A Year-Long Prosperity Spell

Things have been rather amazing with the coven these days.  Our HPS Z. is well-settled in her new home, and our HP Y. has moved with his partner to the American South where they are beginning to thrive.  W. was initiated into the first degree this year.  X. down in Oregon took the second degree when he came up to Tacoma for the South Puget Sound Pagan Pride Day at the start of October, and T., our first degree in Oregon, is coming out of her post-divorce hiatus.  And I’ve been cleared to take second, provided transportation arrangements and health holds up for everyone.

But since I’ll be taking second, Z. and Y. have decided I should start leading circles for the group, a thing that both thrills and terrifies me.  I had my first attempt at it with our Esbat this month on the 7th.  Prior to that, W. and her husband invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them, and our discussions of what we wanted the year to hold and what we wanted to accomplish with the group naturally morphed into us creating a fairly novel working:  a prosperity spell based off of a calendar “rune chain.”  What this string of runes essentially does is tells the story of how our upcoming year will progress financially.  I had gotten the idea for a rune chain from Marietta at Witchy Words, who made one to help ward her new home and–as far as I know–is the one who came up with the concept in the first place.  Once we had all agreed on a prosperity working and I showed W. and her husband a picture of Marietta’s chain, the working just fell easily into place.

My completed prosperity rune chain hanging up in my room.  It's one of the first things I see every morning.

My own completed prosperity rune chain hanging up in my room. It’s one of the first things I see every morning.

Last year, a cedar tree on W.’s property had been damaged in a storm and had to be removed, but before the tree got chipped up, her husband took a limb and cut it into disks and dried them out with the idea that he’d eventually turn them into a rune set of his own, and he had oodles and oodles to spare.  That left W. and I to figure out what runes we wanted and what we wanted them to represent.  Eventually, we decided to constrain this working to the course of a full year and view the chain as a calendar marking what steps towards increased long-term prosperity we would attain at certain points in the year.  Since the Esbat we were performing the spell on fell on a full moon between Samhain and Yule, we decided to treat this spell as a sort of Wiccan “New Year’s Resolution” and framed our year around the eight Sabbats.  Therefore, we’ve got eight runes divided into two six-month intervals, one where we set the stage for increased growth during the time when sunlight increases and one where we reap our harvest as sunlight decreases.

The assembly instruction sheet I provided to the group.

The assembly instruction sheet I provided to the group.

This is basically how we envision the story of our financial year unfolding:

YULE, Fehu: We start the story with a good, solid introduction. This working is about material prosperity, so we start off by focusing on the rune of wealth: fehu. Fehu is about wealth accumulation through judicious investment of resources—cattle, for instance, are only going to be healthy and multiply if they are well-cared for. Our challenge for the period of Yule is to determine what we need to “care” for our “herds”.

CANDLEMAS, Berkano: By the time the wheel turns to February, we should have been able to identify what we need to care for our nascent prosperity and are ready to seriously nurture it, if we haven’t already begun to do so. Berkano is the “Earth Momma” rune; the ever-young birch tree; pregnant. Our challenge is to do what we can to protect and nurture our financial goals. Flood the market with job applications, put in overtime and a good face with the boss. Whatever we need to do.

SPRING, Elhaz: At this point, the protective nature of nurturing our financial goals shifts from a maternal one to a magical one. Elhaz sets up a blocking barrier, keeping the influences that would impede our goals at bay. Got an application out in the marketplace? It will keep all the niggling things that slow down that process away. Starting a new job? It will keep all the “newbie” slip-ups minor. Whatever impediments may arise, Elhaz will see you through them. Our challenge is to be attuned to what can block us, and actively work to overcome them.

BELTANE, Bind Rune: By the time Beltane rolls around, the energies surrounding Fehu, Berkano, and Elhaz will be at a peak. Therefore, they are bound together as a joint foci. Important decisions will be made now.

MIDSUMMER, Ehwaz: Ehwaz is the rune of partnership and cooperation. It bridges dyads and helps them work together towards a single goal. This can be a bridging of the metaphysical and physical. Magical steps and prayers taken towards prosperity will pay off; maybe more literally than you’d think. But other things can factor into this energy, too. Maybe you start working very well with a boss and get onto a promotion track. Maybe you start finding your groove in a new job, make some friends, learn some tips, and earn some new bonuses. Bottom line is, you don’t need the protection anymore. To act in accordance with this rune, look towards your networks for help.

LAMMAS, Dagaz: Dagaz is the rune of dawn and hope and the returning sun—kind of a big deal in Northern countries. One of the interesting things about experiencing such drastic changes is how much you appreciate the sun when it finally arrives out of the dark. The dark, then, more sharply defines the light. We’re definitely getting to a point of increased financial stability by this point, but we need to remember that we can’t fully appreciate security without struggle and that life’s going to be a shifting balance between the two. We’ve just discovered a new balance that we’ll need to adjust in the next cycle. Our challenge, then, is to start shoring up for lean times. Take the financial planning classes, contribute to retirement plans, fill up the savings accounts, etc.

