A Little Reassurance

My whole day was off today. I woke up at a later hour than I like, I didn’t get my daily drawing done until later than I like. I missed breakfast almost completely (thank you cup of oatmeal for coming to the rescue). I just barely got all the laundry done and I had planned to do So Much more with the day.

It wasn’t until noon that I did my devotional, and even then it’s 3 hours later that I’m writing this. I’ve just now had a proper meal, and I still haven’t even BEGUN to do the amount of drawing I’d planned on getting done this weekend.

All in all I was just off-balance.

But I went into my devotional with as much positivity as I could muster. These were my gods, my spirits, my kindred, my ancestors – My People – it was going to be okay, and maintaining/strengthening my bonds with them was more important than my pride about being timely.

I’m a creature of habit apparently, and my habit’s a bit disrupted this weekend, but that’s neither here nor there, I’ll manage. I’m pretty flexible like that.

Today’s rune drawing turned into 4 runes, vs the general three. I got a new candle, and by candle I mean beautiful clear candle-shaped lamp that has an impressive flame! A little bit of an intimidating impressive flame, it’ll take some getting used to, but it worked very well, I felt. It provided enough light to easily see by when I shut myself in my little room to cut out the strong noon sun and some of the noises of the day so I could focus.

I gave my thanks, spoke my mind and made my offerings. I meditated a bit, but I’m not sure about meditating standing up so I kept snapping out of it. I’ll have to start bringing a cushion outside so I can sit on the stone patio comfortably. Once I finish my current Norse Mythology book I can also start digging into the meditation guide that was recommended to me, and that’ll probably help a lot with doing actual bona fide trance work.

Anyway, onto the draw.

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I recognized a lot of the runes this time around. Not all by name, but I knew I’d pulled all except the second one previous to this time. It was a new, unknown to me rune, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

I knew the first was a symbol of the movement of energy, of turning bad to good and making bad news less. The 3rd if Wunjo – one I do know well by name, and it means joy in a lot of different ways. The 4th I recognized, but had to crack open my book to remember.

Eihwaz – The rune of paradoxes. The rune that can turn poor news good and is suggested to be inscribed on a tree that represent Yggdrasil to you. Remember it as the flow of energy up and down ones spine. Eihwaz is a good start in my opinion – that even if what follows is an outpouring of bad news, the good news is that it won’t be so bad. And if it’s good news then Eihwaz is the quiet reminder of the evergreen yew tree, most commonly believed to be the earthly equivalent of Yggdrasil – the world tree. Which, to me, brings a sense of stability and peace.

Next is Ingwaz – a rune fully new to me. It’s a rune of transitioning, from one phase to another, like winter giving way to spring and so on. There is a give and take inherent in Ingwaz to be mindful of. It speaks of sacrifice, of giving up one thing to reap the benefits of another. It’s generally good news when regarding moving from one job or project to another (Assuming you completed that job or project on good terms).

Third is Wunjo – my old friend. Wunjo is joy, but not just solitary joy, it’s group joy. The kind of happiness that brings a light into a room for friends and family. Wunjo is positive for many involved, and in a negative light it can be a sign of isolation or feelings of abandonment. In this case, Wunjo is certainly cast in a positive light, so little to no concerns there.

Finally, Othala – the rune of family of inheritance, and of bonds. It strengthens ties and family bonds – all family bonds, be they blood, spirit or past lives. I find it interesting that Othala ends the alphabet as well, acting as an anchor for family, knowledge, and spiritual wisdom. The shape of it both protects and acts as a gate. Guarding what’s inside while allowing new information to come in.

When I draw the runes I rarely have an actual question. Most often I ask only for whatever wisdom it is that my People wish to bestow on me. Many times I make the assumption that it will be related to whatever it was that I had been talking about – as, since it makes sense, I would assume that the wisdom provided would be in regards to the concerns.

In that vein I think the tradition holds true with today’s reading as well. I’m concerned about the future, about my faith, and about my job. I know I’ll be okay because I’m lucky and privileged and that even if things go legs up I’ll still find a way to be okay.

But I’m an unsure person, and some reassurance goes a long way to help calm my concerns – be they founded or otherwise. So to receive a message that says – to me – four very distinct things, vs a single idea, I feel like I got my answer/wisdom/reassurance.

