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Interpreting the Runes ~ Ehwaz ~ Movement ~ Progress ~ The Horse

Ehwaz is a rune of transit, transition and movement; of physical shifts, new dwelling places, new attitudes or new life. It also signifies movement in the sense of improving or bettering any situation.

With this rune, there is a sense of gradual development and steady progress, with the belief in slow growth through many shifts and changes.  This could apply to the growth of a business or to the development of a new idea. A relationship may need to undergo changes if it is to live and grow. Moral effort and steadfastness are called for when this rune of movement, another of the cycle runes is drawn. Let it be said with this affirmation, “As I cultivate my nature, all else follows.”

This rune Ehwaz is symbolized by the horse, and it signifies the bond between horse and rider. Bronze Age artifacts show a horse drawing the sun across the sky. Here, Ehwaz is saying, you have progressed far enough to fee a measure of safety in your place.

Now is the time to turn again and face the future reassured, ready to share the good fortune that comes your way. The sharing is significant since it relates to the sun’s power to foster life and illuminate all things with its light.

Ehwaz Reversed

Movement that appears to block. Be certain that what you are doing – or not doing – is timely. There are no missed opportunities. You have simply to recognize that not all possibilities are open to you, that not all opportunities are appropriate. The opportunity at hand may be precisely to avoid action. If you are feeling at a loss, unclear about the need to act, consider what is timely to your nature and remember this affirmation, “What is yours will come to you.”

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Interpreting the Runes ~ Berkana ~ Beorch ~ Birch Tree

“The Birch, though fruitless sends out countless shoots; leafy branches, high-crowned, reach to the sky.” — Old English Rune Poem

This rune is a fertility symbol, drawn to resemble a woman’s breasts.  In ancient Viking times, the birch was regarded as the tree of fertility and the act of being lightly whipped with birch twigs was supposed to promulgate vigor and vitality!  The people of Scandinavia still hold this belief; after a sauna people are encouraged to roll around in the snow and then made to endure a lashing with a bundle of birch twigs. The Phallic maypole that was traditionally danced around, heralding in Spring and new life, was usually made from birch. The appearance of Berkana in a reading clearly points toward inception; whether of a child, a project or perhaps a new idea.

Berkana is rather auspicious. Yet  because it represents the mother, and by implication the child, there is an element of “nourishment” associated with it.  Even if the rune is essentially beneficial the new project will need the same kind of feeding or succour as an infant would. Success will not come on its own without some nurturing; effort and attention will be required.  This may explain the duality associated with the birch tree, the “fruitless tree,” implying that all is not as it seems and that success will be achieved only through authentic and genuine application.

Berkana Reversed

Reversed, Berkana becomes a symbol of sterility, implying difficulties and miscommunication, especially on the domestic front. Perhaps a desired pregnancy will prove impossible, or a current pregnancy be terminated. Alternatively, Berkana can point to worries over children, especially in terms of health. The surrounding runes always point to a clearer picture. A reversed Berkana is not particularly malign of itself and requires more ruthless runes to imply any real trouble, while helpful runes definitely reduce the situation.

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Interpreting the Runes ~ Sowelu ~ Sigel ~ Sun

 

This rune represents the sun which rules the astrological sign, Leo. Leo is a sign that likes to enjoy life and have fun. Leo is also a very proud sign and one that likes to be the center of attention. Sowelu is a supremely positive rune.

When this rune appears in a reading, it can imply that one has been overstretched lately and is in need of a rest, to take time away from the everyday pressures associated with life and needs to enjoy him/herself.  The appearance of Sowelu also may warn that one is in the midst of a situation in which control must be taken. If feeling “off” or out of sorts, this rune may be a sign that the person receiving the reading may be worrying about something and feeling unable to make any positive move to change the situation. The advice from this rune is to return to the center of affairs and seize control.

