Single Rune

I awoke a little later than expected, and realized quickly that I’d turned my alarms off the day before because I’d woken up before they’d gone off – and then promptly forgot to turn them back on.

Fortunately I didn’t wake up so late that I was beyond the normal time frame I prefer to work within.

It’s getting cold in the desert, at least at night when there’s no clouds to keep the warmth from the day before against the ground. So I bundled up a little bit – the concrete of the patio is a little too cold for bare feet during this time of year. But I knelt and made my connection with the Earth with my hands, so I wasn’t fully disconnected.

After reaching out to Heimdall and opening the gates – and setting an offering outside of my ritual space for the Outdwellers (See? I told you I’d start to get into more details as things set into place) – I shared a round of hard cider with my People. Giving thanks for their time and patience and spending a little time bonding.

All my offerings were varying amounts of the hard cider. It’s something *I* can drink on an empty stomach without getting punchy, so when I mean to share in the offerings with my People I usually stick with it. (I’ll be honest, I could NOT drink an entire 12oz bottle of it on an empty stomach, but a few sips while honoring my People is doable. (I would connect with Norse gods while being a massive light weight)).

I usually use Moon of Dragon’s Blood incense from HEM when I’m doing my weekend devotionals, but today I’d went with Cinnamon which was a little distracting. It’s got a harsher and more pronounced scent to it than the other two, and those are much more calming for me. But Cinnamon kept me on task so I’ll not complain.

I admitted that I have something on the edges of my mind that’s bothering me. I can’t put a full finger on it – the medication I’m on (let’s be blunt here, I struggle with anxiety and am legit concerned about becoming a shut in, so I’m currently on two different meds – one daily, the other as needed – just to go out and brave crowds without panic attacks) seems to be affecting my drive to draw. Though I could just as well be in a natural slump that’s ill timed to the newly added assistance.

And the medications themselves, I don’t want to say dull, but lessen the sharpness of concern, so I don’t know if it’s stopping me from keying in on what’s around me. The daily regimen is still considered in the adjusting phase, so it’s been a lot of guess work on my – well – me-ness the last couple weeks.

So I requested some sign from my People – either reassurance that things were okay, or a warning if I needed to up my guard and that the medication was affecting me in ways that I’d need to be aware of. I.e. in a way that would mean talking to my doctor about alternatives, because I want to be able to leave the house without being on the edges of a panic attack, but I also want to continue drawing thank you very much.

When I cast the runes onto the mat I was taken aback by the outcome. Near to 15 runes had freed themselves from the bag, but only one was on the mat. (One even careened off the “table” and onto the floor.)

One rune. One. Out of all those that had come with it. After staring in disbelief for a few moments I thought maybe I should try again, that I might not have hit my usual relaxed groove because the cinnamon incense was so strong vs calming. Or that I was just that off that the first time wasn’t the right one.

But as I gathered up the runes that hadn’t fallen on the mat I got this sense that sometimes even complex inquiries can have a single word for their answer. So the lone rune wasn’t just acceptable, but it was all that was required.

It was also one I’d never seen before, so I wasn’t sure if it was a positive answer, or a negative one. (One day I’ll get these down pat).

After closing the ritual and coming back inside to my book, I learned the lone rune was

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Laguz – the 21st rune, meaning lake, life, leek. It can mean new creativity welling up from the unconscious mind, or a need to basically go with the flow. It can also be an unconscious tapping of psychic or spiritual aid/ability. In spellwork it allows for other runes to work in the background.

I get the distinct impression that Laguz is very behind-the-scenes, whatever it is that it’s actually doing. It also feels like a positive rune to me, that there’s help or growth being provided by the rune but it’s Subtle. I don’t do subtle well >.> But it explains why things felt like they were quiet, or out on the edge, because they were, and not nessicarily because of the change in medication.

Which is itself very reassuring.

Blessings,
Quin

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Fate and Luck

An alternative title is “Fuck Fate”, cause well, I’m just not a fan of the concept, personally.

