Halloween and ‘Alfblot’ Runes

Did the Norse celebrate Halloween? Plus a message from the runes for you…

The word ‘rune’ comes from an old Norse word ‘runa’ meaning a secret. The runes were the 24letters of the ancient Norse alphabet, known as the Elder Futhark, but the runes were also used for psychic divination and in magical work.  Many words in modern English (eg: Fee, Day, Answer, Need, Lake, Hail, Ice)  derive from these ancient letters, which in turn came from language roots shared with ancient Greek.

Elder Futhark.png

Public Domain: The Elder Futhark Alphabet

What we know of Norse Mythology comes largely from the Eddas, two collections of writings from assorted anonymous writers, dating around 1250 CE.

According to the elder of these, the Poetic Edda, the greatest god, Odin, obtained the secrets of the runes via Yggrasil the Great Ash Tree which connected the Nine Worlds of the Cosmos. Odin hung upside down nine days and nights on Yggrasil, not eating and drinking, tormented by thirst and a self-inflicted wound in his side, until at last he received a vision of the runes, and reached inwards to seize them.

He studied further with his wife, the goddess Freya, pictured here driving her chariot drawn by cats. Freya was the most powerful practitioner and teacher of shamanic Norse magic, just as in real life Norse society, a war chieftain’s wife was given the job of being a veleda – prophesying the outcome of any military action, and performing magic to help her husband succeed. One does not like the imagine the rows that might have followed when he didn’t.

Freya.jpg

Public Domain: Freya

All Hallows Eve, Halloween or Samhain is a Gaelic custom, not Norse.  The Norse peoples did mark this time of year although in a different way, with Álfblót – the Elf Ritual.  

Elves were associated with burial mounds (also known as barrows) as it was believed that they lived in or around them, and more than this, elves were associated with the souls of the dead. Since the dead were sometimes referred to as ‘elves,’ Álfblót was rather like a pagan Day of the Dead.

Like the modern Halloween, Álfblót originally marked the general end of autumn, although it may technically be celebrated on any day around this time. However in recent years, it has been predominantly practised on or close to 31st October (Halloween/Samhain). 

Traditionally, Álfblót almost certainly involved an animal sacrifice, (blood) Records suggest this may even have been a (highly valuable) bull. It was intended as a sacrifice to the elves, asking for protection from the ancestors. Connected with this, the elves were also associated with fertility. 

A chief difference here is, unlike Halloween/Samhain, Álfblót was not a community celebration. It was a private ritual performed at the homesteads. Only local people were welcome, and strangers were not permitted to take part or even watch.

How Is A Rune Reading Done?

There are various ways of reading the runes but our reader has used one of the oldest known methods. The reader has drawn a small circle on a piece of black cloth. The runes (pieces of polished, engraved haematite) are placed in their protective pouch, and shaken. The reader asks her question, “what is the message from the runes for the subjects of the cardinal Fire Sign, Aries?’ and so on, repeating this process for each sign of the zodiac. Then she scatters the runes across the cloth. Which rune or runes have fallen within the circle? If more than one has landed there, which has landed most centrally? These are the runes containing your message for this mysterious time of year, All Hallows Eve – Halloween when the veil is thinnest between worlds.

It is important to note, as a matter of historical accuracy, the Norse rune seers did not work with the signs of the zodiac. They thought in terms of natural forces and creatures, the mystic power of the natural elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, but our modern rune reader will here do both.

Runes for the Earth Signs 

Taurus – your rune is Ehwaz (Horse)

Ehwaz.png

Advice:  This is a positive rune of steady, if gradual progress, and indicates changes for the better coming up around the end of October if not actual travel.  Ehwaz urges physical movement. Go walking or running or dancing. Whatever you like, but move that body. The horse represents a vehicle, and that vehicle is you, but may refer to your means of transport, a car, bus, motorbike. Pay all due proper care and attention to vehicle maintenance. This is a time for teamwork, pulling together as one at work and at home, but you may also feel a need to start something new on your own, to expand your horizons and make new contacts.

Virgo – your rune is Uruz (The Auroch)

Uruz.png

Advice: The Auroch is an ancestor of the first domesticated cattle, a fearsome animal known for its courage and great physical power. Here, the Auroch is you.  You must take action if you want to turn cherished hopes into reality. Do not underestimate yourself, and your power to forge ahead and overcome obstacles. Show you really mean business, a way is cleared. An extra application of willpower will pay off dividends, and you also excel at detail. But- there is a ‘but’…you need to pace yourself. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases. Avoid crowds. Take proper care of yourself this month. 

