Reflections in the runes May 2022

May Rune Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. The northern peoples saw the Earth, its forces and all things in nature seen as living forces or spirits to be honoured and respected.  The runes were and still are used for psychic readings and advice- divination -or used for magical purposes and good luck – seidr.

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three rune alphabets or futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back, so far as we know, to the first century CE/AD, though it may have been in development from about 200 BCE.

Today we are working with the Elder Futhark, illustrated below.

Via Wiki

Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raido Kenaz Gyfu Wunjo

Hagall Nied Isa Jera Eiwaz Perthro Elhaz Sowilo

Tiwaz Berkana Ehwaz Mannaz Laguz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala

The more specific the question, the more specific and detailed the reading. Here, we have no specific question., so the findings are very general. The reader is looking for the feel of things, the tone, and for challenges, opportunities or guidance contained within the runes selected blindly and at random.

Review -April rune reading

In a rune reading done late March 2022, the runes talked about a highly volatile, tense and unstable month to come in April 2022. 

The reader wrote, “Thurisaz is the Thorn rune, symbolizing the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder and Thursdays. This rune is known as the rune of chaos, such as we have all been witnessing at extreme levels in recent weeks. Thurisaz talks about ‘thorny issues’- major challenges. It describes or forecasts situations of defence, attack and storms. This may also refer to other related natural events, such as floods or tsunamis in April.”

12-14 April we witnessed floods in South Africa, Kwazulu, Durban, 12-14 April as reported here in the ‘The New York Times’ 19 April 2022:-

Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than twice as many damaged in the Durban area after a week of punishing rains and mudslides. The death toll is now 448, with about four dozen people unaccounted for.

Photo by Kathryn Archibald on Pexels.com

Runes, like astrology, like Tarot or card reading, may be used for guidance and advice, for forecasting/prediction or for both. Many readers nowadays use runes purely for personal guidance. The problem with forecasting is, we will not always like it, and what can we do about it anyway? The answer to this can only be that forewarned is forearmed. The forecast may turn out to be wrong. It may prove to be unduly pessimistic, and if we are feeling anxious or depressed, this may only add to the weight of our burden.

The best way to use psychic prediction is to treat is as a hint , see how it fits with your own assessment and gut feeling, and for the rest, time will tell. If a weather forecaster says it’s sunny outside right now, and there is not a cloud in the sky, but the weather forecaster tells us there is a new weather front on the way and it’s going to rain later, we can decide whether or not to go out and if we do, whether to take a raincoat.

Runecast for May 2022

We have drawn two runes for this coming month, Elhaz and Ingwaz, choosing these runes to represent the general tone and dynamic in world affairs and in our personal affairs as well this month.

Such a reading will obviously be general in scope but there are seasons in events, just as there are different seasons in the year. We have times that are quieter than others. Then we have times of mass general turmoil, as with World Wars 1 and 11 for instance, 1939-1945, and these things tend to go in cycles. We are currently in a cycle of which began in 2019 and which astrologers suggest will calm down 2025/2026.

IMG Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Elhaz/Algiz/Eohl

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, acting on our instinct

The rune on the left, Elhaz the Elk is also known as Eohl or Algiz.

It means The Elk or The Sedge, or even, The Elk-Sedge. The runes were inspired by things familiar in the landscapes inhabited by these various northern peoples. The wild antlered elk was still roaming wild in northern Europe at that time. The sedge is a grass-like plant that grows on wet ground, found in temperate and colder climates.

Here, Elhaz has been drawn reversed (merkstave.) First let us imagine it turned upright. Now you see the ‘antlers’ and you can see that this rune also looks like rather a person raising their arms to heaven in appeal for help, or else making an invocation.

Elhaz is a rune of general protection, very powerful but the power comes from the mind of the person using it to protect themselves or another. It will not remove all obstacles. We cannot and will not always be comfortable and safe in this life. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves and fight our own corner.  We will never arrive at our full power if we always run away from a fight. Viking warriors used to decorate their shields with this rune but some still died in battle. The Vikings did not take this as a sign that the rune had no power, but instead as a sign that this was the warrior’s time to die; that The Norns or Fates had decreed it. It is worth noting, that the Norns, although they scratched our names and destinies in the bark of the World Tree at the moment of our birth, did allow scope for a mortal to change their own destiny, unlike the Fates of Greek mythology. The Norns saw the future in more fluid terms, less a fixed destiny, more of ‘becoming,’ or that which should be.