That there will be bad, but I can lessen it – if not for myself than for others – and turn something awful into something as positive as possible. That I’ll transition from one job to another, but to be prepared to give something up for the move – either more time commuting, less time in comfy clothes, or I imagine a possible cut in pay. (Which would still be worth it to get away from the toxic people and blatant favoritism.) That I’ll continue to grow and bond with My People and that they’re pleased thus far by my actions and the time I can invest in my faith.

Wunjo, to me, just signifies an overall more positive vibe to the entire thing, like I need to chill a little and just enjoy that things will be okay. (Possibly it’s also assuring me that my visit back home with be joyous and not to worry about how my family will react to the news that I’m an alternative kind of religion AND practicing it regularly. I mean, they’re cool with me being, well, ME, so I doubt this news’ll change anything.)

Blessings,
Quin

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Tiny Protector

In the United States of America, things have gone a bit bonkers.

I get the why, and I understand the fear. I’m not here to talk about the details of my country’s political climate, I’m here to talk about the journey I’m having in ADF and in getting through my Dedicant Path. I’m here to talk about my runes and my relationship with my Gods, with my people.

But in case the current events have a direct impact on how my ritual went.

I spent the entire thing voicing my concerns, my fears, and what I wanted to do. Norse mythology is deep and rich, but it shines in the face of adversity. A warrior earns his place in the next life by his deeds in this – by laughing in the face of his death. They’re raucous poets, great defenders, people of honor.

What was honorable then and what is honorable now is different in detail and culture only, but the pure concept of Honor is unchanged. This is, in part, how Norse Hearth Culture works for me. I am no warrior, I’m no great brawler capable of wearing armor and beheading my foes with great axes. I’m small, I’m timid, I’m woefully disdainful of the mere concept of confrontation. I am, if anything, a great compromiser.

But, I am protective of my friends, my family, and my home.

More to the point I want to be able to protect the people that will need it over the next four years. Not everyone – I’m not that capable – but those I can reach. Be it physically, be it electronically, be it even monetarily. I want to extend the “fence” of my home and hearth to bring warmth and protection to as many people as I can.

I want to be a small, warm, light against the impending dark.

To that end I drew my runes, asking my Gods and my Ancestor and my Kindred and my Spirits for whatever omen they felt the need to provide based on that desire. Would I be successful? Would it even be possible for me to do? Would it matter?

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Eihwaz, Wunjo and Gebo.

Eihwaz is Yggdrasil, the world tree – the protective and stabilizing boughs that cradle the worlds within its branches (I tend to think of it as dark matter – that unseen force that works with gravity to keep the planets and galaxies in place.) The rune can be a connection of opposites, like the small and tiny being mighty. It can also single that a terrible event will be less so, that impending dark will turn to be more bright than expected.

Wunjo is Joy. Joy in work, in life, in outcomes. Wunjo is very dependent on surrounding runes strictly for what kind of joy one would be referring to. I don’t have much else on this rune specifically, but I’ll summarize this at the end and you’ll see how it fits.

Finally, Gebo – the rune of giving. The concept of Gebo isn’t just in the gift but also in the giftee. The idea of what goes around comes around is very strong in Norse honor. One doesn’t hoard wealth, but one doesn’t give when they’re unable to do so either. The idea is that society is the better for generosity and (boy, this touches on the political of late, doesn’t it?) that while there is an expected concept of balance to consider, you don’t point to the ledger to be sure things are even. In other words, as long as you feel – as the giver – that you have gotten back as you need (not nessicarily as you /want/ ), then there is balance.

International news shows the idea of Gebo hard at work in countries like Sweden, Denmark, etc.

What these three runes say to me is this: That not only will I be able to protect as I want, there will be joy in that – and that joy will spread – small, but there. I just need to be mindful that I don’t give so much of myself I burn out, because then I’m of no use to anyone.

I don’t know what the future will bring precisely, I don’t know what damage the next four years will bring. I don’t know what we will learn from this as a country, or what will happen after the fact. I don’t even know if I can do anything more than offer a safe space to my people and a shoulder to those who need it.

But I will do my best to be positive and joyful – in the hopes that the tiny flickering light I provide will be enough to help someone else get through the day.

Blessings,
Quin.

Afraid

I’m going to write this a bit out of the usual order for one of my devotionals, and backtrack a bit as I cover the runes I drew. I’ll end by summarizing the purpose of the ritual, and hopefully it’s not so disconnected as to be intelligible.

