Ansuz

Ansuz

Ansuz is associated with communication, exerting your will, and using vibration to manifest. This rune is associated with Odin, who hung from the world tree Yggdrasil for 9 days in order to learn the runes. He is the apex God of the Norse Pantheon.

In Midgard this week I took a few classes that taught communication and expression. This being the week of Ansuz and communication, it is very fitting they fell during this time. The classes helped me to understand how to standing by my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It gave tools for expressing them when necessary and without apology in professional settings. I create the space I travel through this world in. I do this through emotion, action and speech. This comes from my words, body language, thoughts, intention, and energy systems. When these are in alignment so there is no confusion or feelings of overwhelm in my interaction with the world. When these feelings exist, I know there is disharmony among my systems.

I have a lot more confidence in talking about my path to others. Recently, I had conversations to express some of my pain points, and made myself vulnerable. I got great advice from these conversations and was able to see my way through overcoming some of my fear and resistance about moving forward on my path. Since then, I have a lot of activity around my rune work. A friend of mine invited me to a retreat, and asked that I give rune readings during it. This is a great opportunity to broaden my client base and it came without prompting. She was aware of my gifts as I have given her a reading. This invitation came shortly after I committed myself to keeping up with the posts on Runic Path.

It seems the expression of my commitment has opened doors. Since the opportunity is here, I must take it. If I don’t the energy will dissipate as it has in the past. When I have expressed intentions in the past, the doors usually open immediately. This has always been overwhelming for me and I have declined the offers presented to get my bearings. It was much more difficult to get the energy moving again when I was “ready”. Ansuz taught me these two weeks to speak my intent and then accept the opportunities that come or risk the well drying up.

I recently had a superpower reading with my friend and coach Nancy Nicholas who told me that mine gift was the gift of PLAY. This is very fitting for me because I usually approach things from a serious perspective. I want to accumulate as much information and training before I practice. However, I learn and grow much faster when I practice first, and then begin seeking out further information and training. My “learn it first” approach causes blocks and stagnation in the development of the endeavor because I am stressed that I will never know all I need to know to be able to practice, or build, or achieve. There is always more training and knowledge to be had. If I wait until I get all of it, I will never start.

When I feel this way now, I will come at the situation with the spirit of PLAY to open up the floodgates of creativity and flow.

I ask you to look at your own life. Where are you struggling and why? What would happen if you decided to come at it from the opposite angle? My hunch is you would find your superpower.

Thurisaz

Thurisaz

Fehu and Uruz represent the feminine and masculine energies, and Thurisaz brings the family to completion by representing the child energy.  Thurisaz has a very aggressive energy. Its basic meaning is ‘thorn’ and also is representative of Thor’s hammer. This rune is associated with the Norse god Thor. Thor fought against the giants to keep the humans of Midgard safe in the Norse mythos.

A ring of thorn creates a boundary, and Thor’s hammer can smash anything to pieces. I imagine that swinging his hammer would have created a boundary around Thor. Those in his vicinity would have head for the hills!

Thurisaz shows me that the best way to work with it was to pair it with another rune that would clarify the intent of the work.

 The word ‘thurs’ means ‘giant’ in Icelandic. Thurisaz also represents the giants, and their conflict with Thor. Giants are known for fostering chaos, thus Thor works to contain this chaos and keeping it in check requires balance. My vision around this is trying to hold something slippery. Grab to hard and it will slip away from you and get loose.  Examples for pairing this rune in workings are include a pairing with Algiz would yield protection for self and others, with Othala protection of the family and home, and with Raido a protection of a journey.

Uruz

Uruz

Uruz is the male counterpart to Fehu, the mighty bull. Specifically it relates to the Auroch, a primordial bull that was huge and forceful. This rune is masculine to Fehu’s feminine quality.  It represents health, strength, and force. With great strength and force comes great responsibility, however. Too much Uruz is as uncontrollable as a raging bull. There is no stopping the energy once it starts, it must wind down on its own.