Personal Reflection

Elhaz reversed is a sign of vulnerability or warns us that we may be making a sacrifice with no gain. Perhaps this month we need to watch out that we are not misled by others or possibly conned out of our money, or made a scapegoat for someone else’s mistakes. Elhaz reversed warns us to pay attention to our surroundings, not to take our own safety for granted, and not to make any big moves too soon in a new relationship. We need to give it more time, and learn more about this person. Everyone makes mistakes. But we must learn from any past mistakes or be doomed to repeat them.

There may be a person to avoid this month or an offer which should be refused. The classic advice applies with Elhaz reversed. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Ingwaz

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, instincts

The rune on the right, Ingwaz is also known as Ing or Inguz. It may look like a simple diamond, as illustrated above. Alternatively it may look like this:

The word Ingwaz means literally ‘god-seed’. This rune, Ingwaz, Inguz or Ing, comes from an ancient god image Ing, which was an older name for Freyr, a later Swedish Viking god of virility, fertility and agriculture, like another famous pre- Christian figure of mythology, The Green Man.

The Green Man, Rochester Cathedral via Wiki

Ingwaz is talking about the earth itself; the planting of seeds, germination and new life. It is talking about fertility, in this case especially masculine fertility. But it may also be talking in a more abstract sense as in, planting the seeds of a new idea.

Ingwaz is a favourable rune of positive action, unity, agreements, and peace, although the situation may require plenty of careful treatment, and enough time and space to flourish. Ingwaz is all about ‘doing.’

 ‘Ing’ is in constant use in modern English as a language participle “-ing” adding action to a verb. We say ‘Go-ing’, ‘Read-ing’, ‘See-ing etc. The addition of “ing” represents action.

Ingwaz suggests a successful conclusion in solving a problem at hand. Ingwaz can signify milestone events, such as a new baby or a new job.  It cannot be reversed. It looks the same right way up as it does upside down so it has no negative meaning unless it is surrounded by negative runes. Here, it has been drawn opposite Elhaz reversed, a negative meaning of danger. The appearance of Ingwaz in this context offers a faint glimmer of hope for diplomatic efforts to bear some fruit in May. But if not, this fiery rune promises a very determined and courageous on-going resistance to attack, wherever it is being waged by one state against another.

Ingwaz the ‘seed’ is by extension also to do with agriculture-food. Looking at Ingwaz in relation to our first rune, Elhaz merkstave, we can see that issues to do with food supplies, shortages and increases in the cost of food will be featuring large in the news this coming month, as Russia’s war on Ukraine affects exports globally, but especially Egypt and Africa.

The danger of Elhaz drawn reversed married up with the vital spark of Ing can mean sudden fiery events in May 2022, such as rockets and missiles, as we are so horrifically seeing, or wildfire such as we have witnessed in New Mexico already this month.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It may also be worth noting that 10 May big bold Jupiter, the ‘Greater Benefic’ an optimistic, generous, benevolent planet in astrological terms, left deep watery Pisces and moved into bold, fiery, hyperactive Aries, where it stays until 28 October 2022. This is big, bold, active energy for good or bad,

Generally, this planetary transit is understood as a positive influence, happening only every 11 or 12 years, although the potential for disruption is self evident. World War 1 and World War 11 both began during a Jupiter in Aries transit, but that also meant of course, a number of such transits in between these events with no war, so let us not worry too much.

Personal Reflection

Ingwaz is a powerfully positive rune in general. It tends to bring an easing of something that has been worrying us. There may be a sense of relief about something this coming month or a sense of excitement, pride or accomplishment for a problem sorted or a job well done, or a new project coming over the horizon.

Ingwaz is a positive rune in relationships, starting a family or launching a new project or venture if that is what we are looking for. It brings a boost of energy, physical and mental.

Ingwaz indicates that this coming month is a good time for home improvements on the one hand, spring cleaning, maintenance and upgrades, and at the other end of the scale, taking into account the challenges in this coming month signified by, Elhaz reversed, do we need to review our safeguarding, home security or our personal security?