The sun has been associated with energy and strength, so the surrounding runes in a cast hint to one’s state of health. On the other hand, if Sowelu is close to very positive runes this means one may be at the peak of his/her powers. Sowelu can be seen as the “guiding light” that shows the way. On a material level, its appearance may imply one’s need for help, or a need for someone or something to show the way forward. On a spiritual level, Sowelu may signify that one should seek, or will soon find a spiritual guide.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Algiz ~ Elk ~ Protection

Interpreting the Runes XV ~ Algiz ~ Elk ~ Protection

Elk sedge grows in the fen, waxing in the water, grimly wounding; it burns the blood of those who would lay hands on it.”  — Old English Rune Poem

Algiz literally means, “elk sedge,” which is a grass widely regarded as having properties of magical protection. This rune is like a protective charm and when Algiz appears in a reading the message is optimistic.  Some say Algiz means “elk” while others insist on its meaning being “amber.” This symbol is not free from dispute; some note its outstretched arms, while others see an antler, and still others a staff.  It is agreed however that this is a most favorable and beneficial rune, no matter what place it holds in the reading.

Algiz signifies that one is shielded from danger or difficulty during the time span to which any questions apply.  Algiz also signifies a new and beneficial influence is about to enter one’s life. This could take the form of a new career, interest, or even a forthcoming union. It is likely that this new influence will not arrive as a result of conscious reasoning or determination.  This is most definitely a rune of friendship and protection but it is through ones inner self that this friendly influence is manifested; it is what is needed and deserved.

Algiz Reversed

When this rune appears reversed, it is expected that one will be duped. People in business or personal relationships have their own agenda’s and their goals will oppose those of the person for whom the runes are being consulted.  Algiz reversed indicates that one needs to take great care and caution because others have only their own best interests in mind. One can expect others to do their best to make sure there will be unjust blame.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Eihwaz ~ Yew

To the ancient people, the wood from the yew was perhaps the most important.  It fashioned the longbow, the weapon that brought food and, in times of war, protection as well. The yew was of tremendous practical value to its people and held a spiritual significance as a symbol of death and resurrection.  Even today, yew can still be found in many church cemeteries.

When this rune Eihwaz, appears in a runecast or reading, it may be taken as a very positive sign.  It suggests that the person being read is close to their target and, with steady aim will achieve it before too long.  Sometimes the appearance of Eihwaz can also signal delay.  Either way, the outcome can be assuredly positive.

On a spiritual level, Eihwaz represents the ability to put one’s inner self into stronger and safer territory.  The yew tree is evergreen and extremely flexible, yet very strong and is an excellent source wood for making staffs which may in turn, be seen as symbols of inner strength.  The yew tree in a churchyard exists symbolically to direct the souls on to the other side, revealing that Eihwaz has more than one side to its nature.

As with Jera and Is, Eihwaz shows no distinction whichever way it is drawn or cast.  Because of this, particular attention must be paid to the surrounding runes in the reading or cast, as they show the kind of anticipatory actions one should take to avoid problems.  Eihwaz shows that there is a way out of any difficulty as long as the situation is approached in the correct way.`

Interpreting the Runes ~ Ken ~ Kenaz ~ Torch

Kenaz

On the surface, this rune pertains to gifts. Kenaz is associated with Mars and the spring equinox, when the arrival of new life, rebirth and renewal was traditionally celebrated by people of ancient times. One can make the leap then that Kenaz symbolizes fertility and can portend the arrival of a baby or child.

Kenaz is a masculine gendered rune and relates to the dominant person in the situation for which the reading is occurring. If the person being read is asking about business, then Kenaz implies that the dominant person will be calling the shots or making the offers. If the dominant person is the one being read, the rune cast will show whether the offer should be accepted.

The same applies to personal relationships, as Kenaz signals that the dominant person in the relationship will be soon offering a gift. Any surrounding runes in the casting show the motive behind the gift and whether it should be accepted or not.

The torch aspect of Kenaz represents knowledge and spiritual enlightenment to “light the way.” One may be required to use their own inner knowledge to help light the way for someone less fortunate than themselves.

