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?
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.