Daily Runes 06/21/10

BerkanaDaily Rune: Berkana
Meaning: Growth

KenazAnsuzOutworking Runes: Kenaz, Ansuz in opposition
Meanings: Kenaz — enlightenment. Ansuz (on its side) — There’re a lot of possibilities here. Generally, I take this rune to literally mean the voice of God. In this form, this may mean not listening to the voice of deity, which may be impeding my own progress. Or, it could mean that in attempting to connect the different pantheons I work with, I’m becoming to scattered and no longer focusing on where I need to be.

LeguzClarification Runes: Leguz, in opposition.
Meanings: In relation to the others, this really doesn’t help to clarify much. I’ve been struggling to accept some of my relationships with divinity, and the love that they’ve shown me. Perhaps this is speaking directly to this.

Second clarification throw gave:
LeguzKenaz MerkstaveGeboDagaz in opposition

Leguz above and to the left of Kenaz merkstave. To the left of those were Gebo, and then further out was Dagaz in opposition.

I think most of my above assessments fit together quite nicely with this one. Love should be gift-for-a-gift, and I’m not accepting the love given to me openly, nor am I really getting better about loving myself. This is a cyclic problem that I come out of for a little while, and then fall right back into. It’s time to pull my head out of my ass and get moving to a permanent resolution to that mindset.

I think today might be a good day for a post about Thor and Sif, provided I find enough time around ritual.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Daily Runes 06/19/10



Berkana MerkstaveDaily Rune: Berkana Merkstave
Meanings: Stagnation, Loss of growth, carelessness

PhotobucketOutworking Rune: Ehwaz merkstave
Meanings: A lack of movement. A need for movement or change.

Clarification runes: Othila and Ansuz in opposition, opposite one another. (sideways)

Normally, Othila refers to harmony, community, the home. Ansuz is the voice of God.

Out of this, I took that this is an okay time for me take a little extra time to relax and figure out what I need for myself.

My results rune for the day…

PhotobucketResults Rune: Kenaz
Meanings: Enlightenment

Tim and I made these images. I think they’re a nice little artistic addition to my daily rune notes. Many thanks to him for his help!

For Bast’s Children: A New Doorway to a Another Road


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I’d passed the dead body of a cat on the side of Carpenter Road once before. Bast had asked me to stop, but I’d felt uncomfortable with just the idea of flipping the car around and picking up a dead animal from the side of the road. The idea crossed my mind more than once that someone might be looking for that cat, and the body on the roadside might be the answer to someone’s search.

Today, I couldn’t tell her no twice.

Tim and I were on our way back from his cousin Nate’s graduation party. The day was beautiful, the AC was on, and Blaqk Audio’s “Stiff Kittens” blared from the speakers. Tim was fiddling with his Odin mandala and focused completely into his own little world. I didn’t think anything of it. We both have this bad habit of slipping into trance state while on the road. I’d lost more than 10 exits along the highway that way more than once, and I, myself, had began to zone out to the flash of house, tree, tree, tree, house, tree passing us by at fifty miles per hour.
Then, I passed that familiar orange body along the side of the road.

Stop, a voice told me, both stern and urgent within my head.

I sighed to myself, releasing a sudden pang of sadness, and kept driving.

Stop. Go back.

I kept going.

Go. Back.

I sighed again, and turned down a winding side road and flipped the car around in the first U-shaped driveway.

“What are you doing?” Tim asked, unabsorbed from his trance by the sudden lurching of the vehicle.

“Turning around.” I gave the most obvious answer and turned left onto Carpenter.

Right about the time I passed the cat and pulled over onto the opposite side of the road, he must have gotten the idea. He got out of the car in unison with me. We both walked to the end of the vehicle, stared for a second at the corpse, and then I popped the trunk to search for the garbage bag I knew was lost somewhere in the dark recesses of my vehicle.

“I think it’s somewhere in the sidedoor,” Tim told me. He was right. I retrieved the bag from the bag seat and walked over to the body.

I’d waited at least a week since Bast had first asked me to remove her from the roadside. The body was now literally crawling with maggots.

“She’s putrid, honey. There’s nothing we can do,” Tim told me.

“I don’t want to just leave her,” I said. It was more than a desire. I couldn’t. Something in my conscience wasn’t going to let me. It was almost as though the spirit was asking me not to leave here there: unmarked, unmourned, just another piece of garbage rotting on the side of the road.

