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Interpreting the Runes ~ Wunjo ~ Joy ~ Light

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  — Adapted from the words of Reinhold Niebuhr

Wunjo is considered to be a positive rune and when drawn in the upright position will always represent joy and happiness coming into life. It is an excellent omen in a reading. A shift, that was due, has occurred and the blessings associated with Wunjo may freely be received and accepted. These blessings may relate to material gain, emotional life, or in a heightened sense of one’s own well-being. Be happy!

In combination with other runes, it indicates success in whatever areas they rule. For example, with travel runes such as Raidho or Ehwaz, it can show a fortunate and generally pleasing journey; with message runes such as Ansuz, it can mean good news; when Wunjo is drawn with love related runes, in can show deep affection and long-lasting emotional happiness.

Often, Wunjo will signify the object of one’s affections. In this case, it usually shows some activity undertaken with this person will end with a happy result.

Wunjo can also represent joy in one’s work, especially if that work is artistic or creative . Like the rune Kenaz, Wunjo appears in readings for people who are artists or craftsmen and shows that this creative element is very important to their personal happiness and wellbeing.

Reversed The meaning of Wunjo reversed is exactly the opposite of everything stated about its meaning in the upright position. Things are slow in coming and the person for whom the runes are being consulted may be undergoing a difficult, if not crisis time, filled with misery and unhappiness.

The runes drawn in addition to Wunjo should show the specific problem areas. Drawn with Raidho or Ehwaz, an unsafe or unsuccessful trip with breakdowns and delays are indicated and are likely.

If the question being asked relates to one’s employment, Wunjo reversed warns of dissatisfaction, either with the job itself or with one’s job performance.

In matters of love, this rune shows disappointment or a delay of some type in a present relationship, the intensity of which can be discerned from the other runes drawn.

In all questions about business, travel or love, Wunjo reversed shows a need for caution, perhaps even putting off an important decision until a seemingly better time.

The rune of Wunjo can also show trouble caused by a third-party in the form of friction and delays. One should be on the lookout for any possible double-dealing on the part of acquaintances, friends, business associates or opponents.


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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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Is ~ Ice

Does this rune seem rather forbidding? Ice is obviously very cold and can even, in some instances be dangerous. That does not tell the entire story however.  Ice may be considered protective.  We have all heard the phrase, “put it on ice” ensuring fresh storage for later use.  This rune counsels caution: the best course of action is simply, no action.  This is the moment to stop and freeze all plans, for to continue would be fool hardy – just like stepping on, thin ice!

The rune Is indicates things have gone on far too long and with too much coldness for there to be any chance of the return of any warmth.  Sometimes the appearance of this rune heralds the destruction of plans by sly and hidden hands: ice is easy to see once it has formed but only rarely does one have a chance to see it develop, and it is strong enough to break nearly everything in its path.  The appearance of Is in any reading should always be considered a serious warning. In personal relationships, this rune does not bid well for the future.  Once ice has penetrated into the heart and soul of loved ones there is little chance that matters will work out well.

This rune has no reverse; the same shape whichever way it falls.  This indicates putting plans on hold and waiting until the situation changes.  Eventually, there will be a thaw and again everything will go back to what seemed normal.

The Three Rune Spread

The Three Rune Spread does the job for all but the most demanding or challenging situations.  With an issue clearly in mind, select three Runes, one at a time of course.  Place them from right to left in the order each Rune was selected.  So that one doesn’t make a conscious effort changing the direction of the stones, especially as one becomes familiar with the symbols, it is good practice to place each Rune blank side up, and the turn them over.

With the selection complete, the Runes will be before you as in the diagram above.  Reading from the right, the first Rune reveals the Situation; the second or center Rune identifies the Action; and the third Rune (the one on the left) indicates the New Situation.  The way in which one happens to turn the Runes may have some effect and alter the direction of the symbols to either an upright or reversed position, but remember, this too is all part of the process.  Since only nine Runes read the same upright and reversed, the readings for the remaining Runes will be determined on how the Runes have been placed or turned.

Application

When I was faced with the end of a long term relationship, experiencing emotional pain and grieving over the loss, I turned to the Runes and did a Three Rune Spread.  My issue I felt at the time was, “What am I to be learning from this separation?”

