bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: rune musings

Month for Loki, Day 5: The Runes of Your Name (I)

ISA

 

Isa is a rune associated with ice and winter itself, representing the icicle that will turn to water. Isa represents a forced stillness, a period of rest before activity, as in winter, there is nothing to do but wait for the ice to transform into water again.  Therefore, Isa is the essence of Stillness, signifying a delay that may lead to a new start, or a call for inward focus (introspection) in contemplation and preparation.  Another aspect of Isa which is also evoked by its nature as ice is that Isa can represent containment, as ice still holds the kinetic energy/movement of water within itself – as Isa only appears to be still. Related to this, Isa can be the layer of shimmering ice on the surface of a frozen lake that gives the illusion of stability and safety that only becomes treacherous if one should tread upon it without forethought and wisdom.

 

As the final rune in Loki’s name, I believe that Isa represents the ice at the advent of creation, as Isa evokes His primordial nature as a Jotun, as Beings of transformative energy and the unity of opposites in nature.

As well, Loki is a master of illusion, much like that frozen layer of ice on the surface of the lake; approaching Loki without wisdom and forethought can be treacherous.

 

 

In conclusion, one may see in the runes of Loki’s name, there are the forces that oppose (fire and ice) that are the essence of creation.

As an agent of change and transformation, perhaps these are the forces that Loki represents at Ragnarok: the chaos that brings balance, and the overwhelming change that damages then heals.

As well, during the Lokasenna, perhaps Loki serves as the illumination of sudden insight (Kenaz) and the warning (Kaunen) – the mark of the wound that exists to highlight the sickness and disorder – that needs to be dealt with in order to heal and progress

Three runes -Laguz, Kenaz, and Isa – represent the duality of the shapeshifting transformative forces of His energy and His nature –  and perhaps these energies combine to strengthen, expose, and temper the concurrent forces of overwhelm, incineration, and damage that echo through Othala as the rune of ancestral knowledge and memory.

 

 

Hail Loki indeed ❤

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Month for Loki, Day 4: The Runes of Your Name (K)

KENAZ

The Elder Futhark rune, Kenaz is the torch, a rune of knowledge, teaching and learning. Inspiration and knowledge are often associated with light, as in “enlightenment” or “shedding light on the problem.” Kenaz is the act of bringing light, a force that makes the invisible visible, uncovering truth and bringing light to the unseen. In this sense, Kenaz is a rune that represents the flame of revelation.

As well, Kenaz can also be interpreted as the flame that welcomes, the flame at the hearth, which is the fire which hallows (makes sacred) a space.

In a similar way that Laguz is the flowing energy of water that must be controlled, so does Kenaz hold the powerful energy of fire – a force which is capable of being a beacon and a destroyer – as a welcoming fire could just as easily burn out of control if one becomes complacent about its power. Kenaz is a rune of sudden, rapid insight and discovery.

Related to this meaning, the Anglo-Saxons interpreted this rune as Kaunen/Cen a rune that is not only the essence of the torch’s flame that illuminates the shadows, but a rune that symbolizes an ulcer, boil or wound. In that sense, this rune the heat of a fever, the mark of an illness that can easily lead to death, or metaphorically, the frenzy that can be brought on by sudden revelations that leads to delusion and/or madness.

 

Though many scholars may disagree with me, as a rune in Loki’s name, I interpret Kenaz as evoking Loki’s energetic association with fire.  Kenaz is the light of knowledge, the force that illuminates the shadows, and the symbol of the welcoming hearth-fire at the center of the home.

As well, I see the relation to Loki’s energy in both the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Saxon runic forms: as the Kenaz rune echoes the energetic duality as fire as a provider and destroyer similar to the rune Laguz’s duality of water – and as Kaunen, the rune that symbolizes the boil/ulcer, the fevered mark of an illness – the fever that needs to break before one can be healed, or the damage that must be attended to, as Kaunen is both the warning and the reminder that must be heeded to avoid death/disaster.

Month for Loki, Day 3: The Runes of Your Name (O)

OTHALA

Othala is a rune that represents a wealth that cannot be sold, just as its shape evokes the boundary that surrounds an enclosure whose contents cannot be taken away. As a symbol, Othala is a protective rune that maintains and preserves that which it protects within its framework. In that sense, Othala represents that which belongs to the individual by natural law. But Othala represents more than physical property and boundaries – Othala represents home, family and community, as well.  Othala symbolizes the cultural and spiritual heritage that has been passed down to us by our ancestors. Othala is the rune of that ancestral connection, representing the thread of ancient knowledge and wyrd.

~~~

Some rune-workers consider Othala as the final rune in Elder Futhark, and believe that in that sense, Othala contains the potential power of all the other runes. As well, Othala represents powerful ancestral memory and wisdom…the shared genetic memory-wisdom that links and therefore unifies all human beings throughout time.(1)

Author Dagulf Loptson sees the second rune in Loki’s name, Othala  as representing both what Loki values (family and home), but also what He both struggles with (His Jotun ancestry) and what He seeks (a sense of belonging with the Aesir).  Loptson sees the energy of Othala in Loki’s name as being how chaotic energy has been harnessed and used for the security of a community, as Loki inadvertently provides the Aesir with a form of physical wealth/property through gifts (Thor’s hammer, Odin’s spear, Freyr’s ship) that were won through the use of His mental gifts (negotiation/wit with the dwarves). In another situation, Loki provides another form of protection to the Aesir in the form of a physical boundary (the wall around Asgard) through use of one of His ancestral gifts (shapeshifting). (2)

Personally, I have come to see Othala similarly, as a rune of ancestral memory.  In my opinion, how the second rune of His name applies to Loki is that, as a Jotun, Loki is in essence, a powerful and creative force of nature. Some scholars have theorized that Loki could be identified as one of the trio of ancestral creators – as Lóðurr – who animated the first humans – Ask and Embla – with Hœnir and Odin, as described in in the Völuspá.  