Before I drew these runes I did not ask for anything, I asked that whoever was listening say to me what they wanted to say. Because I didn’t ask a question I wasn’t sure that what I drew would make sense to me. All three runes came out together, and so my intent was to read them in no particular order and go from there. Moving around sentences and concepts until something jumped out and said Yes! This is what we said.

For its worth, that happened while I was looking them up.

Ansuz – The rune of Odin, of words, of mouth. A rune, specifically in this case, of communication. Ansuz is a welcome rune to me, a good sign and one that I feel close too – it’s spiritual, creative, and if I’m being honest it’s hard not to preen a little when you draw Odin’s rune. Even if Odin kind of intimidates the piss out of me…

Hagalaz – The rune of hail, change, chaos. In reading, depending on what else surrounds this rune it can mean disaster or act as a warning to brace for a change. Positivity resides on either side of Hagalaz when I drew these, the rune was literally sandwiched in between the other two.

Hagalaz is a warning, and even surrounded by positivity I don’t mean to take that warning lightly. Be it in regards to my love, my passion or my job, I don’t want to be blindsided in anything.

I think, however, in this case the change is internal.

I spent a portion of the devotional admitting that I didn’t understand my being drawn to a Norse hearth-culture. I am not fierce, I’m not brash or a warrior. I’m more a cup runneth over with kindness and sheer terror towards just about everything from Outside to Bugs.

But I had to admit I can be fierce, I can be a warrior. I have planted my feet on a few occasions in my life that were important enough to me that despite a spinning head, pounding heart, or knotting stomach, I knew I needed to not back down. I sobbed during the ritual, asserting that I wasn’t weak, but that I wanted to be stronger, I wanted to be more assertive, I wanted to be more – but I wanted to stay me.

I cannot emulate my Norse gods and goddesses, that is not who I am from head to toe, but I want to be able to honor them better in words and actions and I need to change to be able to do that.

Elhaz – let’s just pull this from the book directly. “[..] almost certainly means protection […] possibly by means of drawing natural powers or allowing previously suppressed aspects of the personality to operate.

I have a fire in me, I know I do. I’ve seen it blaze and shine on a few occasions in my life. But that fire is scary at times, because I don’t tap into it often, so when I do it’s like wrestling with a part of me that could just splash out and light everything around me. Sometimes I don’t want to catch things on fire, sometimes I’m afraid of losing control if I do ignite something in others.

Mostly, I’m just afraid.

A lot.

I’m afraid of making people angry, I’m afraid of letting down my family, I’m afraid of being a disappointment to my mother and father, I’m afraid of losing the love of my life, I’m afraid of not being successful, I’m afraid of crashing and burning with my art, I’m afraid of bugs, I’m afraid of people, I’m afraid of my own MIND.

But for the hour of my ritual, for the time of my devotion, when I’m speaking to gods and spirits and kindred, when I’m making myself a beacon for all things in all worlds and reaching out beyond the Gates, I’m not afraid. I can feel the boughs of Yggdrasil protect me, I can feel the warmth and see the light of the flames of fire that guides me, I can feel the cool life-giving flow of water at my feet.

Looping back to the runes I can almost see the words before me from the draw, something like “I am communicating with you, that change is coming and to brace, but be not afraid for it is change that you want and it will be welcome.”

I don’t know who “I” is in this case. It felt assertive and powerful, but neither maternal/fraternal.

I don’t know, it’s just that it so strongly feels like a single statement.

The main purpose of today’s devotional was to use the tree I’d received from a dear friend at least once before the high day celebration I plan to do either tonight, or very very early tomorrow. From there it kind of spontaneously turned into its own thing, but I feel confident in the transfer, and now I can use my stand in tree as the journal I’d intended it for and leave the other with the alter.

Blessings,
~Quin

Odd Omen

Today’s ritual started off with a knotted back, sore legs, and a tangle inside my own soul to be perfectly honest. I’d had a rough week at work, and my last devotional had gone south, which probably lent itself to the clunky week. I even ended up calling off on Wednesday – not a thing I do – because I felt ill at the idea of even going into work that day.

So today’s ritual was just as much about reconnecting with my gods and goddesses as it was strengthening myself and unknotting things internally. At first I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but as the ritual went on I realized I was relaxed.

When I first got my current job I was pretty excited. It was a decent jump in pay, plus a couple extra holidays and a LOT of vacation time for a new job. (15 days, vs ten.) On top of that I knew I was going to learn a ton of new things in my field and the vibe of the office was a lot more friendly and casual than my last position had been.