In our personal lives, this rune is has a particularly masculine energy. It signifies good times, new love relationships and weddings. We could see that a project starts coming together. With care, discipline and patience, this rune says it will bear fruit.

Further Reading

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

 

A General Rune cast for January 2022

Photo by sam Hancock on Pexels.com

A New Year’s Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The runes have been described as “an ancient alphabet for modern magicians” – Edred Thorsson in his book ‘Futhark, A Handbook of Rune Magic.’

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three principal futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back so far as we know to the first century CE/AD but was probably in development from at least 200 BC.

The Elder Futhark Wiki

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. This was Animism in practise; a belief in the conscious intelligence of the Earth itself; its forces and all things in nature. Animals, tress, the elements, the weather…they were – are-living forces and mysteries demanding recognition and respect.

So the runes are more than just letters. They can be read that way but they are also a pictographic or ideographic symbol of some natural principle or power as experienced by these Germanic-speaking peoples of the climate and landscapes of northern Europe, including Britain and the island of Ireland. 

Rune casters were both welcomed and feared. Runemal (rune craft) took on a ritual function, and went beyond individual personal readings, directed for the protection and prosperity of the entire community.  Runes might be used in casting of lots to decide who did what.

They were used in runes spells to influence the weather, the tides, the crops, fertility and healing. Runes were used to send curses or remove them.  Runes were carved on amulets, carved into doorways and into the wood of ships. Protective runes can be seen in architecture, in the shapes of the decorative timbering of black and white timbered houses throughout Britain and Europe as seen near where I live at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire.

Runes embedded in half-timbered buildings, Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire UK Via Wiki Commons

A popular rune design you can see here is the multiple use of Elhaz or Elk, a rune of general protection. Picture the antlers of the Elk, or you can picture it as a figure invoking divine protection, arms raised to heaven.

Casting the runes

Rune casters would shake their pouch of runes and scatter them on the ground. Sometimes they would lay a cloth or draw a circle and read only those runes that fell within the circle or on the cloth. Sometimes they would read only the runes that landed upright, and not count those that came out reversed, or ‘merkstave’. Today I am including any merkstave runes.

Given a lack of written history on the subject of rune casting, much information has been lost to posterity to know for sure how things were properly done. A Christian edict was issued in Iceland in 1639 that declared the uses of runic talismans as witchcraft and a man was executed in 1691, burned to death for using them as his forefather had presumably been doing for many generations. This, although runes were still in everyday use at that time in calendars and almanacs carved into wooden staves throughout Scandinavia and Estonia.

Before this and again today the runes were- and are still used today for psychic insights or guidance, or for magical purposes- to request or summon sacred protection or good luck. To pray in other words.

The runes have been found wherever Germanic-speaking peoples settled, travelled, traded or raided, from Iceland to Scandinavia, through England and Central Europe, all the way to Constantinople.

Runes were also chanted or spoken in invocation. We do not know how this sounded, whether it was done falsetto, or done deep as throat singing. Some get quite exercised in these discussions, but however it was done in those times, this chanting is called ‘Galdr’.

Runecast for January 2022

Today we are using the Elder Futhark. You’ll notice the runes are all straight lines, no curves; as scratched or inscribed into wood, metal or stone.

The runes are chosen entirely blindly and at random.

We have drawn three upright runes (Sowilo, Perthro and Kenaz) and two reversed or merkstave runes (Ehwaz and Laguz.) This rune cast therefore translates as more positive than negative for January 2022 and for the rest of year itself. But clearly this is rather a close call. We are part of bigger world events. 2022 promises to be pretty intense, and occasionally downright turbulent, though somewhat more buoyant, optimistic and outgoing than 2021, and brighter by far than 2020.

Position 1: Sowilo/Sigel  

Word/Symbol: The Sun.

Meanings: Victory, Success, Health/Happiness.

This rune is standing for the Here and Now- the Question. You can see this rune looks like a modern capital S, or a back to front Z.