Recently, during a ceremony held to build power for Standing Rock, I had a journey where I became the Bison. During this journey I was one of large herd and I could feel the strength in my legs, the breath moving in an out of my lungs, and the cold air through my hair. During this run, we circled the protesters by running around the camp building a cone of power to protect,  heal, and energize the camp. We were an impenetrable wall. A few days after this ceremony, the DAPL project was put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time.

Uruz is my healing container, creating space for healing and sending the power I needed to heal.

In doing some research on Bison, I learned that they form their herd by placing the youth in the center, the elders outside of them, the mothers outside of them and finally the strong males on the outside with their horns out ready to protect the rest. This resonated with my vision in that the male bison were outside, protecting those that are not as strong.  

Fehu 2017

Fehu 2017

In the Elder Futhark, the first rune is Fehu. Her time of year is the January 1 through the 15th of the calendar year if you are using the Gregorian calendar. Every year I spend two weeks living and pondering the ruling rune of the wheel of the year.

Fehu is the rune of material abundance. It represents the cow, which historically was a sign of wealth. Cows are not the most liquid asset. They provide bounty in the form of milk, meat and hide. Surely, owners of a cow will not go hungry. The bounty can be traded for other things of value. They have seasons to their life: growing, producing, and reaping.  A lone cow is only worth what it can generate during its life. A pair of cows, however, can be a renewable asset.  More can be produced with a pair.Eventually they will die whether they are used wisely or not. If they are not cared for, they will die even sooner.

From the modern perspective, we can take lessons from Fehu to make the most of the wealth that we come into and to share excesses with our communities. Abundance implies an overflow of bounty and this must be shared or spoiled. When it is shared the community thrives, it doesn’t need to work as hard, and there is more time for rest and play. Breaking of bread is done together with friends and family.  How the overflow is spent creates the world. The products and services that we buy as beget more of the same.

Be wise in how we share our excess wealth, and the excess that we keep needs to be tended and cared for. It should be used to produce more of itself to be of most benefit.

 

As I plan my year of adventure (because every year is the opportunity for adventure) and look to where I will spend my overflow, I always get concerned that I might not have enough. This has never been the actual case. When I have the desire to do something, it is because the means are present. The fact that I have a full year of experiences planned is the indication that I have wealth. If I were to be more conservative in my plans, that overflow would be spoilt on things that would come up to spend it. I would have more car repairs, or weddings, or birthday parties to attend. Nature abhors a vacuum and will spend money if it is left sitting for too long. Fehu says to be sure to keep some money aside for the future, but make it “work” by producing more of itself by being invested wisely in a vehicle that keeps it growing.
After looking over my post last year, I see I am still learning new things from this rune and anticipate next year will yield even more growth!

Raido

Raido

Walking the path is not easy. That’s what makes it a worthwhile experience. I struggle with a balance of privacy and expression. It seems my fear is rejection, loneliness, and exhaustion if I express myself. I often feel like I am explaining myself because I have so many interests and ideas that people wonder where I am coming from.  I recently moved and used that as an excuse to “nest”. I stayed home and binged on Netflix. I felt horrible. In the last two weeks I have been putting myself into social situations again, even if I feel like I don’t want to go. I have been paying attention to situations and how I feel in them, and learning how to deal with the uncomfortable ones and seek out more of the nurturing ones. I started this process months ago, and used the move as an excuse to backslide into Hermitville. Alas, life is not lived from your living room (despite the name)…

When I journey to Raido the path is always dirt, stone or rock. It winds through a wood or up a steep slope. It requires work, and it offers reward for the effort.

 

I was listening to a webinar today and the presenter said “We have plenty of spiritual teachers, but not enough spiritual doers.” That resonates with me because while I have gotten wisdom from spiritual teachers and insight from others perspective, the most profound learning has come from inside and usually in the process of doing something. Taking classes, reading books, thinking I need just a bit more knowledge before I go applying what I know puts me into a stuck state. Self-discovery may be slow coming at times, but it always comes when I am ready. More to the point, I believe all the knowledge is available to me at any time, but it is only when I am ready to access the information that I will be able to comprehend it. I understand now what it means to enjoy the journey; it is what we are here for, with all the slopes and bends in the road put there for the experiences we take from it. Joy is had in the doing, not in the done.

