The Draw Before the Storm

Mostly when I speak to any of my divination tools I have a general ask of “What do you want me to know today?”

It’s a great go-to – more so for the Tarot draws than a rune cast. Runes are like having a conversation with pictures. Which, as the runes are simple drawings themselves, makes sense. One of the reasons it’s difficult for me to do a single-rune draw daily is because this doesn’t work:

Me: “What do you want me to know today?”
Runes: Apple!

And no, it’s not that simplistic, but that’s how it feels.

Now, runes, just like with tarot cards, are something where I could say “Look, I don’t understand, please clarify” and draw another rune. But as I’ve mentioned in my Meeting the Tools posts – rune casting feels like a full and proper conversation to me. So while sometimes I fall back on the “I’m sorry I’m not sure what to ask but I would appreciate whatever guidance you can provide.” Usually I manage to have a pointed question in mind.

It makes it a lot easier to distinguish the Apples and Oranges.

I’m not starting daily posts until the 1st, but I did want to share the rune cast I had with my Anglo-Saxon set a couple days back and walk through the process I tend to go through with runes.

Casting the runes can take me a good long while. Often times I’ll end up with my hand in the bag, running the warm slips of wood over my fingers, eyes closed, mind afloat. When it comes to the Elder Futhark I can go from setting out three runes in a row, to laying out a tarot spread, to laying out a spread I designed specifically for the mat I tend to cast the runes on.

I’ll meditate/relax until I get that gut feeling of how I should react.

The Anglo-saxon runes were adamant about being cast. I had visions of basically throwing them against the wall OVER the casting mat. It’s… decidedly more violent and kinetic than I was ready to be with my runes, so the compromise was setting my casting mat on the floor at my feet and upending the bag over it.

At that point there’s a little more gut-work involved. What’s in bounds? What’s out of bounds? Is there a rune looking back at you that doesn’t feel right? I’m a logic person at heart, I like to know precisely what to do in a given situation – I work with code and computers for my day job. Everything has a process and is laid out just so. Runes don’t provide me that luxury. I have to trust myself. I have to trust the Source.

I have to look at the Apple and see the life within it. The seeds, the fertility, the knowledge, the roles played by it in ritual and eventually Christianity. I have to pay attention.

After the chaos of upending the bag (with an alarming number still staying INSIDE of it), I set about cleaning up the chaos. I removed the runes fully on the border or beyond it, lingered over a few maybe it’s inbounds, maybe it’s not pieces. Drew hard lines in my mind and went from there. Then I turned the runes over, set them so they were still sitting as they had fell, but easily viewable and snapped a picture with my phone.

I don’t have any meanings memorized yet, and I don’t like to ignore my gods to suss out rune meanings in the middle of ritual. I’m a solitary druid, so I have the luxury of doing things to the beat of my own heart. I give my thanks – because whatever the message, I’m grateful for their time and help.

My statement before casting the runes was that there were a few things I was unwavering on, but I wanted to know for sure that I had the blessing and the backing of My People™ to really step into this Seer role. I wanted to be SURE that there was support there – I don’t want to walk this path and inadvertently lead people astray, so it was do or die time. (A little unfair to put such weight on a brand new set of runes, but it felt right.)

Now, let’s start breaking things down:


Overall there’s a distinct divide happening here. 3 runes in the branches (Ac, Aesc, Ing), 4 in the roots (Nyd, Os and Daeg below with Ur over it a bit), and one rune juuuust outside the “roots” area (ior).

My personalized spread (used so far only with the Elder Futhark) looks like this:

personal spread

Light blue in the roots are supporting the darker blue rune above (just below the wand) – these are the foundational runes in this particular spread. The stuff that’s already there. The things that I’m either letting drag me down or helping to keep me steady. The lavender color over the wand is the heart of the tree – this is where I see myself. This is where I sit when I go see my willow in my trance grove. If I doing this for someone else, this is where they’d sit. Supported by the roots and trunk.

Above is the stuff that lays out ahead. Green is the core of the message (like dark blue is the core below), and the yellow supports that rune – either driving a point home, or clarifying meaning.

Regardless of how many or how few runes I place when I do this, the result is still Querent in the middle, and support/future in the roots/branches. When I cast the Anglo-Saxon runes they seemed to take this into account. My seat is clear of runes (if there was one in near it, then I’d assume it was meant for me to reflect on personally, and less part of the overall message), and there’s a distinct divide between roots and branches.