This is a positive rune of victory, success, happiness and good health. Well, that’s a welcome rune, cheers! This rune of the sun can literally mean ‘a year’…one journey of the Earth around the sun. This seems a suitable rune therefore, to start a New Year reading. 

The question broadly translates as, “when will life be ‘happy’ again/get back to normal?” If we mean, normal as, back in 2019, well, no, we can all see that is not happening this year.  There are storms. But there are silver linings.

The days are already noticeably longer again in January. The sun is returning to the northern hemisphere where the runes first originated, just as it is slowly leaving the southern hemisphere.

Beyond this purely pragmatic interpretation, Sowilo is one of the most fortunate of all runes, bringing good news, as if the Norse gods are saying, the sun will shine upon your efforts this New Year. Look on the bright side as much as you can. Seize the day.

We are in troubled times. 2021 was angry, 2020 was grim. Pluto had something to do with that in astrological terms, and its conjunction with Saturn. January 2020. We have all felt it. This year will also be difficult, stormy even on the world stage. It’s not personal even when it feels personal. The sun will shine in between the storms. 2022 is intense, perhaps rocky, but also more upbeat and mobile, less coldly relentless than 2021, somehow, less stuck in a rut, suggesting a new phase in the covid pandemic.

On an individual level, Sowilo drawn with Laguz next to it in the reversed position suggests one has become over-tired. This is hardly surprising after such a long haul for many people. They have become drained, fatigued and depressed, not to mention twitchy, nervous and in some cases, worked up, oversensitive or even paranoid, and also quite likely by this point, physically lacking not only vitamin D but low on vitamin B.

Sowilo means sunshine, and through this connection, may be suggesting that you look into your levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ Vitamin D, so important both for mood and optimal immune function. Vitamin D Supplements are ideally combined with vitamin K2 for optimum calcium absorption. This is standard medical knowledge.

Sowilo is a bit like Jupiter in astrology. It is big, bright, bold, and upbeat. It can burn too of course. It can be wildfires though to the Norse it was always positive. This year really could bring you a lucky break, if you can find the energy, seriously applying yourself to whatever goal you set yourself for 2022.

One might say the faces of the gods are not so set against us this year, though there is still big infighting, and we could come a cropper in the collateral damage.

Position 2: Perthro

 

Word/Symbol: cup for throwing dice/paddock.

Meanings: Mystery/Secrets/Initiation/Sanctuary

This rune is standing for where we have recently been and what’s been going on, both on the face of things but also deep down.

Perthro is a mystery rune dealing with things far beyond our personal control, like the covid pandemic. Perthro represents sanctuary. We have been seeking sanctuary. What and where for us, represents our own personal sanctuary? Is it at home? Is it with other people? Is it doing something we love that takes our mind away from worry?

This rune deals with karma, destiny; things that are hidden. There are many theories, much speculation, but the causes of the pandemic remain unproven. That it started in the Far East seems certain. The exact circumstances are less certain. When I asked about this, wondering about Wuhan wet markets or labs and all that, my Tarot showed me The Hierophant, the Tarot’s card of Taurus.

This card bears no suggestion of a coordinated plan. It represents the earth itself and suggests natural causes rather than lab engineering gone wrong. This disease has originated in Nature. Humanity should not have come into contact with it at all, but has done so through over-expansion with an accompanying disturbance of previously undisturbed habitats in the Far East. This new virus variant escaped those habitats, possibly via fruit bats or flying foxes, and then infected animal intermediaries, locally farmed pigs very likely, and then humans, thereby entering the food chain through local conditions of animal husbandry and from those sites in the Far East inexorably spread via mass global travel.

Some think this rune is supposed to show a dice cup- meaning a cup once used for drawing lots in gambling games or throwing dice. As such, you may take a bit of a gamble this year, and it pays off. This gamble however, depends on your doing some research beforehand.

Secrets come to light or we learn useful new information starting this month.  How do we respond and apply this information for personal progress?

We may notice our psychic abilities in some acutely significant way this year.

Beware leaks and spillages. Is this government leaks in the news, domestic gas leaks? A vehicle leak. Another oil tanker? This January, this year, beware leaks.