Capricorn – your rune is Kenaz (Beacon)

kenaz.png

Advice:  Seize the day, set the alarm a little earlier, be a morning person if you aren’t already, and see how that works out for you. Kenaz is a fire rune, and the rune of sunrise. It brings a steady light and heat to bear, with change for the better. Kenaz shines a new light on things and is THE rune of study and learning. Learn something new. This is the rune of artists and craftspeople, welding inspiration and skill, and regarding romance. Kenaz is a masculine rune with charisma. You may meet a new man or make a fresh start with an ‘old’ one. Kenaz is a positive, protecting rune.

Runes for the Air Signs

Aquarius – your rune is Laguz (Water, Lake)

Laguz.png

Advice:  Change is happening in you, deep down and hidden, maybe even from yourself, though you may remember vivid dreams and feel these contain a meaningful message, and probably, they do. Work with the flow as far as you practically can.  Don’t fight it and try not to over-think things. Do what you need to do, but without over-working, and for optimum performance, stay adequately hydrated. Nutrients in sea salts, bath salts and sea-foods may be especially beneficial to you at this time.

Gemini – your rune is Perthro (Sanctuary)

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Advice:  This rune is about mysteries and secrets, occult abilities, sometimes a religious or spiritual belief. You may have vivid dreams or psychic experiences. There may be some strange experiences this month. Hidden things may come to light, which you may not entirely welcome.  Your home is your sanctuary, a place in which only trusted friends should be invited. Guard and protect its security, comfort, happiness and privacy. But don’t hide in there. No hiding from an inconvenient truth, either. If something isn’t working, then it hasn’t been working for a long time. Face it. What have you been refusing to face? How can you make it work better?

Libra – your rune is Eiwaz (The Yew)

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Advice:  The rune of the Yew tree is a symbol of age, endurance, death, and eternal life. The path is hard at times, but do not fear the future. You are strong and adaptable, and an honest man can be relied on for help. The evergreen Yew is about transformation and testing, stripping away that which is worn out, making way for strong new growth. This is a good time to review what is nourishing to you and what is not. Aches and pains? Investigate, hydrate, perhaps adding bath salts to your bath, adding extra oils to the diet, fish oils, olive oil, flaxseed oil etc. But above all this month, get rid of junk, review and renew.

Runes for the Fire Signs

Aries- your rune is Gyfu (Partnership, Gift)

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Advice:  This rune is about give and take, love and romance leading to marriage, or partnership and contract. X marks the spot and the symbol of the kiss comes from this rune. You honour your obligations and tend to be generous. But you too, are owed obligations. Watch those who don’t keep their end of the bargain, and if they give less, then you give less. People depend on you, and it is not lazy or selfish to keep up your own strength, and rest when you need to.

Leo –your rune is Ingwaz (Earth God)

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Advice:  This is the rune   of all things masculine and also the warmth of home and the hearth fire. Stay close to your roots. It is a good idea to keep things simple as possible this month, avoiding any unnecessary complications, and no upping the ante. This is a good time to tie up a few loose ends on something, and get ready to move on. There’s a lot on your plate, and a lot of work to do, but you need to put your feet up at home, and in the longer run that is a necessity, not a luxury.

Sagittarius – your rune is Dagaz (Dawn or Day)

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Advice:  A new day dawns. Look and you will see opportunities as well as hurdles. This month looks like a good time to embark on a new enterprise, or a journey. There may be a major shift or breakthrough of some kind,  and it is almost certainly for the better, especially if you have been stuck in a rut, or unwell, or struggling with a stubborn problem that just won’t go away. It can be resolved. Research brings new and useful information to light. Dagaz promises brighter times not far ahead.

Runes for the Water Signs

Pisces – your rune is Mannaz (Mankind)

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Advice: Mannaz is the rune of human intelligence and the rational mind. This rune is particularly beneficial if you are contemplating academic studies, skills based tests and any contests of an intellectual nature. This is a powerful rune of law and order. Proceed in an orderly, organised fashion, keeping others on board. This is a great rune for networking and getting support and co-operation on shared tasks. You behave well towards others and are well liked in return, and this runes holds you protected by them.

