Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Norse Runes: Attunement

My sense of the Runes is that they tell a complete story of the Wyrd of the Well. My goal as a diviner is to uncover this story, and find meaning in it. I regard the Runic Aettir as chapters in this story, with the individual Runes as sentences. (For me in Runic divination, the questioner is a thread in the tapestry of the Wyrd.) I need to attune to the Runes to discover how the questioner’s thread fits into the overall Story.

 To prepare for the attunements, I decided that the time to do them was early in the morning. For me, the early morning is a liminal time, and my brain is fresh and open. Therefore, after my morning tea ritual, I would sit with the Runes.

For the attunement, I decided to do two Runes at a time. By learning in pairs, I could study them as a dyad. As I did, I would ask myself, “how do these Runes fit together.” I would contrast and compare each, as well.

 First, I would lay out the entire Rune set to see how the Story develops. Then, I would take the pair of the day, and ask that these Runes speak to me. As their pictures would form in my mind, I wrote down my insights. As each Rune developed into a full picture, I placed it in my memory palace.

For me, the meanings of the Runes lie on a continuum. I regard the meanings of each Rune to be fluid with a center, end, and beginning points. The center point is the “standard” agreed upon meaning. The “standard” meaning also governs the beginning and end points. As a diviner, I see shades of meaning from either side of “standard.” Therefore the Runic insights that I got were usually variations of this “standard.”
 An example of how this works for me is as follows. Hagalaz (“hail”), Nauthiz (“need”), Isa (“ice”), and Jera (“harvest”) can be viewed as one chapter of the Runic Story. These Runes can flow together to form a picture. Depicting disaster, Hagalaz is the hail pounding on the roof, causing the roof to cave in. After the roof falls in, the fire goes out in the home. Now the home owner has to make a “need” fire (Nauthiz) by rubbing two sticks together. While everyone, in the home, waits for the fire, they are “frozen,” much like the ice (Isa) that hangs from the eaves. When the warm weather comes, the ice melts, watering the fields. Jera is the field that becomes ready for “harvest.” Through these four Runes, the chapter of a cycle turning and a new one beginning is depicted.

 For me, an attunement is to go inside each Rune to hear the story that each tells. Then, the Runes become pictures or scenes, which resides in my memory palace. When I access them, the Runes flow from one to the next, each telling me what I need to know.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Bardic Perspective: Awen Charted: Old Age

To reflect on Old Age, I went to a swampy area where three streams converge. On two sides of this area are woods, several houses on one side, and a road on another side. Crossing over the swamp was a bridge spanning the road and the houses on the hill. This is a liminal place for me for several reasons, such as the swamp is neither earth nor water. Moreover, the wild area lies between a road and houses, with the bridge connecting the two.

For me, noon represents mid-life followed by old age. After the noon hour comes the afternoon, the decline of the day. Since noon, for me, is a liminal time, I chose this time to start my meditation on Old Age.  

The day I went was a blustery winter day. The strong wind blew the dried leaves, which swirled around me, in small eddies. Meanwhile, the sparkling stream water, as it rippled over the tangled roots, reflected the weak winter sun. Seeing the dead leaves strewn about the bottoms of bare trees, I was reminded of Old Age. As the sharp wind knifed through me, it called to mind my own mortality. Moreover, I was off the beaten path, in a place of ancient decay, symbolic of Old Age. The active life, represented by the road and houses, was separated from me by this swamp.

 As I stared out at the swampy overgrown area, an ancient being of hoary old age popped out of the bog. This male being had an unkempt appearance with unruly white hair sticking out of his brows and ears. Sailing about on the wind, he played with the whirling leaves. Laughing, the being said to me, “Never be neat, clean, or civilized. Always be wild and unruly. Never be staid or docile.” As I listened, the being twinkled at me and danced off.

 As I was leaving, I felt the wildness of the swamp bubble up inside of me. Being old was a time to not to live up to anyone’s expectations, instead it was a time to be content with myself. The being’s advice had resided inside of me, and made me rethink growing old. I think I should go and play in the gusting wind with wild abandonment.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Bardic Path Work: Awen Focus: Morning

Early each Sunday morning, I take my trash out to the dumpster near my building. Behind this dumpster is a large field bordered by woods. Beyond the woods are the railroad tracks of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad. Since everything seems so still at this time, I often go to the edge of the woods to listen to “morning.”

The Sunday, I focused on “Awen” was a winter day, devoid of greenery. I stood at the edge of the woods and awaited the day to begin, which out started grey and overcast. The sun was rising but the light was still low. First, I heard the “coo, coo, coo” of the mourning doves, who were resting in the maple trees. The red-bellied woodpecker, hopping along on a trunk of an oak tree, answered them with “Churrups, churrps.” A staccato rhythm continued with the doves and woodpecker calling and responding.

While that was going on, two Carolina wrens searched for food among the tangled basswood trees, hopping from limb to limb. Finally stopping, they began to trill loudly, “pidaro, pidaro, pidaro.” These small pugnacious birds provided the counterpoint to the doves and woodpecker. The rhythm of the bird calls became faster and faster, announcing “Morning is coming!”

 Then silence came abruptly over the field. Something unseen had passed through the woods. My grandmother referred to this phenomenon of noise then sudden silence as “an angel just walked by.” In the presence of the Sacred, we all became silent.

 After a brief while, the woodpecker quietly went “quir, quir”. Then, the two wrens answered, with “tweepudo dip dip dip.” Adding to their calls, the doves boomed “coo, coo, coo.” Again the rhythm of the doves calling and the other birds responding continued, as if nothing had happened. Once the sun became brighter, the birds stopped and went about their business. Morning had arrived.