bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: runes

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.  

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(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:

 

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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.

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 7: Magician.

As I was becoming increasingly aware of my unease with my role as a Student, you can be certain that Loki sensed that I was struggling.

It didn’t seem to deter Him from trying to instruct me, however, and His lessons for me increasingly involved transformative rituals.

I began studying runes, at His request, and it was around this time that the rune, Eihwaz first came to me.

I created a prayer to Eihwaz asking for protection, connection and transformation.

My meditations were full of trees – visualizations of an Ancient Tree with gnarled branches that twisted toward the sky – and the points of the Eihwaz rune were sunk deep in its bark, facing out in all directions:

massivetree

I learned that this strange Tree

with its dark, almost sentient presence

was the Axis of All That Is

and that Eihwaz served as an anchor to my understanding of it.

And there, in dreamspace, I would meet Loki.

malewitchMagoBruxo

He looked a lot like this.