Cancer – your rune is Thurisaz (Thorn, Giant)

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Advice:  Change is afoot, and this may mean some tricky moments. It is best not to start fights, but if you do, then you had better finish them properly.  This is a challenging rune of attack and defence, but is also a protecting rune, used in protection magic, and lucky rune for for study and exams. For couples trying for babies, it may be of interest to note that this rune is particularly associated with male fertility and male health. For many Cancer subjects there will be some kind of welcome news to do with something worked for very hard.

Scorpio –Your rune is Berkano (Birch)

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Advice:  This is the rune of the family home, all things feminine, and birth, and it bodes well for your happiness, prosperity, and the blossoming of a creative endeavour. It may also suggest a new love coming into your life, sometimes foreshadowing birth literally, and motherhood. Beyond this, it speaks of personal growth. A child becomes a ‘mother’. Even if your own home life growing up was not always easy or happy, you can ‘mother’ whatever in life you most deeply care about. You can be the birch tree. You can be the start of something happy, and that is also happiness. Home is where the heart is, but you can be your own best friend, and right at home with yourself, wherever you are.

The rune crone calls down upon all readers the Alfblot blessing and protection of the mighty protection rune Elhaz, the Elk or Sedge.

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Updated: Brexit Boo/Brouhaha/Boo-hoo

Update on a reading initially posted May 2019. Read on…

Tweeted 20  August
#Cartomancy Will UK leave EU by/before 31 Oct 2019? Chance is higher than 3/5. Read L-R. 8 Spades, stuck state. Joker Rx, ie, new PM. (Gemini) Crux card= 9 Hearts. Red suit indicates yes. King D and 9 D. Money talks last minute. Ace Clubs. A deal. New start. GE?

Halloween Brexit twitter

So then, what does it look like? Will there be a No Deal Brexit, ie, an exit on WTO terms?

This is, by this time, the preferred option of many, though by no means all Leave voters, whether these are Labour voters or Tory voters. Meanwhile the Brexit Party has demonstrated its muscle, not only in the EU Elections, but in the UK sufficient that, although the Leave vote was split in Radnorshire, the very splitting of that vote also demonstrated the power of the Brexit party, even though this worked against both the Tory Party and the Brexit Party, such that the Lib Dem candidate was selected.

Be that as it may, what cards do we get?

Will it be a No Deal Brexit 22 August

Does this look like a No Deal Brexit?

Not really. This is not looking like a straight WTO exit. Or if it is, there is also some kind of a special trade deal with the EU.

I read the cards left-right. This is a storyboard. For a yes or no, my system is the classic colour system that says more reds than blacks = a yes answer. More blacks than red = a no answer.

How and why is this the case? It’s a convention. I could do it the other way around and that would work just as well. But this is how I have programmed myself to read them, and with much repetition, like learning to play an instrument, this is how it actually starts to work. Perhaps one builds new synapses or something.

So what have we got?

1 red suit card

1 Joker

3 black suit cards

The short answer is, cartomancy suggests there will very likely be at least some kind of trade deal with the EU, so that it will not be a complete WTO exit.

Does that mean that it’s going to be the Withdrawal Agreement then, presumably minus the Irish Backstop? BRINO? Brexit in Name only?

No, it doesn’t look like that either.

This looks like a trade- only deal, so far as I can see, possibly because the Backstop issue is resolved adequately for Parliament(just) and Mrs Merkel feels she has obtained for EU members some adequate measure of economic surety.

Let’s look at the individual cards.

That one red suit card, the 8 of Hearts, is representing the status quo, and the power of the Remain lobby in Parliament.

The Joker– cue the catcalls here from those out of accord with the new PM, (says a former Labour voter)- but this is a destiny card, and does not simply describe an actual Joker or clown or buffoon. But if it did, then take another look at the Joker. See the smile. Watch the eyes. They are serious. So is the skill. As an opponent, he is not to be underestimated.

The Joker is a card of surprises. It is astrologically, the card of Boris Johnson, a Gemini subject three times over. It suggests he is completely in earnest  when he says he wants us out. And he is not afraid of the EU, unlike Mrs May, but he is intellectually and politically agile, and not averse to sleight of hand. He needs to be cunning. Some might all it strategic.

Then we have the 2 Spades. Split. Severance. Divorce. This is a Brexit divorce, so if there is an element of ‘fudge’ or compromise, it may not be as significant, or be the trickery into indefinite entrapment that Leavers fear.

This is reinforced by the next card, the 3 Swords. This is in itself a deeply negative card with grief and mourning attached. Our family of nations is unhappy, angry and uneasy. But here, it is also a 3 way plan and again, it signifies a parting of the ways enacted in law. I feel it represents Mr Johnson, Mrs Merkel and M Macron today, and that Mrs Merkel and M Macron will not be in accord re the best way to proceed. The news media suggests this is probably the case even as we speak.