First thing’s first, looking into the meanings of the runes individually – you need to know the words being used. After that we’ll construct “sentences” and finally our “paragraph” – and that’s the message as a whole. (Check out my previously mentioned friend’s post on Anglo-Saxon rune meanings for more material if you want it here.)

Word for word:
– Oak – Adequate resources, a potential challenge. – Oak is a good strong wood for ships, and the acorns provide food for livestock. It’s hardy and powerful, but keep in mind strong oak ships went out into the dangerous ocean.

Aesc – Ash – Stability, reliability, Defense, stubbornness, strength against odds – another strong tree, durable and good for weapon making. The best defense often times is a good offense.

Ing – Ing Frea – Ancestor Worship, Fertility, Divine Connection – Ing was the progenitor of kings, and as such one of the Mighty Ancestors. He’s also a god of fertility with no qualms about walking among mortals.

Nyd – Need – Hardship, Loss, Difficulty, Strife, Struggle, etc. – Nyd is the alarm bells in the morning. It’s the pulse of the lighthouse in the not-a-lot-of-distance. It’s the “For whatever reasons you didn’t see this coming already so we’re going to brain you with the alarm bell and hope you pay attention” rune.

Os – Woden – Language, Wit, Cunning, Communication, Inspiration, Guidance, Wisdom. I can’t shake feelings of Odin with this rune, malleable and wise, bendy and willing/able to learn And teach. But at the same time, keep your guard up, lest that Cunning Guidance pops you one in the mouth.

Daeg – Day – Blessings, Good Fortune, Hope, Happiness – The breaking of a new day is always shown as a good thing. We survived the night! New light’s fortune! Yay sun! Only a negative if you’re a vampire, and even then if I was doing a rune reading for a vampire I think we’d go with figurative sun vs literal.

Ur – Aurochs – Strength, savagery, bravery, courage, fortitude – “Strong like animal!” is the first thing that pops into my mind with this rune. Yeah, it’s a silly though, but the core of the rune is in those three words. A great deal of physical strength and courage/fortitude resides in this rune.

Ior – Beaver or Eel – Adaptability, Flexibility – my brain combines the two animals that this rune could represent and keeps leaning heavily on Otter. Sleek, quick and comfortable defending itself solo or in a pack. However you look at it, ior is all about Adaptation and the flexibility that often comes hand in hand with it.

Initial Thought: Very positive! Lots of grounded, strong, protective runes in this – and a shout out from Odin who went and dragged the runes into existence in the first place.

I’m drawn to reading this spread top to bottom, which isn’t always the case, but let’s roll with it.

I Sentence You:
Ac, Aesc and Ing – Wow. Not only do I have plenty of stock, but I’ve got protection and companionship to go along with it. I might not be equipped to the nines, but I’ve got enough to more than make due. The armor’s there, the tried and tested weapons are provided, My People™ have my back. I can put my feet to the task with confidence – I’m not alone in this journey, and there’s a feeling that that companionship isn’t just from My People™. It’s from friends, family, etc.

Nyd, Os, Daeg and Ur – The strength and fortitude of Ur seems to be aiding the blessings and good fortune of Daeg. Almost like a hand on the shoulder for reassurance. Woden comes with a strange sense of being lifted up onto Odin’s shoulders. This is my support, this is where I’m stepping off from. Nyd walks with us because there’s hardship and loss in this past – days can be a terrible struggle. Mental health and brain weasels battle against the reassurances of friends and family. To forget that those exist is dangerous. Nyd is the reminder that – for me at least – the lighthouse never really ever is far enough away to be reassuring. The storm’s a half step too strong, and the light’s a little too close. But the boat is strong, and the dawn has broken – the sun’s rays already diminishing the storm.

Ior – I consider myself a very adaptable person. I have to keep it in check, honestly, because sometimes I adapt so well to other people that I lose who I am trying to fit. In this case, the rune’s showing up kind of off to the side, so it’s a primary push in the reading.

You’re not alone, and this is a path that is one you should tread. No path – however well you prepare or are protected – is going to be without concern or issue. Don’t be afraid to rely on the things that willingly protect and guide you. Communicate clearly, trust your gut, don’t listen to the brain weasels (but acknowledge they will always be there), and remember to be flexible with yourself.

So, in short (1800 words later) Yes, Seer is a thing I am capable of doing and I have support in doing so. Don’t get cocky and you’ll be fine.


4 thoughts on “The Draw Before the Storm

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