Eventually, we both resolved that leaving her there was just unacceptable. I scooped the bag underneath of her, lifted her up, and neatly flipped the bag inside out.

The stench of death was overbearing. Her body was warm and pliable – the in-process result of roadside heat and rotting flesh.

Tim insisted more than once that he could carry her, but having watched his reaction over the last few minutes, I was surprised that this evening’s dinner hadn’t worked itself out of his eyeballs by now in his efforts to retain his composure. I had her. I told him as much, and placed the cat into my trunk.

There was no place in our tiny apartment complex where we could bury her body. Local animals, or worse, local children would likely just dig her up. But we did have a beautiful little grove out at his parent’s house where we’d done many magical workings together. There, she would stay.

Tim dug a hole in a small mound against the fence while I gathered supplies. Having come unprepared, we made with what we had: a clove of garlic, fresh-picked sage and lavender, consecrated salt and lake-water, and lemongrass oil.
I took her out of the trunk while he dug. A few of the maggots had escaped from holes onto a box in the back.
At first, I held her away from me. Even through plastic, the smell was still powerful.

Cradle her in your arms. Hold her like I wasn’t able to. That voice said again, and I listened. I curled my arms beneath her and cradled the bagged body like a child. I could feel the movement in the bag and had to tell myself it was just the warmth of the cat’s body and the animal’s spirit.
I knew it was the insects, but between the crawling and the smell of death, even I couldn’t bear to think about that, and I pride myself on having a strong stomach.

I laid her on the ground until we finished the grave. I blessed the soil with the water and oil, and slid her out of the bag and into the earth. Tim had already sang blessings over her grave, and we gave a short prayer, sending her back to the Mother and the Earth from which she had came, and thanked her for the joy she had given in this world and would bring onto the next. I sprinkled the body with water and oil, and we covered her in dirt. Tim used his shovel. I used my hands. I placed the flowers by her grave and sprinkled the packed Earth with water and oil again.

We would have given her a bit of a longer, more detailed ceremony had it not been so late in the day. Twilight rapidly became night and we were both covered in mosquito bites.

I would still like to go back and plant catnip on her grave and burn a stick of incense for her.

We drove home with the windows open. The smell of death had permeated my vehicle. Despite that, there was something both spiritually and emotionally fulfilling in that for the both of us. He thanked me for stopping and insisting that we take care of her. I thanked him for helping me and for digging the grave. He thanked me for handling the body. I laughed.

Once we were home, with all but washed my car with febreeze and then ran into the bathroom for a quick shower. We left smelling minty-fresh from plastering each other in toothpaste to cure the itching of mosquito bites. (Which is, by the way, a handy trick if you happen to run out of hydrocortisone lotion)

The cat’s spirit was grateful for what we did. That was obvious in the feel of the burial and the encounters that Tim and I had once we arrived home.
She’s fully capable of moving on now, but chose to stay with us for a little while longer. She brushed up against Tim’s leg while he was at the computer and scared him half to death.
While I was sitting here working on my daily rune images, I caught a flash in my mind’s eye of a pair of golden eyes staring up at me, and that long-haired orange body sprawled across my table. I sucked in a deep breath and reached out to touch her. I closed my eyes and I could feel the rub of a cat’s face against my head. I could feel her fur – thick and soft between my fingers. I could feel the heat of her skin, and the tensing of her muscles as she moved. She was such a beautiful cat.
It was such an emotional encounter for me. It still is. I burst into tears. I took away more in that moment than just petting an animal. It was taking a moment to feel what the cat had felt, to feel what she had inspired in others.
The forefront of what rushed to me had been a sadness, a loneliness of having been there: forgotten. But behind that was a rush of joy and happiness. Of what it had been like to live her life, and of what it had been like to have held her, touched her. In that moment, she was every cat that I’d ever held, every feline that had curled up into my lap on a cold winter’s day and kept me company. It was very overwhelming, and very beautiful.

You never really have an appreciation for life until you’ve experienced death and experience, even at a glimpse, what comes after. This night really had a revelation for me in that.
I’ve helped spirits cross over before. I’ve worked with the dead and comforted them. I’ve helped the souls of other animals killed on the roadside move beyond before. Tim and I helped the spirit of a young man who was shot and killed in the park just down the street from where I lived in Lansing move past his hurt, rage, and fear and move on. But nothing had ever reached back to me like this.