Position 3: Kenaz   

Word/Symbol: Torch/Beacon/Opening/Ulcer

Meaning: Illumination, learning, opening

This rune is talking about how we handle things for the best in 2022. This is a friendly fire rune, like a domestic hearth fire, cheerful, small and manageable. Uruz the Auroch/physical power rune and Fehu the cattle/wealth rune are also fire runes but more primordial, fiercer. 

It is saying, ‘keep the home fires burning.’ It is reminding us of a certain war time spirit that says we are all in this together; an attitude which has fallen out of fashion since the war, but it is salutary to be reminded from time to time, that the world does not revolve around us and our own personal concerns.

Kenaz talks about energy, drive, recuperation from illness, and enlightenment- learning of all kinds, whether this mean formal or informal study.

Kenaz is a positive rune, with a lot of vitality attached. It suggests good news in respect of the turning of the tide in the covid pandemic, even though we are not free of it in 2022. Still, this virus is evolving and over time, is becoming less dangerous, as human immunity is gradually learning how to deal with it as a brand new enemy of mankind, which it was until 2019.

Kenaz is masculine in its energy, and in a relationship will always denote the male partner. What is he offering? What is he looking for? Where is this going? Laguz, the rune next door in this spread is a powerful feminine rune, and says, well, we can have fun, and maybe this is the year to move ahead with a new partner, but keep your head screwed on tight this year.

Kenaz, like Perthro can also be psychic. We get the modern English words ‘canny/uncanny’ from this rune. ‘Beyond our ken’; is a phrase derived from this rune.

We have been more limited in our options than we are used to. Life imposes changing limits from time to time. That is the nature of reality. Still, we make our own choices, in choosing how to respond to challenges. This is our own instinct at work as we operate within our own environment where we can choose how to respond.  There will be sudden insights, flashes of some new understanding of our situation – perhaps even a psychic dream or waking insights. You can see by looking at it that Kenaz shows something that is opening up, opening outwards. 2022 brings some kind of new awakening, both on a collective level and on a direct personal level. What new things shall we set out to study or explore this year? Kenaz is a morning rune. Start as you mean to go on this year. The early bird catches the worm and all that.

Kenaz is a positive rune for relationships, two people opening up more with one another, greater mutual understanding. It is a lucky rune for fathers and fertility.

Less glamorously, Kenaz can also mean an ulcer, either literally, as in; we may need some kind of skin care. Are we deficient in Vitamin D or zinc, for example? Or it may be speaking figuratively on an emotional level, as in, what apparently small wound never seems to heal?

If you recognize this wound or hurt, then do not nurse it. Do not let this thing fester any longer. Have the conversation. Bring the issue out into the light of day and sort it out once and for all. Or else draw a line under it. Let it go, let it be, make peace and don’t keep picking away at it.

Position 4:  Laguz (merkstave=reversed)

Symbol:  Lake 

Meanings: Water/Flow/Instinct/Emotion/unseen powers/feminine dominion

This rune forecasts the challenges of 2022. The rune I welcome least in this reading is this one. The Lake represents water, both literally and symbolically. Are we swimming or sinking or just staying afloat? Drawn reversed, this rune signifies confusion up ahead. Beware of getting in too deep, too soon, whatever new waters you try out this year. These waters are deep. This is like Pisces in the zodiac. This is like the planet Neptune.

Dreams could come true or they can become nightmares. This rune reminds us, when those around us get worked up, we do not necessarily need to join in and add to the noise. Laguz reversed can mean collective inebriation, getting drunk or high. It can mean new ideas, new visions, but it can also mean delusions, mass hysteria, paranoia and psychosis.

Looking at it from another angle, this rune says global military and political maritime based events will loom large this year on the global stage. This could mean extreme rainfall, flooding, tsunamis and/or big maritime military or scientific events, perhaps in connection with Taiwan.

Update Tonga tsunami 15 January 2022

In Chinese astrology we enter a Black Tiger year in early February. This is the Water Tiger and it is proud, grand, fierce, expansionist. March/April could be the months to watch for in particular here, and then again later in the year, possibly during the summer months. This is not to suggest a Chinese invasion, but it certainly a further ramping up on its ambitions in respect of Taiwan.

Laguz could be maritime technology; submarines, submersibles and developments to do with spying, surveillance or mineral mining; lithium or other mineral extraction or production.  This may or may not feature in the media, but it is big.

