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

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


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.


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

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’


The Hanged Man, Russia, Ukraine: a Tarot’s eye update

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on

“In times of war, the law falls silent”. ― Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, writer and staunch republican, assassinated 43 BC on the orders of Mark Antony who was then defeated by Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus.

Wiki Commons

The Tarot detects, reflects and may then project or predict in respect of a given situation. Its limitations are in the reader. Sometimes we may think we want to know something but actually, we don’t. Or we may indulge wishful thinking in interpretation unless we are careful. The less personally involved the reader feels, the more likely it is that the reader will see clearly, looking further down the road.

Late last night (28 February) I drew the card below, asking the Tarot for its comment at this juncture re Mr Zelenskyy (I understand that strictly speaking it should be spelled with a double’ y’.)

We have here The Hanged Man reversed. This is a card of Neptune. This is a card that is strongly associated with Pisces. and we are in Pisces season until 20 March 2022.

Card meanings: meditation, ultimate surrender, sacrifice, suspended in time, indecision, Drawn reversed: duty, the body politic, the crowd, breakthrough, giving to get.


From the Tarot Illuminati

Events in Ukraine are moving on apace. Everyone has their own thoughts, opinions or responses. Me too, but when looking in my cards I must remain dispassionate if humanly possible and honestly record and report what I see or do not see. Right or wrong.

There is first the act of divination, the actual drawing of the cards. This is the psychic or occult element of the process if you will. That we expect to draw a card that will first of all, mirror with sufficient accuracy the issue being presented for left field analysis. What makes us draw one card and not another instead?

Some might say the reader can just make up anything they like. But if they know anything about Tarot, they know that each card has a list of associated interpretations. This list is long. It has to be. 78 cards must cover any topic, any question, any situation known to human experience. But the cards, while there are areas that lap over with one another, deal in particularities and not just broad themes and can only be made to stretch so far.

My core service for 20 years has been personal readings. If a reader is blagging it, talking mush, the client would know right away. For the avoidance of doubt, and to set the baseline of the rest of the reading, the reader must deliver something that is relevant, timely, specific and particular, and that can be validated or verified at once by the client. Preferably they will do it at once, with the very first card.

This kind of reading we are doing here is a different challenge, just as mundane astrology -using astrology to look at world affairs- is different from doing natal astrology or personal horoscopes.

The Hanged Man reversed was THE one single card I drew last night, asking to be shown a Tarot snapshot of Mr Zelenskyy.

That we drew The Hanged Man, and not only does the symbolism resonate but I see a physical resemblance to the living person is the mystery. What Jung termed the synchronicity of Tarot:-

Until last Monday evening, I did not draw cards clearly indicating war in Ukraine. They were mixed, ambivalent. I drew The Hermit in the mix (maturity,solitude, quiet reflection) and hoped for the best, having expected instead these following cards; The Tower, Ace Swords, The Devil, The World card reversed, or other combinations which, when added up would clearly point to a clear threat of war.

Mr P has clearly been war gaming this through the past two years of covid. He wants it all but without having to resort to a policy of scorched earth.

From The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Hermit is also about crops. Grains. It correlates with Virgo and the harvest. Both Russia and Ukraine are top exporters. Ukraine more so, I gather, able to provide food for 600 million people. There is going to be a sharp rise in the price of grain. But perhaps The Hermit is also a sign of hope because The Hermit is a pathfinder. He shows the way ahead.

I drew The Tower, The Devil and The Chariot Reversed six hours before the terrorist attack in Nice, Bastille Day, 2016. I did not know what they meant exactly. I did not know in what exact shape they would manifest in real life. There were a number of possible scenarios. I only felt that something terrible was going to happen imminently and that it would involve a vehicle, and I asked Il Matrimonio to go and check the tyre pressures on the car.

However, while logic said Mr Putin had clear and obvious designs on annexing Ukraine, and developments were deeply unsettling, the cards did not show these combinations, and so that’s what I recorded at that point. To do anything else to make it fit in with a conscious assessment of a situation would be to falsify the process of cartomancy. Even if it might be tempting, and not that one is not partial to one’s dignity, but to do this stuff at all, you have to be prepared to look like a fool or how can you learn?

The reader frames a question or states an issue, draws the cards, blindly and at random, lays them out, turns them over, and then tries to make sense of what they are looking at.

Last Monday afternoon, talking on the phone with my mother who knows a LOT about WW1 and WW2 and she said, “there is not just a whiff of Munich here, it’s a stench.”

