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You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

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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.

Boundaries: Where I Start and Where I End

lartificial-boundaries

“It is an old an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.”  — Rollo May

Our boundaries are both inside and outside ourselves.  No one can set them for us; we can only set them.  For many of us, boundaries are often unfamiliar.  We may wonder, what are they?  How do we use them? Some of us may have come from families where, as children, our boundaries were disregarded; perhaps creating a pattern we continue to live out as adults.

Starting to set boundaries for ourselves takes time and lots of practice.  Because the experience is so unfamiliar, we may find ourselves vacillating between two extremes – holding back out fear of blurring our boundaries, or acting as if we have no boundaries at all.  But our willingness to set boundaries and stick with them brings a clearer sense of who we are.  We begin to learn where we start and end.  We start to learn the same about other people.  With boundaries comes a new sense of self-respect because they become our affirmations to ourselves that we are not objects to be trampled upon or used, but rather human beings, with dignity.

One way to create boundaries with people is to show priorities in our relationships.  In the past, out of loneliness or neediness, we may have talked to anyone, whether the person wanted to listen or not.  In this mixed-up world, we would find ourselves withholding our true feelings from people close to us, and spilling them instead on the cashier at the grocery store.

As we grow in self-esteem. Our relationships improve and we act in positive ways to meet our needs.  Then we have a better sense of who we are.  We make choices in our relationships and take responsibility for them. We learn to bear the pain of boundaries that are not respected and enjoy the peace from those that are.

We no longer need to give ourselves away in bits and pieces; we know now what it is like to be whole.  We can simultaneously have acquaintances, friends, co-workers, and even close, intimate relationships in our lives.  We can trust we will act appropriately and that our boundaries will keep us safe.

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.

S.T.A.R. A Tool to Choose Healthy Alternatives

Avoid Old Patterns

STAR = STOP, THINK, ASSESS, REDIRECT

This is a tool I have found useful through my process of learning and personal growth.  Whenever I feel I may be crossing over into one of my old patterns of behavior I use this simple process:

  • Stop Stop  the unhealthy behavior or process may be; take a few deep breaths
  • Think Think about what is going on
  • Assess Assess the situation and its alternatives
  • Redirect Redirect your actions or behavior to the HEALTHIEST alternative

That’s the “STAR” technique received from a very good therapist more than ten years ago. She added this “tool” to my “tool belt” because I needed something to slow me down a bit. Slow me down when feeling like I’m beginning to react. I can be a very sarcastic person and have emotionally wounded many. The “STAR” technique helps me to be healthier in my interactions with others. This technique helps when I’m facing, or considering anything that may be unhealthy for me, or any behavior that I’m trying to correct.

At the time I first learned this technique, I had some tools available to me. They were added to my tool belt year’s earlier, maybe even during childhood. They worked well for me as a child, but as I grew into adulthood, I found that many of my old tools weren’t working anymore. They weren’t in the adult world. I loved my old tools and hung on to them. They were hard to give up! But to grow, I had to say goodbye to my outdated old standby’s, thanking them for protecting the little boy – me, and for keeping me safe when I so desperately needed them. I had to make room for new tools that would help me along my path of personal growth.

When Decisions are Made Out of Fear

Declare your independence of all fear based limits. — Alan Cohen

I have found fear to be one of my most worst and ineffective tools for making decisions.  By “tools”, I mean the emotional coping mechanisms our mind creates during our life time and from our own set of unique and personal experiences.  These tools may be useful during a certain time period in our life because they protect us.  As humans we change, and some of our tools must change as well.  As a child, fear may have been an important tool, because it kept us out of harm’s way from something.  For example, I have a friend who has a two-year old, and to keep the child away from certain things around the house tells the child, “It’s hot.”  So now, when the child wants to touch something, he asks, “Hot?”  My friend has been effective at keeping his child away from certain harmful elements, but obviously, as the child matures, this tool must change.  As adults, I find that our tools don’t change often enough.  Fear based tools are common for us to carry with us into adult hood.  Fear based tools may distort reality, giving one an unrealistic platform for certain functions, such as decision-making.

Fear is the absence of love. Fear is where our higher power (God or the Universe) is not. Making choices out of fear keeps us from looking at the true cause of our pain or anguish. Pain, misery, aggravation are just a few of our negative emotions.  Our mind, our Ego, tells us that something out there in our world is causing us fear. We then believe we must resolve an issue or problem to get rid of the fear.  This process tends to distort reality, blinding us from the true source of our fear, the Ego.  It is our Ego, our mind, causing the fear. Our mind hides this fact from us. If we knew the true cause of our fear, we might feel we were wrong and put ourselves to blame, which then creates guilt.

Our Ego shelters us in this same way from guilt with all of our emotions.  Anger, frustration, embarrassment and sadness are not ours to own responsibility for; it is the outside world to blame.  Something or someone “out there” is the cause of the emotion.  The problem with this tool used by the mind is that it leaves us feeling powerless.  It leaves us feeling unable to change our feelings.  Our power is surrendered to something outside of our own self and at the mercy of this “thing”.  Many of us have learned by now that we can’t change another person.  So we believe we cannot change “it” nor can we change our own emotions or feelings.  We believe that this “thing” in the outside world must change for us to feel better.  The same holds true for every one of our emotions. If the outside world or something or someone in it is the cause of our emotion, then we are not to blame.  Clearly, it is that “thing” “out there” that is responsible for our emotions. This way of thinking makes us feel we are not to blame and not at fault.  The only way to truly heal the problem is to heal the fear.

