bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: Elder Futhark

Month for Loki, Twenty-second: Clearly

I don’t know if I’d ever gotten around to mentioning this, but I am working on another project which has become rather intense lately.

After several incredibly productive weeks, it felt as if certain aspects of the project were just not flowing anymore, and I couldn’t figure out why.

So I pulled a few runes to see if I could tease out what was the source of the blockage:

And this is what came up.

Situation: Laguz –  a rune that represents the essence of flow, the essence of depth, complexity.

Overall Aspect: Wunjo – a rune that represents joy.  A rune of success and happiness. Situation has the potential to go well.  Paired with Laguz, this felt like an excellent sign.

So what happened?

Result: Berkano, reversed- Like a sneaky ton of bricks, I immediately grasped the message here: Your attitude is affecting the potential here; your overall attitude is affecting the growth and the flow.  I see Berkano as a rune of fertility here; and its reversal marks it as the blockage: a fertility that may be misdirected…a profound indicator about how my own attitude – perhaps I am ‘fertilizing’ or feeding my worries and stresses about the project rather than pushing past them or through them – and *that* is the problem.

Huh.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a clear message through my runes before….

But that’s it in a nutshell, as it relates to the project, it would seem that the runes are telling me to get the eff out of my own way.

Again, point taken, Sir. 😯

 

 

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New.

In a further effort to dedicate to working with Odin, I decided to order a new set of runes recently.

Though I have two other sets – one Elder Futhark and one Anglo-Saxon – in keeping with the spirit of creating a new devotional practice, I wanted to have a custom set made specifically for working with Odin.*

After receiving some recommendations and talking to different artisans, I chose a rune-craftsman whose shop is based in the Ukraine – Eril’s Workshop -because his work is simply stunning:

 

~~~

So my new runes were finished last week.

The artisan sent me a neat little photo essay that showed the creation process of my runes.

The runes blanks he used are made of a beautiful light oak – the color of honey -uniformly cut and neatly carved.

Despite being made of slices of oak, looking at the photos, they appear deceptively thin, light as feathers.

~~~

And they are…my runes arrived today.

They remind me of delicate cookies – honey wafers.

(Yes, the color of them does make me (almost!) want to lick them, imagining the sweet flavor of Daelmans Dutch Honey Wafers.)