20161120_064723The four runes on the rim seem – to me – to be literally framing the information within. I’m working blind here because this is only the second time I’ve cast the runes, and the first time I’ve done so without any real question in mind. I’m trying to figure out what it is that my People are saying to me and hoping that I don’t misunderstand. So I’m relying pretty heavily on what feels right and going from there.

Fehu (top border) is generally considered a good rune. Its roots are in fertility – be it of the pocket book, abundance of love (romance) or conception. It can also apply to creativity and general fertility like having a strong garden.

Mannaz – (bottom border) – self-realization, the fulfilment of human protentional and the acceptance of the human condition. Can also signify the need to “tap” into the powers of the race collective and basically grasp the wisdom of all ancestors (OP Note: by Race I mean human race, and not a specific variety of human.)

Gebo – (bottom left border) The rune of exchange. The idea that keeping a tally is bad, but maintaining a balance between what is given and what is gotten is good. Generosity is a virtue, but to give of oneself to the detriment of oneself is poor in wisdom.

Hagalaz – (top left border) A rune of warning, a portent of a hail storm or other disruptive behavior.

Taking the four together as a shared ideal that borders the contained runes, leaves me with an uncertain impression at the moment. I can see how they may work amongst each other, but I don’t want to draw conclusions about them without understanding what they’re framing.

Thurisaz is at the center, or as near to it and upright in this casting. It is either good luck and offered assistance or a warning to take stock and consolidate – like battening down the hatches in preparation for a storm. I find it personally interesting that it’s pointing straight at Halagaz. Either as means to ward it and lessen the rune’s portent, or (more likely I think) as a way of saying That! That is what I’m telling you to prepare and defend against!

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Turning over the remainder of the runes I’m have Uruz, which appears to be backing up Thurisaz, Naudhiz below Uruz and then Perthro which is tucked under Ansuz.

Uruz deals with creation, manifesting and directing energy to create a physical or spiritual outcome. It’s position behind Thurisaz leaves me to wonder if it isn’t directing its energy into the rune.  Or more pointedly directing me to channel my energy into Thurisaz, as a way to brace against Hagalaz and make it’s possibly negative warning less impactful on my immediate future.

Naudhiz – the rune of fate, of the Norns. In readings it can indicate problems that weigh on the spirit or heart. Frustrations and blocks that can become helpful constraints if approached properly. Naudhiz relies heavily on what follows it in a reading. I’ve certainly got some frustrations in my life, though almost none are the direct and immediate frustrations of my hearth and more the distance and impactful frustrations of current political climates.

Perthro – another rune of fate. But less fate decreed by the Norns and more the fate of chance and luck. The possibility that something random may intervene, or that there is a different meaning to be had in the reading itself. Perthro also lends itself to the unknown – either as something the querent is not ready to know, or not intended to know (like an extra bit of information slipping through the Gate.)

Ansuz lays over Perthro – it’s a rune of words, of communication of knowledge and higher understanding. It’s also Odin’s rune, and in certain contexts can be a nod from the All Father himself. It’s position over Perthro leads me to be more inclined that it’s a nod from Odin. A statement that chance and luck will have a big part to play, and to take comfort in that because chance and luck mean that things aren’t written in stone and disasters can be avoided. (Or joyous occasions made even better).

A frame can really change the picture contained within. The cloth I used to cast my runes has a defined border to it and I’ve chosen to interpret the runes themselves with it in mind. Much like how a picture’s “story” can be altered by a modern thin black frame vs an older styled thick golden frame, I choose to view the interior runes based on the information provided by the framework.

In this case, it’s a general feeling of positivity and home strength. Fehu and Mannaz lend to the feeling of personal fertility and growth, as long as I maintain contact and connection with my fellow man – Gebo reminding me that to give is to get, and to be sure not to over extend myself because of Hagalaz’s warning of something impending and looming.

