Review: Tori Hartman’s Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards

The Box Setup.  Pull on the ribbon, and an inner box slides out of the bigger one, like a drawer.

The Box Setup. Pull on the ribbon, and an inner box slides out of the bigger one, like a drawer.

A few weeks ago, a representative of Watkins Publishing contacted me to ask if I would be willing to review a deck they’d put out:  The Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards created by Tori Hartman and illustrated by the late Gretchen Raisch-Baskin.  The representative said that the cards were “the complete spiritual toolkit for transforming your life, and the fables that form them were revealed to Tori by angels following a near death experience” and that they were a “brand new kind of deck that helps set your intention, remove blockages and achieve your dreams – an extraordinary divination system that puts your changing relationship to your chakras first.”

Now I usually check out when people start to mention angels and revelations because I’ve largely found these phrases tend to be used by those who have gone way too far into fluffy bunny territory for me to take them seriously, but I had been meaning to include more reviews on this site and this one would get me out of my typical wheelhouse, so I agreed.  A week later, I had a deck of cards in my mailbox shipped all the way from London.

The great unboxing:  the cards come with a nicely made book, and the image on the back of the cards is the same as what's on the box and the book cover.

The great unboxing: the cards come with a nicely made book, and the image on the back of the cards is the same as what’s on the box and the book cover, except with a “seeker” and a whole bunch of crystals.

Upon unboxing the deck, my first impressions were very positive.  Watkins did a great job putting out a quality product.  The box is seriously sturdy.  If someone were to make this deck their primary divination tool, they probably wouldn’t have to transfer the cards to another box for several years.  The card inset in my box was slightly ripped and some cards had slipped behind it, but that isn’t anything a couple drops of Elmer’s Glue couldn’t fix.  I was also surprised at how sturdy the cards themselves are.  Each one is probably about as thick as two standard Bicycle playing cards stuck together, which means they can hold up to a lot of handling.  I’d say that this is a deck that could easily be used for 25 years before getting too worn to be used, so if a long-term investment is something you’ve got in mind for a divination system, this would definitely qualify.  The cards are also easier to shuffle than a standard deck of Tarot cards.  They’re only about a quarter of an inch wider than a playing card, and maybe just about a half and inch longer.  I found them very easy to shuffle and manipulate, which pleased me.

I was, however, most pleased by the included book, which is a bound paperback in full color.  I’ve always been annoyed at the folded sheet with rough explanations that come with most Tarot decks.  Because of that, I really only buy decks where the author/illustrator has also published his or her own guide through the imagery.  The explanations given in the guidebook aren’t exactly long, but they do give a nice synopsis of Hartman’s fables and some guiding questions.  Without them, I’m not too sure I would be able to make much sense out of some of the illustrations.

Red through Green cards

Red through Green cards

That being said, I really did love the illustrations.  I’m a sucker for saturated watercolors, and that was Raisch-Baskin’s primary medium here.  However, there was something in her depictions of people that I found alienating.  My favorite cards were those that didn’t have too many human figures:  I thought Victim, Trickery, and Forgiveness were some of the best executed cards in the deck.  I was, however, pleased to see a fairly racially-diverse depiction of people in the cards.  There are people who could be Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, or Indian.  There are people who could be Asians.  There are several cards where there’s at least one Black person, and there’s even a couple cards where the people are clearly Native American or Inuit.  It’s nice to see a divination deck that isn’t totally white-washed.

Blue through Neutral Cards

Blue through Neutral Cards

As far as using them in reading went,  I thought the cards performed well.  I used the seven-card Chakra layout, which frankly looks like a bit of a mess when you lay it out, but is supposed to represent a winding path similar to what is shown on the back of the cards.  The chakra count starts from the bottom up.  Card 1 is the first chakra, or the basis of the reading and shows what sustains you and what requires growth in order to sustain your intention.  Card 2 is the second chakra, or your emotional state and indicates your true feelings or what may be attracting/repelling your desires or your level of emotional discipline.  Card 3 is the third chakra or what is on your mind.  It refers to your intellectual process and whether your thoughts are supportive or challenging and addresses ways to clear or sharpen focus or reveals hidden energy drains and blocks.  Card 4 is the fourth chakra and asks if your heart is in the question and reveals what is pivotal to your journey and how to free yourself from emotional obligations.  Card 5 is the fifth chakra and asks how you express yourself.  It reveals your ability to communicate and the barriers to clear communication, as well as how to shift your inner reality to affect your external reality.  Card 6 is the sixth chakra or the sixth sense and shows how you are using your intuition.  Card 7 is the 7th chakra and reflects your ability to trust spirit:  the outcome that depends on your ability to work through the card’s three aspects:  the subconscious, what is currently happening, and the card’s highest calling.

