Grief Bindrune

Grief Bindrune: To continue after loss, pain, and transition.

A windmill to cycle through all the pain and loss that might blow your way and transform it into healing energy.

grief rune

Ehwez: To cradle and carry thoughts and desires, and confirm what you have and what can happen.

Mannaz: To help accept help and comfort from others, to best feel and use the love and support that you have, and to help you accomplish whatever tasks lay ahead to get through the trial.

Fehu: To help tie you to the earth with its strength, its calm, and its solidity.  To help keep your eyes on achievable goals, on the good luck that exists, and to encourage you to gain satisfaction from accomplishing the things you need to achieve.

Berkana: To help put all temporary gains and relief back into yourself, so each little instance will help to heal the wound and grow back into a strong and healthy part of your life.  To help nourish and care for you.

Nied: To help recognize your greatest needs, to be able to work with and alter them when you need, and to help your focus go where it is needed at the moment without overlooking what’s best for your recovery in the long-term.

Dagaz: To help new care and beauty nourish and move you beyond this loss, to help you notice and awaken to new and good things, and to help your focus shift to the future rather than carrying burdens any longer than you have to.

Tyr: To help the road forward appear clear before your feet.  To help you wish to care for yourself, to keep your external cares simple, direct, and clear.  To light your path to victory over this trial and lead you to happiness and acceptance of what has changed.

Ear: To help pain evolve into useful thoughts, to help loss be seen and felt without festering, and to drain dark feelings and negativity.

Ior: To help the new lines become comfortable, to help the changed world become home, and to encourage forgiveness.

Ac: To help you find what is left for you, to draw strength from the energy of change, and to set the past apart for a time when need be.

Os: To help acceptance and to provide a conduit to spirit allies and their support.

 

I hope this provides some help and support for the sufferers of the explosions in Boston on April 15th.

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My Patch

Written in honor of the White Shell Woman (http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/white-shell-woman/) in thanks for her protection, her powerful blanket imagery, and her magic in everyday dreams and aspirations.

 

“My Patch”

 

There’s a patch where I am found;

Dreams wrapped safely all around

Where I can see strength stretch far as the sea

And promise is nothing but the air around me

 

As simple as that-a breath in, warmth out

All the birds call what can be

Sweetness seams bright color about,

Ensconced, still, closed-can be free.

 

Patches float in winds and gales,

Snow and rain drench my place into scales.

The weight of the world is heavy to heft,

And it’s hard to hold to worn pieces left.

 

As simple as that-tear in, wear out

All the whispers chant all’s not what it was

Mending’s sharp work, through hearts and out,

Moving, flowing, with a too-thin because.

 

Resting, color seeps back in with hope,

In cracks called sleep, beauty, and scope-

With pens, with words, with notes and tears,

An answer tucks itself around tired fears.

 

As simple as that-balm in, bleed out

All limbs know when healing to heed

Life is strange work, always on a new route

Finding, loving, holding-so much to need.

 

There’s a patch I know is mine,

Even when it becomes hard to find.

A place that still answers to my heart,

Although new lines score across every part.

 

As simple as that-me in, patch out

Closer than cloaks and warmer than wool,

Patchwork protects my hope from my doubt

Hoping, believing, patches life full.

 

There’s a patch where I am found;

Dreams wrapped safely all around

Where I can see strength stretch far as the sea

And promise is nothing but the air around me

 

As simple as that, breath in-warmth out,

And the future can turn into what I would be,

With love to grow and dreams to sprout,

We’ll undo the  seam between my patch and me.

 

Inner Mermaids, Greek Myths, and a Voice

Lately I’ve been pondering the similarities between the Little Mermaid and the Greek Lara.

 

“Lara, (also known as Larunda, Larunde and Mater Larum) was a naiad or a nymph and was the daughter of the river Almo.  She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter‘s wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Lara’s fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus); hence Her name is connected with lalein. For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara’s tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to take Her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to Her on the way; this act has also been interpreted as a rape. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods, who were as silent and speechless as She was. However, She had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find Her.” -(http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/lara/)

 

1. Mermaid or river nymph, both of these women are deeply associated with the element of water: with strong emotions, with flowing energies difficult to contain, and with intuitive wishes.  The little mermaid wished for a new life and an eternal soul.  Lara wished to live life openly and, already possessing an eternal life, wished to promote eternal promises.  In order to anger two gods with one piece of news, one of them being Zeus, Lara must have felt very committed to fidelity, to openness and honesty, or to both.  If she was truly so foolish that she couldn’t keep any secret it is difficult to believe Zeus would have left her able to speak before Hera got there.  In both cases, this story is about a woman with strong desires and convictions, so strong that she couldn’t refrain from pursuing them.  This woman spoke for themselves, in spite of the risks (facing the wrath of Zeus or forsaking home, family, and comfort).