I will be blooding them in the next few days, with intent to begin using them soon; perhaps by this coming Wednesday. 🙂

~~~

*Yes, I thought about making my own runes.  Perhaps that will be a project for further down the road.

 

 

 

Rune-pull: Uruz.

I haven’t done a rune-pull in a long time, but the other day, I had the surprising urge to do so.

And I pulled Uruz.

(artwork: Uruz, by Miky, from his Book of Shadows; here.)

Funny, of all the runes, I will admit that Uruz – the second rune of the first Aett of the Futhark – does not come up in my readings very often, and so I am not as familiar with its meanings as much as I am about some of the other runes.

This is odd, as I was showing my son K a bindrune that I had seen that incorporated Dagaz, Gebo and Uruz as part of its structure earlier that morning, so it was an unusual coincidence that this rune –which I had mentioned to K that I was not so familiar with – would be the next rune to come up in a rune pull.

How amazing it is when the Universe conspires to highlight a lesson.  I was just saying I wasn’t so sure of the meanings/power of Uruz…and now here it is. Perhaps I should have expected it.

My overall impressions of this rune are vague at best, as I knew that it is a rune associated with that animal, the auroch (as pictured in the artwork above), and in a reading, I often felt Uruz represented a physical obstacle or unpleasant task that must be faced in order to move forward.

Doing some research on Uruz, I found this description, and I was pleased to see that my basic impression of Uruz wasn’t so far off:

This rune signifies the power of the universe but it is a power that cannot be owned or controlled. [Uruz represents] the strength within you to fulfill your dreams, but with that strength comes responsibility.  Strength is not a force to wield over others but a force to stop others from exerting power over you.  Use your strength to keep focused on your present path and stop yourself from being outmaneuvered.  

[Other aspects of Uruz] include emotional and spiritual strength, male sexual potency, and good health.

Another interpretation I got when reading the translation from the above mentioned website that featured the artwork:

Uruz is a physical manifestation of a challenge which leads to a major life change. Much depends upon the strategy you choose when you approach this challenge or task, as you may be required to overcome yourself in rising to the challenge or task.

Uruz represents personal success, so be ready to accept the process and…step into personal power. 

Uruz is also known as a rune of healing and health, so if you need that vitality,  Uruz is the rune.

 

Gift.

On Saturday night, my family and I attended a lovely wedding held on a beach in St. Petersberg, FL.

We arrived a bit early, so to pass the time before the ceremony began, we looked for shells on the beach.

Almost immediately, my husband V found this shell, and thought to save it for me, as he pointed out that there was a rune on it.

othalashell
At first glance, V saw Sowilo.
When my son K looked at it, he thought it was closer to Kenaz.
Meanwhile I saw Othala.

I thought that Othala was rather fitting, as we were attending a wedding, and Othala strikes me as a rune of family and heritage, of community and ancestral/spiritual wealth.

I thought it appropriate since a wedding is a family event, that involves communion between two families, wherein often guests (of perhaps several generations) gather to celebrate.  (We briefly considered giving the shell to the couple and explaining its delightful appropriateness in regards to us finding it on the day of their wedding, but then I recalled that the couple were rather devout Christians who may not have appreciated runes as being significant -let alone a spiritual/ancestral blessing – upon their union.)

It was a pleasant and surprising thing, and upon arriving home, I posted a picture of the shell, asking others what rune they saw.

While most agreed with me that it definitely looked like Othala, one friend mentioned that she’d initially seen Gebo a moment before she noticed that it was Othala.  When I told her about the circumstances in which the shell was found, she agreed even more so that the seashell was a sign of blessing of the ancestors upon the wedding — and truly a gift from the sea. ❤

9 Days.

Beginning on Wednesday 31 August until Friday 9 September, I did Dagulf Loptson’s 9 day ritual, Breaking Loki’s Bonds.

I spent Tuesday collecting the supplies.

I bought a new red 8-hour candle, three white 4-hour candles, a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and a thick red double-sided satin ribbon.

The other things needed – a fire-proof container, a Sharpie pen, a large needle for carving, and sharps/lancets – were items that I thankfully had on hand.

( Much to my dismay, I realized that I had misplaced the knife that I’d planned to use, and since I did not have  a suitable knife on hand, I ended up purchasing a new one later on in the week.  Trust me, certain items – the knife especially – turned out to be something you need to trust in, whether or not you ever find yourself using it again.)

As well, this ritual, as it is written, involves a lot of rune writing/carving, so be aware of the runes.  While I don’t consider myself a rune-master by any means,  I am familiar with runes enough that I was able to spell out what I needed to.  You will be writing in runes on days 2-7.

(Here is a handy rune converter if needed.)

31 August: The First Meditation

The first meditation concerns asking.

On Wednesday night, I approached Loki, and invited Him to aid me in transforming my life.

By the way, I am terrible at guided meditations.  While I’ve no doubt a vivid imagination, I have especial difficulty in visualizing if I have to jump between reading a text and visualizing the effect, so I spent a good half-hour recording myself reading the text aloud so I could set the visuals of the first meditation in my mind that first night.

Though I feared that the first night would be excruciatingly intense, in retrospect, the first night was the easiest night of all.

And just after I finished the first meditation, I went to bed.

And just before I dropped off to sleep, in crazy-town (commonly referred to as my head post-ritual), I heard my name called out (loudly!) twice.

I couldn’t figure out if it was coming from inside or out.

Perhaps He wanted to talk…but I fell asleep. 😬

This was His question during the first night’s meditation:

Are you ready to claim responsibility for yourself and the fruit of your own actions? Are you ready to see yourself as you truly are?

~~~

1 September: The Second Meditation:

Sigyn: Look in the mirror. What do you see?

Loki: Who do you have bound here?