HARVEST HOME, Sowilo: Finally, when all the harvest is coming in, we can take stock of the successes we’ve had over the year. Sowilo is a rune of illumination and movement and success. During the course of this year, we’ve brightened up our financial landscape and brought some fiscal fluidity back to our lives. Now is the time to take stock of what we did right. To act in accordance with this energy, we should reflect upon these successes, learn what made them successful so that we can continue to be so, and give thanks for the opportunities we’ve had.

SAMHAIN, Bind Rune: By the time Samhain rolls around, the energies of Ehwaz, Dagaz, and Sowilo will be at their peak. Just as we did in Beltane, we consider them together in a bind rune and allow ourselves to seriously plan how we can bring their energies into the next turn of the wheel. Our challenge, then, will be to set out a plan of action for the next year’s finances.

Once we got the story down, tested our planned materials, and ran a “draft” of the idea past our high priest, W. and I met up to take care of burning eight sets of runes and compiling eight spell kits.  We figured it would be complicated enough to string them together and personalize them as a group:  we didn’t need the headache of managing to share a couple woodburning tools in a small candlelit room full of naked people on top of all that.  So we took a nice, sunny afternoon, cast a big circle, and took turns burning runes as we concentrated on our intent of prosperity and then concluded by raising energy to that purpose through a prosperity chant.

Thing

The runes all finished up.

Once that was done, I assembled a bit of a kit for everyone in the group with the runes, an 8-foot length of leather cording, materials to mount the chain to a wall (a small Command hook, a Command strip, and a thumbtack), and a few “prosperity baubles” in case anyone was interested in adding that element to their chain.  I included a golden dollar coin, a citrine bead, bay leaves, some “Sweet Success” incense (a coven tradition), and some green felt and green thread to make a bag if anyone so chose.  I also advised those coming to the circle to bring items that meant “prosperity” to them to the circle, and I mailed our Atlanta and Eugene contingents their kits with an explanatory letter.

The items I slipped into my prosperity bag.  I wrote my two main prosperity

The items I slipped into my prosperity bag. I wrote my two main prosperity “wishes” onto the bay leaves. They read “A job that I love; one right for me” and “A home, a hearth, security”.  The other items are a golden dollar (John Adams, my favorite President), a bit of blue ‘woad’ to connect to the throat chakra (the seat of communication, which is where I want my career to focus), a citrine bead, a loadstone, and–courtesy of S.A.–a lucky sixpence.

In circle, we all constructed our rune chains the way we wanted them to be (note to self:  taper candles for more light in the future!), gathered up our items, discussed our plans for prosperity as we worked, and then charged up the items with our intent using a chant.

IMG_0706What I did with my own chain was to link up the runes.  After the final one, I created a witch’s ladder knot spell to secure my intent (nine knots in which I bound my intent to the totem with the chant “by knot of one, the spell’s begun,” etc.  I put all my items in a little leather pouch, which hangs at the base of it all.  My intent to help myself act in accordance with the spell is to “check in” at the first quarter and full moons every month to evaluate my progress and to chart out a weekly-ish plan for how I will live in accordance.  By combining short and long term goals with a healthy dose of magic, I’m confident I’ll turn my luck throughout 2015.

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.

OTHALA
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.

DAGAZ
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.

INGWAZ
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.

Day 348: Tyr’s Aett, Laguz

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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.

LAGUZ
Pronunciation:  “LAH-gooz”
Meaning:  Lake, Leek
Supporting Meanings:  Ocean, water, ebb, flow, Goddess, life, death, beyond control

Ancient Meanings:  According to Diana Paxson, the meaning of the rune is essentially water–a lake or a river, given as Logr in Old Norse and Lagu in Old English, but there is an associated ‘pun’ meaning of Laukaz, or the leek, from the Old Germalic word for lake, Laguz.  In the Anglo-Saxon poem, this rune is the wild ocean the Anglos and Saxsons ventured to reach Britain.  It is as seen that seems unending to all those who venture upon ships, and its waves shall terrify them for they will be so strong that the ships cannot be controlled.  The Icelandic poem is more moderated, and water there is simply “a swelling stream, a geyser, and land of the fish.”  The Norwegian verses say that water is where a waterfall cascades from a mountain face and ends with the enigmatic phrase “but ornaments are made of gold.”  That may refer to the practice of hiding hoards of treasure behind waterfalls