~~~

(1.) http://runesecrets.com/rune-meanings/othala-rune-meaning-analysis

(2.) Loptson, Dagulf, Playing With Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA, 2014, p.216

Month for Loki, Day 2: The Runes of Your Name (L)

One of the first things I ever did to honor Loki was to embroider an altar cloth featuring the four runes of His name, in Elder Futhark:

(Laguz Othala Kenaz Isa)

Aside from the strange (but perhaps not so surprising) difficulty that I experienced in the process of embroidering this cloth, I do remember that as a time when the meaning of the runes themselves confused me…as I had only begun to learn their mysteries.

However, in the intervening years since then,  I have come to study runes, and the most important thing I have learned is that runes aren’t just an alphabet system; each rune has an energy and spirit of its own.  And as any rune-worker can tell you: working with the runes is to work with the layers of spiritual presence and power held by each rune. One of the meanings of the word ‘rune’ is ‘secret’ – so one might begin to see why it is sometimes said that the runes themselves reveal their secrets as one works with them.

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that words are important because words are powerful. Their power comes from the ability of words to make our thoughts manifest.

Now imagine if you would how this concept operates regarding runes: if each rune has its own layers of spiritual connection and meaning, therefore the power of several runes can be created in the formation of words.

Now, consider the power of names.

Names are powerful in the sense that a name is a personal word-thing.

With this in mind, let’s consider the runes of Loki’s name.

First…

LAGUZ

Laguz is the flow of Water. Laguz is the flow of Wyrd – the pools and the depths. Laguz is forward progress that seeks the cracks in the obstacles and blockages.  Laguz is a paradox just as water is: like water, Laguz represents a balm that can soothe and strengthen and Laguz is the force that can threaten and overwhelm all that is within its path.

As a part of Loki’s name, Laguz is the representation of energetic flow, as the energetic forces within, the essence of the subconscious mind; intuitive thought and emotion.

 Like Loki Himself, Laguz represents a shapeshifting nature, as water is shapeless, formless, taking the shape of its container, and yet it seeks its own path; it can be blocked by an obstacle or it can simply flow around it, much like Loki’s ever-changing energy.

Laguz is a rune that embodies a dual-nature, much like Loki’s: Laguz is an energetic force much like the ocean; a force that can be calm and full of provision and promise, or a force can overwhelm and destroy.

And finally, Laguz is a rune of awareness of what lies beneath the surface, a rune of knowledge and psychic ability.

Silent: a piece for deep meditation.

Here is an excellent meditation piece – with bindrune – recently shared to one of my FB groups

courtesy of  the folks at Red Trillium Farm:

 

“Silent. Be still and know.

Find the quiet and empty places and all will fill you.

In the stillness, the gift will come.

Isa: Stillness

Gebo: Gifts, given and received.

Ansuz: Wisdom, revelation.

A piece for deep meditation, clearing the mind, stilling the thoughts.

Become quiet and you will hear your answers.”

From Red Trillium Farm

Rune-carving.

So I spent yesterday morning hand carving runes for my shop:

…and goodness, was it an adventure!

You see, I’d never carved runes to be used by someone else before, so I wasn’t entirely certain how they would come out.

As well, I hadn’t used this particular set of wood carving blades/chisels to carve runes before, so there was a learning curve there as well.

Surprisingly, I had to sharpen them halfway through the process. (They were brand new so I don’t know how or why they dulled so quickly. Hmmm.*)

At any rate, the only rune I seemed to have difficulty with actually carving for some reason was Ansuz, (the fourth rune).

Even galdring Ansuz felt somehow strange, as well.

and even though I made offerings to each of my own stone runes** as I carved each new rune on the wooden blank:

…it was rough going for the next few runes.

However by the time, I’d reached Eiwhaz, (a rune that feels most like an old friend), I was feeling more confident, having reached a sort of rhythm in both the carving and the galdring.

So, after Eiwhaz the rest of the runes came to rather nicely.

And the next thing you know, I had Othala on the carving block…

And I realized I was finished with the ‘carving’ part.

Overall, I am feeling pretty good about the whole process…and one step closer to having a rune set ready for my shop.

~~~

Though I cannot help but recall that in the summer of 2014, I had a psychic tell me in a reading that I would find satisfaction in woodcarving, and I had to laugh.
I hadn’t attempted to carve anything in wood since I was a child.
But I bought my first wood carving blade shortly after that, so I think I can admit that she was right.

I did enjoy that process 🙂

~~~

*  I was using ash blanks, if that makes any difference…

* * Since I’d been told by several runecrafters that one should not ‘feed’ a rune set if it is going to be given to someone else – that should be left for the purchaser/user to do – I found much to my surprise that my own runes were quite hungry… O.o

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. 😯

 

 

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. ❤