 

2. This is a story about the woman with strong convictions who had her tongue cut out (in Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, that’s what happens) as soon as she entered the masculine realm.  Lara trespassed in Zeus’s affairs and Ariel entered the world of the prince.  Both of these are men in authority who pay attention to their own interests at the expense of a woman’s entire life.  Ariel is completely abandoned in favor of the girl the prince believes rescued him, left to die.  Lara is sent with Mercury to exile in Hades.  No indication that the masculine world does not welcome female input could be clearer.

 

3. In both of the stories, as soon as the woman loses her voice, she is placed Entirely under the power of a male.  Hermes loved and laid with Lara when she was solely under his charge and had no recourse but him-whether she consented or not, she had no power or say whatsoever.  Hermes had a desire and she could grant it or be in hell.  Ariel’s life lies in the hands of the prince, dancing when he wishes her to dance even though each step feels like knives piercing her feet, going where he goes.  Ariel does this willingly to try and attract the prince, but the command is his, the dominion is his, Ariel has no say.  And not just because her tongue is cut out.  The message is clear: let a woman lose her voice and she will lose every vestige of power.

 

4. The last stage of the story is rescue.  On the verge of dying and dissolving as foam, the daughters of the air rescue the mermaid.  “A mermaid has not an immortal soul, nor can she obtain one unless she wins the love of a human being. On the power of another hangs her eternal destiny. But the daughters of the air, although they do not possess an immortal soul, can, by their good deeds, procure one for themselves. We fly to warm countries, and cool the sultry air that destroys mankind with the pestilence. We carry the perfume of the flowers to spread health and restoration. After we have striven for three hundred years to all the good in our power, we receive an immortal soul and take part in the happiness of mankind. You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your whole heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds; and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul…Unseen we can enter the houses of men, where there are children, and for every day on which we find a good child, who is the joy of his parents and deserves their love, our time of probation is shortened. The child does not know, when we fly through the room, that we smile with joy at his good conduct, for we can count one year less of our three hundred years. But when we see a naughty or a wicked child, we shed tears of sorrow, and for every tear a day is added to our time of trial!”

 

The story explicitly states that Ariel’s entire destiny had always been in the power of another-singular.  However, the daughters of the air, while having their own agency, are far from independent.  Only by living for others, for giving her whole heart to promote their health, and by finding good children rather than bad can the strong-spoken woman be redeemed.  She must give up her own convictions and become a servant, subjected to sorrow for indulging in emotions like tears, and tied explicitly to the welfare of children.  Lara’s fate parallels this: she may live hidden in the woods where her only outlet and power lies in her children who may guard homes and family life, but cannot speak.  This story invites women to live solely for their children, for their homes, to exist only as a caregiver for others.  To attempt to help themselves would send Lara and Ariel both to death.

 

Yet, the woman in this story is speaking to us.  Above all, this is the story about a woman who is a survivor.  Muted since ancient Greece and deprived of her tongue again by Hans Christian Anderson, Lara is a goddess who persists with her message no matter what.  By illustrating what can happen when the world of water is disparaged and people refuse to listen to their emotions, their intuition, and their attraction to eternal cycles, this story urges everyone to value that side of them.  So often in this world we are cutting out the tongue of our own inner mermaids and naiads-refusing to care for our emotional side, and ignoring our intuitions.  We admonish ourselves to give ourselves over to others rather than retain our own individual voices.  We endure pain like knives piercing us with every step because we think it’s our duty to do things for the sake of others, even when they don’t notice.  Lara’s story is here, surviving through Ariel’s tales, to remind us of the importance of having a voice.  To remind us that deep emotions and intuitive desires can lead us where we need to go, that we should never be fully separated from them.  To remind us to listen to that watery part of ourselves that knows how to imagine new things and follow our dreams.  Forget about children’s behavior, this is a goddess who feels a little less sorrow every time we let our inner mermaids out and listen to our watery side.  This is one of those rare times when Disney got something true: this whole story is about that voice.  Without it Ariel is a shadow, dependent on her friends for help.  With it, she is a princess and rescuer who can obtain anything she wants.

 

There’s a reason everyone who sees “The Little Mermaid” decides to dress up as the mermaid, not the human Ariel-they know what this woman’s voice is really saying: allow yourself the freedom to swim, to imagine, to feel, to sing…and to speak.