-The other Heathir*

The one pinned against the wall, disassociating, feeling humiliated.  The one who is strong and creative who hides her light, dulls her shine, full of fear, feeling defeated. The one who waits in the dark.  The one who cries.  The one who has lost hope.  The one who was trapped by duty, trying to fill the void that did not originate in her/with her.

This realization – and those visuals – unhinged me to a great degree, but in retrospect, I should not have been surprised: I am the one who is holding myself back.

I wrote ‘the other Heathir’ – in runes -on the bottle of whiskey. (I also wrote that phrase – in English – above the runes, in case I forgot what I wrote.)

The whiskey represents the hidden ‘poison’ as it were, that is staining my life.  This is the truth I am hiding.

~~~

2 September: The Third Meditation:

What are your fetters made of?

The other H is bound in fetters made of iron.

This is the strength of fear, the fear that holds in place, fear that seems insurmountable.  Also anger, despair, and hunger for freedom/understanding, but fear mostly.

I wrote ‘Fear made of iron’ in runes on the red ribbon.

~~~

3 September: The Fourth Meditation:

Who holds the bowl for you?  Who are your allies?

Today, I see the box – with 9 locks! – where the weapon Lævateinn is kept.

K is my first ally: K.

K has always been my first ally.

Young and strong and full of love, K is the key and I am the door.

I fucked up.

I misread the ritual script, and I thought all 3 allies would show today.

so, after K, I immediately saw my father and then, I saw Loki.

I carved all three candles – easy enough –  but then I had trouble drawing blood from my fingers.

I hacked up first two fingers before realizing my left ring finger (finger I wear Loki’s ring) bleeds rather well.

So I blooded and galdr’d (spoke-sung aloud the rune names) for all three candles.

K’s initials.  My father’s initials.  Loki.

I unlocked the first three locks.

 

~~~

4 September: The Fifth Meditation:

I woke up this morning, and there were spots of blood all over my pillowcase.

Last night, I realized that I had made a mistake.

So I burned off the two rune sets off the two candles #2 (my father) and #3 (Loki) to re-set.

Set second candle.

Who is your second ally?

And I Immediately saw a Fox.

Bright green eyes and surreal red fur.

I could not shake that image from my sight.

I quickly realized that Fox is cunning and quick, and upon a closer look, I saw that this Fox wore three colors in the form of three threads twisted red, yellow and green, that twined down the back and around and around the tail.

The Fox had threads in his fur that are red and yellow and green.

And Fox licked my face and I asked if he would lead me out of the dark cave when it was time.

And Fox nodded.  As I prepared to carve the runes, I realized something important.

Do you know there is no letter x in runes? I learned that today.

Because I had to carve his name into the candle. F O K S

And when I had finished blooding and galdring those runes, Fox bowed again and licked my face, saying:

I will lead you through the darkness – my eyes are light in the dark. 

Trust me.  I am the spirit of Wisdom and Cunning that you must trust to help you. 

I am the Pathfinder! I will show the way, the secret way…soon enough.

And with that, Fox turned and ran off, making tiny silent tracks soft across the snowy field.

I unlocked the second set of three locks.

5 September: The Sixth Meditation:

Who is your third ally?

I spent quite some time in intensely deep meditation upon my 3rd ally.

It took some negotiation before the 3rd ally would finally come forward.

You see, my father didn’t come forward this time.   I think my father had said no. 😦

Then I heard someone mention that it should be (my older son) by name.  (I heard his name).

It seemed that my third ally is the far-seeing Hawk-woman.

(Just as the Fox seems likely to have been Loki, it seems entirely possible that the Hawk was a shapeshifting Freyja.)

I saw a woman cloaked in burnt red robes.  And then I saw an enormous raptor – a hawk – who was somehow Her too.

Like Fox, She sees far above and she is another guide through the darkness.  She is strength and perseverance in the face of battle.

So I carved the runes to spell ‘Hawk’ on the third white candle, and I galdred them.

Then, as the ritual directed, I set the candles and began to chant the meditation again to thank each ally, as now I been approached by all three:

Thank you K for your assistance.

(interruption!)**

Thank you Fox, for Your cunning.

Thank you, Hawk, for Your sight-gifts

_

Thank you K for your faith.

Thank You Loki for Your help.

Thank You Freya for Your strength.

_

Thank you K for your alliance.

Thank You my Beloved for Your Love.

Thank You My Lady for Your Guidance.

 

 

I unlocked the final set of three locks.

The ritual then directed that the three candles should be allowed to burn to socket.

Oddly enough, the candles were labeled as having a 4 hour burn time, and the ritual lasted about one half hour, all told.

But within the next hour, all three burned out completely. O.o

Powerful stuff!