My test reading:  What do I have to do to find true love?

My test reading: What do I have to do to find true love?

In my first chakra position, I had Passion, which means that the foundation of finding true love is knowing intuitively what is right for me, though that knowledge can make me feel estranged from my friends and family.  My second chakra held Soulmate, which means that I feel I have to face my true feelings on finding love and make necessary changes.  It also means I have to suck it up and try:  you can’t smell a rose without risking being pricked by its thorns.  The third chakra notes that what I think I need to do to find love is to take care of myself and to cut ties with the things that leech my resources.  The fourth chakra notes that my emotional investment in this question is to trust my inner guide of instinct, which in this case seems to call back to my first card very strongly.  The fifth chakra shows how I’m currently expressing myself about this question…which is basically that I’m not at all.  I’m holding to perfections:  I’ve got stuff in place, the “suit that hangs in the closet for fear I’ll spill wine on it.”  I’m isolating myself out of fears and of not giving people a chance or risking a little bit of muss.  The sixth chakra shows how I’m using intuition and indicates I’m in a period of time where my poles are changing and a new period of perspective is beginning.  Whether or not I can find true love depends on how I respond to the seventh chakra, which here indicates my ability to work through Rejection, which is largely that when I’m given the chance, I’m set aside.  It’s a subconscious fear, for sure, and it is what currently happens in the dating scene–probably because my whole persona when I’m out screams “Don’t even try.”  I think the highest calling of this card is the arrival of a force that teaches something to break through rejections.

All in all, it seems like an apt reading to me, so it is clear that the deck can be successfully used.  Is it something I personally would consider keeping around?  Maybe.  I think it is a really great example for how to create a divination method using stories and symbols that resonate for you, and I can see using it as a teaching example in that area.  But as far as integrating it into my current divination tools?  Probably not.  Hartman’s stories don’t really ring my bells.  I like more universally acknowledged set of mythic figures and archetypes, which is why Tarot works so well for me.  There’s also aspects about Hartman’s fables that are just too precious for my personal tastes.  Finally, I like my divination methods to tie into how British Traditional Witchcraft views the cosmos, and I think the major arcana (with its large-scale archetypes on a divine journey) and minor arcana (with its elemental associations) works very well for that.  Hartman’s deck is a nice one, but it’s just not for me.

If you are interested in these cards, they can be purchased on Amazon in the US through this link, or in the UK through this link.  If you would like to see Tori Hartman herself talk about the cards and perform readings using them, check out her YouTube channel.


Day 357: The Birthpath

Numerology isn’t restricted to matching letters with numbers.  You can also use it to get a sense of how different energies work on different dates.  One very important date is your own birthday.  The energy associated with this is your birthpath.

Your birthpath is easily calculated.  Just add together the month, day, and year of your birth.  The month’s from January through September correspond with numbers 1-9.  October, November, and December as 10, 11, and 12 reduce to numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

My own birthdate is December 19, 1983.  This means I add 1+2+1+9+1+9+8+3.  This gives me 34, which reduces to 7.  Roderick’s descriptions for the various birthpaths are as follows:

Number 1 Birthpath
You are here to be a leader.  Strike out Boldly.  It is the lifetime for you to do things independently.  Express your originality.  Teach people the “right way” to get things done.

Number 2 Birthpath
You are here to express and channel the goddess’s energy.  Express kindness and nurturing to other people and the planet.  Teach others about getting in touch with their divine feminine and their gentility.  Work as a relationship counselor, diplomat, or psychic.  You’ll be a good parent.

Number 3 Birthpath
You are here to express yourself creatively.  Don’t settle for any way of life that may hold back your creative juices.  Write, act, create artistic masterpieces.  Whatever you do, find some format to express your vision.

Number 4 Birthpath
You are here to explore a life of stability.  Teach other people how to be as practical as you are.  You will mostly teach others by your example.  You are also here to show others how to use the mind rationally.