Thurisaz pointing to Hagalaz almost makes me wonder if Hagalaz is not actually a part of the frame, but rather was pushed out by Thurisaz as it warded against it. I mean, if anything can shove something around I’d imagine the rune of the Thor would be it! If that’s the case then the frame is more solidly a border of community. The reminder that we’re all connected, and while I must keep myself in good shape to be worth much of anything to anyone, I must also remember I am a part of humanity and neither above nor below it. Its success is my success.

And that success is both rocky and up in the air. Thurisaz offers it’s aid and protection against what’s coming, and I think Uruz is backing it up in that respect – and directing me to do what I can to help as well. Which is a positive sign in light of any disaster, natural or otherwise.

Naudhiz, the rune of the Norns, gives me this feeling of something unavoidable. A thing too big to be moved around without being affected by it. A feeling of Fate. I dislike the idea of Fate, the idea that good or bad it is unavoidable and no amount of compromise and effort will set things off whatever track they’re one. I like better the idea that my hard work – or lack thereof – is what made the end result, be it bad or good.

Which is probably why I’m taking the Ansuz/Perthro pairing as something more akin to Odin saying Yes some things are set in stone, but you can still make things go better than expected with a little luck and a lot of work.

Whew, over one thousand words on the rune casting itself! So not a whole lot on the actual ritual – but hey! I did get it done when I prefer today vs waking up too late yesterday ^_^ So that’s a plus!

Blessings
Quin

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

New Runes

There’s a couple things that have been fascinating to me since I was at least 12. Primary among those is the material commonly known as Hematite. I loved the stories around it, I loved the feel of it, I loved the ability to had to get me to focus. I’d find smooth flat stones while my family was traveling and those were my reminders of where we’d visited.

I wasn’t reading books on stones or gems or meditation or anything like that when I was 12, but I was drawn to it, and running my fingers over the stone just made me feel better. As I started reading about such things when I got a little older (16 or so when I think everyone cracks open a New Age book or really starts to read their horoscopes more closely), I read about the effects of other semi-precious items like quartz and what have you.

Nothing ever really did anything for me, except the Hematite. (I did, however, have this wicked cool quartz-shard necklace. Looked like something that would’ve ended up being the key to the Astral Gates in a D&D game – similar to This Picture except with a black leather strap vs chain).

I digress.

I chose maple wood runes because maples are a pretty prominent tree back in my hometown. I honor my family in all things, and so it made sense to have that connection. Plus I was unsure of using stone or metals for runes, as they didn’t initially seem earthy enough, and when I started this I was very concerned about getting things “right”. I also wanted to have something that was quality, and that was respected and I knew that The Magical Druid would give me that peace of mind.

But alas, they don’t make their own hematite runes, so – Maple Wood it was.

Then a friend of mine in a slack channel found Hematite runes on Etsy that were perfect for me, and you can take a look see if you’re interested. I’ve pocketed the “blank” rune as a good luck charm for my purse, since neither Taking Up the Runes nor my good ADFs friends feel there is a need for a blank rune in the Elder Futhark.

And truthfully, my set feels right without one, and that’s good enough for me.

Today’s devotional was to attune the new set, and to make sure it was accepted by my People. (People I think is a good umbrella term – at least for me – to include Kindred, Ancestors, Spirits, and Gods. Like the nerd I am, when I go to a con I am among my people. When I open the gates I am still among my people.)

Offerings and devotions where made to all, and things felt in a good place the entire time. I’m feeling less awkward and clumsy with each ritual – though I did do some controlled breathing to meditate on what to say between each offering because I hadn’t thought ahead on it at all.

I put all the runes in my offering shell, as a shared offering – a connection between my People and I – and then drew a single wooden rune as a sign for how they felt about them overall (with the intention to leave them in the offering shell for the next 24 hours regardless – either to strengthen the bond, or attempt to change their minds >.> ). I drew Dagaz.

Directly, Dagaz is the rune for Day. For obvious reasons this makes it a positive rune all around – the other runes can have an impact on what kind of positivity you’re dealing with, in this case I drew only the single rune and was not compelled to draw more.

