Day 356: The General Meaning of Numbers

Roderick gives us the following correspondence chart for the 9 numerological numbers plus the three master numbers:

Number 1 Traits:
Independent, original, pioneering, bossy, fiery, driven, goal-oriented, self-centered, masculine energy, courageous, determined, freedom loving.

Number 2 Traits:
Feminine energy, balanced, intuitive, cooperative, receptive, diplomatic, loving, moody, ambivalent, indecisive, intelligent, process-oriented, circular in thinking and expression, relationship-oriented.

Number 3 Traits:
Creative, expressive, good with written and spoken expression, enthusiastic, sociable, quick-minded and quick to speak, flirtatious, impractical, lighthearted, analytical, judgmental, scattered.

Number 4 Traits:
Stable, solid, reliable, slow-minded but practical in thought, rational, grounded, clear-headed, strong work ethic, model citizen, disciplinarian, harsh, stubborn.

Number 5 Traits:
Loves travel, resourceful, versatile, unpredictable, sometimes irresponsible, desires freedom and expansion, insatiable curiosity, impulsive, adventurous, loves speculation and gambling, risk-taking.

Number 6 Traits:
Need for companionship, kind, tolerant, strives for peace and harmony, family oriented, smothering, good sense of timing, can be argumentative.

Number 7 Traits:
Thoughtful, considerate, analytical, spiritual, deep thinker, knowledge-seeking, dislike of manual labor, perfectionist, down-to-earth, can easily recognize deception, attracted to animals.

Number 8 Traits:
Just, self-disciplined, cautious, successful, lives by the Golden Rule, organized, interested in finances and monetary gain, executive material, power-hungry.

Number 9 Traits:
Governed by love, humanistic, compassionate, selfless, a giver (sometimes unwisely), flexible, broad minded, forgiving, emotional or possibly indifferent, escapist tendencies.

Number 11 Traits:
Spiritual revelation, idealism, emotionalism, visionary, feelings of futility, imperiousness, depression.

Number 22 Traits:
Extroverted, financially stable, complete control, mastery, can be destructive and exploitative.

Number 33 Traits:
Master teacher, worldly success, skillful, famous, perfect in relationships, can be oppressive, poor or misuse of power.

My magical name, which sums up to a 3 implies that my overall spiritual focus is largely linguistic and a creative, expressive outlet for me.  Which makes some sense–in my immediate spiritual group, I resort to writing my way through an issue much more readily than others in the group.  The double sixes of my first and last names, however, implies that this writing is the result of a deep need for companionship and community:  the community is the foundation for my creativity.  I would argue that this too is apt, for I chose both names as reminders of community importance.

My legal name gives me the sum number 4, which implies that my mundane self is highly pragmatic and grounded.  My first and second names both end up as 3s, which indicates I might seek mundane security (ie work) in literary pursuits…which is accurate, since I am essentially an English teacher and writer.  My legal last name is a 7, which implies that my family traits are largely curious, analytical people who don’t care too much for manual labor and can tell a lie from a mile away.  I think this might be so.  I don’t have much experience with my father’s side of the family, but I do know that they like to do manual labor for fun…that is, on their own terms.  They’re also all very curious people and are constantly learning and mastering new things.


Day 355: Numerology

Numerology can be defined as the study of mystical relationships between numbers and the spiritual properties of objects and living things.  But that’s about as tight as it gets.  There are lots of different numerology and numerological divination systems, and whole sets of traditions and beliefs that spring up around each one.

There’s no full agreement across all magical disciplines on what system to follow, but Roderick notes that many modern occultists rely on the Serial English-Qabalah system, which is the simplest and most readily understandable method.  This Western method maintains that the 9 primary numbers are each imbued with occult powers and that all 9 numbers are associated with different letters of the alphabet.  Each of the numbers (and through them, the letters) symbolically link to planets, natural elements, and divinatory meanings.

Here are the number/letter correspondences under the SEQ:


Gosh darn it…I just saw a typo. H should be 8, not 9.