~~~

6 September: The Seventh Meditation:

What is the source of your liberation?

Today the meditation focused on the blade which is the sword that was forged by Loki, Lævateinn

This day’s meditation had me opening the – now unlocked – box where Lævateinn is kept.

A word, concept or image will be revealed to me as appearing on the surface of the blade.

I chanted to Loptr to reveal to me the source of my liberation.

Suddenly, an image of a(n anatomically correct) heart flashed through my mind.

(As well, an image of tear-stained face of my child-self also flashed briefly in my mind’s-eye. Her eyes were dark with tears.)

Suddenly, a thought flowed through my mind: Do you love her?

Suddenly I looked down at the blade and thought: Love.

Love was the source of my liberation.  My love for that other self, that other Heathir, would free her from her bonds.

So I wrote the word ‘Love’ in Futhark runes on both sides of the blade and blooded each rune as I galdr’d their names.

~~~

7 September: The Eighth Meditation:

This is the day that I will use Lævateinn

Tonight, it was difficult to visualize the cave.

I couldn’t see Them, but I could sense the sword in my hand.  It is rather heavy.

I feared that I would not be able to lift it high enough and get a good angle to cut His bonds.

My mind gets so hung up on such particular details, I suppose.

I started to think about what His bonds were made of vs. my own.

Earlier in the meditations, He had said that guilt kept Him bound – the guilt of not having been able to protect His children.

And I thought of myself, and how interesting to think that my fear was the means that I had been holding bound that other Heathir within myself.

Suddenly it made a weird kind of connection and I thought about how fear was at the basis of a lot of things in the situation, in the world – guilt and fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of the inevitable future. And the choices that are made because of the fear of loss.

And for a moment I could see His eyes and the weariness and pain in them, and I raised the sword.

I cut the bonds at His shoulders, and thought about fear of not being accepted, of not being loved or understood. (The fear that leads to hatred/judgment and misunderstanding) Fear of the past.

I cut the bonds at His pelvis and thought about fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of pain. And I found myself sobbing at the difficulty, as I could see the face of that little girl, that other Heathir, my child-self, sobbing too.

I am tired of being afraid, I am terrified of being trapped here, her eyes seemed to plead….

I cut the bonds at His knees, and thought about fear of inevitable change, fear of loss, fear of what the future holds…

And I thought about love.

How I used to think that love dies in the presence of fear, but here, love was the means to overcome fear.

Then it was time to cut  away my bonds; to cut the ribbon I had made.

I momentarily entertained the fear that my own actual blade would be too dull to cut through the ribbon, but it flawlessly sliced through the fabric, into three pieces.

As clear as day, I saw the vision of the other Heathir, bound there before my eyes…and just as it was with Loki, it took three strokes.

And with each stroke, I chanted my intent:

I see you.  I recognize you.

I know you. I value you.

You are free.  I am free. 

I told her:

You are safe.

You are strong.

You are powerful.

You are loved.  

I love you.  I love you. I love you. 

You have not failed. You are free.

There is no need to hide.

There is no need to punish yourself anymore.

There is no need to fear happiness or freedom or change.

 

And I allowed myself to cry and feel and know that I would never deny that – or her – again.

We are. We are. We are.

I am free.

We are both free.

 

~~~

8 September: the Ninth Meditation:

Today is the end.

Today He is free and so am I.

Today is about recognizing Him and recognizing myself.

