Monthly Archives: January 2010

January 31, 2010

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Peorth Reversed

Peorth is the letter P

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

Peorth is a source of recreation and amusement to the great,
Where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall

Just to expose another variant interpretation about this rune, I left the format that in most books about runes, they show as the stanza for Peorth. As the meaning of the word itself is contested and debated, it was left un-translated, so each person could give their own meaning.

To myself, Peorth is the Dead, those who have passed on and left the world of toil and trouble for realms filled with recreation, amusement and ease. The question of where you end up and when your time to go there, is one of chance, unknown to all who do not dwell in those realms. When I see it reversed, it shows me the open gates of the afterlife, but they are pulling things in, not letting them out. It occurs to me, this might be a rune indicative of dreams, the method most often described of interacting with the deceased, and perhaps through dream, you might enter into contact with the seemingly shadowy realm.

Week of Jan 31 – Feb 6

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Gar

Gar doesn’t have a letter equivalent, although it could be the letter g (even though Gebo already occupies that role)

There is no rune poem for Gar

The word Gar translates as spear. Raven Kaldera sees it as the spear of the All-Father, his mark upon the runes, claiming his action which brought the runes into this world. The spear is also an epithet of Yggdrasil is also indicated by Mr. Kaldera.
As Yggdrasil, it is a rune of possibility and connection, a doorway that leads to all places. There is also a value of it as the replacement of the “blank rune” used in some practices. It isn’t blank, but rather represents the cosmic “sit tight and hold on” value that things are happening around you, and you need to be in the moment. I sense of similar meaning, but it has more to do with being in that moment, and as all things now are a clear slate for you, the actions you take can lead to anywhere, instead of responding and interacting with things that you have already done. As Yggdrasil is the axis of creation, it has infinite potential and possibility, growing into all worlds, rooted in all worlds. Yggdrasil itself however it is not changed in it’s nature from the worlds, but rather holds stead and balanced, even though imbalance can rage around it. From that center, take action, and shape the maelstrom around you.

January 30, 2010

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Ehwaz

Ehwaz is the vowel sound of a short e, as in “get”

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

The horse is a joy to princes in the presence of warriors.
A steed in the pride of its hoofs,when rich men on horseback bandy words about it;and it is ever a source of comfort to the restless

Ehwaz translates as horse. The horse was and is a domestic animal of great value. While most of modern transportation has replaced horses as the original means of expediting a trip, we still retain the association, for example in “horsepower” (which is the power of an automobiles engine). As I mentioned in Audh-runa, this rune is one of those runes of wealth, a joy to princes, warriors, rich men, and a comfort to the restless (meaning I think to those who travel, or have great wanderlust).

The esoteric meaning to me is about speed, motion and movement. Horsepower in vehicles, is the power of the car to move, and to move quickly. The more horsepower, the faster it goes. So it is with horses. They could quickly get you moving, much faster then on foot, and your journey (raidho) could get you there quicker, but also go much farther and faster. So, I expect today to be filled with a great deal of speed, movement and motion. That motion maybe cyclical (like a journey that eventually takes you back home) but it will definitely be fast.

January 29, 2010

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Nauthiz

Nauthiz is the letter N

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

Need is oppressive to the heart;
yet often it proves a source of help and salvationto the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes

Today’s need was pointed to me as being of spiritual necessity. Things that must be done because spirit (your spirit, an allied spirit, Spirit (with a capital S) needs it. For me, that meant making sure I did my daily work of meditation, galdr practice, and on Fridays, offerings. I feel better now. You will too. You might find that spirit demands other things throughout the day.

January 28, 2010

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Dagaz

Dagaz is the letter D

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

Day, the glorious light of the Creator, is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, a source of hope and happiness to rich and poor,and of service to all

Dagaz or Day is definitely one of more benevolent runes of the whole Futhorc. It is of course the shining power of daytime. Sowilo is the sun, the source of the light, Dagaz is the light itself, which chases away the dangers that lurk in darkness, is filled with warmth, and as the symbolism of dawn, brings hope, new opportunities and the awakening of possibilities.
From an esoteric perspective, Dagaz is all of those things. It is the power of daylight and day time, so it is protective in a sense, as it repels those things which flee from daylight. By bringing warmth and light to people, it can ease sadness and distress, and signify and end to those things. It is also a symbol of time, different then Jera (year) as Dagaz is a shorter unit of time. In that sense, it signifies change that comes quickly and gently, like the dawn breaking in the morning. These changes are usually benevolent, showing the end to previous state and the beginning of a new state. Often this is marked by significant changes, and so Dagaz also symbolizes the forces of change and transformation.

January 27, 2010 – Uruz reversed

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Uruz reversed

Please go back and see the entry for the rune of this week.

In addition to that, while I was contemplating Uruz reversed, I came across an entry in one of my many rune books. Uruz in its reversed form can be used magically to drain away power from something. In essence, it brings weakness to focus of the magic. This of course could also be used in many ways, but it could show that personal weaknesses are also being weakened as well, ebbing away to make room for strengths or new abilities.