Kenaz Reversed

Kenaz signifies loss when drawn reversed. A potentially rewarding business deal will fall apart. If it is a child one is hoping for, Kenaz reversed signals they are false hopes, false alarms, and infertility. Kenaz may also signal the loss of an employment situation or relationship. Never fear however. Kenaz isn’t just about gloom and doom. The loss shall be only temporary or altered by the surrounding runes on the field, indicating any loss could be temporary.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Rad ~ Raido ~ Raidho ~ Cartwheel

Rad ~ Raidho ~ Cartwheel ~ The Wheel

Rad ~ Raidho ~ Cartwheel ~ The Wheel

Raidho

One will always find when reading the runes, that none of them is one-dimensional; especially Raidho.  This rune, like Ansur, is also connected with the planet Mercury and is thus associated with communication. The communication associated with Raidho is especially directed toward travel. This rune causes an opposition between the ideas of travel and communication. Travel may be interpreted quite literally with this rune showing that for the person for whom we are reading a trip or physical journey may be expected. On the other hand, as travel in the ancient Germanic lands was treacherous and much longer in duration in the extreme, Raidho may be signaling that the person is ready to embark on a journey of personal growth; an inner journey that will bring enlightenment and yield new levels of understanding and knowledge.

Unlike Ansur, which counsels caution, forethought and advice before taking action, Raidho signals a need to move now. The outlook is good, as it is time for the person being read to shirk the “I can’t decide one way or the other” scenario and make a decision. The planet Mercury rules trade and as a result, Raidho can signal that there is some significant form of a business transaction in the near future. Recalling that the central meaning behind the rune Raidho is communication and travel, the person being read could receive some form of message that could skew the entire present situation in a most unexpected way.

Raidho Reversed

When Raidho is drawn in the reversed position, obstacles and delays may be looming related to travel. If the person we are reading is planning a trip of some sort, there are sure to be any number of hindrances in the way of progress. Another sign of Raidho reversed is the message that a need for travel may present itself at a most inappropriate time, leaving one’s home or base, vulnerable. Lastly, this rune also may signal in the reversed position that one may expect a visit from a person that will result in unimaginable inconvenience.

The Five Rune Spread

Overview

1

Challenge

2

Action

3

Sacrifice

4

New Situation

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5

When consulting the Runes, situations will occasionally arise when one’s “need-to-know” goes beyond the authority of a single stone or the Three Rune Spread. The Five Rune Spread can help to identify the distinctive components of a situation that might otherwise overwhelm with its complexity.


Begin by clearly formulating the issue. Draw five Runes from the bag, one at a time, and place them one below the other. In descending order, the Runes stand for:

  1. Overview of the Situation
  2. Challenge
  3. Course of Action Called for
  4. Sacrifice
  5. New Situation Evolving

The Five Rune Spread is absolutely personal and specific. If five Runes are drawn from the bag and placed down on the field, the odds against drawing this particular spread are 607,614 to 1. If however, a Rune is drawn, written down, returned to the bag making the next selection from a full bag of Runes, the odds against drawing this particular spread are now 312,500,500 to 1.


The fourth position, “Sacrifice” is intended as recognition that life offers choices and options that are often mutually exclusive. The concept of sacrifice has, over time, come to be associated with pain and loss. The application of sacrifice in the Five Rune Spread refers to that which has peeled away, shed or discarded, as is called for in the Rune Othila. Othila portends the emergence of new wholeness. Originally a boding of two Latin words, sacrificium and facere, one of the core meanings of sacrifice is “surrender to God.”


A Sample Reading

From my Rune Journal I will again make reference to the successful business I owned with my ex-partner. I was the creative impulse of the idea, and the slogging hard work of getting the company on its feet. The company was “my baby.” When it came time to allow a competitor to acquire the company, the competitor wanted my participation, but not my partner’s. All my fears regarding loyalty, abandonment, the risk to the long-term relationship with my partner and his self-esteem were brought to the surface by this situation. I decided to do a Five Rune Spread which is the spread used above.


Perth, the Rune of Initiation as the overview of the situation, immediately shifted my focus away from both my relationship with my partner and the business. “Nothing external matters here, except as it shows you its inner reflection” – these words were key for me. I realized this was another crossroad on the path of self-change.