Roderick says that these numbers were determined by placing each letter in its usual sequence and then numbering them.  Double-digit numbers assigned to letters are then added up to arrive at a final single digit.  The entire numerological system is based on these same reducing principles.  Each word has numerological associations arrived by adding the single digits of all letters together.  The only numbers that are not reduced are the numbers 11, 22, and 33 which are considered master numbers.

For example, let’s figure out the numerological associations of my magical name, Melissa Zupan:

As you can see, you simply look up the numbers associated with each letter in the word, then add those together.  In each word in my name, the numbers added up to 24, and 2+4= 6, so each number of the two name words is 6.  To get the single digit number of my whole name, you add each name number up, then reduce them.  In this case, the double sixes add to 12, which reduces to 3.  My legal name adds up to 21, 30, and 34 which reduces to 3, 3, 7 and then finally to 4.

The meanings of these final numbers are the subject of tomorrow’s exploration.

My New Rune Set from Alaska Laser Maid

My new runes, courtesy of Etsy seller Alaska Laser Maid

My new runes, courtesy of Etsy seller Alaska Laser Maid

All this work with the Elder Futhark over the past few weeks has definitely sparked my imagination more than any rune work I’ve done in the past.  The more I worked with them, the more I realized I liked using runes in divination and in magic.  I also, however, quickly realized that the quick and dirty set I made for completing the Roderick exercises (index cards with the runes drawn on them in red Sharpie) left a lot to be desired.

This realization coincided with the return to Etsy of the pagan-friendly artisan Deborah Ross, aka Alaska Laser Maid.  Deborah had taken a temporary hiatus from Etsy earlier this year while she did battle with cancer, but she returns to her store cancer-free and full of great ideas.  Deborah specializes in creating wooden pieces and then engraving them very precisely with a 30 watt laser cutter/engraver. She does, however, occasionally turn her laser skills to glassware, fabrics, and vinyl, so the sky is truly the limit for her!  I, of course, think her ability to create beautiful rune tiles and boxes is unparalleled, and I’m thrilled that I’ve finally been able to support her incredible work.

The particular set I ended up choosing isn’t one I’d seen before.  Instead of longer staves, Deborah placed these runes on 1-inch square tiles of red-cedar, and then put them in a small cube of a box.  I was a little hesitant about choosing these, but I’ve found I really like the square tiles more than longer staves, which I’ve made for myself in the past.  I think they ‘shake up’ more thoroughly, and I’m pleasantly reminded of playing Scrabble with my grandfather whenever I reach for these runes.  I couldn’t be happier.  Oh!  And as an added bonus, Deborah includes a little sheet of rune meanings with her sets so that anyone can use them right out of the box.  Thanks, Deborah!

The full supply of the Elder Futhark runes in my 'rune cube.'

The full supply of the Elder Futhark runes in my ‘rune cube.’

Day 354: Using the Runes in Magic

Rune-inscribed Candles

Rune-inscribed Candles

Now that we know what some of the energies surrounding the different runes are, the sky’s really the limit in using these signs in magic.  Obviously, a perennial pagan favorite is to inscribe them on candles to get a bit of their oomph going in a candle-magic working, but runes can be inscribed on just about anything in the pursuit of a spell.  I’ve even incorporated runes into some very special pysanky I’ve made as talismans in a working.  Roderick mentions you can wear them on you as jewelry, or you can go further and draw or tattoo them upon yourself.  You can even lay them down with your athame, and you can draw them in the air and upon objects with that athame much in the same way we draw pentacles during circle or set up wards in a protective working.

One of my favorites, though, is another Roderick suggestion:  performing instant magic by visualizing a glowing rune in front of you and appropriate to the situation.  Some of the best protections and wardings are simply a powerful rune visualization!  They’re also great to visualize as part of a meditation.