Dagaz is both a rune of beginnings and endings. In magical work it can be both sun rise And sun set. It can begin or end magical work, and I take extra solace in this single rune that it can aid in new beginnings or successful conclusions.

Quite the single rune to draw when one is leaving the new runes out for a full day and night.

All in all I am pleased with the outcome, and grateful to my People for their time, protection, and honor. I will continue to do my best to honor my Ancestors, my Spirits, my Kindred and my Gods – that I may grow and be better in all things.

Blessings,
Quin

All Signs Point Here

So I tried something different with my runes this morning (Took me most of the day to get around to putting this to words, it’s been a crummy day of little to no motivation, yay female month time @_@ ) and instead of drawing three I cast them onto a gift I use as my Tree for the rituals.

It felt clumsy, because I was afraid of tossing runes with abandoned and then needing to like, move furniture to get to them ^^; Or breaking one, I haven’t been hard on these runes, I’m concerned about getting too zealous.

The rune casting aside it was a typical ritual for me. Not nearly as intricate as Ancestor’s Night, but more like my usual weekend rituals. As per the norm it was very calming, and for once I had a pointed and focused question to ask – unlike usual where I either don’t really have anything looming overhead and I don’t trust my green horn level ability to properly read runes if I did ask something specific.

But after a hearty round of bourbon for me and my gods (Norse Gods are such fun drinkers), and a cup of rose-hip tea for my ancestors, I cast the runes.

I pulled twice, as per my usual I just kind of went with A) what felt right, and B) what my body moved to do. I was apprehensive because it was a new thing for me, but at the same time I did my best to let my conscious mind kind of… well, Slip is the best word I have for it, and let my subconscious do the driving.

I’ve gotten a little loopy doing this while standing, since I changed my alter platform from sitting on the patio to standing in the laundry room (which is off the patio and still as outside as I can get and still be in a private-ish setting). So I may have to sit for the omen portion of the ritual, which means investing in – or trying to make – a casting mat of some kind. I might tap the same friend that made my tree, she’s uber talented.

Anyway, back to the casting. I’m looking to change jobs, but I’m not sure if I should try to stick it out where I am. So my rather specific question was if it was a wise idea to basically pour everything into this new opportunity or buckle up and dig in where I currently am. Which, given the negative personality traits of some of my coworkers, it wasn’t the route I was keen on taking.

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I found it interesting that the overall look of it was very Arrow like. I wasn’t sure if that meant that the reading was emphasizing the “point” rune over the others, or if I was meant to take the overall reading as very straight forward.

Or if it was a matter of direction. Or nothing at all.

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I flipped the overturned runes. Like a good friend of mine I do find something right in reading them a little differently. Not as meaning the opposite, but as meaning something more subtle compared to the rest of the casting.

The “root” of the arrow, is the X – Gebo, the rune of the Gift, be it spiritually, materially, or emotionally – or any way really. Gebo can also hint toward balance, the idea of not giving more than you can, or warning against hording with gifts should be given. Overall it has a positive vibe when regarding jobs or contracts.

The next step is Mannaz – which I have a hard time getting. It’s in regards to the human condition and/or identity. Since it follows Gebo in the flow it’s possible this is a gentle reminder that I’m only human, and to make sure I have a solid work/life balance where ever I end up. (I’m really not a drink-the-company-kool-aid type).

Elhaz was initially face down, but I’ve seen this one before and knew it was positive. Elhaz is good luck, mostly in that the querent will be protected, or at the least warned. If I’m assuming that face down means less prominent, then it’s a small warning, or that there’s not much to protect me from in this issue and I shouldn’t feel threatened at my current job – even while transitioning to the new position if I get it.

Wunjo starts the arrow head portion, or the crux of the cross if you want to look at it that way. Generally Wunjo is a sign that surrounding runes should be taken in a positive light. Considering more than half the runes in the reading are surrounding Wunjo, I’m taking this as the best possible of signs.