It still moves me down to the core of my being.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I relate to the myriads of deities that have called to me. Sometimes, my work and relations seem so scattered and overwhelming. I think this is just part of really putting that all together.

I’m going to start carrying around garbage bags and gloves in the trunk of my car now. I’ve passed too many hawks on the side of I-96, felt the same compulsion, and ignored it. I’m not going to let the sacred animals of my gods rot on the edge of the pavement and not honor them.

I’ve never been one to actively work with the dead. That’s always been Tim’s shindig, and I’ve been happy to let him be in it. But, I think I’m starting to move that way. Hella asked me to come speak with her during a meditation, and I’ve drawn Ansuz in helheim during Yggdrasil rune spreads more than once. It’s time to stop delaying this and start working with that.

I have a feeling that’s what I’m going to be doing with the Gulf. Maybe that’s why I feel so desperate, so lost that dozens of volunteer apps have gone unanswered and that there’s nothing much I can do. I have a feeling there are a lot of lost spirits trapped in the miasma down there that might need help finding their way out of that oil slick – even after their bodies have washed ashore or fallen to the seabed below.

May Aegir hold them in his arms until I can pick up that task.

Haniel Evocation



Normally, I don’t do much work with angels. But emotional stops and trauma are not primary colors on the palettes of my normal spirit allies. Knowing what I do about Haniel, I asked for Her help in working through some current issues, and She was amicable to the idea.
For those of you who are not aware, Haniel is the archangel who embodies the aspects of Venus. (i.e. Love, harmony, emotions, etc.) As part of my pathworking through the element of water, I’ve been tackling some intense personal blocks and I’ve needed some help breaking down those walls. (See my personal blog for more detail.)
So, after I returned home from the lab on Thursday, I invited the household to join me in angelic sigil crafting hour. Haniel instructed me to use some of the jasmine/rose mixture we were going to use for incense as tea, serve the tea to all the participants, and fold the remaining leaves and flowers into the talismans themselves. Unfortunately, I have been spoiled by the wonder of tea bags and am obviously unaware of the proper proportions to use when making tea in an infuser. Apparently, it is possible to make jasmine tea concentrate, and it’s not very tasty.
Tim and I did the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, set up sacred space, and proceeded to evoke Haniel into the circle with us by chanting Her name.
The problem was that She showed up. I’m being facetious, of course. I’m more than grateful for Her help, but I was not expecting to have an emotional breakdown for absolutely no logical reason in the middle of ritual.
We started off chanting Haniel’s name to draw Her energy into our work. I could feel Her there, nothing about the method itself was wrong, but I just could not bring myself to form the bloody talisman. I must have spent probably an hour rolling the clay trying to get it into some semblance of an acceptable shape, and then the emotional unfurling began.
Have you ever dropped a fresh ice cube into a glass of warm liquid? Have you ever noticed how it cracks, and then often breaks and begins to melt away into little pieces within your soda? That’s a pretty good analogy for how I felt sitting there at that table.
And I just wasn’t going anywhere until my ice cube melted.
After snapping at an unsuspecting friend during the ritual, and then spending a few minutes in tears in temperamental solitude, we eventually opened up some necessary dialogue. The creation process was relatively smooth sailing from there.
These were the result:
Haniel Sigil FrontHaniel Sigil BackFinished Haniel Sigil backHaniel Sigil Finished Front
The pentacle on the back is the Second Pentacle of Venus, meant to draw in grace and harmony. I hope the Hebrew within the pentacle itself is correct. I took only a bit of the translated saying from the outside of the full pentacle (which is “Place me as a signet upon thine heart, as a signet upon thine arm, for love is as strong as death”) since I hate writing anything in a language I don’t know, particularly if said language uses a different alphabet. I’ve heard enough faux pas just on pronunciation alone, I don’t need Hebrew permanently etched in a magical tool that says something completely different than what it’s intended to because of sloppy writing or poor resolution on a computer screen.
Tim and I stayed up to watch the sun rise on Friday morning (which happens to be Venus’ day [Friday – Freya’s Day]). We blessed our talismans by chanting Haniel’s name at different tones to resonate with our chakras, while actually looking at Venus in the morning sky. (We were also blessed by the presence of 6 or so bats flying around, which made the moment all that much more special for me as I happen to find them adorable.)
Working with Her since has been interesting. I carry my talisman with me, and trace my fingers over the amethysts on the back if I have trouble working through my emotions, or articulating them. Even in the past couple days, I’ve had a much easier time articulating what I feel and expressing myself when something’s is bothering me, making me unhappy, or even bringing me happiness, for that matter.
I drink a cup of rose and jasmine tea every day to bring that energy into myself, and burn rosewood and lavender incense to her when I need particular help with something. The work is extremely simple, but very impactful.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone else who is having trouble working through emotional issues. The ritual I did was very simple. Banish in whatever fashion you find comfortable and set up sacred space, preferably in that order. The rest is honestly, up to you. Personally, I lit three candles in front of a brazier of incense. Venus’ planetary color is green, but I used silver and pink. In my opinion, I believe it’s more important that you use whatever colors appeal to you for the purpose. Some ceremonialists may argue that up and down, but cest la vie. If you’d like, you can carve symbols for venus or Haniel’s sigil itself into the candles, depending on size and space. For incense, I used jasmine and rose, but again, choose what appeals to you and reminds you of love and harmony.
To evoke her, you can chant her name repeatedly, or use a much longer, more formal call to ask her into your circle. Perhaps something like:

