Debra Strom

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Laguz–the liminal edge

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?



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Harvest Season and the Triple Harvest Rune Spread

Happy Summer!

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    
  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,

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Water Blessing

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.

Blessed Be!


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Coffee Flower

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!

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Ansuz–Voice of the Universe

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,

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Colored Eggs

Here a a couple of pictures of my naturally colored Rune Eggs. Drop me a note and share what you do to celebrate Spring–



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Spring Musings

From my journal:

I awoke to sunshine on my face–with warmth spreading from my cheeks to my neck and shoulders. How wondrous it feels to be warm again after the long cold of winter. All Hail Sunna!

As I look around me I see that Mother Earth is also responding to the arrival of the Sun–daffodils are pushing up through the soil to embrace Her warm rays, the finch and wren are singing her praises, and  frogsong fills the evening air. I am honoring the return of the Sun by wearing Soweilo on my forearms. It is small and inconspicuous due to my public job; but I can see them and it keeps the Sun in my consciousness.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it has been a protracted winter and very cold spring so far this year. I can only imagine that the cold is deeper in Scandinavia; how much more the Sun’s return must have been celebrated  in ancient times. A long cold winter could literally mean starvation and death for the herds and the peoples. I believe this is why the Sun is seen as a life giving and benevolent entity by people living in northern lands. All living things respond to the return of the sun by expanding and bursting forth in new growth–the buds,  blooms, leaves, birth of the herds are timed to the growth of the grasses so the new arrivals have something to graze on by the time they are off mother’s milk.  In the hot, southern lands such as Egypt, the Sun is seen as a destroyer;it is the Nile river that is the life-giver in their mythology.

Our mainstream culture in America celebrates Easter with a Christian focus  which does not work for me. I choose to celebrate the arrival of spring with connection to the Earth and Her annual renewal; rising-up of the seed into the new plants–heading to bloom in the coming summer. As a child we colored Easter eggs every year and I remember how beautiful my Grandfather Tony’s eggs always were. He only did a few; but he had the patience to let them really absorb the color. As a child, I wanted to do everything quickly–a trait that has stuck with me. But in reflecting on what I could do to make a ritual out of dyeing eggs, I tried to focus on what would really be meaningful symbols that could be used all year long.

What I decided to do was dye the eggs with natural food dyes and mark them with the runes. I used onion skins to color the eggs a rusty, burnt umber color, beets for a red/pink and spinach for a light green. I used electrical tape to shape the runes on the eggs after they had been hard boiled, then I place them in pans on the stove on simmer and let them soak for several hours–ensuring the eggs were completely covered. All of the dyebaths needed a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to help set the dye.  The spinach didn’t work so well, so I have to admit I added some commercial food coloring to help them along. I will try different greens next year. I plan to use these egg runes with my intentional healing work, prayer work, and spellwork to charge and focus the energies of the runes appropriate to each working. As long as the eggs are not cracked, there will be no smell and no need to maintain them as a food product. Just handle them carefully as they really stink if you break one by accident!

This is a great way to teach kiddos about the runes; and if you want to do this with eggs that you eat, you are literally absorbing the energy of the runes that you are eating. Another fun thing I have done this time of the year with kids is to write the runes on lima or other big beans and put them in jars of water so they can watch them sprout. Then you can transplant them out in the garden or eat the sprouts. It’s just a great time to observe how nature embraces renewal and we can capture that energy to use all year in for form of eggs, seeds, and bulbs.

I apologize that a abbreviated draft of this post appeared earlier–I was trying to send a draft from my phone-FAIL. But I learned something and that is worth the embarrassment.

Blessings of Spring,


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