Ansuz

Ansuz

Ansuz has always been about self expression for me.

During my 2 + weeks with Ansuz I noticed that in situations where I hide or decide to “not disclose” my true self,  I am doing a disservice to myself and my gifts. I am more aware of oppressive environments, situations where I feel like my true self wouldn’t be accepted. I am making inroads to removing myself from these groups and focusing on activities that can express and grow my gifts in my way.  The reason I am so confused and afraid in my life is because I am trying to be something I am not. I don’t necessarily know what those things are, but I know that some of the instances where I keep to myself are because I feel I would be misunderstood if I were to say what is really on my mind. I also don’t want to take responsibility for having that opinion.

 

Ansuz showed me there is more to my mission in this human form and I have to cultivate an open discussion with Odin and the other gods to find out what that is. Practicing self expression, as difficult and scary as it may be, will allow me to find the untrodden place where all sides of me can flourish and bring value to others. I am taking longer than two weeks with each rune. Some of this is procrastination in writing what I experience. I also realize I might not need two weeks for some runes, just as I might take longer with others. I can feel the new rune emerging and know when it’s time to work with it.
In a reading that I did for myself, Tiwaz very prominently appeared and I took some time with it. My query was about my destiny and both Perthro – the destiny rune – and Tiwaz were merkstave. Jera was also present but in a sideways, or blocked position. I could see that the fruits of my labor were present, but I wasn’t allowing them. My warrior destiny could not emerge until I had allowed the harvest of all the knowledge I have come to sow over the last few years. Soon after the reading I spent some time with a friend, and as I came out of her house there was a Tiwaz branch, pointing to the right as if to say it was coming around. I kept that branch as a reminder to always stand upright and be true.

Tiwaz

Thurisaz

While working with Thurisaz I felt it was easier to release ideas and things that I had realized weren’t serving me, but couldn’t figure out how to let them go. I was ready to act on guidance that I had been receiving (or remembering).

Thurisaz acted as the ax, chopping away at the attachments that held fear close to me.

I won’t say I am ready to act on these things, but I can see my way through them which is a huge step! Ideas I had weren’t really right for me, but what I thought were right for me. I am able to let go of things I am not really passionate about in order to pursue the things that really bring me joy. I always had two lists, the things I wanted to do and the things I should do. Thurisaz allowed me to cut away the shoulds, leaving just the things that bring true joy to life! I can also see that when those things no longer bring me joy, I can walk away from them without worry. Because I love someone or something today it doesn’t mean I am bound to love them forever. This frees me up to take chances, to leap and try new things and not apologize for not committing to something I am not truly sure of.  I am finishing up a 5 month course of study with the elements and I began working with the Storm/Spirit element at the same time that  I began to work with Thurisaz. Storm is about transformation, and the cutting of negative energies away from me is certainly helping me to take flight.
At the end of my two weeks,  I was disappointed as I didn’t feel connected to Thurisaz, but on reflection I can see Thor was there creating the boundary in which I could remove myself and see things from a different perspective. He was beating back the Giants so that I could get a clear picture of myself and the world around me. I can use Thurisaz when I need to shut out the world and hear my own thoughts in order to follow the path of my heart.

Uruz

Two weeks with Uruz started like a bull! I found myself in a conflict where I had to remain strong. The easy route was to give in to the “bullying” and do whatever I could to resolve the conflict quickly, even though I felt the other party were being spiteful. It was difficult for me because I was upset that they were unhappy and I felt responsible in some way.  Uruz made sure I held strong. It was a lesson in business, and a great experience for dealing with discomfort. Uruz himself was showing up in my life in other ways. I was at a workshop where we were making our own Oracle cards and was struck by a magazine photo of bison running the plains. I went to see a movie – The Revenant – and again was struck by a scene in the movie where a herd of Bison was running the through the wild, one of them being taken down by a pack of wolves. I also took my mom to dinner, and noticed our restaurant choice – Longhorn Steakhouse – was very fitting for Uruz.

Uruz is about strength, which is NOT comfortable.