Modern Meanings:  Edred Thorsson says that laguz represents the basic energy and secret source of organic life:  primal potential, initiation into life, and passage across the waters through death.  Osborn and Longland state that water is a powerful, unpredicatble, and dangerous element that cannot be governed by human agencies, a ship out of control.  Gundarsson takes a more naturalistic approach.  For him, laguz signifies the primal water, an ambivalent element that brings either prosperity or destruction; life-giving flowing water is contrasted with stagnant, poisonous water.  As the leek, it is a protection against danger, especially that which comes through drink.  It is a transition between life and death.  Freya Aswynn feels laguz is a feminine rune and connected with sorcery, perhaps that which is boiled in a cauldron.  Willis sees laguz as a woman, feminine energy, the moon cycle, amniotic fluid, etc.  Peterson, however, focuses on the leek as a phallic symbol and holds laguz as symbolic of the male principle.  Paxon seems to agree more with Aswynn, noting that all the waters of the planet can be interpreted as the blood of the goddess for the earth is her body.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  Water is a double-edged sword.  It is necessary for life, but it can also dramatically sweep it all away.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  Laguz may indicate a woman or feminine influence in divination, or a new life or creativity welling up from the depths of the unconscious.  Willis says it governs the powers of conception and birth.  Matters pertaining to the psychic or the unconscious, contact with the spiritual ream, or the realm of the imagination.  It can indicate a need to go with the flow, or promise that sympathetic help is coming.  The leek, as a healing herb, can be used for protections and aid intuition.  Laguz is a useful rune in spellcraft, for it has a powerful effect on the female reproductive cycle (and menses in particular).  Drawing it emerging from an upended perthro on the womb can help relieve menstrual cramps and get the flow started, or it can stimulate contractions in child birth.  Combining it with fehu and applying it to both partners can aid in conception.  Drawing it on the brow while intoning it can remove writer’s block, and its power is increased in conjunction with uruz.  In fact, combining it with uruz and thurisaz can influence rain magic.

Paxson’s Practice for Living Laguz:  Studying laguz provides a good opportunity to examine your relationship with the element of water.  If it rains, go for a walk without an umbrella.  Spend time near a lake or pond or by the sea.  Visit an aquarium, investigate the watershed from which your water comes.  Drink at least one glass of water each day, and as you do, sign it with the laguz rune and spend a few moments thinking about its source.  This is also an excellent time to explore the craft of brewing and to make herbal teas and infusions.  Chant appropriate runes over the pot as it bubbles.

Day 347: Tyr’s Aett, Mannaz

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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.

MANNAZ
Pronunciation:  “MAN-naz”
Meaning:  Man
Supporting Meanings:  Human relations, the divine-in-human, the human archetype, the best that man can be

Ancient Meanings:  In the Younger Futhark, this rune evolved to an intermediate form that resembled a diamond struck through with a line that continued through its bottom point.  It later lost its top and took a form identical to that of the older rune for Elhaz.  In the Anglo-Saxon rune poem takes a rather gloomy view of what man is capable of, saying that “the mirthful man is dear to kinsmen” but that all men inevitably “fail his fellow” since God dooms that their “frail flesh” will be eventually buried in death.  In the Scandinavian poems, however, this final death is augmented.  The Norwegian poem, for example, directly states that “man is an augmentation of the dust; great is the claw of the hawk”.  The Icelandic one, says that man is the joy of man and an augmentation of the dust and adorner of ships.”  In either case, both note that man, though he might become dust, is eventually reborn of it and accomplishes great things.

Modern Meanings:  Edred Thorsson holds that mannaz is the human archetype that identifies humanity as progeny of the gods.  Thus, mannaz is man as a manifestation of the Divine.  In addition, he sees it as an archetypal androgyne, the humanity beyond gender.  Gundarsson reads it as the rune of the rational minds in which the powers of thought and memory interact.  Aswyn reasons that mannaz is a rune of the fetch, as man is the highest animal in which mind rules instinct.  Paxon says that in studying mannaz, “we confront the question of what it means to be human.”  We are both divine and animal.  We may be distinguished by the powers of our intellect and memory, but we have animal urges as well.  The essence of our humanity, perhaps, is the ability to relate to the rest of humankind.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  Biologically speaking, I think that humans are unique among the animals as being capable of true altruism.  We don’t necessarily protect our kin out of a compulsion to keep a stable breeding pool.  Instead, we’re capable of having empathy for people we’ve never seen in places we’ve never been.  We can even extend this empathy to other animals.  It’s the divine in us recognizing the divine in others.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  A diviner should consider all possible meanings of “gift” in a layout, including the gifts of the spirit, or a need to look at the nature of one’s interactions with others.  Another area to consider is the balance between aspects of an individual’s life, or between the individual and his environment.  It can have economic significance relating to job relationships and results.  IT can also indicate a union or partnership of some kind.  It may also refer to contracts, agreements, and alliances.  It can be used as a general luck rune and to create a link between other forces or in spells of integration or balance.

Paxson’s Practice for Living Mannaz:  Everyone wants to know where they came from, so it’s unsurprising that all peoples develop some myth to account for the origins of human kind.  Read some of these myths from cultures extant and extinct, read what the latest scientific data infers what our origins may be.  Read stories and myths that discuss how humanity has come together to form societies.  When you have read, write your own story.