I mentioned that I hadn’t been shown war yet, despite the growing signs, and had not drawn The Tower card, and did not understand why not yet.

The Tower. A shock. A lightening strike. A storm, Thunder. War. Hubris. Pride before a fall. A Tuesday. Mars. A bomb. Air attack. Earthquake. Tsunami.

A little while after our call I sat down for another look, and blow me down, there it finally was; The Tower, sitting smack in the middle of the cards.

Tarot Spread, Ukraine-Russia-West, drawn 20 Feb 2022, The Illuminati Tarot

Top left Mr P debating, wants those 2 states, wants ports, land bridge, do a deal? (2 PENTS) or go all out (central TOWER) What may prevent all out? Critical factor, bottom right. HIEROPHANT Reversed (tradition, govt turned upside down, key, faith, church, rules, banks) Fear of the anger of his own people.

These cards suggest

Best case scenario: Based purely on the potentialities contained within the book meanings of these cards. Deal might be Zelensky agrees to signing away the 2 separatist states – (IF it can be fairly demonstrated there is a majority support for them to rejoin Russia?)

Worst case scenario: Mr P trapped and desperate, fighting for his political life, and perhaps his actual life, goes nuclear beyond Ukraine’s borders. There are rumours Russia has already deployed a thermobaric weapon in his determination to ‘liberate’ the people of Ukraine.

Second worst case scenario: Mr P, trapped, frustrated and frightened at the prospect of a long drawn out Ukraine insurgency, decides to take the gloves right off in Ukraine, aided by Belarus, ganging up 2 to 1, and defying any other country to intervene to help Ukraine on a military basis. This would require that he must seize or crush Kyev now and quickly.

This seems the most likely scenario but the cards still reflect hope it may be avoided. We will come to that in a minute.

Let’s post the image again, save scrolling up.

Column 1 Mr P

Recent Past

2 Pentacles weighing risks/gains, land bridge, 2 ports(see the ships) 2 rogue states, weighing income streams pipelines NS 1, 2 and the proposed new pipeline to Beijing


King Swords RX clever,, determined, ruthless, air sign king (Libra) cerebral, cool, cautious in calculation but decisive in action. This is Putin himself.


10 Swords ruin, ill, (head/spine/cancer/bowel/kidneys?) coup, back-stabbed, (but at what cost meantime, this v likely won’t happen yet…astrology suggests he goes c March 2023 so….) Nuke Ukraine, wreck it this card is reflecting his calculation scorched earth = pyrrhic victory

Column 2 Mr Z


3 Cups, friendship, female support, past enjoyment (his background?)


TOWER war future air strike/nuke? (Mars ) foreseeing last Tuesdays outright invasion only the day beforehand 


Ace Swords clarity, victory, command of air space or satellite communications (eg Elon Musk Star link re communications/propaganda war for Ukraine) Cutting a Gordion Knot (the very thing we do not want Putin to do)

This card is AQUARIUS. Mr Z is Aquarius. Modern tech/social media. Not so much Putin’s strong point nowadays.

Column 3  The West


6 Wands, riding high, team, success, arrogant, smug sports a priority, brave card goes with LEO and therefore high summer, page cups reversed, failed diplomacy, immaturity, naivete, attack from the SOUTH


Page Cups reversed Failed diplomacy, empty cup, childishness, immaturity, naivete, the suit of cups correlates with the compass direction of west


Hierophant Reversed What the West sees. Mr P fears ‘excommunication’ temporal. World bank global banking against Mr P. Much of this, we are already seeing.He may not care because future mega new income streams via China, but oligarchs and people care right now. This card is the thing he seems to fear most at this juncture. Ostracism by his own people.


It does not look as though Mr Putin is not going to win this. There can only be losers here. He may achieve a military victory, and this is a dreadful and deeply unjust prospect given the circumstances. But should he seize Kyev in the coming days, aided by that gangster he keeps in his pocket, the kidnapper Mr Lukashenko.

But Mr Putin’s goal was not to wreck the Ukraine, but to harvest it. The Hermit. A military victory needed to be quick and clean. This is messy, dirty, vile and slow and makes him look like mud – a pyrrhic victory, as signified by that Ten of Swords. Mr Putin is acutely aware of this, but can not acknowledge it, which makes the situation even more terribly dangerous.