The left tip of the arrow (upper in the picture looks a bit like a Z) is Eihwaz – Meaning a worse issue will be lessened. So that whatever bad may happen or whatever concerns there are, they won’t be as bad as you might think. This is a great omen to get for me right now, when feminine “joys” make me less of an optimist for a few days.

The right tip of the arrow is Thurisaz – Thor’s rune, good luck but with a warning. That warning generally being akin to Don’t Get Too Cocky, and make sure to take stock of your available tools and options. Which is good advice, I tend to get a little loose at work when I know I’ve got one foot out the door. I won’t do myself any favors if I lose my job before I find another just because I get haughty.

And the arrow point itself, originally faced down is Berkano – A hidden rune of transformation and growth. Significant when beginning new enterprises, and considered a strong rune when dealing with the feminine and/or girls themselves.

Even though Berkano is a rune of unexpected/hidden meanings – which almost makes me want to take it at a stronger value because it was face down – the stronger sense I get from this is that I’m being urged to pursue this new employment opportunity, not necessarily because it’s better or because it’s fated, but because Yes it will most likely be good, and it’s what I already know I want to do. So stop beating around the proverbial bush and go for it – my chances of landing said job are solid and I shouldn’t be afraid.

 

Ancestor’s Night

Ancestor’s Night Ritual of celebration and honor – Bolded items are either headings or actions, to make it easier to know what I was supposed to say vs do.

The parts in side parentheses (like this) are after-the-fact notes from me while I write this entry.

Begin Ritual

I am here to honor the gods.

Honoring the Earth Mother

Nameless Mother,
Known to all, and revered.
You stand solid beneath my feet,
Strong rock and soothing moss
Gentle mountains and rolling hills,
Carry me on to the night’s next night.
Support all well, soul of Yggdrasil,
Beautiful blue-green jewel of the Cosmos,
Protector and cradle of humanity,
Honor to you, Nameless Mother.

Offer Rose hips along tree, in well and around fire.

Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice.

Saga, heroine of words
Fine wordsmith with a tongue of tales,
Whose words are like the finest mead,
I ask you spinner of sagas,
To inspire me and give my words power.
Saga, let your inspiration flow!

Offer mead

Saga, accept my sacrifice.

Participant performs A Meditation – (I didn’t do a very good meditation, but I tried. It’s hard to keep your mind blank and think about keeping your mind blank, I didn’t hit a groove – which I have accidentally before – but I gave it my best)

Statement of Purpose – (I maybe was too literal with this, but alas)

The purpose of this rite is to celebrate the life I have, to honor those lives that came before me, and to give praise and thanks as it is due to the best of my ability. To honor the gods and goddesses that call to me, and to honor the ancestors of my life – both in blood and in spirit.

pour a cup of beer for the Outdwellers and take it out of the ritual space:

You who come from the outer dark,
You who stood against the gods and man,
You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,
Take this and trouble not my work.

Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and Tree

Sacred Fire

Sacred Fire, holy woods
Warm light to fill the hall
Nine realms are known
With my words this night
Let all realms hear the call
Light fires within, warmth to the True
Fire’s flame burns to form the garth
Woods kindle well, with the fire of the hearth.
As I call the Kindred forth…

Cense the fire

I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn well within me.

Sacred Well

Holy Well, waters deep
Three streams strong gather the flow
One of Wyrd, the shining ones know
Another yet, icy, serpent-safe
Last of wisdom, many eyes to see
What is, what was, and what will be
Watching sisters of örlog, three
Many eyes look on, watching well.
As I call the Kindred forth…

Silver the well and cense the waters

In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.

Sacred Tree

Mighty Tree, middle of all
Nine realms full its branches make
Much knows Har, High One hung;
Ygg’s steed hight, ever green stays.
Serpent below, eagle above
Squirrel between, Nith-hewer gnaws
Ash-wood tall, wet with white dews
Strong-standing and true, I seek shelter
As I call the Kindred forth…

Cense the tree

Filling the cosmos, cradle to the soul does span the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within me.