From my journal I am able to recall the Runes I drew: Reading from the right, the first Rune was Algiz, the Rune of protection reversed addressed my sense of being totally vulnerable, and unprotected.  This was the first time in my adult life I would really be on my own; without a partner.  Only right action and correct conduct provide protection in a time such as I was facing.  I would have to grow and learn from the loss of the relationship.

The second Rune drawn was Kano, the Rune of opening.  I was encouraged to trust the process and consider what aspects of my old conditioning would be best if changed.

Third drawn was Nauthiz, the Rune of constraint and pain.  The new growth would not free me from anguish over the situation.  The end of that relationship caused me to begin on my path of personal growth.  For the first time as an adult, I was working on me.  I also came away from this reading knowing that I was being called upon to be mindful of the fact that rectification must come before progress.

Though I was feeling vulnerable and “exposed,” I was made aware that with pain comes the necessary clarity to get on my path of personal growth and change.  As I began to move along that path, I was often reminded to consider the positive uses of adversity.

Readings From the Runes

Beautiful bag for beautiful Runes

I begin most days with a reading from the Runes, asking what my course of right action is for the day ahead of me.  Before I draw a Rune from my special sack, I recite to myself “The Prayer of St. Francis.”  If I anticipate a situation before me that could be intense or turbulent, I may meditate or pray for specific strength, wisdom or guidance.  With a clear mind, and a strong will, openness and the intention to know my direction for the day, I then draw one stone.  My Runes are made of rose quartz and I found them in a metaphysical shop in Sedona Arizona.  I feel that because they come from Sedona, which has a special energy from the vortex’s there, my Runes are highly charged.

Like me, there are many who set aside that special time of day to consult the Runes.  Some light candles or incense. It is important to compose one’s self through meditation or a focus on breathing.  It is important to free the mind of all cares and concerns.  To the beginner, even to have the mind cleared for just one moment will be helpful.  The key here is focus and to control one’s mind.  Life happens however; the Runes can be consulted or read without the more formal preparation I’ve described.  One’s need is what brings forth the energy of the Runes.

The consultation of the Runes is referred to as “casting” and is considered “play.”  This however is a very sacred form of play.  I find that a particularly good time to consult the Runes is when one is faced with a decision.  Especially situations one is facing where one’s own resources are exhausted or one possesses little or incomplete information.  For me, the Runes serve as a decision making tool.  Focus the issue clearly in the mind.  Reach into the sack of Runes, making contact with the stones.  Each time I reach my hand into my bag of Runes, some of the stones feel cold while others feel hot.  Intuitively I know, without looking into the bag of course, which Rune is the “right” Rune.  The individual that introduced me to the Runes said to me, “The right Rune always sticks to my fingers.”

When Runes are being cast for someone else, this person should be asked to put together their question or concern in their mind, but not say it out loud.  By keeping the matter to themselves, any unconscious personal bias is removed from the reading.  Rune readings for others don’t have to be face-to-face.  A connection through the Internet or telephone works just as well.  What is required is the individual’s focus on their issue.

Let’s say that one wishes to consult the Runes on behalf of another person, but their permission to do so can’t be obtained.  This is when the Runes should be consulted for “the course of right action.”  The Runes can be asked whether such action is timely or correct.  “Yes” or “No” questions may be asked.  If the Rune is drawn in its upright position the response is “yes”.  The reversed position indicates “no.”  Nine of the Runes have no upright or reversed position.  When I consult the Runes regarding an issue that requires a “yes” or “no” response and I draw a Rune that has no reversed position, I continue drawing Runes until I reach one that does.

I have made reference a number of times to “the course of right action.”  This form of request is very appropriate for the Runes.  I have consulted the Runes for myself and many others regarding issues such as career moves, real estate sales, investment opportunities, business dealings, relationships and much more.  My preference is to use the word “issue” as opposed to “question” when consulting the Runes for myself or others.  Often, someone will ask, “Should I quit this job?” As an issue, one would say, “The issue is my work.”  It may seem trivial but re-framing a question into an issue is a crucial distinction.  If a question is asked and the Runes provide an answer, the role of the individual facilitating the reading is a passive one.  If an issue is addressed, and the Runes comment on that issue, one is able to extract one’s own answer and determine for one’s self what the course of right action should be.

If there is no specific issue at all in mind, and one still feels drawn to consult the Runes, ask, “What is it that I need to know for my life right now?”  The response from the Runes will always be just what is necessary at that moment.