Yule and the Shadow

Winter months can put us under observation by our consciousness. Spills of depression, slow creativity, cold, and indifferent feelings accompany the longer nights. Now is an excellent time to look to nature, challenge your creative endeavors, and meditate in darkness. 

Stillness, a winter attribute, has never been a restful concept. Usually the precursor to a horror film scene, stillness condenses all the subtleties of the present. Sitting in the now can be like watching a horror scene clip on repeat without a conclusion. Resting with your fears may not be comfortable, but furthering self reflection and “unpacking” can be a process that fits with the winter solstice. 

Here are five (plus a bonus) directional steps I took to find peace until Yule. 

  • Nature– The kids and I walked into the forest and collected fallen brush, pine cones, and sticks to bring home. We cut oranges with their points out and pierced them with whole cloves. The oranges we dehydrated for 4 hrs at 200F. We twined, tied, and woven, the orange slices with pine cones, rosemary, thyme, sage, and cinnamon sticks into a garland and a wreath with a stone and shell decor. We found the most beautiful Stropharia Ambigua on our walk, and Malakai pointed and “oohed.” We didn’t have a camera, so we can’t share it with you. It is a yellowish-white mushroom with a curtain of lace around its top. 
  • Candle Lighting– It’s essential for us to find closure for the people we lost during the year. Winter is a time for deep longing and mourning for those who have passed. Lighting a candle and saying words to those on the other side can help heal open wounds and quiet, frequently visiting thoughts. The luminaria, “little lantern,” is historically a Spanish tradition of decorated paper bags with a candle, while Laternelaufen is a German tradition of walking with lanterns. However you want to partake in lighting candles within your traditions, the candle continues to symbolize spirit. 
  • Shadow Work– “Unpacking” can be a process, but reflecting on your worst moments can lead to your best ones. Shadow work isn’t about blaming yourself but becoming self-aware by exploring the parts of “you” that are usually avoided. Getting a journal to conduct your reflections will help anchor your thoughts. Since the beginning of December, I’ve been using these prompts from Eight Benefits of Shadow Work and how to use it in your Journey to further explore my actions, reactions, and thoughts.
  • Planting seeds for spring– This action can symbolize hope, new beginnings, joy, and sacred connection. My daughter and I planted Passionflower, Zinnia, Morning Glory, and Delphinium in little starter pots inside a warm room by the window. I will tell you if they sprout, it’s cold. 
  • Tree cutting– having a live tree in your home can feel like murder, but the “Christmas” tree tradition is Germanic, Nordic, and pagan. Decorating the tree with objects symbolizes giving light into the new year. This year we were gifted with a permit to cut down a tree. We drove into the snow and found a perfect tree that I took down with a saw. Our friend’s husband helped me get the tree down the mountain and onto the car. Our tree is beautiful, and I enjoyed getting a real tree, even if it was just for this year. 
  • Card Making– Each card marks a reflection on your present period and the current period of the receiver. Well wishes into the new year, and sincere thoughts will guide your helpers, friends, and family. A card with a simple message can convey appreciation and love. 

Giving to others and participating in self-care will help you get through these winter months and bring light into your future. This world is a beautiful place if we can work with the darkness. I hope you enjoy Yule tomorrow the 21st, I know I will be with some spiked hot cider and friends. Blessings.

Tarot Card Writing Prompt:

Photo by Irina Demyanovskikh

Snapshot. Choose a sing card and write a one-page story that explains or describes what’s happening. Try to add drama. Be imaginative.

Death

A woman of wings, feathers, and beastly qualities emerges from the embers. She held a half-moon metallic staff with a burning red ember at its center. She hovered forward. The darkness of the underworld is colder, the stillness denser, and the vastness hollower than she had ever experienced on earth. The creatures crawled toward her in fear, pulled by power. They bowed and trembled, pushing through the energy to graze her presence. She steps up on the night crawlers and lost souls as they travel into a staircase, throwing themselves over each other as she ascends out of the darkness until a blue light illuminates Pluto’s gate.

“Come with me,” she spoke to the doomed. “You deserve closure.”

Eris opened the gates of hell for all the creatures to return to earth. She flipped the hourglass and froze the stone doors open until the end of Samhain. “May chaos bring peace and understanding.”

The man on the moon sends Pegasus down from the cosmos and invites Eris for tea, and she gladfully accepts.

“A shift,” A strong man with skin the color of bark and the face of a sacred ibis spoke.

“Yes, I have emerged,” Eris lit an herbal sacrament and inhaled, and she found a suitable stone as if an altar to make herself comfortable on. 

“To make changes, “Eris spoke arrogantly.

The eternal being Yah’s eye squinted. “I make the changes.”

“I have basked in the light of your earthly realm presence and experienced your ‘changes,’ “she spoke unhindered.

“Well, please… indulge me on your human experience.”

“I was not needed,” she flicked the joint, and plants began to grow from its ashes. Yah quickly stomped them out.

“And what makes you think you are needed now?” Yah said dryly and annoyed.

“I thought you invited me for tea?” Eris responded. She felt no need to reveal her skin or to batter her eyes.

Yah snapped his fingers, and the creatures of the moon, blue earth-dwelling characters, set up a table and porcelain arrangement along with silver utensils.