Lately though, things are hinky, and I’m realizing that there are, sadly, quite a few phobic-toward-anyone-not-white-and-straight-and-Christian types in my immediate vicinity. The amount of racism, transphobic and homophobic thoughts are unsettling. And they’re subtle too – for the most part, which makes it very difficult to report on, or even talk about directly to the persons involved.

Top on a little good old fashioned technophobia and office favoritism, and barely 9 months after I started, I’m ready to leave.

So, yeah, internally, very knotted up. =/

But, as I said, the ritual went well, it had the intended effect I had been hoping for. I shared a drink with my ancestors, the Kindred, and the gods/goddesses. It was, perhaps, not the wisest of me to share hard apple cider with my faith first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, massive light weight that I am, but someone was looking out for me, because I don’t even feel the tiniest bit woozy.

At some point I was compelled to draw an omen. I asked for signs about my job, but backpedaled on that – my mind is made up, I already know what I’m doing in regards to that, and it feels right, even if it’s scary. So instead I just asked for whatever omen they desired to give me, and if they were so inclined, some kind of hint as to who was reaching out to me.

Someone listened, but since I’ll be looking these up as I’m writing this, right at this moment I don’t know who. I just I know that I usually draw three runes. Today, I drew 5. The first two came out easy as you please, but the last three came out all at once, there was just no separating them while my hand was in the bag. There’s plenty of room in there for my tiny hand, so it wasn’t for lack of trying.

I’m not 100% sure what to do with it, but it feels like those three should be considered very strongly connected when I do decipher them.

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First is ELHAZ, for which there is a very repetitive theme of protection. Be it from an animal-spirit guide, in general, from one’s own spiritual power, and/or as a sign of good luck. There’s a warning against grasping Elhaz, that while it offers protection it can cut those that are rough toward it. I’ll take this as a sign of being protected, we’ll see how it holds up against the rest of the reading, as it could be an introduction to whomever has their eye on me.

Next, RAIDHO, the rune of traveling. When paired with Elhaz it implies protected travel. Raidho is often considered to be a statement of the “right way to go” or that one is on horseback (a mode of transportation, i.e. Raidho) and that it is leading one along the Way. I personally struggle with accepting the idea of fate, and that our lives are predetermined before us – but I do believe that we have a series of paths available to us. With varying degrees of the correct path vs essentially having gone off the path. Elhaz and Raidho back to back like this, feel to me like an assurance that the choices I’ve made regarding my career is the correct path and all I have left to do now is follow through assertively with that change.

Then the inseparable three. PERTHRO – DAGAZ – OTHALA

Perthro is, as far as I can gather, the unknowable rune. It can be tied to luck, to fate, to Figg and the Norns. It is the cup and the well, the caster of dice and the caster of runes. It implies fate, luck or chance in a reading and I’m left with the distinct impression that I’ll not know what this implies until I’ve looked at the other runes.

Dagaz the sun, a rune of positivity and hope. Dagaz in a reading often lends itself to a positive outcome, a kind of stay strong and things will get better sort of vibe. Possibly it means slow and measured progress vs sudden outcomes, and/or a clarifying rune to bring things to “light” as it were.

Finally, Othala. The rune of family, homeland, inheritance, of connection both with past lives and current spirits. “As the final rune of the Futhark, OTHALA “Contains” the power of all the other runes, our mystical heritage.”

My initial feeling on this, even after sitting here for long moments and contemplating things which has left said initial feeling unchanged, has me feeling that it’s the runes themselves that are calling to me. Which is kind of an odd feeling, and not at all what was expected. There’s a fringe assumption that in line with that it does include Frigg, with whom herself and the Norns are closely tied to the divination portion of the runes.

But then as well, Odin himself is very closely tied with the runes, and the utilization of them in magical ways. To be perfectly fair, Odin kind of scares the sprinkles out of me, and I’m not sure how I’d react if it was him who took to me. I suppose I’d need to begin construction of an actual functional backbone quite immediately.

Through the runes as well, is a pathway to connecting with my ancestors, and Kindred and all the gods and goddesses. Very family-esque, very connected and protected. Which is rather indicative of this and previous readings.

At this rate I may have to face my fears, and make from scratch my own runes, though I still say that fashioning tangible items is far and away not a skill I possess.