A number of astrologers (inc my favourites Patrick Arundell, Jessica Adams, Victor Olliver) have mentioned 3 March in terms of a potentially critical conjunction for this situation, between Mars and Pluto, occurring specifically at 8.43 AM GMT. This may be mitigated by a apparently happy and lucky New Moon in Pisces, Wednesday 2 March. A moon influence lasts two and a half days. Unless it means that some fortuitous development on Wednesday heads off something far less welcome in the nick of time.

The cards say Mr Putin needs to beware Taurus the Bull. The Hierophant Reversed. April and May. Global banking, agriculture, food security, ‘excommunication’ by the wider community but far more fatal for him- by his own people. Incidentally, there is a Taurus eclipse this year, Saturday 30 April.

The scenes are heartrending and this is a tragedy for the people of Russia too. Mr Putin is right to fear their anger. That Ten of Swords indicates his eventual over reach and downfall, left hand column, bottom card. Hubris.The West has also been guilty of hubris or complacency and this is a wake up call.

One astrologer has suggested President Putin is gone by some time round March 2023. Gone from office or just gone? But he can still do an awful lot of damage in that space of time, can’t he. The question is the final cost, and this is a karmic question of collective destiny.

Some very great, very deep loop or pattern is being replayed. This loop began December 2019/January 2020 and history -and astrology- suggests it will run till 2025/6 and we will then have a different looking world order.

We can see how frighteningly easily or quickly this situation could become WW3 or even a nuclear holocaust. No one knows. But I would suggest that Hierophant Reversed is not nearly sufficiently combustible. The Tower card is definitely sufficiently combustible BUT it is sitting in the centre. It is righthere, right now. The Hierophant Reversed is a crux card that will manifest in the near future.

The Devil is absent, and while the Hierophant Reversed can be read as authoritarianism, The Devil is a spectre of a holocaust, just as the Holodomor was a holocaust.

Sympathetic Magic

People have been known to mistake divination with ‘witchcraft’. Divination is one thing. Sympathetic magic is a different thing even though they may use the same tools or objects.

Magic, one might say, is a refuge of last resort and is a measure of desperation. Not so. We use it all the time and hardly give it a second thought. We say, cheers, all the best, goodbye (God be with you)

Words have power. People have been known to mistake divination with ‘witchcraft’. Divination is one thing. Sympathetic magic is a different thing even though they may use the same tools or objects. Prayer is a form of sympathetic magic.

It is said that witches of Plymouth whistled up a storm as the Armada approached the English coast. You can read more about that and other related stories HERE

Using runes in sympathetic magic to protect a home or a homeland, we might use several runes, either singly or in combination, like so –

Top rune: Algiz/Elhaz/Eol. TheElk, called sedge by some. General umbrella protection

Central rune: Nied. This rune literally means NEED. As in, here we need protection for a household or homeland or our parents.

Left hand rune: Othala meaning homeland, a family household or stronghold, family inheritance, legacy, ancestry, parents and ancestors

Right hand rune Thurisaz, the Thorn, used in attack and defense. A powerful rune of protection, associated with Mollnir, the hammer of Thor the Thunder god

Bottom rune: Dagaz. We get the modern English word Day from this rune. As in, for instance, let there be another dawn for those under fire this day. Fiat lux!

NB: You don’t need to buy runes. You can just draw them, say their name, call on the influence they represent. Just as we sign off messages with “Best Wishes.” The principle is the same.

The Sun from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength but loving someone deeply gives you courage.”― Lao Tzu

As we watch that 60 km invasion convoy coming in, and all seems well nigh lost, I draw the Eleventh House card for Mr Zelenskyy…..Aquarius, technology, Star Link, Elon Musk. Eleven is a lucky number. This card was drawn last night.

Perhaps there is still hope for Ukraine.

Take care until next time 🙂

A General Rune cast for January 2022

Photo by sam Hancock on

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

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’

The Sun card, Reincarnation and the old Norse rune of resurrection

Photo by Jacub Gomez on

Nothing new under the sun? Someone once asked me, did I believe in reincarnation? Well, of course, plenty of people do, around the world. Easter is the great Christian celebration of Resurrection, when Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ben Joseph, was said to have risen from the tomb on the third day following his barbaric crucifixion, signifying the hope of the soul’s eternity for all mankind.

Let’s consider The Yew, Taxus Baccata. The Yew tree is widely viewed as a symbol of resurrection.  Why is that? Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.

It is susceptible to death by damage or disease but has been described as the the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, however hypothetically, live indefinitely.  It’s thought that there are English yews 4000 years old. Hence its popularity in graveyards, as a symbol of resurrection on Judgement Day.