Could Laguz also be detecting Nordstream Gas? I think so. Trouble coming, with possible effects on power supplies in Europe in 2022, though not necessarily during the winter. Get in some non-mains power alternatives just in case. A camping stove. Torches. Batteries. Matches. Many of us already keep these sorts of things somewhere safely handy anyway.

Rune 5:  Ehwaz (merkstave =reversed)

Symbol: Horse. Imagine you are looking at it sideways on. See the dip in the middle of its back.

Meaning: Movement, travel, vehicle, progress, transits, shifts  

This central rune is a recurring theme in January, and perhaps throughout the rest of 2022.

I love this rune. Ehwaz is like the Chariot in the Tarot. It is about physical movement and forward progress. Paired with Laguz as it is here, it could be a ship, a boat, or a submersible craft. It refers to overseas ambitions and far journeys over water.

Among other things this rune suggests an upping of the ante again in January in respect of M Macron and the issue of French fishing rights in British waters. Some progress has been made. But it’s not done yet for either side, and this year France holds the EU Presidency. But it is not only the UK that needs to be careful. M Macron needs to be extremely careful. The Horse also means cars and other vehicles, and car imports from the EU to the UK have declined in 2021, and with new import formalities coming in January 2022.

The escalating arrival of illegal small boats is a serious source of tension between France and UK. This moves up at least another gear in 2022.

Divination detects, reflects and projects. There is nothing here we do not know already. The runes are affirming. But they could just as readily contra-indicate.

It is worth noting that there are 19 runes which have NOT been drawn, some of which are more challenging than the spread we have here.

Clearly there are problems. Maybe we will feel effects of power cuts or pipeline issues in 2022. The causes may be weather related but they might possibly be political. I was already inclined to invest in a camping stove after my parents were left several days without power after Storm Arwen, and would not have had hot food otherwise.

This rune drawn merkstave seems to me only to reinforce that message from Laguz merkstave.

This rune merkstave is not necessarily negative, depending on the surrounding runes, but does indicate continuing stops and starts in 2022, both in respect of control of the pandemic and on a personal level. Ehwaz merkstave brings changes that could be sudden and unexpected. Obviously, these bring challenges, not least with periodic issues to do with trade and international travel in 2022.

It is only wise to be extra careful this January when it comes to vehicles, traffic, travel, and making big decisions just in general. Expect delays and hiccups.

Kenaz encourages curiosity but is opposed by Ehwaz reversed which is saying explore, inquire but do not force any issues. Possibly the timing isn’t right quite yet for you to make a move. January does not look like optimal timing in general for pushing an envelope, and not only because it is winter and nature in the north says, sleep, go slow.

But the birds of the north can’t rest, can they? They must feed or die. Norest for the wicked or the innocent either. We attend to the fundamentals, therefore, and coolly look about us meantime. The spirit of this coming year will make itself better known from March onward.

Photo by Dua Chuot on Pexels.com

Wishing you the power of Sowilo, health, happiness and good fortune in a brighter if episodically tempestuous 2022!

Further Reading

Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition: Customs, Rites, and Ceremonies

By Nigel Pennick

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

What is the Tarot’s general impression of the cosmic weather this month, spanning the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn and therefore including Christmas?

The cards were drawn in mid November and are from the Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

I also drew a rune from the older Norse alphabet, the Elder Futhark.

Cards: The Hierophant, Knight of Swords and Four of Pentacles

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

Taurus the Bull, spring, planetary ruler Venus, love, beauty, wedding, marriage, luxury, money, established order, governments, global finance (think ‘Bull’ market)  tradition, status quo, establishment, hospitals, publishing, agriculture, religion, church, keys

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

Aquarius, Saturn, Uranus, a clever, cool minded individual aged 25-40. Legalities, intelligence, espionage, an agent, a spy, a warlord, shipping, trade, commerce, Decisive action, attack, airborne, choices, air travel, trade, commerce, shipping, deliveries, financial decisions, ambition, clarity, cutting loose

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

Capricorn, earth, saving, conserving, resources, money, possessions, inheritance, prudence, provisioning, legacy

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of harvest, health, routines and hygiene.

