, flood waters and freshly fallen rain. All went into a great singing bowl that mixed the waters and created our own Ocean. We blessed this Living Water–these drops that are connected to all the waters of the earth. We sang and danced our blessings into the water and deep into the Earth. And we each took some of that Ocean home with us to remember our connection and committment to Her healing.
Certainly we were experiencing the Laguz rune. The intent was to heal the waters of the Earth while we were in community with the entire planet. The collective unconscious lives just underneath the surface of the waters–accessible by all. Great power for healing and renewal lives in the water, in the bloodstreams of all of us.
I have a vial of this Ocean on my altar, a reminder that I am connected to every being on the planet, that I have a responsibility to pray for and act in consort with Her healing, and that I have been blessed by those that came together for the same purpose…knee deep in planetary healing.
I am waiting at the Black Drop Coffee House while Michael closes up Michael’s Books in Bellingham.
By now you know me…if I have time to muse I’m musing about the runes. This picture of my mocha makes me think of bind runes. The design was a simple spiral that had two Isa lines cross over it that resulted in the “X” of Gebo. Hmmmm, constant creative motion stopped–made still long enough to produce a result, or gift. I received a beautiful coffee flower full of colors and hues–just filled with potential energy; much like the coffee it adorns.
A perfect treat as I wait and get my second wind this cloudy NW day.
What rune provided you a moment of insight or inspiration today?
Hail and blessings to you all!
Tonight I drew Ansuz out of my cauldron of runes. Ansuz is the voice of the Goddess, the Universe, God; whatever you call the Creator of Life. When you draw this rune you had best listen up, and be willing to speak Her truth.
You can easily see the parallel lines that run from the top to the bottom. In neolithic symbolism these lines represent water or flow. Parallel lines can also mean sound or speech depending on the context of the rest of the drawing. There are lots of wonderful connections between the runes and the marking of the people living during the neolithic period. Check out Marija Gimbutus’ biography and some links to her archeomythological work. What connections do you find between the runes and the symbols of these ancient people ?
I have also been working with Caroline Myss’ Healing Cards. I find that reading a rune and another oracle together an enlightening way to expand the conversation with both. In this practice 1+1 really does = 3. The Healing Card I drew tonight was #26:
The Universe resides within the individual; and the individual’s actions affect the Universe. Listen carefully to the messages it sends you. Be brave enough to speak the truth, even if you are the only one who hears the message. You can choose to be a blight or a blessing upon this Earth. Choose to be a blessing and find yourself blessed by all that you do.
In Her Healing Light,