Photo by Skylar Kang on

The old Norse rune Eiwaz represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. For this reason, it is considered a good omen for recovery if someone is ill.


The Memory is supple as the Yew, the Mind as mysterious and it can play strange tricks.

Some years ago, stirring a pan, standing by the stove, I had an oddly vivid experience, a flashback, and I was standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, white painted, with a high ceiling and a door to my left. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to a courtyard, and I was wondering where ‘Pietro’ had got to, and why he was not home yet. I knew this unknown faceless personage Pietro was a husband. NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio  is not Pietro or remotely Peter-ish. 

Could this have been an ancestral memory? I am Anglo-Irish-Scottish. Not Italian. A vivid daydream then. A snapshot. A picture from a book maybe, or a film? Possibly. I had never had this particular vision or experience before, and have not had it again, but I ‘knew’ at the time, that I was in Siena.

Photo by Kai Pilger on

I have to say, I don’t welcome the idea of coming back once I am done and out of here. I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation, except as recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. If Earth is a closed system, in the sense that material may enter through the atmosphere but not leave it, then in that sense, it may seem unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation, if only in the sense of particle recycling.

But what if particles could retain impressions, memories? Like those stories of people who have heart transplants, and later develop new tastes, and behaviours, subsequently discovered to have been part of the donor’s personality? You don’t have to look far to come across such stories and make up your own minds. Urban legends? A degree of skepticism is sensible and healthy, except when it is of the howling variety, and I heartily mistrust pronouncements on what may not be possible.

I don’t personally welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, and this is not meant as a complaint. I am pretty sure of this much though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice.

I first began to study the Tarot at least partly as an effort to make sense of some deeply strange experiences, downright freaky, a few of them, after which it seemed more plausible to me that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death. Death is a process, not an event. The brain is not the mind. Our departure from our home in the body is a process that can take days. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one.

I know a lady near me who runs a care home, and when a resident dies she opens the windows, not only for obvious practical reasons, to keep the room cool and fresh, but to help the newly departed soul on its way to wherever it wants to go.

Photo by luizclas on

Some years ago I received a request for an email reading, a young lady who wanted to know, was her brother OK? I asked what exactly did she want me to investigate that she could not ask him herself, and she said he was dead. He had committed suicide. She did not tell me more, nor did I ask about the circumstances.

Her questions were:

Where was he now?

How was he now?

A lot of my work is directed at immediately practical matters, home, work, business, money, relationships, family. I do not work as a medium, not at all, but I had previously done other readings focused on deceased loved ones, on occasion with some very surprising feedback.

I sat down to think about this and among other cards, was particularly struck by an appearance of the Sun card from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black.

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

The Sun card is life itself, travel, children, health and happiness, success, moments in the sun.

This is a card of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card from The Golden Tarot and in the Rider-Waite decks. In some other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.

The Sun card is a card of birth.

The appearance of this card in particular suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep. He didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the events that drove him to it.

Bless his soul. He was a little boy again. In my mind’s eye, I saw him kicking about in a puddle, not idly kicking, bored, not fed up, but happily, quietly preoccupied. If he had any memories, if he had a consciousness surviving death, if that could be possible, then this was his afterlife.

News of a birth was coming soon, I told the young lady, based on this Sun card. This was a birth close by, probably within the family, and whether it was a boy or girl, the Tarot was suggesting the possibility, however bizarre, that it was her brother being reborn.

Three weeks later I received an email from this young lady, very happy and excited, to say her sister was expecting a baby. Wouldn’t it be weird, she joked, if she was going to be her brother’s auntie this time around?

The returning Star Child from the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey

I would like to think the Tarot’s vision offered this young lady some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief, and hope for her brother’s peace. Because not all griefs are equal. Some deaths, as with untimely or violent deaths by suicide or murder, are harder to bear for those who mourn than others.

Reincarnation? I can see it in the genetic sense of the word. Or perhaps I mean epigenetics, and a kind of acquired cell memory. I went through a brief spell at one time of wanting a cup of hot chocolate at night. Not cocoa made with milk in the pan. This was made with water like making an instant coffee, drunk with two cream crackers and a bit of Lancashire cheese. I mentioned this to my mother and she said that was what her father Alfred, my maternal grandfather, always had for supper.

I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born, of lung cancer, but we share the same birthday. He was a well-known museum curator, who like so many others, took a lengthy leave of absence to serve in the Navy during the war. I worked a short time in Museums after graduating.