Rune: Othala

Meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.

Where do we feel at home?

This rune also picks up on migration and surrounding questions and issues.

General Impressions

December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, not to say stressful, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome. We might want to switch off the media for a bit, and have a break from all the shrieking.

These cards look reasonably reassuring all the same, not too much shock and awe. Here’s hoping we’ve already seen the worst of December.

The Knight of Swords; sudden attack, storm, wind, can be read in reference to recent terrible weather events, and the damage and tragic casualties in Kentucky.

The Earth itself is always restless, and currently more unsettled than usual. Perhaps it is little wonder that we are too. The world is never quiet, never at peace. Nor is the Earth. It is always relative. Each year, the Moon pulls away, and so does the Sun in this present cycle.

But really, short of an actual world war, the whole world is embattled one way and another, no quiet news months since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan.

We now approach the second anniversary of the pandemic with its new variants, and unrolling economic, political and social effects. There is no government, that is, no government that permits even peaceful dissent, that is not grappling with this monstrously slippery eel, while experiencing furious criticism and dissent from one quarter or another, no matter what response they make, deciding how to tackle the problem. The Hierophant as a symbol of governments anywhere is either taking a pasting right now, or, depending on the country, dealing them out.

These are times of instability. This instability is not only man-made but natural, due to extreme weather events, and seismic, volcanic events, such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.

The La Palma eruption has now become the longest running on the island, and the cards suggest it will still be erupting into January 2022 though it seems to be calming now. Article HERE

What is the Tarot connection? Well, we are in the zodiac time frame of Sagittarius, 22 November- 21 December, and the court card of Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands, as seen here in the Gilded Tarot Royale.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

Sagittarius is the element of Mutable Fire. Changeable fire. Changeable states. Blow me down, if this depiction of Sir Sagittarius does not actually show a volcano erupting magma.

Then in Java, Mount Semeru erupted 4 December, spilling out a deadly pyroclastic flow. 

“The slurry of debris that swept down Semeru proved catastrophic to villagers living around the mountain’s base in the Lumajang Regency, particularly Curah Kobokan. According to The Jakarta Post, at least 39 people have died. Large numbers of homes were destroyed or damaged, and many animals are among the eruption’s victims.”

More Here

Of course, this is not to say that the month of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius= volcano eruption month.

But there it is, or there it was. A card specifically correlating with the dates 22 November-21 December and we are looking at it. The synchronicity, at least for 2021 is undeniable.

What else might these cards mean in practical terms?

Obviously, this can only be a very general reading, and is therefore limited in its specificity, but The Hierophant represents stability, security and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’  And it also represents the converse as previously discussed. This December we are not doing things by the book, while at the same time there is plenty of ‘throwing the book ‘ at XYZ.

The Hierophant is turning up a lot in readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdoms, old ways of seeing things and doing things are being challenged.

Why is this not surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. The Tarot detects, reflects and projects.

First it acts as a mirror on what is already happening. This is crucial in a reading because it confirms the baseline for the reader.

The Hierophant attacked by the Knight of Swords marks a time of acute unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.

Astrology associates this with the fact that the outer planet Uranus, ‘planet of rebellion and innovation’, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant.  

Uranus is retrograde for parts of December, signifying a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, both collectively, and privately and individually.

Uranus made this move into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026, so we are in for a bumpy ride. The question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.

The Four of Pentacles is about HANGING ON IN THERE. And there are times, when continuity offers the best scenario all in all.

Some astrologers think Boris Johnson is about to meet his political nemesis. Possibly, but to me it does not look that way, not this month, parties or no parties, knowledge of parties, or no knowledge of parties. Why not? Because of the appearance of the Four of Pentacles.  If he goes, having inherited the poisoned chalice of this pandemic at the very beginning almost, of his premiership, it will be of his own volition because of sheer exhaustion.

This is a very broad picture, very general, yes. But of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 75 stayed in the deck and these were the three drawn for this coming month, December 2021.

Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.

UK

Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders some and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience.

She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.

Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it.  Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address in quite the same way as usual this year.

Europe

Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may, not improve perhaps, but be maintaining a standoff by/towards the end of December.