Opening the Gates Between the Worlds

Heimdallr, Holy One; Hallinskihdi, Whitest As
Son of nine waves, Sire of Jarl’s sons
Shining guardian, Gjallarhorn holder,
Rune-shower Rigr, Hight Jötun bane
Great golden-toothed Turner of hearths,
Unsleeping reed-giver, Who hears the wool grow
Well-known wise watcher, I ask your help now:
Bïfrost bridge-warder,Open the ways once again.

Sing the Gatekeeper Chant (substituting Heimdall for <gatekeeper>) 3x (I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Offer Mead

Heimdall, accept my sacrifice.

Let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree open as a gate between the worlds, and let Heimdall walk with me in all ways. Let the gates be open!

Honoring and Inviting the Three Kindreds

Ancestors

Ancestors old, Heroes renowned
Blood of my veins, Strength in my soul,
Grandmothers, Disir, Wise watching women,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Grandfathers, Alfar, light-alf, dark-alf, black-alf,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Great heroes of eld, might-memory knows,
Your valor shines still, I offer you welcome.
O Ancestors of blood and heart, I call you forth!

Sing Mothers and Fathers of Old 1x -(I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Pour Mead into offering shell

Ancestors, accept my sacrifice.

Nature Sprits

Land spirits, Keepers of place,
Wise with weather, your knowledge runs deep.
Luck and prosperity, your blessings fall,
Honor to you, I bring this night.
Dragons great, Ancient as earth,
Boulder-homed, Water-homed,
Land homes old, Guardians true,
Your strength is strong still, I offer you welcome.
O Spirit dragons great and small of the natural world, I call you forth!
(I use dragons because it’s pretty ingrained. I’ve pictured dragons as a force of life for most of my own life. Not the d&d kill the ancient wyrm kind, but more as gentle and powerful manifestations of nature.)

Sing Fur and Feather 1x (I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Pour Mead into offering shell

Nature Dragons, accept my sacrifice.

Gods and Goddesses

Aesir, Vanir, Shining Ones all,
On Itha Plain met, Many moons past,
Of Ask and Embla, My ancestors first,
Many things made, Of the gods we all come.
None of you gods, is not mighty indeed,
Of soul, sense, and being you have given us well,
Taught us of runes, of faith and troth,
Of right-mindfulness, and honor true,
O Shining Ones of magic and might, I call you forth!

Sing Hail All the Gods 1x ( again, I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Overfill offering shell with Mead.

Gods and goddesses, accept my sacrifice.

Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-Centering

Honoring the Spirits of the Occasion

Make offering of tea to Grandmother.

Dear Grandmother, I know these words are not your ritual,
I know these gods are not the name of your God.
Yours is mine, though I see and honor them differently.
Yours is mine, though my prayers are said differently.
Yours is mine, a pious life of kindness and acceptance.
Yours is mine, and within these rituals I have found peace.
I make this offering that you will come and share in this peace with me.
I am you, and the stars, and the spirits, and the gods, and you and they are me.
The Cosmos cocoons us all, as the Fire, the Well and the Tree give us strength and life.
We share stars – the lights of the gods, the gifts of life – and are bound by this.
I honor you, in the halls you now dance and delight in, and know that you are never far.
General Praise Offerings to the Kindred

I have called the Kindred here today and it is right to give them praise: A round for the ancestors Share a drink, a round for the nature spirits Share a drink , and a round for the gods Share a drink.

Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have given you praise and honor! A gift calls for a gift, and I pray to you as I offer up these sacrifices. Accept them, open my heart, and give to me of your blessings.

Quietly chant Come Druids All (1x) (as before, I didn’t recite anything specific, but I did meditate and honestly kind of space out while pulling the runes. I usually keep my hand in the bag and let myself drift every time I pull runes during a ritual. I figure I’m helping myself more if I’m not really thinking about it)

Take the omen, interpret it, and record it.

Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and Spirits

Wyrd’s well waters, I waited to reveal,
Three women weaving, Scores cut and laws laid,
Women writing örlog for the sons of men.
Well have I witness to the glory of gods,
Giving gift for gift, great ones all.
The waters received, wetness of galdr.
Words were spoken and runes were read,
Wyrd was revealed And weal I await.
With these waters let the blessings flow…

Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have praised you and received your blessings. Hallow these waters and give to me of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da! Behold the waters of life!

Drink from blessing cup (Mead is delicious, but at night on an empty stomach I was perhaps flawed in my planning.)

Thanking the Kindred and Spirits

Kindred have come, heeded the calling
Honor was given, and honor received.
Great are my dead, and great are my heroes,
Great are my land wights, and great are my gods.
With each call I make to the Kindred true,
They heed my calls more, and our troth stronger be.
Rite ending, words waning, our troth stronger still,
I carry it well, with me all ways
Honor to the Kindred, for ever more.

I have called upon the Kindred and they have answered! With joy in my heart I carry their magic into my life and work. Each time I offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of my needs and worship. So as I prepare to depart let me give thanks to those who have aided me.

Grandmother, Ich danke Sie!
Saga, Ich danke Sie!
Heimdall, Ich danke Sie!
Gods, Goddesses, Ich danke Sie!
Mother Earth, Ich danke Sie!
Ancestors, Kindred, Ich danke Sie!
Dragons of nature and life, Ich danke Sie.

Meditation of Re-grounding and Re-centering (I did much better this time, I focused on my breathing and drifted for a bit. It helped to end things in a very relaxing way).

Closing the Gates and Ending the Rite

Now by the keeper of the gates and by my magic I end what I began.
Let the fire be flame,
Let the well be water,
Let all be as it was before.
Let the gates be closed!

I have done as my ancestors have done, and the Kindred have answered.
I go now, a child of the Earth, in peace and blessings. The ritual is at a close. So sei es!

End of Ritual

I spoke longer to my grandmother than what’s written above. Some things are personal and while I mean to share as much as I can, well, some things you keep to yourself I think. Regardless it was a positive experience all around. It was also the only time in the last 36 hours or so that I wasn’t dealing with my headache, so that was nice as well.

Now, to the runes from the draw. It took longer than usual, not only to draw them, but to make sense of them. I read on them a bit right after the ritual but couldn’t make sense of them. It took a few hours of muddling it over in my head, but I think I ended up on the right track eventually. Which is ironic in a way, because they ended up being about being on the right track – far as I can tell.

Uruz – This rune seems to be more about directing energy already there. To organize it and take steps to make sure it’s basically doing what it should be  – or doing what you want it to be doing. It also acts as a forewarning when you need to stock up or protect against something. Like a natural disaster or loss of job.

Because it’s so dependent upon context, I’ll have to look into the rest of these before I can really get a feel for this rune’s meaning.

Next is Raidho the rune of traveling, of change. Paired with Uruz it’s giving me a strong sense of needing to be prepared for a change in the future. Given yesterday’s devotional plus this in the midst of Ancestor’s Night, I kind of feel like I should be stocking piling on comforts and medications so I can cope with whatever is coming and in that sense be in a better position to deal with it. Maybe even end up coming out the other side of it in a better position than I’d be in otherwise.

Finally, Perthero the rune of luck, chance, fate – the dice cup, the rune caster. When I first read these I likened it to winning the lottery, but dismissed that pretty quick – aside from “What are the odds”? the other side to it is more important. I don’t want to get caught up in thinking that all this positivity and these readings mean that I can just coast. Nothing comes to the person who does nothing for themselves.

At least I’d prefer it to not be that way.

In the end, it feels as if the runes themselves are directing energy toward the journey, that while chance still plays its part, something (someone) is looking out for me and doing their best to help me move along the right path. In my Grandmother’s words, I’d say it’s like I have an angel watching over me.

Which is comforting, given that my Ancestor’s Night was built up around honoring my Grandmother and connecting with her, as much as it was to honor the gods and kindred themselves.

Blessings All

~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