Uruz, the Rune of Strength Reversed, indicated the need to respond consciously to “the demands of such a creative time.” It was clear the correct decision would encourage my growth at all levels – corporate as well as personal.


Wunjo reversed speaks of the process of birth being long and arduous as well as the fears which arise for the safety of the child within. The Runes were reminding me that I was going through a test.


Nauthiz, the Rune of Constraint Reversed, in the Sacrifice position conveyed the great teacher in the guise of pain and limitation. I was able to more clearly see that it was time to take a new kind of responsibility for what I had created, to own and honor it and to do what was right for the company.


Dagaz, the Rune of Breakthrough addressed the New Situation Evolving. This Rune offers the assurance that, “because the timing is right, the outcome is assured, although not, from the present vantage point, predictable.” My partner went on to become a success with his considerable talent with a prescription drug company.

Meditation and Ethical Stance for Rune Readings

Meditation for Rune Reading

Since posting my blog sharing the concept of a meditation prior to embarking on a Rune reading, I have received many emails, and other forms of inquiries about that practice.  This post will expound on my personal experience with meditation prior to reading the Runes, as well as a discussion on the Rune reader’s need to be in a correct ethical stance.  I look forward to any feedback or comments from the many readers who have been following theses specific blogs regarding the ancient Runes.

Meditation

Meditation is not some strange, arcane practice carried out only by oriental monks.  It is a useful tool for bringing relaxation and letting one get in touch with one’s natural being.  Meditation is essentially a state of calmness in which you let your body; breath and mind completely relax, without trying, without expecting anything.  Being, not doing.  Whatever activity is going on, recognize it and be still.  Imaginations fantasies, confusions, boredoms, doubts and questions drop away and you achieve a natural state of mind free from explanations and analysis.  In time an inner awareness arises spontaneously.

Meditation begins by making everything tranquil, by allowing your body and mind to relax deeply and completely, by giving warmth and nourishment.  If you can be very calm and still and listen to the silence within you mind, this becomes your meditation.  Even if you are not formally meditating, but just dealing with everyday situations, try to remain loose and relaxed.  At first you may feel calm and peaceful, but a voice inside, a speaker, a judge, rises to the surface and creates a disturbance and the inner silence disappears. You have to learn to let go of the judge.  Within your meditation, do not think, do not act; thoughts come and feelings come but do not follow these “bubbles” Let all your ideas and concepts disappear without becoming involved or trapped in their plethora of fluctuating, undulating dramas.

One of the most common meditation tools is “visualization” – creating a mental picture of something, for instance a particular Rune, and then trying to concentrate on that image to the exclusion of all else.  If you find yourself becoming distracted, observe and identify these deceptions, learn to see through the veil of your mind’s posturing and pretences to achieve stillness.

The peace and stillness of the mind; of the Soul even, is what you find in meditation with the Universal flow of energy.  This is the space where all barriers and separations disappear and only the force that connects all things is left.  When you reach this state you will understand the power that is embodied in the Runes.  The Runes will no longer be apparently dead stones but living conductors of the energies that flow through the Universe.

Ethical Stance

It is also important before you begin to make sure that you have a correct ethical stance.  If the Runes are treated as a sort of “party trick” and handled without proper respect they will at best be of little or no value, at worst positively dangerous.  It is not wise to treat the runes too lightly as they symbolize enormously powerful cosmic forces; understand exactly what is being unleashed.  Since you as the Rune reader are the channel for these  forces , there is every chance that you can let loose otherwise hidden, repressed or damaged parts of your own psyche with obviously disastrous results.  When you use the Runes you are effectively sending out a great deal of energy that in time will flow back to you, a great increase in its power.  It is therefore imperative that the original energy is of the highest level.  This, in turn, requires correct thinking.  Before playing with elemental forces it is vital to ensure that you are in a fit state to handle them properly.  In this way, the Runes become much more than a divination tool; they are also a direct method to increase one’s own inner growth.