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.