Maybe he wanted to send my mother a message, and that was why I wanted his supper. I joked to her that maybe he wanted to say sorry, as he wasn’t always the nicest father he could have been, but she didn’t think that would have been in character.

But where did that very specific temporary new habit come from, I wonder.

Until next time 🙂

Video presentation is a discussion of children’s experiences suggestive of the possibilities of reincarnation with Dr Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia.

The Tarot, the Magician and a story of Odin

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Tarot card of Wednesday or Wodens/Odins Day is The Magician, Major Arcana 1.

The Magician’s ruler is the planet Mercury, symbolic of communications, diplomacy, travel trade and commerce like Hermes, the Greek Messenger of the Gods.

The Magician can be slippery in the extreme. His other face is The Trickster, his shadow is Loki. If the card is drawn upside down, be careful what you are doing here. Watch this one.

He signifies self-command. ‘Me, Myself, I.’

The elder Norse rune associated with Odin and The Magician, is ANSUZ meaning wise counsel – ‘one of the Aesir’. It is from this same language root we derive the modern word ANSWER. It is the rune of teachers, counsellors, writers, actors, broadcasters and other public speakers. In magical work, you would use this talisman as an aid for exams, interviews, vivas, auditions,public speaking and so on. Draw it, say its name, keep it on a piece of paper nearby or on your person.

From Wikipedia

At one with the elements, he is The Mage. Mastery of skill. Timing. This is an excellent card if one is job hunting, starting a new venture, or hoping to meet someone new romantically. Generally male in readings but a female may embody the Magician. Anyone who is operating at the top of their game is The Magician.

He is agile, like Gemini, endlessly curious and inquiring, restless, potentially ruthless in the pursuit of his aims. But unlike The Emperor, who must engage with organisation, this is ultimately a cat who walks alone, or is ready to at any time.

Photo by Pixabay on

The Out-Walker

He stood in outline, stark against the sky, a shadow shape, and where he appeared, the ravens followed; always two of them, wheeling above him or perching on his shoulders, and people whispered they could only be Huginn and Muninn, twin pets and scouts of Odin the All-Father, Grimnir of the One Eye, the other traded with Mimir, the wisest of the Aesir, in exchange for the knowledge of All Things.

Photo by Vijay Bhaskar on

But what did Odin want?

What could any living person offer Odin that he hadn’t long ago surrendered by his own choice in exchange for that knowledge, hanging nine days and nights on the great Ash tree, the world tree, Yggdrasil?

Only their bloody deaths in battle could please him, the songs said, and so the people thought, and the wives and mothers shuddered at these sightings.

They could not know he meant no war, he planned no war and he scented no spillage of blood. Not at this time. Not in this place. Everyone fell silent when the word passed. 

He has been here again.

Beneath the alder, Odin stood, cloaked against the east wind, breathing in the sights and sounds and smells, drawing them in deep, knowing himself an object of terror. But he could not stay away, craving company, thee warmth of their smoking hearth fires and their songs and stories, music; the smells of their cooking; roasting meats, smoked fishes, things savoured all the more by the mortal folk, heightened in their knowledge, that what was left of their lives could be reckoned in mere years, months, hours or even minutes.

The ravens were his pride and joy, his precious ones.

He craved the things he could not have; rough jests with other men, their goodfellowship. Even the fights, though he would always win, and he longed to lose, even just once, to know what it felt like, a knowledge denied him, that even Mimir could not trade. A stout infant to pull on his beard as it bounced on his knee, squealing to the beat of all the old rhymes. A snuffling dog to run with him after rabbits, or lie scratching its fleas or snore at his feet. A woman to laugh with, lie with, warm in bed, and she could even scold him- if she dared.

Valhalla was Valhalla, and the village, the village. Warriors sang of glory and Valhalla, their highest desire and greatest dread. They dreamed of immortality.

But when Odin grew weary of books and battle, of wayfaring, of roads and ships under wheeling stars, he dreamed of the alder on the rise, and wondered what it must be, to dream of a god. To have a god to call on.

He dreamed, and then he was there again.

KEH 2021

Photo by David Besh on

The High Priestess: Hathor, and Hecate, goddess of ghosts…

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

In the language of the Tarot the High Priestess may simply mean ‘a woman’, just as The Magician may simply signify ‘a man’.

The High Priestess corresponds with Monday as a day of the week. The reader may of course also correlate the Moon card with a Monday, but should be aware of The High Priestess connection, not to miss out on a potential clue in a reading.

The Moon card additionally correlates with the zodiac sign of Pisces, and in terms of timing of events may be suggesting dates late February- late March.