Covid

Some Medical observers are sanguine about the Omicron variant, suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.

Today however, 13 December, sadly marks the first UK death of someone with the Omicron variant.

EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least temporarily somewhat by or until mid January. Why? In terms of timing the stable Four of Pentacles represents the third decan of Capricorn, dates 11-19 January.

The Knight of Swords can mean new laws, sharp messages, sabre-rattling and military aircraft, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain or storms.

The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles, but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as  injection needles and pens. Here is an escalation of covid vaccinations across Europe.

Trade and Travel

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition Mercury rules Virgo, sixth house of health and hygiene.

This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas.

But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lock-down has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a pragmatist, who is ready to take the dour responsibility for making unpopular decisions should it detect that need.

Some suggest that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu.  We know it isn’t. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.

Personal

The Hierophant represents whatever is your own status quo. You may be somewhat restless and unsettled. I know I am. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domestic Hierophant suggests a need for ‘fresh air’ and extra space this month.

Not all of us fancy a party this year. Many of us are not in the mood. for doing whatever is our usual thing this year, suggests this combination. Maybe we never were, but this applies with bells on this year.

The Four of Pentacles has a lot in common with the rune of ancestry, households and inheritance, Othala.

Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure to remember them by? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These do not have to be things. They include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.

A recovering economy needs our spending. And it’s great to treat loved ones – . But for a lot of people the festive season can be a dreadful money worry. Last month there was much excited media speculation about shipping and supplies this year, and worries about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.

What’s with this ‘must have’ business? Conspicuous consumerism ruling the roost in the home? Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for children, to suggest this is how it really works?

The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will be understanding if finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding in return.

The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a kill-joy in presenting this card. Spending less, or spending carefully, based on quality, durability or longer term thinking doesn’t equate with not having any kind of a good time.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

It’s just that no- one has infinite resources, debt is no joke, and this year looks like a departure from the way many of us have done things before.

24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional religious season of celebration. But long before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, the solstice and the passing of the darkest day.

The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) this Christmas Eve 2021.

Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now.

Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual, just a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and re consider occupations and habits.

19 December- Full Moon in Gemini

Photo by Jared Vega on Pexels.com

In Tarot this is represented by the Lovers card meaning: news, calls, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping . Think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Another name for Mercury, Hermes.

Astrologers consider this a favourable Full Moon, in harmonious aspect with Jupiter, lucky for new partnerships and ventures, and for legal and business matters, though with possible tensions attached in terms of close relationships.

The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be totally unromantic; hard-nosed, to do with our work, security and finance.

Venus planet of love, beauty,luxury – and finance goes retrograde in Capricorn 19 December shortly after the Full Moon until 29 January.

This is glamour but serious with it. You could say Cinderella grows up, Prince or no prince. Venus retrograde in Capricorn is no- frills power dressing, literally or metaphorically. Fashion or Beauty here goes hand in glove with perceived status material power, like a Queen who wears her jewels f in token of her reach of power for the world to see.

This is a planetary euphemism for an examination of our personal standards of conduct and deportment, at home and at work. What is our public persona? How about a bit of gravitas, says Venus in Capricorn, style, poise, dignity and rectitude?

Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.

21 December – Solstice

We leave freewheeling Sagittarius ruled by big bouncy Jupiter and move into Capricorn, ruled by serious hardworking master of self-discipline and dominion, Saturn.

But Saturn brings the solstice, returning us to the light, for all his serious face.

This is the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy ibex or mountain goat, Capricorn.

The ibex nimbly scales the heights, stands atop the farthest crags. In Europe, the alpine ibex does battle in December for territory and mates.

The ibex, inspiration of Capricorn, reckons to do battle to get what it needs in life, delicately sniffs the cold, clean air, every inch a master of all he surveys.

The sunshine is free, and the rain and the snow, and the moon and the stars. Our good health too, if we are lucky. But we all must do battle some day one day in our lives, sooner or later, up against some kind of authority or other, or make peace with the fact we didn’t when maybe we really needed to,for our own or someone else’s sake.

Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan?

Any day will do for a new resolution But from a natural, seasonal, symbolic and magickal perspective, 21 December works even better. 

Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a brighter 2022.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
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