Keeping Up Faculties Rune

This rune is intended to prevent and aid with mental deterioration such as forgetfulness, dementia, etc.  It is also useful for strengthening and preventing loss of basic physical faculties such as vision, hearing, and basic energy.  Helps prevents accidents.

mental health

 

This rune includes (in white):

 

Os: This rune calls on the universe’s knowledge of this person’s essence and their place in the world to keep that person within their personality and within awareness of who and what surrounds them.

Stan: To draw the person to their personal cornerstone and keep them their own person when threatened by accident or illness.

Othala: To prevent personality-changing or significant physical-accident energies at bay and keep the person safely aware of themselves and who they are.

Ehwaz: To strengthen and guide the person’s spirit through its obstacles and keep it in touch with allies, real and spiritual.

Berkana: To nurture the person’s strength, spiritual and physical, and help them grow older in harmony with change, but without loss of essence.

Raidho: To enable quick reflexes, quick thinking, and quick protection against anything that would threaten significant deterioration, while still carrying that person safely down the path they are meant to follow.

Algiz: To protect, to prevent, and to lead in the right direction.

Tyr: To lead the person to an aware finish, protect from deterioration, and strengthen all natural abilities.

Eiwaz: To enhance health, keep the person’s strength where it will be of the most use, and keep damaging accidents or illness fluid enough that the person’s essential strength will be able to fight it.

 

This rune has a straight vertical line with no topper, like an antenna, to focus its energies on the person for whom you are making it.  To direct and focus the rune, write the person’s name (in runes or otherwise) across the top.  In my example, these are the yellow runes.

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.

 

 

 

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!

Newness for the New Year

“Newness”

 

Now what’s two has become one,

the tide returns with naught undone-

The past year joins the future now

without a seam or stop, it’s just how

the next year unrolls-beneath your feet,

not before or dazzling, but complete.

 

Feel the opportunities tickling between toes.

Feel the fertile bends that Fates’ time grows.

Every step moves off the path, through only air-

But every footfall rebinds and rebirths life there.

As the days turn, remember fresh, sweet, true:

there’s always a newness in this old world-you.

 

A Tea Song

I had been considering revisiting a Tea Song that I recently wrote, and today is perfect for three reasons:

1. First of December

2. First snowfall here.

3. Goddess Unchi-Ahchi is celebrated today.  She rules over tea, tea sets, and tea hearths, and is honored by enjoying her heat, drinking her drink, and sharing these things along with its uses to aid in meditation and spiritual things with close ones.    http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/goddess-unchi-ahchi/

 

As it is hard to share a drink of tea over the internet, I offer you my song.

 

“Tea Song”

 

The kettle is on,

About to sing its smoke-sweet song.

We’ll pour it in shares,

comforting to our cares,

As the aroma erases what’s wrong.

 

Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.

 

There’s herbs and there’s spice

to make our world nice

As we sip from the magic we’ve steeped.

It’ll flow to our toes,

Curing as it knows,

And the warmth is for us to keep.

 

Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.

 

Crossposted on http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/

River demon poem

I understand that today celebrates the river demons who navigate tumultuous water, encourage waterfalls, and guide with their currents.  Read more here:

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/the-chiu-range-mat/

 

“Those Who Send the Current”

 

Today’s for those “who send the current,”

And call us to the water’s descent,

As inside our heart sends our tide,

Beating with all we have pent up inside.

 

Every so often we need our selves to fall,

To leap over the edge,  down gravity’s hall-

To stop fighting the pull of currents

To let our own limbs take offense-

 

Follow our natural side, dropping all inside

Our direction stays same, just with a cleaner hide-

The river demons carry us with water sent,

If inner rivers follow, we’ll reach the release meant:

 

Our surges, rapids, blood, breath, thought,

Go over the edge.  We are no longer caught.

Where cascade falls with tides well given and spent,

There lie the stones of “those who send the current.”