 

 

 

Functioning Through Crisis Bindrune

This bindrune is to help people function normally and not drop their everyday lives or everyday tasks, even when they are going through a very intense time or suffering a kind of crisis.  It is therefore a temporary bindrune, but I have found it to be an effective and powerful one.

crisis bindrune

Ior: This rune of boundaries helps to hold the emotions or thoughts that are too intense inside, to embrace them in its circle so there will be a space, however small, outside of those thoughts where you will be able to move and act.  It will not help those who wish to avoid these deep things forever, but it will hold them back when you need to do things normally or simply require a break.

 

Stan: This rune helps to ground you in the moment, so that no matter what’s in the big picture, you will still have focus and time for what is right in front of you.  Additionally, by centering you and strengthening your foundations this rune will help maintain your overall strength and confidence in your ability to outlast whatever is wrong.

 

Othala: This rune pushes you to continue acting like yourself, in spite of any issues.  It tells you just exactly what you are capable of and reminds you that not everything is something  that you need to deal with.  Othala draws clear lines between what is yours to do now and what is not, making it easier to shed unnecessary burdens and concentrate on functioning.  Moreover, its lines create a secure space for you to work from, separating external energies or problems from piling onto your work and empowering you to take care of yourself and your things first.

 

Isa: This rune helps to stem the tide of a crisis by freezing peripheral, unneeded fears and problems that arise from it for you, leaving you free to delve down into the deepest places and deal with the core of the issue first.  In the moment, it helps you to step away from deep feelings and tend to immediate issues  for a time.

 

Tyr: This rune helps to keep you moving through life, to keep walking down your path even when you feel like there’s not one there or you’re not sure you can walk anymore.  This rune pushes you to continue to tend to the normal functions of life that need attention and reminds you that there will be a time later when you’ll want to find yourself upright so it’s good to remember how that feels every so often, even if you can’t stay up all the time.

 

Wunjo: Wunjo helps to herd sensations, allowing us to swing into joy for a little bit even when we’re overwhelmed with misery.  In this bindrune she helps us live normally for a moment by giving us back our full range of emotion rather than staying trapped in overriding ones we haven’t gotten through yet.

 

Laguz: The water rune helps our minds and energies flow forward, to the present task that needs doing, and to the future where things must have been done.  In order to function properly we need a decent amount of focus and thought to be untangled from deeper issues and clear for positive use.  Laguz sends us those energies when we need them and allows us to rejuvenate and rest in those newer present and forward-looking thoughts, so long as we don’t try to use those energies to avoid ever going back into deeper problems that need dealing with.

 

 

I hope this is helpful during the turbulent times of Saturn in Retrograde.

Tarot Deal Meditation Poem 2

When shuffling and dealing the tarot cards for myself I often find that I’m composing a poem in my head.  I find it a very grounding exercise and a soothing invitation to meditation and intuition:

 

One for the water that draws me here.

One for the earth that I hold dear.

One for the fires that refine fear.

One for the air whose winds must steer.

 

 

New Year Snake Affirmations

As we enter the Year of the Snake…

 

-Snakes undulate.

They never move in straight lines.  Snakes are constantly shifting, forever changing their direction and taking in both sides, and it does not hinder them from swiftly reaching their endpoint.  Hence, even if it feels like I am constantly changing course, readjusting decisions, and discovering things I thought were side items not related to my main goals, it does not mean I have lost my path.  It means I am flexible, that I have the capacity to evolve, and that I am seeing a wider picture.  Most importantly, it does not mean that I will reach my endpoint any slower, just that I can reach it richer.

-Snakes connect.

Their bodies press against the ground they slither over, the item they coil around, into the air when they rise.  It does not have a specific body part like feet to take on the job of connecting it to the outside world most of the time, snakes feel that connection with their entire body.  This year would be a good time to feed connections, to grow in mindfulness, and to welcome intense feelings.

-Snakes warn.

Whether it’s rattling, hissing, or spreading their hoods, snakes signal when they are about to attack.  Even when under direct threat, they take a moment to express themselves and to give this respect to others.  Listen for that space of opportunity to retreat from negative situations and take a moment for expression when needed.

-Snakes coil.

Snakes can see and feel all sides of something through their ability to encircle it.  Many snakes react to problems by literally embracing them, wrapping them up until that issue has no space to cause problems, irrational thoughts, fears, or pretend that it’s something bigger than what it really is.  At that moment, the problem can be killed.  Don’t run from problems, be strong enough to just coil.

-Snakes shed.