Today I ritually burn the three pieces of the ribbon

As well, the bottle I put aside -that signifies the venom of the snake becoming the medicine – that was a powerful metaphor.  We are going to drink it in celebration.

(So do not forget to bring a cup to drink from on the ninth day! 🙂 )

They had a personal message for me, and I realized that I have traveled a long road to Them.

The message was profound and personal and Their words meant everything to me. I was almost in tears all over again – tears of catharsis, tears of release.

This was such a cathartic and necessary ritual for me.

So I placed the three pieces of ribbon in the miniature firepit I created. His (Loki’s) candle threatened to go out several times throughout, as one is to use the flame of His candle to burn the ribbon.***

Wax was everywhere.  The scent of apple cinnamon candles, whiskey and burnt ribbon permeate my altar space, even now many hours later.

But it is done.  And it was definitely worth doing.

And I feel lighter in spirit and more connected to my Gods.

Thank you, K.

Thank You, Loki.

Thank You, Freyja.

~~~

~~~

~~~

*The second meditation was so intense and vivid that I dedicated a post to just the specific visuals here.

__

**K walked in right as I set his candle thanking him for his faith and steadfastness defense/aid.  He startled me.  And I felt disheveled for the rest of the meditation. O.o

K was the first ally and I had just finished saying- ‘thank you K—-‘

and I hear K—- say ‘Hello.’ 

I startled – and I look up and K is standing there, standing just within the doorway to my meditation area.

I didn’t even hear K knock.

‘I’m going to bed’ he says.

(K had mentioned that he had asked Loki for permission to enter the circle; K told me, and I quote, that Loki had given it, saying:

OK — but make it quick!

And that’s why K was there.

But GAH. I almost jumped out of my skin! 😬

__

*** The ribbon –  being satin and likely polyester – didn’t burn very well.  But again, I sat with it but it took a long time – with several re-lightings – for it to burn to ash.  But 20 long minutes later, it was done.  I hope I did it right.  What a perfectionist I am!

If I recommended this ritual to anyone, I would suggest use a ribbon that is made of paper or another fabric besides satin – that satin fancy shit doesn’t burn well and it smells awful. 😦

As well, again I didn’t read the ritual script as closely as I should have, and I poured way too much into the cup!  The protocol is to drink the entire contents  in one draught while you [and They] watch your bonds burn.  So I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I was pretty well lit by the time the ritual was over as  3 large shots’ worth of Jamesons’ will definitely fuck you up quick. LOL

runecloth

Finally finished with the rune embroidery on this altar cloth.

I just wanted to post to let those who were asking to see it.

I’ve already gotten the nudge that perhaps I could embroider this 3 more times – as a border for each side.

Though I really hope that that was perhaps not meant as an actual request…as I’m really feeling inclined to embroider something else for a change.

Or I could just look at it as a means to further memorize runes…much like those embroidery samplers of the alphabet that young children were known to make in colonial times.

/end whineage.

 

Candle.

There is so much that I often think that I might want to write about, but then again, things have been so strange, sometimes I think that it would be best to keep certain aspects of what has been happening to myself.

So, in its place, things such as this happen, and it makes a good filler for something else:

The white candle on my Loki altar had a thick clump in its wick this morning.

It was shaped like the Elder Futhark rune,  Algiz  (a Y intersected by a third stave):

runa algiz

….or perhaps a figure with its arms raised upright.
When I lit the candle,  the wick flamed up very high, and the the three prongs of the wick were striated with a swirling orange glow, as the flame sputtered and danced about.

As I watched it burn, I meditated on the various interpretations of Algiz  (or Elhaz)

“Elk-sedge” – (Z, or -R)  – Protection, Shield.  Wards, or guardians.

-Connection with higher self, or connection to gods; an awakening.

– Can be used to channel energies appropriately, or to protect or to hold a position that has been won or earned.

Then I blew out the candle, and the wick slowly shrank and curled downward a bit, as if the wick was a figure with arms lowered

algizcandle

…or perhaps, a person holding arms outward, as if to embrace another.

Or…maybe I am just overthinking, hmmm?