Through our awareness that it is our reaction to an event and those stories we have fabricated in our mind creating what we believe to be the truth, our power is restored. We have the power to create change and happiness.  We begin realistically and authentically to heal the fear.  No longer is there a dependency on the outside world for our own true joy.

Making choices or decisions out of fear are actions not from God or the Universe.  When an individual has even a remote feeling that a choice or decision is being made from a fear based emotion, I recommend one to stop and take time to do the necessary inventory of one’s own feelings.  Do not make a decision based on fear.  Some of my personal friends and acquaintances go so far as to even do the opposite that a fear based decision may suggest.  I recommend that if one becomes aware that a decision is being made with fear as a driving force, to stop. Breathe deeply in and out and go inside one’s inner Self for direction. I often suggest the use of a simple technique I refer to as “STAR”.  STAR is an acronym for:  Stop, Think, Assess and Redirect to a healthy alternative.  Even the simple exercise of breathing deeply in and out will help to release the fear.  Susan Jeffers, a life coach and spiritual guide suggests, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Interpreting the Runes ~ Perth~ Question Mark ?

The meaning of this rune has been left a question mark because in modern times, we have no way of knowing its exact nature.  It has been described variously as an apple, a chess piece, a dice cup, a tune, a hearth, and even a penis.  This lack of clear meaning is proper, as Perth signifies something unresolved in life, something hidden away that is about to surface. The appearance of Perth may represent a secret; something one may feel secretive about.  This can be a hint to the person doing the reading. When Perth shows up, it can signify that someone is not being entirely forthright or honest about the question being posed for the reading or runecast, and is in fact asking about something else.

As a rule, this rune has fairly positive associations, implying that the secret about to be revealed will be helpful or pleasant to the person being read in the runecast.  It can signify that matters of the heart, which the person being read may have been unsure of, will be resolved to their advantage – and surprise. It can also denote an unexpected inheritance.  In addition, this rune has associations with gambling, although the route by which this meaning is reached is somewhat uncertain. However, on this basis, Perth can mean that it is a good time to undertake some financial undertaking that might seem to be somewhat risky.

Reversed

In reverse, Perth suggests that what is about to be revealed will be none too pleasant.  If there are any dark secrets, a reversed Perth signifies that they are certain to be exposed.   On the other hand, when reversed, this rune may show that someone is involved, either personally or in business, with someone who cannot be trusted and that the evidence for this will soon appear.  In either case, one must be armed for disclosures of a discomforting nature.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Jera~Harvest

Jera is considered to be a neutral rune.  Its neutrality is conveyed by its design. It is almost a wheel and looks no different however it may fall in a rune reading. The surrounding runes hint at the outcome.  Its meaning is also closely linked to the wheel, just as it is concerned with cycles. The word “harvest” suggests a positive outcome to most, however there are in truth all kinds of harvest: bumper crops displayed at Thanksgiving time to the life sentence handed down to a murderer.

The appearance of Jera in a reading implies a time of reckoning, when things have perhaps gone full cycle and must now demand review. In many instances, this rune of Jera signifies legal matters, the general way of “reckoning” in our culture. Since this rune indicates one’s “just desserts,” justice is likely to be involved in some way. As Jera also governs every kind of contract, there could be a chance of some form of business deal or even a marriage.

On another level, this rune can represent disturbing forces at work, represented as it is by two interlocking forces whirling around each other. It is an indication of inner turmoil, of one being almost torn apart by opposing emotions, and yet still managing to keep them contained .The turmoil approaches resolution, but while this may produce a certain peace, some loss is also involved.  Once again, the runes counsel us that nothing comes for free.

I Accept All My Relationships As They Are

I Accept All My Relationships As They Are Today.

I Will Give Them My Best.


“Only one who listens can speak.”  – Dag Hammarskjöld

Inevitably, there will always be times in our life when a relationship becomes difficult. Maybe it’s a friendship that has conflicts, a romantic relationship that suddenly, terrifyingly, starts to fall apart or family relationships, strained by years of unmet expectations, become cold and distant.

A shaky relationship can trigger one’s fear of abandonment. That’s when we feel torn between old, inappropriate interactions and any new tools for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and one’s commitment to living life as one chooses. What choices are available?  Give up and run? Hang on, even though one may not want to? How honest should one be? What should be left unsaid, perhaps better shared with someone else? These are only some of the question we have to ask ourselves.

The wisdom gained through personal growth do nothing until one makes a choice, deciding the course of right action; what to do.  All things, including relationships, are on the Universe’s time continuum. Until – or when – we come to a decision, we can live each day going about our lives. All we can do is live each moment and give ourselves the love and nurturing we need until the difficulty finally comes to an end. The outcome may not be expected, but at last, with reality in our midst, we are ready to accept life and our relationships just as they are, now stronger to face our next challenge.