Snakes shed their skin and leave the one that didn’t fit properly behind.  If something doesn’t fit into your life right now, it doesn’t mean it was wrong to include it, or it’s a sign of failure, or that you need hold on.  It can be shed.

-Snakes poison.

Snake venom carries a lot of power.  Enough power to cross the greatest boundary of all: between life and death.  If used correctly, this power inside can propel past any boundary line, even if it seems so surmountable that to cross it would seem like an entirely different life.  It might be scarier than poison, but boundaries are crossable.  It’s the Year of the Snake.

 

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!

Fulla’s shadow: Rapunzel

Lately I’ve felt drawn to contemplate Fulla.  (“Fulla, whose name means ‘Fullness,” “Bounty” or “Plenty.” Fulla is most often described as a handmaiden, possibly sister of the Goddess Frigga. According to the Edda, as Frigga’s Handmaiden, Fulla is entrusted with carrying her casket, looking after Her shoes, and being privy to Her secrets.Fulla might have been viewed as a Goddess of abundance, wealth, prosperity, harvest, and maybe even household management.the gold band Fulla wears round her forehead symbolizes nobility and Her unbound hair indicates Her unmarried status. (Karlsdottir, p. 133). She also speculates that like Sif, Fulla’s long and flowing hair can be viewed as being symbolic of the ripening grain, which would tie nicely into Her role as Habondia, Goddess of the earth’s bounty.”  From: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2010/11/decembers-deity-of-the-month-fulla-keeper-of-friggas-treasures.html)

 

The more I think about this quiet goddess, the more she seems to be the matriarchal, powerful version of Rapunzel, before patriarchy decided she needed a prince to save her:

-Firstly, both ladies are recognizable by their long, flowing hair.  This is not as superficial as it might sound as in both cases this hair is a link to the earth, to welcome (through bringing people inside the tower or through working together to bring in the harvest and/or sharing the plenty you have), and to abundant growth.   The difference is that Fulla’s abundance feels free and natural, and belongs wholly to herself, whereas Rapunzel is depicted as needing her plentiful hair for protection and escape, as a conduit to external power.  The symbol’s basically the same, the difference is that one lady is powerful and the other is victimized.

 

-Secondly, both Fulla and Rapunzel are linked to the earth-Fulla through portraying wheat and nature’s bounty, and Rapunzel through her mother’s need for rampion plants.  Even in this backstory, Fulla brings out the positive and best in nature, symbolizing control and Rapunzel’s life is worsened and controlled by her link to nature.  Yet, both ladies symbolize the fruits of a harvest, their beauty reflects the generous and good parts of nature, and they remind us that all life should be connected to the earth.  One lady is simply denied her authority and agency in portraying this legacy.

 

-Thirdly, Fulla’s duties center around the space and belongings of her sister Frigga.  Her duties to guard Frigga’s casket and slippers would dictate that Fulla spend much of her time in Frigga’s apartments.  This echoes the relationship of Rapunzel and the witch: she must stay inside a space belonging to the more powerful woman, who has at least an adopted family kinship with the long-haired maiden.  Once again, the similarities are striking but the role of power is completely switched.  Fulla’s position as right-hand lady to Frigga granted her great power and knowledge.  Fulla’s ability to keep secrets and be trusted with important messages is a testament to the wealth of reliance and ability attributed to this goddess.  Most importantly, Fulla keeps by her sister’s things in order to protect them, to support her sister in her power and therefore claim recognition for being partly the source of the abilities of the mistress of Asgard.  It is Fulla in the proactive role, using her agency, and creating even the power technically outside of her and belonging to her sister.

Rapunzel, on the other hand, is shown to be kept within the witch’s confines for her own protection, rather than in order to protect her tower.  Even the versions that show the witch as gaining power from Rapunzel in some form deny Rapunzel agency or power in that dynamic.  So long as the witch is there, Rapunzel cannot have power-she needs to overthrow this other woman.  In Asgard, women knew how to work together to share and build power.  Rapunzel’s story undermines this by denying non-absolute views of authority-it must be oppressor and oppressed.  Moreover, the ability of the maiden to offer protection and plenty is completely reversed.  Rapunzel’s tower has become a symbol of denial, rather than a bastion symbolizing her strength and guarding ability.

 

-Fourthly and most basically, Fulla the maiden goddess owns her own golden band of nobility.  She needs no prince to ennoble or enrich her, just as she needs no prince to rescue or act for her.  Just because this archetype has been carried off and subjected to male dominance does not mean we need to forget her calm power, reassuring protection, or empowering support.

All hail Fulla.