Becoming strong requires one to step out of the comfort zone. It’s obvious to me know, but I must admit before living with Uruz for 2 weeks I did not make this connection. Uruz is more physical than Fehu. It is the health and strength gained in Midgard and more masculine. I began to see my desire to be stronger and have fortitude. I have always been interested in being a Wilderness Guide but it was never practical. Uruz showed me it wasn’t “practical” because I was telling myself that it wasn’t practical. For sure I need to increase my physical strength in order to be in the wilderness for longer periods of time. I also want to invest in training to ensure I thrive in the outdoors. I have lined up some activities for this purpose and will have at least two outdoor adventures this year. I spent the last two weeks planning for trips I can take. I am looking at going to Utah in September and Iceland in December. These trips are week long and guided. I love to travel, and have been to Europe alone but stayed in Hostels, but never had the fortitude to spend a week outdoors in a tent. A night or two is fine, but hiking in and spending the night outdoors was too risky. To many variables, to much responsibility, too much on the line if problems arise.  If all goes well with my travel this year and I still feel the energy around this I am feeling now then I will get my Wilderness Guide certification and begin guiding trips in 2017!
Once I realized that this was something I really wanted to explore I became aware of places in my body where I felt weakness, stress and pain. It will take work and discipline to get into shape. These could easily be excuses not to go forward, and I am struggling to overcome them. But the more I think about walking this path, the more excited I get. I feel the energy of this moving me forward, like the stampeding bison of The Great Plains.

Fehu, week 2

My work with Fehu this week began with me asking, “What does prosperity and abundance mean to me?”. The answer is that it is the ability to do what I want, when I want and being able to generate what I need, when I need it.  Essentially, it means freedom. I began this week by looking at what impinges on my freedom and saw a lot of material stuff that needs storage, dusting, and maintenance. I saw where I had agreed to do something for someone to be nice, so they would like, accept and approve of me, but the act of holding up that promise was really weighing me down. I found no joy in the act of carrying out the agreement, and when I examined the relationships I was trying to cultivate through the agreement I found they were not of the highest quality. In essence, it was time for a purge!

Fehu is associated with fire and inspiration. Often the act of creation is referred to as the creative fire. I feel creativity in my belly. I am on fire when I am in the flow and moving through projects, creating things, quickly. As I culled my possessions, responsibilities and relationships, stagnation was rising away and giving way to flow. I could viscerally feel the movement in my life. It reminded me of when a frozen river starts the thaw, first a few cracks, then large chunks of ice began to move. Soon those melt and the river is raging. Nothing can stop it unless the temperature drops so low that it freezes again. A river is always a river, however. It’s nature is to flow and it will always return to that state as soon as it gets a chance. I had stagnated and frozen myself. This was necessary for me, and the Runes were telling me that it was the time for ice. This phase is now over and for the first time in a long time I feel like I am aware of the flow and ice seasons of my life; I will listen and not fight them!

I have made progress starting my business and understand that the things holding me back were a fear of responsibility and not being able to  deliver. Fehu gives me the confidence to make commitments and deliver on them. I will figure out the path to success so long as I intend to and keep that intention even if I encounter failure along the way.

This week I was also learning how to receive. It struck me during the holidays that the inability to receive (without guilt or the anxiety of repayment) was a limitation to my growth. In the Northern Tradition, it is very clear that giving and gifting is integral to life. I never know when it is appropriate to give or receive as it seems often when I give, the situation is uncomfortable. “But I didn’t get you anything…” is something I frequently hear. Or, “Oh, you shouldn’t have…”. Very rarely does someone just accept a gift with gratitude and joy. As a result, I grew up expecting that every gift I receive must be paid back. I couldn’t enjoy a gift because I was so anxious about how to pay it back, and quick, so the giver wouldn’t think I dropped the ball and hence never gift me again! I never gave a gift with expectation of return, but my anxiety about receiving, coupled with mixed signals from those I have gifted, turned me off to the whole process. Now that I am open to receiving and not anxious about paybacks, I see that I am much more generous with money and gifts. Coincidentally, I get a lot more in return.  

This is Fehu, keeping the “currency” and the “cash flow” moving.