Number 5 Birthpath
You are here to explore life as an adventure.  You feel best when you dig into life with no formal plans.  Travel and unpredictability are in store for you, but this won’t worry you as you are freedom-loving and versatile.

Number 6 Birthpath
You are here to explore life through partnership and family.  You will work best when you have formed a solid relationship with a suitable life-partner.  You will be drawn to having children and will most likely be a good parent.

Number 7 Birthpath
You are here to explore the spiritual side of things.  You should look deeply into the nature of life and explore the spiritual mysteries of many different paths.  Or you might be drawn to a life of asceticism or of monastic living.  Since this may not be a viable choice for you, be sure to spend time each day exploring your spiritual nature.

Number 8 Birthpath
You are here to explore the world of material gain.  Don’t fight it.  Your interest in finances, monetary gain, and the power these things can bring is valid.  Through this path you will learn how to be reasonable, fair minded, and how to balance physical with spiritual needs.

Number 9 Birthpath
You are here to express your humanistic tendencies.  You will be drawn to work and activities that allow you to give all that you can and to care for the needs of others.  Be careful of giving beyond your means.

Number 11 Birthpath
You are here to express your ideals.  You will be motivational to other people and some might say you are a visionary.  You may not be very practical, but you will inspire those around you who will have the practical know-how.  You are also here to learn to trust your psychic senses.

Number 22 Birthpath
You are here to work on behalf of the world community.  You may think in terms of global concerns and you will most likely have the practical ability to express or even carry out large-scale plans.  You are here to put the larger community ahead of your own concerns.

Number 33 Birthpath
You are here as a master teacher or guru.  In this lifetime you can easily teach spiritual principles and your truth will change the lives of everyone who hears it.  You are a force to be reckoned with.  You are here to serve spiritually in a public life.

I don’t know how I feel about being a birthpath 7.  I can’t deny that I’m drawn to asceticism and that I like to explore the spiritual side of things…but it’s so much work!  Why couldn’t I have been a six or a four?!

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.

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.

Day 350: Tyr’s Aett, Dagaz

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:  “DAH-gahz”
Meaning:  Day
Supporting Meanings:  Dawning, life, youth, light, blessing, mirth, equalizing forces, passage of time, liminality

Ancient Meanings:  According to Diana Paxson, the Anglo-Saxon rune poem “presents a rosy picture of the effect of daylight,” for the day is sent by God and his gift means “mirth and happiness to rich and poor, useful to all.”  She also notes that in Old English, day and its associations with youth and warmth are strongly contrasted against the dark and cold.  The further north you go, the more drastic the differences between night and day and the two poles of winter and summer.  Whole chunks of the year are characterized by either one or the other, and you can’t really sleep one away like you can in contemporary American culture.  Day and Night are therefore honored together, and a period of time is seen as beginning with the night–thus day is born from night.  The rising sun lets you know you’ve arrived back into a period of security from the dangers of night.

Modern Meanings:  Osborn and Longland see dagaz as the light of strenght and comfort that comes from the Creator, the sun.  Thorsson states that Dagaz is the rune of daylight, especially at the liminal times of dawn and twilight, and of awakening.  Its very shape expresses those moments when the sun sets on a horizon, sending its rays upward and outward.  Therefore, it stands as a “mystical moment” of paradox and liminality, in which creative and logical thought combines to form an inspiring state.  Dagaz is the light of consciousness given by the Gods to mankind, and its appearance indicates dawns of hope and happiness.  Gundarsson sees the rune as an emblem of the mystical illumination in which for one blinding moment the seeker is one with the universe.  It’s chiefly a rune of meditation leading to transformation for him.  Freya Aswynn feels that Dagaz can indicate noon as well as dawn and sees it a s a rune of time, and a counterpart of jera.  For her, Dagaz can express cataclysmic change, a point where energy reaches its zenith.  Paxon identifies jera more as a rune of the summer harvest and Dagaz with the Midwinter rebirth of the sun.  As the rune has both vertical and horizontal symmetry, it can also stand for great balance and a time of integrations and synthesis.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  Dagaz is a rune of dawns and all the hope that comes with them; whether it is the warmth of the sun or the joy of inner enlightenment.  Better yet, it can take all that energy of a liminality and bring it into a useful balance.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  In readings, dagaz indicates that good things are coming; its the light at the end of the tunnel; the coming of spring.  It can indicate increase and growth in any area, the timeline of which can depend on surrounding runes.  It can manifest in sudden change, but adopt a sunny attitude about that change and all will come out right.  It is a signal to seize and opportunity.  In magical work, dagaz can be used to begin or complete a working, as it can stand for a sunrise or sunset.  It can potentiate the power of other runes for transformation and contribute to new beginnings or successful conclusions.  Aswynn finds it useful in transforming consciousness, as it is such a balanced “bridge” between halves.  Therefore, it is of great use in third-eye work.