Roderick includes a brief table here with the rune names, their sigils, their powers, and the astrological symbol they’re aligned with.  However…I find it a little problematic.  As far as a quick reference goes, I actually tend to prefer the little info-sheet that came with my own rune set.  I’ve included a link to a scan of that sheet in my post for tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Day 353: Casting All the Runes

Now that we’ve gone through all three Aetts of the Anglo-Saxon runes, it’s time we perform a spread using all of them together.  Roderick recommends this simple spread, which positions four different runes with elemental energies:

Roderick's Elemental Rune Spread

Roderick’s Elemental Rune Spread

Turn all of the runes over so you cannot see any markings.  Lay them in front of you in a large grouping.  Think of a situation–not a question–that needs clarity and new understanding.  Draw four rune-stones, one at a time.  The first represents the element of earth, or the way the situation presents itself in the here and now.  It is the current manifestation of the situation.  Place the second rune below and to the right of the first.  This is the rune of air.  It represents your thoughts and ideas about the situation.  It could also represent any first actions that have already taken place.  Place the third rune below and to the left of the first.  This represents the element of water.  It shows your feelings surrounding the situation.  It may also represent your dreams or intuitions up to this point.  Place the final rune directly below the other three, in a straight line with the first.  This is the fire rune, which represents the action you need to take in order to successfully approach or resolve the situation.

As with most of my “larger” readings I’m willing to share on this site, I decided to ask about my love life.  In particular, the question was “What do I need to do to meet a good man in 2014?”

In my reading, the rune in the first position, earth, was mannaz.  As we now know, this is the rune that stands for ideal human archetype:  the best that man can be.  It’s our inner divinity and our ability to relate to each other.  If this is to be how me meeting guys stands in the here and now…I think it’s a little too apt.  When I meet guys I could be interested in, I immediately judge them against this impossible standard.  I want them to be fully actualized gentlemen, thoughtful people who have their lives together and are interested in a spiritual connection.  There’s nothing wrong with that in itself…but really, how many people meet this mark?  I’m setting my standards awfully high.

Rune number two, air, is tiwaz, the rune of justice.  It notes the tendency to serve a higher truth, and it indicates strength of will.  As the rune that represents my thoughts and ideas about me meeting guys, I think there’s a lot here.  My higher truth has always been not to bother with people who aren’t ‘worthy’ of me.  That’s not to say I’m some amazing catch–Lord knows I’ve got my glaring flaws–but I know that it is just not worth it to waste time trying to make a partnership with someone I’ve got to play “Mom” to or who is going to use me for their own selfish purposes.  I know that it’s worth it to wait for someone great, not someone who is just there.

The third rune here is othala, and it’s the second time it’s popped up in a reading for me recently.  Here, it takes on the element of water and indicates my feelings about meeting guys.  I think it’s pretty clear that my feelings here are that I feel most drawn to someone who is true kin and community, and that this is what I desire most in my heart of hearts.  Again, not too surprising.

The fire rune, or the actions I need to take to actually meet Mr. Right in 2014 is, elhaz.  I’m not really sure what to make of this.  This is a rune of strong protection…and frankly, I think that half of my dating blindness is that I’ve historically been far too concerned with protecting aspects of myself and my future to open up enough for meeting someone or at least giving them a chance.  But maybe it’s a protection of self-knowledge here.  It’s the element of hunt magic here that makes me think of this.  To hunt effectively, you have to know the terrain like the back of your hand.  You’ve practically got to merge with it in order to get close enough to your prey to bring it down quickly, safely, and humanely.  In that respect, it’s also a huge rune for ultimate partnership and symbiosis.  Maybe it’s as simple as to get a friend I have to be a friend?  Know thyself to know others?  It’s food for thought at least.

My first proper rune reading.  I'm so grown up!

My first proper rune reading. I’m so grown up!

Day 352: Casting Tyr’s Aett

Gather together all eight of Tyr’s runes.  Turn them over so that you cannot see their inscriptions.  Stir the runes with your left hand while you look skyward.  Think of a question about which you would like some insight.  Hold both hands over the runes, look skyward, and say:

Guide my hand with the hand of fate,
Goddess drawn from Tyr’s eight!

Draw a single rune for your answer.  Make the connection between your question and the rune symbol.  Now take action based on the insight you receive.

The common thread between all three of these Aett readings is that I’m interested in job applications and starting my life afresh somewhere else in the world.  Lately, I’ve been contemplating Colorado.  This is not necessarily something that seems appealing at first glance.  I have zero family there, almost no friends (with the exception of my amazing HP), and no religious community (again, with the exception of my HP).  I also have an abhorrence for high-altitude baking.  Frankly, that alone would keep me far, far away from Colorado.