The outcome card, the 5 Clubs…so what does that mean? Clubs is the suit of government and business. 5 is the number of change…and also conflict. This change is uncomfortable.

But as you see, red suit cards translate as yes in cartomancy, black suit cards translate as no, so my cards, rightly or wrongly, have produced that same card as I drew in May, suggesting some kind of trade deal with the EU either before we leave, or immediately upon exiting.

The central card is key, so I use it as my start point for drawing a new line of enquiry reading top to bottom now, asking, well, if it’s not a straight WTO Exit, what will it look like?

The 7 Swords is negotiation and intense effort. It is the card of the ‘workaholic.’

There seems to be a story line here of Mrs Merkel saying in so many words, we can’t risk the No Deal scenario, this would be crazy. (Joker Reversed) The risk has to be detected as real enough and actually, it is. It looks as though Mrs Merkel will say this if she decides Mr Johnson is not bluffing. And I don’t feel he is. But if he could offer something to reassure the Remain MP’s, he may take a pragmatic view on that, or cynical as some might say. To get the thing over the line.

That 5 Clubs card is also a reminder that the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world. Mrs Merkel is naturally, acutely aware of this, and she does not let personal pride or vanity get in the way of her judgement.

This last comment is based on the cards. Mrs Merkel is being shown to me as the eminently pragmatic and shrewd Queen of Diamonds, and the 9 Diamonds says…money talks.

Incidentally, Diamonds is the suit of electricity, and may sometimes suggest a health problem of nervous origin. Nervous as in , signals misfiring in the body, such as with Parkinson’s.

OK, let’s try out a pendulum divination, ie; asking my central nervous system to use a movement to indicate its non-verbal response to a verbalised question. On what basis does this hocus-pocus work?

It ain’t hocus-pocus. It works on the basis that the mind does not reside entire within the brain, and we know things at a deeper level than language, so the challenge is to distract the conscious mind, notice body cues from the CNS, and turn those into language. This language is of necessity, restricted to yes, no or maybe, in varying degrees of emphasis or intensity, depending on the size of the swing, and the speed of rotation of the swing.

Dowsing board

Will the UK leave the EU on No Deal/WTO terms?

The pendulum moves to YES, wobbles a while then moves towards NO and starts swinging rapidly back and forth.

Will the UK leave the EU on what some call BRINO terms (Brexit in Name Only?) 

Again, the pendulum moves to YES, wobbles there awhile, then moves towards NO and starts swinging rapidly back and forth.

OK. So that Ace of Clubs card. A new business agreement. A new Government. A General Election. Will there be a General Election before the UK leaves?

It is swinging to NO almost immediately

When will Brexit be declared as having occurred?

The pendulum is swinging between Scorpio-early Sagittarius

Corresponding dates 22 October-21 December

But the arc stops well short of the later end of this date range.

We’re all watching this space.

Back soon with more cartomancy   🙂

Until next time!

Original Post, May 2019

Brexit, hey? Where next? Your guess is as good as mine but let’s take another look at it through the lens of my playing cards, drawn three nights ago, May 4.

Will there be a second referendum, as called for by Labour, The Lib Dems, and a number of high profile campaign groups?

Or will we leave without a second referendum and if so, what does it look like from here?

Brexit May 4 2019

reads the rows of cards left to right & also sometimes top to bottom, noting the ratio of red: black cards before looking at the individual meanings of the cards containing extra comments.

ROW 1 Will there be a 2nd referendum?

Probably not. There is a ‘new’ king about to come into play. This is not Mr Corbyn. This is a king of Diamonds, an electric communicator with acute money sense and I always draw Mr Corbyn as a King of Hearts. So, is this is a candidate to replace Mrs May as PM, or it is Mr Farage and any effect of the new Brexit Party, or is both these things, and the same card is standing for two significant (new) figures coming into play (again).

I suspect so.  A second referendum would kill Brexit, which would be the aim, and this would be achieved by the ballot design, which would be designed to split the Leave vote as per an idea currently under discussion, but that 8 Spades is a pretty conclusive ‘no’ card.

ROW 2 Will we leave following a successful fourth attempt by TM to push through the deal already rejected on three previous occasions? After all, time and energy are not inexhaustible. Note the Queen of Spades which is clearly here representing Theresa May; a woman consulting  the ‘legalese’.