The High Priestess may be a scholar, and/or something of a witch. She may be a reader, an artist in any medium, a writer and a teacher. She may be a herbalist or hedge-witch, a midwife or a doctor. She may be in any line of work at all, but whatever she does, yes, she studies – hence the scroll in her hand- yes, she learns from others, but above all she learns from herself, and she is ready to talk in silence, like her masculine counterpart, The Hermit, and to walk and work alone.

She is recognized by HOW she does things, rather than necessarily what she does. She may be single, but even if she is married and a devoted family woman, there is always the sense that she has her own domain, separate, not shutting others off, but hers to rule.

The light is cool, silvery, remote at times though not cold.

You can see in this card various mythological references: the pomegranate of Persephone, as she wanders alone between the World and and the Underworld, and the cow horns of Hathor, goddess of the sky, of beauty, fertility, music and joy.

You see the Owl of Hekate, daughter of Zeus and Asteria, the triple goddess of ghosts. She is identified with the Crone and the waning Moon. She is the keeper of the dead, of boundaries and of the crossroads, purveyor of poison, but kindly to the broken, kindly to Demeter when Persephone was abducted. Hekate herself is no mother, but also took pity on the tragic mother Hecuba, queen of Troy, after Hecuba’s death by suicide,jumping overboard the Greek ship that was taking her into slavery after the fall of Troy and the deaths of so many of her children. Hecuba had suffered more than anyone could bear. Hekate, seeing this, rescued her soul with the gift of forgetting and transformed her into a hound which she keeps safely at her side at all times.

The Triple Hekate, William Blake

The owl as a totem animal is strongly associated with the intellectual warrior goddess Athena but hers was a Little Owl. Hekate’s totem animal is a Barn Owl, aka screech owl.

This owl is also associated with Welsh mythology, the Mabinogion, and the legend of a magical woman who was turned into an owl; a story which featured in a famous novel by Alan Garner, The Owl Service.

The Owl Service-

Garner was fascinated by the love triangle of Lleu Llaw Gyffes (the man cursed never to have a wife on this earth), Blodeuwedd (the woman who was magically made out of flowers for him) and Gronw Pebyr (her lover). In the Welsh tale, Blodeuwedd conspires with her lover Gronw to kill her husband Lleu, but Lleu escapes his murder, turns into an eagle and flies away, eventually to be restored to life by the magician Gwydion. Blodeuwedd’s punishment is to be turned into an owl, while Gronw is killed by Lleu with a spear that passes through him and pierces a stone”.

Source: Times Literary Supplement

The High Priestess wears a headdress refers to the sacred Bull cult of Apis, corresponding with the material sign of Taurus, which is also associated with Hathor, the cosmic cow which carried the weight of the whole world.

The element of Earth is no less ‘spiritual’ than Fire, Water or Air.

When The High Priestess is drawn reversed in a reading, a female (though not necessarily female) enquirer may be feeling unhappy and lonely. If it refers to a woman in the enquirer’s close environment, this card may be picking up on a female friend where there has been a distancing or a disagreement, or this other woman is not after all a true friend. Be careful who you trust is the warning of the High Priestess.

Anyone who sees you as a competitor can never become a true and trusted friend. What they want in life, you cannot give to them, even if you wanted to, any more than a cow could simply shed its horns. But whatever they may want for you or from you, is, ultimately, not motivated by goodwill.

The High Priestess is watchful, and under no illusions as to whether someone is friend, foe, neutral or indifferent. But she knows it takes all sorts. She doesn’t take it personally.

In this respect, the shrine or sanctuary of The High Priestess corresponds with an old Norse rune called Perthro or Perdhro, meaning secrets, cup, chalice, sanctuary or paddock.

People meet on the road, or on the bridge, or on the strand between the shore and the sea, but, like The Hermit, the High Priestess accepts solitude as the price of learning, the sanctum she serves….whatever that sanctum may mean in reality; a home, a job, a business or a creative endeavour, or a cause dear to her heart….

People are quick to commiserate with bad news. But the real test, the acid test of a friendship is, when a friend also truly, sincerely rejoices in your good news.

The Watcher by The Well of Wyrd

Circe by Waterhouse

She works alone with words and stones,
Disposing glyphs on graven runes,
Wyrd runs water; she must deal,
In whisperings and Fates unsealed,
Winds of fortune shape and shatter,
Time, disposing of all matters,
Is Serpentine, the ouroboros,
Endless, rolling, still coils sinuous.

Till next time 🙂

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