All of these lessons were echoed in the reading I did on Fehu by authors Freya Aswynn, Jeremy RJ White and Jonathon Dee. In his book The Runes: An Illustrated Guide to Interpreting the Stones,  Jonathon Dee described the story of Audhumla, and how she, born of a union of Fire and Ice, slowly licked away the ice to reveal the giant Ymir thus starting the world of Gods, men, and all that is.  In her book Northern Mysteries and Magick, Freya Aswynn talks about the creative fire of Fehu to light a spark or add a burst of power to an intention, project, or ritual. And Jeremy White describes his experience with Fehu where he was submerged through the bubbling cauldron to release fears he had on his spiritual path and be born anew on the other side.

The kennings in the Havamal also have new meaning to me. Before where I saw the gifts, giving, and sacrifice as prices to pay I now see them as reciprocal energy that keeps the flow of life moving. If I am shown kindness by someone and remain open, I will naturally develop a relationship and take great joy in reciprocating. In the event that the kindness is paid by a stranger I am not likely to meet again, then paying it forward to a stranger in their time of need is a beautiful way to honor the gift received. Fehu showed me where my hesitance to circulate wealth was really due to my hesitance in creating relationships and participating in the flow of life. Wealth takes many faces, and if everything is energy as I believe it to be, then abundance is meant to be circulated and have movement. Fehu also showed me how the creative spark is great for getting started on a project, but consistent work on that project is what keeps it moving and progressing toward completion. This work can be 10 minutes a day or an hour a week. Seemingly minuscule amounts of time, with consistency, will add up to a finished product.

Fehu, week 1

In the beginning there was Fehu. The first rune in the Elder Futhark has a primary meaning of abundance and wealth, but this is a modern-age interpretation of its literal meaning in Old Norse which is cattle. Cattle back in the day were mighty valuable and having several must have been a indication of the well to do. Cattle meant your family would not starve during the cold Nordic winter when they were land bound for several months. It also meant they wouldn’t be cold as the hide could warm them on chilly nights. Today we don’t trade in cattle, but in coin. So the abundance of Fehu is now considered to be of wealth.

Fehu is also the first rune in the alphabet, and according to Norse Myths, in the of beginning was the primeval cow, Audumbla. Fehu is associated with Frey and Freya, Vanir gods known for fertility and passion. I imagine it was Freya that sparked my interest in doing this series, a perfect time of the year for new projects, as it is the time for new beginnings and commitments. She knew I was aching to delve into these stones on a more intimate level, and so she lit the fire in my belly to write about the process of connecting more deeply with each of the runes in the Elder Futhark.

This week I have come to understand Fehu as the wealth that we generate. 

Fehu is about wealth but also new beginnings and creation. If you had cattle in Old Norse times that might mean a certain amount of wealth based on how necessary cattle were that year (did they die off due to disease, did you get a lot of births and hence more mouths to feed, was the weather conducive to farming, etc). But it isn’t just about the wealth of that cattle, but what you could do to generate more wealth. A family could stud a male cattle or impregnate a female cow and have 2 animals next year. They could lease their cattle for grazing and fertilizing pasture land in exchange for a percentage of the crop. They can use a cow for several years to produce dairy, or slaughter it for meat and hide. The choice would depend on variable factors and would require skill of the owner to know and be able to carry out the methods for bringing wealth through the ownership of the cattle.

Working with Fehu finds me thinking more about my business, how I want to generate money off my cattle – the investment I have made in myself through education and my creativity and hard work ethic. Since New Year’s day, I have registered for a business that I have been procrastinating on for 6 months, started this blog which I have put off for at least that long with the excuse I didn’t have anything to write about, and been burning through the fear that created all the blockages to impede moving forward on my creative projects. Embarking on the project was impetuous, but I recognize divine inspiration when I see it and know to heed the call or get eaten from the inside out.  This week has been spent observing where my capacity is for creating more wealth, how to create habits that are useful toward this goal, and taking action on projects I have been procrastinating on. I have also been shown where current habits and attachments could be deflecting wealth. Fehu has also made me feel pretty flush in respect to wealth due to increased income from a new job and Christmas money!