And yet…some of the best opportunities I’ve found have been out there.  It doesn’t hurt that I also have glorious memories of the Denver area from a childhood trip out there (I caught three trout!  And chased mountain goats under a rainbow!)  Nor does it hurt that everyone I’ve ever known who lived in Colorado is clamoring to get back there.  So I’m seriously considering it.

My question was what energies surrounded a potential Colorado move, and to my immense surprise the rune was Othala!  Home, hearth, community, clan.  I think the message is that even though I don’t have the infrastructure I so crave there right now, if I go there…it will come, and I will be happy.  I will build the clan of my heart.

Sounds like a plan to me!

Day 351: Tyr’s Aett, Othala

As I've mentioned before, all the information below comes not from Roderick's book, but from Diana L. Paxson's Taking Up the Runes.

As I’ve mentioned before, all the information below comes not from Roderick’s book, but from Diana L. Paxson’s Taking Up the Runes.

Pronunciation:  “OH-tha-la”
Meaning:  Ancestral Property
Supporting Meanings:  The home of one’s heart, the clan, kin of mind and of body.

Ancient Meanings:  According to Diana Paxson, the meaning of this rune is linked to the concept of property held in allodial tenure: unbroken succession from father to son for three generations, or for thirty years.  It is the concept of a family rooted to their home, their community, and each other.  The Anglo-Saxon rune poem states that an odal estate “is very dear to every man if he may there rightly and peacefully enjoy in the hall frequent harvest.”  To enjoy such harvests, though, one must invest dearly into the place and into those who support the place.  The place gives you purpose as much as you give purpose to the place.

Modern Meanings:  Edred Thorsson sees othala as the symbol of clan strongholds, the sacred enclosure, the inherent qualities that bind together a clan of family; it also governs the wise management of resources necessary to make the family prosperous.  It is therefore the rune of healthy kinship.  He also notes it is a rune of Odin and its shape, both enclosed and open, symbolizes the distinction between the protected world of kin and the alien world into which individuals must venture to obtain true knowledge:  experience beyond the bounds of the known.  Gundarsson develops the concept of othala as a boundary between the in-group and the out-group.  He also provides discussion its concept of inheritance, which is not only the genetic material from one’s ancestors, but the spiritual legacy of previous lives.  As the final rune of the futhark, othala “contains” the power of all the other runes, our mystical heritage.  Freya Aswynn sees this inheritance as genetic and magical.  It’s the blood shed to take land and defend territory; to secure the inheritance.  It is the mystery of the kings who shed blood to renew the land, and the admonishment to choose marriage partners carefully to preserve the health of a line.  The rune also represents loyalty, for kin secures a place of safety where one can harvest the experiences gleaned from the outside world and reflect upon them at leisure.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  Othala requires that we define our community and those who lie beyond it.  While this creates internal safety, it can also create enmity with “the other.”  It is a fine tightrope to walk safely…which is why its two halves of open and closed are contained in one rune.  Do not let one rule the other.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  In readings, othala may refer to an individual’s family or his place in his community.  It may also refer to simple living conditions–finding a house or congenial roommates, for example.  It could also refer to finding an affinity group or establishing a healthy relationship to the land.  Willis identifies its meaning as more of one of “building”, whereas Peterson it is more “inheritance”.  Othala can be used to strengthen family ties and to recover cultural inheritance; it can also access the wisdom of past lives.  It can help with the acquisition of possessions and immobile property, and to protect that which you own.  Use it in all workings involving the protection and strengthening of home and family.  It wards the threshold with elhaz and strengthens community with mannaz.  It brings prosperity with fehu or jera, and stimulates rediscovery of lore and ritual with ansuz and dagaz and open our eyes to spiritual heritage.

Paxson’s Practice for Living Laguz:   The early Germanic peoples had no concept of race, nor really of nation.  The Clan was the most important unit.  In fact, the modern concept of the nuclear family would have been barely comphrehensible,  The most successful unit of survival was a large household with lots of roles and multiple generations.  Look to your life and see who makes up your spiritual household; invite them all to a large gathering where you can share stories and enjoy each other.  Create a space for your household to re-establish its various bonds.