Archangel of Venus
I call to you

Angel of harmony and love
I call to you

Teach me to love myself
And through that to love others

Teach me the beauty in myself,
So I may find beauty in the world

Stand beside me in my trials
Keep me moving like the flow of water

Stand with me
Walk with me
Be here with me


From there, you can simply sit and talk with the angel, mediate on your emotions, charge an object such a stone or piece of jewelry in her name, or do as I did and make a talisman expressly for what you’d like help with. I used sculpey and acrylic paints, but anything you enjoy working with is just fine. Here are some symbols to help you:

Haniel SigilVenus SymbolSeal of Venus

Those are, from left to right: Haniel’s Sigil, the symbol for the planet of Venus, and the Seal of Venus.

A useful website with the various pentacles of the planets and their meanings can be found here:

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Good luck!

On Water Pathworking: Tearing Down the Floodgates


I’ve come to the begrudging realization that part of my being a priestess is putting my own personal experiences on the line, so that people who can find something in them can apply those lessons and perhaps gain some insight into their own lives. So, despite how intensely personal some of these experiences may be, I’ve decided to exercise Gebo and share my story.
Perhaps this process of sharing will be the death blow to the nice little wall I’ve built up before myself over the years.
You see, I tend to get really comfortable with living behind this intense wall of ice, behind which I hide most of my emotions. Worse than the wall itself, is the fact that I often pretend it’s not there. It’s like my own little Emerald City of negativity, except the walls are a sickening shade of gray and the luxury day spa is out of commission.

“The wizard’s not here, and you’re not comin’ in, no way, no how!”

Anyhow, I digress.

Part of my personal “therapy” has always been to use running as a type of moving meditation. Thanks to my trusty iPod, I also tend to find a song that has a deep emotional impact for me and loop it until the emotional punch I receive from the lyrics finally breaks a barrier. (I often find that in all my years of “walling” rather than expressing, I frequently have trouble finding the root of an issue rather than picking away small chunks from a rather vast foundation. Which, is not necessarily a bad thing, but somewhat frustrating at times.)
My recent lyrical boxing glove was “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna, which is this wonderfully nasty little song about all the ups and downs of an abusive relationship. It’s the chorus that really gets me, and surprisingly enough, it does not remind me of him.

”Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,
That’s all right because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and see me cry,
That’s all right because I love the way you lie.
I love the way you lie…”