Paxson’s Practice for Living Dagaz:  Paxon suggests that a great time of year for attuning oneself to the energies of dagaz i the time of Ostara, the vernal equinox.  Though light officially turns at Yule, it is at Ostara that we can truly see the dawn.  The days are warming, the flowers are blooming, and all the world is burgeoning forth in splendor.  Paxon suggests a renewal ritual at this time.  Make a list of things that have shadowed your life and that you wish to get rid of.  Before the sun rises, wash yourself and put on clean, white clothing, then go to a place where you will see the sun rise.  Lay wood for a fire and bring incense, milk, and cakes.  As the sun rises, face it with your arms crossed across your breast, which makes your upper torso resemble dagaz.  Greet the day with a prayer, perhaps the pray to the day from the Sigrifumál,  Then light your fire and sprinkle the incense on it.  Honor the gods and the day with an appropriate prayer.  Drop your list of things to be banished on the flames; as it burns, visualize each item as a scene in which the light grows until the light is all you can see.  Rejoice that these darknesses have been destroyed by the day.

Day 349: Tyr’s Aett, Ingwaz


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:  “ING-wahz”
Meaning:  Ing, Yngvi
Supporting Meanings:  Transformation, return, fertility, birth/death, grain god

Ancient Meanings:  According to Diana Paxson, the “Ng” rune is found only in Old Germanic and Anglo-Saxon futharks, and–like tiwaz–it has a god’s name.  According to the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, this god was first recognized by the East-Danes until he wnet to the east over waves where the Heardings, or perhaps the Asdings, named him.  The royal dynasty of Sweden, the Ynglings, carry his name in their etymology, and Yngvi figures as an ancestor of many Old English royal families.  Paxson speculates that Ing may have been a local name of the god of herd and harvest.

Modern Meanings:  Thorsson notes that Ing is the seed energy needed for gestation to result in plenty and so signifies the cycle of withdrawal, transformation, and return.  He notes that Ing was the consort of the earth mother who gave up his power to her to be released in the spring.  Gundarsson continues in this vein calling Ing the consort to Berkano whos seed brings fertility to man and nature.  It therfore unties man with earth and the nature-wisdom of the Vanir.  Freya Aswnn holds Yngvi as a title of Freyr, meaning “son of,” and that “Land of Yng” may be the spiritual meaning of the word “England.”  She also holds that the Anglo Saxon form pictured above looks like a DNA helix, so Yng may be considered a rune of genetic inheritance and reincarnation.  Osborn and Longland interpret the Old English poem to fix Ing as a god whose passage calms the waves and releases creative powers of the universe.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  This rune is the essence of the consort god; he who provides the energy to keep the world in fruit.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  Ingwaz represents creative power in the masculine form, transition to a new stage in a cycle, and endings that lead to new beginnings.  It’s a rune of power for brewing.  Willis says it indicates completion, transition, or new beginning.  Peterson feels it indicates peace and bounty in the external world; sensuality, sernity, and love.  Asywn states that its seed form can be used as a magic circle or to contain other energies.  As a sign of the consort god, it is a rune of positive sexuality where forces interact in equality.

Paxson’s Practice for Living Ingwaz:  Through Ingwaz, we can connect to the god Yngvi, who is a role model for a male life cycle that is not focused on war.  After all, the real test of a king was not whether he won battles, but whether he made the crops grow.  It is this power that the male focuses and transmits, and that the female awakens so that she can receive it once more.  Meditating on Ingwaz can act as a key to men’s mysteries.  For a woman, meditating on this cycle can lead to a new understanding of her relationship to the masculine.  We can also use Ingwaz as a focus for an ancestor altar, to honor all those who came before us and who successfully lived this creative balance.