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The Raven Banner

November 2003
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 Sunday, November 23, 2003

I don't do runes very often ... but not because I don't think they're useful. Rather. I think they can be overused, and often are.

I've given much thought to the runes over the years - for those of my readers who are not heathen, suffice it to say that despite popular opinion to the contrary runes are not a system of divination. They don't "predict" the future, and anyone telling you otherwise is selling snake oil. Nothing can tell you the future - not holy books, card decks, dropped stones or symbols carved in wood. No one knows what will be. Forget it - "divination", as conceived of in the popular mind, is hokum.

So why the Hel would any serious, sober minded engineering type monkey about with a bunch of carved slips of wood if they don't predict the future? Because I believe that they show you something far more important that what will be - I believe they show you what was, what is and, consequently, what may be.

Runes tell you the past.

I've my own little theory about how this works. It really has little to do with gods. Notice that, in our lore, Odin "won" the runes, and the gods are often said to "consult" them ... to me, this says that the runes are natural phenomena - or rather, they're reflective of natural phenomena - the sum of the events, word and deed, that have been laid into the Well.

There's not enough space to expand on this here - I've been thinking a lot about this for a while, and it will be expanded into an essay, and I'll link it here when it's complete.

For now, however, I'll make do with recording the "reading" I drew tonight. Call it what you will - it seems at once accurate, daunting and hopeful.

Reading from left to right, from Urd's domain (the past - "fate") comes Fehu, wealth. From Verdandi's realm (the present - "necessity") comes Perthro - the dice cup. And Skuld (the future - "being") shows forth Wunjo - joy.

In truth, I have enjoyed wealth in the [recent] past - suffice it to say that while there have been times in my life when I have been "dirt poor" the last two decades have not been among them.

The present - what more accurate symbol than the dice cup? Truely I face a bewildering array of chance, fate and hard work in the weeks and months ahead, regarding the farm, my career and the determination of how the remainder of my time in Midgard will play out.

But the future shows joy - and that is hopeful. Not guaranteed, not determined, not "ordained" - only possible. But oft when one faces a dark night, hope is the commodity in shortest supply and deepest need.

I got a recharge in my hope batteries from a set of simple carved staves.
11:40:27 PM     comment []