For anyone unaware, I spent four years in an abusive relationship before I finally gathered enough sense and courage to pack my things and leave. I’ve largely moved past the problems with my abuser as far as guilt, shame, fear, anger, and all the other lovely things that come as a side-effect from years of emotional and physical pain. Despite knowing that, I still find myself extremely raw when it comes to talking about that situation and the people involved, and that I stumble into that pitfall of freshly re-experiencing those feelings and emotions very vividly even three years after the fact.
It’s been a long, stumbling path, but I believe the reason I’ve been unable to move past this is that there were other people intimately involved in what happened during that relationship, and I’ve always felt very uncomfortable assigning to them the blame that was due.
Mainly, there was a woman in my life who was a wonderful person. I left my mother’s house when I was sixteen so I could graduate high school on time and ship myself off to college. This woman took me in, treated me like her own daughter, and I came to know her as the mother I’d always wanted but had never been able to have. (My mother was still around at the time, obviously, but our relationship had always been tenuous, at best.) Unfortunately, her son, a dear friend of mine who had invited me in, passed away a few years later, and I stood by her during that time – a difficult experience that made our connection that much stronger.
Especially now, I can’t help but think: She who had lost a son, and I who have lost a mother, how appropriate and wonderful that we might find one another.
Time went on, we dealt with our grief, and somewhere along that winding path, I met David. His inner struggles (or at least, the struggles as he portrayed them) reminded me so intimately of my own experiences in leaving my family to better myself that I couldn’t help but be compelled to help him. I was naïve and completely absorbed in the memory of how much I needed that woman and her son when they were the only two people on my side during that fight with my entire family. How could I possibly not be there for him in that? Who else would be his rock in the pit of despair? Unfortunately, I missed the cosmic memo that this particular falling body came armed with a sledge hammer and a pick axe. Dave ended up coming to live with us very soon into the relationship, and things degenerated rapidly.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully accept that my willingness to stay in this puts me well into blame for what happened. It doesn’t excuse what happened, but I don’t shirk that responsibility. What I can’t purge is the fact that she allowed that man to cross the threshold of her own house every night. She listed to him beat me emotionally and at times physically from two rooms away, and would then comment on the volume. She would laugh or encourage him when he made hurtful comments. This woman did all this, and would turn around and tell me she loved me and though of me as her daughter.
The breaking line for me, I think, was when I returned to visit her after all this, thinking I could let this go and smooth everything over. I wanted very badly to do that. But, at the end of explaining our breakup, I was stupid enough to defend his actions, and she agreed that he really wasn’t a bad guy.

Keep also in mind that my bank tellers commented on how our relationship was a “bad situation” and that his own parents recommended that I get a restraining order, so any confusion as to the severity of his nature is pretty well snuffed.

Despite all that, I’ve always felt that somehow harboring resentment for what she watched and heard happened in her home made my less of a person. Perhaps it’s just that old mentality that forgiveness is the greatest virtue, but I felt as though saying that she should have done something and holding her to that was somehow blaming her for what happened.

In a sense, she is partially responsible. There is a lot she could have and should have done, and while that time is past and I’ve moved on, nothing can change that. What’s worse is that, I know in my heart that nothing she could say or do could put that to rest.
I really wish she could.
But in months of journaling and writing letters, I’ve realized that there is no response that will satisfy my questions, and that the best thing I can do is let this go.
I can have that balance now: that I still love her, but I know trying to further that relationship is only toxic to us both.

We walked together in a different time, when we were different people. I still love you, sweetheart. But that time has passed.

Daily Runes & Water Pathworking



PhotobucketDaily Rune: Jera
Meaning: Literally: a year. Other meanings include reaping and/or harvesting.

LeguzOutworking Rune: Leguz
Meaning: Love

Translation: There are a couple of translations possible for this. The first translation would be to spend the day harvesting and cultivating the love in my life – romantic and otherwise. The other translation is that this next year is going to be spent nurturing love in my life, which is very appropriate considering the next year of my practice is going to be spent focusing on the aspects of water, which deal heavily with emotion, including the love of the self and others.

As another part of water pathworking, I’m currently working with the runes as my “divination method of choice” for the next month, so I’m drawing an extra rune each day, and using the aspects and meanings of that rune to pick out what I’m going to wear each day. It seems a little silly, but if you can go through a month of doing that and not have the names and meanings of at least most of the runes memorized, you weren’t working enough. For example, my first day of doing this was the 15th of June, and I drew Hagalaz (hail, destruction) and Wunjo (Joy, harmony, family), so I decided to wear watery colors that day and settled on white (ice) and a dark blue. Today I drew Manaz (man/mankind) and Wunjo, so I wore something that made myself and my family happy. We’re a bunch of die-hard comic & cartoon nerds so, I wore my Harley Quinn shirt. Again, somewhat silly, but effective.