Well, based on these cards, and however crazy it might seem,  a deal is still looking possible, and is looking more likely at this point in time than NO Deal; and perhaps this is hardly surprising, since the No Deal negotiating option removed from Mrs May’s tool box.

But WHAT deal? The four of Spades is a tomb, a rout, a retreat. This prospective fourth deal or new deal is not Mrs May’s.

Those Nines surrounding the Queen of Spades represent both the failure of completion on 29 March, and Mrs May’s intense desire to get this deal passed. The 9 Hearts is the ‘heartfelt wishes’ card.

The cards indicate that Mrs May sincerely wants to find a way to (or to be seen to at least) to bring the UK out of the EU (not Europe) but the terms of course, are the issue, as we all know, except for those for whom it is not a question of the terms, but more the determination to see Article 50 Revoked altogether, and the whole thing put back in its box, and the lid slammed shut never to be re-opened. The threat of this seems very real right now, or the hope of this, depending on how you feel about it. But it doesn’t look to me as though it will happen.

ROW 3:  A second Referendum?

This threat or hope notwithstanding, the cards indicated there will not be a second referendum, although this may not be necessary for the revoking of Article 50.  And I don’t see that, so it look as though we will leave, but when? Is there an underlying sense of what it will look like?

If Theresa May should present the exact same deal to Parliament (shown as the 10 Diamonds) a fourth time, this will jam up the works, suggests the appearance of the 4 Spades. It won’t pass, plus, she may then quit as PM, and a new PM will come in (King Diamonds?) This could happen this summer, suggests the second column as I read it top to bottom like so:

6 Clubs ( within 6 weeks from the date of this reading, or, this is a summer card.

In Summary

What is absent from this spread is the single clean strike of the Ace of Spades, that would say a less equivocal OUT on WTO terms.

Other readers and astrologers are confident in expressing their forecasts of a clean WTO Brexit, even now.

I am probably struggling more than they to see past the noise, but I draw another cards and get the Ace of Clubs. This is BRAND NEW BUSINESS with a broad geographical horizon, but lacks that more black and white binary quality of the Ace of Swords

The Ace of Clubs has another quality to it, transcending matters of business….it’s equivalent to the Tarot’s Ace of Wands. Ignition. Birth, Almost like a rebirth.

So what does this mean in plain English? Well, this cloud is still morphing, but it’s looking like a WTO exit BUT with a ‘special European add-on.’

Or it is a whole New Deal.

For the sake of transparency,  I should say that while I would perfectly calmly have accepted a remain vote in 2016, I feel the original mandate should be honoured as a point of principle, according to the self same terms in which it was clearly presented by the government in the run up to the referendum.

Execution of detail follows direction which follows principle.

However, as always, the risk in consulting with any kind of oracle is that the reader will not see what they personally may hope to see, and they may equally see precisely what they do not want to see.

I want to see that I will get outta this wheelchair and walk again one day. So, do I see that in my cards?

No.

I could be wrong, and I never say never, but meanwhile I am living with the fact that I do not see in my cards what I wish to see for myself.

You take my point. The reader asks a question. S/he may have personal ‘skin in the game ‘or not, but either way s/he shuffles and picks the cards blindly, and s/he may misinterpret, and be especially at risk of doing so if reading from a position of bias or prejudice,  but s/he cannot fudge the reds and blacks  except by doing so deliberately, and what the heck would be the point of that, when time will tell us all what’s what in due course?

Il Matrimonio, bless his ecologically right-on size 11 breathable bamboo socks, says he no longer cares one way or another. He just wants it all to stop, and he doesn’t mind how. And he’d quite like me to shut up with even trying to forecast about it.

What will happen will happen, he says.

Sure.

I have to give this forecasting thing a go, though, because divination is my line of work, and whether I get it right, or I get it wrong, so that I have to go back and figure out how and why I got it wrong with the benefit of hindsight – still, I will learn something, even if I have to fall flat on my face. So what? Life is short and…

fall flat on your face

I have done a number of readings around Brexit. I’m not being shown a clear No Deal exit, and yet, I see no sign of Remaining either. It is not going to be business as before, however this works out. The UK will not revert to the previous status quo.

We will all find out, *ahem* soon enough, won’t we?

And let us trust, it will be before each and every one of us is rendered utterly and completely….

William-Cheselden-Osteographia-or-The-anatomy-of-the-bones-London-1733-Courtesy-of

Image: Public Domain Review: William Cheselden, 1733, courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.