January 26, 2010

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Os

Os is the vowel O (oh)

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

The mouth is the source of all language,
a pillar of wisdom and a comfort to wise men,a blessing and a joy to every knight

Os means mouth. It is highly favored in the Anglo-saxon poem, as the mouth gives the ability of speech and language, which allows for the sharing of knowledge, information and wisdom, which is a benefit to everyone.
Esoterically, Os is very much the same. It signifies that speech and language is going to play an important role, and may even be the key to success in your day. This also connects to words and writing as well, because they are just symbols to express what people are saying or have said. Os can also indicate divine utterance, like prophecy or being inspired to speak by spiritual forces, like glossolalia (ie speaking in tongues). In that sense it can also indicate possession, of a very limited nature, through which incorporeal entities might speak through someone. Of course, this power also connects song and poetry, things which were highly valued in the Northern Tradition.

January 25, 2010

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Hagalaz

Hagalaz is the letter H

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

Hail is the whitest of grain;
it is whirled from the vault of heavenand is tossed about by gusts of windand then it melts into water.
Hagalaz translates as Hail. Yes, Hail, that frozen water as precipitation, that isn’t snow, or sleet. Other rune poems show the destructive side of Hail, as it damages crops. The Anglo-Saxons only mention its basic nature, which ultimately is water. That is the dichotomy of Hagalaz. On one hand, it is a terrible rune, a destroyer and wreaker of havoc and woe, a storm that leaves destruction in its wake. But from that destruction comes water, that essential element for life, which nourishes plants, restocks water reserves, and as one rune poem explains is the bane of snakes. Of course, snakes in the northern tradition, or wyrms, were not just serpents, poisonous or not, but were also the symbols of illness and disease. After all, in Northern Europe, there are not that many poisonous snakes, but yet the seeming commonality of being stricken by a snake bit, and being stricken by a sudden illness, the explanation could easily be that the illness was caused by unseen wyrm, perhaps even otherworldy in origin. So, Hagalaz can also help defeat or drive back that which is harmful to men, but it also tears down that which man has built. Generally, when it does show up in a reading, be on your toes, cause you might just be entering into a storm.

Runes and Reversals

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As you might notice through my rune of the day posts, there are runes that come up expressed as reversed. This is a common technique among contemporary systems of sortilege, especially tarot. The reader themselves will often have a ready understanding of reversed meanings about their tool, which can range from the complex to the simple. In most cases that I have heard of, the reversed meaning is a negative indicator or expression of the meaning contained within that symbol.

While historically we don’t know how the runes were used for divination (or if they were used directly) in contemporary practice they are. Many books will give reversed meanings for some or all the runes. This is usually for the practice of Divination. However, if you look at any Futhark, there are runes that are not “reversible.” That is, if you turn them 180 degrees on a vertical axis, it is the same symbol. Some symbols like this are invertible (that is if you turn them on a horizontal axis, they will become mirrored to the original inscription) but I have yet to find a rune set that includes inverse runes, as they would require a separate inscription.

What is of interest to many, are the non-reversible runes. A simple example would be Sowelo/Sigil/Sol the rune of the Sun. It’s various forms in the futharks are all non reversible images. In essence, it’s meaning in a reading never changes. That is an excellent graphical metaphor for the sun. In a certain sense, the power of the sun never changes. It may leave our ability to perceive the sun, but where ever it is, it always shines, bringing warmth, hope, and joy. It never changes or varies in that power.

This is one of the striking differences of the runes vs the tarot. Every tarot card can be reversed. Not every rune can be reversed. Some things are unchangeable, enduring, and lasting within the cosmology of the runes.
In Thorsson’s work, the non-reversible runes are often interpreted as being the runes of the Nine Worlds. As he only uses the Elder Futhark, there are only 9 immutable runes. They are Gebo, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Iehwaz, Sowilo, Inguz, and Dagaz. (if you want to know the Nine World equivalents, I suggest you acquire one of his books). The remaining runes are connected to paths connecting those worlds, much in the sense of the magical cabala associations with the tarot, with the major arcane forming paths between the sephira, which are associated with all the number units of the minor arcana. By adding in the Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian runes though, his cosmological map falls apart, as more non reversible runes are added. Ior, Qweorth, Shtan and Gar, bring the total count from nine to thirteen, and introduce additional concepts or repeated ones. However, they are suggestive of powers that are immutable as well, and maybe they are not symbolic of the nine worlds, but instead of powers manifested in all the worlds, powers that are constantly being expressed and at work in the deepest metaphysical levels.

Rune of the Day January 24, 2010

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Laguz

Laguz is the letter L

Anglo-Saxon Rune poem (from ragweedforge.com)

The ocean seems interminable to men,
if they venture on the rolling barkand the waves of the sea terrify themand the courser of the deep heed not its bridle
Again we have returned to Laguz, but now it has righted itself. What was blocked, has now started to move. Often with flowing water, the first rush is filled with detritus of the blockage, until it finally runs clear and clean.