“What are you doing on earth?”

“Creating chaos. There’s a need for that.” Eris said, making up her tea the way she liked it- black.

Abundant Self-Love Spell

Practicing paganism.

Photo by Yan Krukov

Burn four candles in each direction.

In meditation, say to yourself,

What makes you feel most alive?

I want to ask you a few questions, and while doing so, I will give you my answers as an example.

First, sit and take a deep breath.

Now…

What makes you happy?

            (ex. I am happy being with my tribe

            when I am showing love,

            and when I am being productive.)

Now…

What really makes you happy?

            (ex. I am really happy when I am surrounded in nature. When I am in ceremony. When people around me are getting along. Also, being in trance.)

What change would you like to see in the world?

            (ex. I would like to see people live with less anxiety.)

            Take a deep breath, hold, hold, and breath out. Repeat those three times.

What do you want?

            (ex. I want to be separated from the stress and needs of society. I want to be with my loved ones living self sustainably.)

What does your deeper self-desire?

            (ex. I desire to draw inspiration from my loved ones, creating deep, passionate art while living in “flow.”)

            (ex2. My deeper self-desire to apply my education to feed, cloth, and provide for my tribe while spending as much time with them meanwhile being heard and appreciated.)

What puts you in a trance like state?

            (ex. Reading puts me in a trance like state. Dancing, music, sex, and movement put me in a trance like state. Massage and touch can get me in a trance like state. Art, poi, yoga and sitting in meditation help me fall into a trance like state. Being in the middle of the desert under the stars, a fire these things contribute to a trance like state.)

            What are you afraid of?

            (ex. I’m afraid of how my words and actions hurt myself and others. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid I’m not good enough.)

            What are you chasing but not achieving?

            (ex. I am chasing higher education, luxuries, and travel.)

            Who are you?

            (ex. I am a woman, living in America with a loving tribe. I love nature, animals and kids. I am a writer and an artist)

            Where do you want?

            (ex. I aspire to be a published artist and to work for animation. I want to spend my life traveling and living self-sustainably. To have an abundance of knowledge.)

            How are you going to get there?

            (I’m budgeting my money. I’m giving 100% at work and I work whenever I can. I have a savings. I am practicing my art. I am committing to a higher education, when I can afford it. )

            Now sit in meditation and allow yourself to transcend into your future self. Letting your passion and the motions fall into your skin and settle within you. You have the ability to become the person you desire to be. You do not give up. You see the adventure within.

Thank you for reading my Waxing Gibbous moon meditation. Coming soon, I will be interviewing Adam Schluter CEO of Hello, From a Stranger. A man full of the stories of strangers spreading positivity, acceptance and truth.

Little Lost Forest Deviation Runes

Guide to using Deviation Runes

Deviation runes are said to have come before time from the center of the cosmos. They were used by Norse and Germanic civilization. The original 18 letter alphabet is told to have been a gift from Odin after he went through nine obstacles that cost him a lot of pain and distress. There are many different tales of how he sacrificed himself by hanging himself and being reborn a higher being. Each rune has a spiritual meaning and was used for writing language as well as mystic purposes. Later this set would become a 23 letter set with an added destiny card.

Choose a set of runes and speak clearly to you. Tad lock them rather in blood or saliva mixed with water and paint and draw the symbol on the rune and then on your forehead. Meditate with the rune and its meaning. Say out loud a spell that works to your liking similar too “I do this as an offering to create a link so that this rune can speak its truth to me.”  Or “I name you _”runes name”, I breathe life into your meaning. To you this name I fasten. As I will it, it shall be.” or “Mote it be.” Finish by breathing toward it. (Bewitched Bemused, You Tube.)

You may use the runes in multiple ways. Use the symbol in your everyday routine either in charm bags, under your pillow, in a window seal or shrine to amplify its energy and purpose. Clear the stones energy before each use either with incense, shaking the bag or with a crystal. 

You can use the deviation runes to ask as single question by pulling a rune. If more information is needed pull out another and place in a row from left to right discarding any runes that are showing a blank face. You can pull three stones for past, present, and future. Again, if more information is needed you can draw more runes for clarification. When casting the bag of stones, empty the bag onto a surface and remove any backward facing runes. Read the runes, taking special notes of any clusters. I prefer to shape them as a circle as you can see I have done in my last blog post.

We are selling sets of runes on the Etsy Little Lost Forest store made from epoxy resin. We can customize front and back colors, and have options to add gold flakes or fine glitter.

Deviation Meanings

The runes are in the order as displayed in this photo.

1. Kenaz Torch/ Luck/ Purging Fire/ Controlled Energy/ Gift for Skill/ Knowledge/ Warmth/ Caregiving/ Intellectual

Enlightenment/ Transformation/ Purification/ Clarity of Mind/ Stagma/ Creative Work

2. Ansuz Odin/ Wisdom/ Ancestor/ the God

Wisdom/ Healing Power/ Occult Power/ Language/ Communication

3. Hagalaz Hail Stones/ Disruption/ The Unanticipated/ Damaging/ Rebirth/ Change/ Protection Thwarted

4. Wunjo Joy/ Comfort/ Blessings/ Wisdom/ Good Reputation/ Friendship/ Happiness/ Success/ Peace

6. Tiwaz War God/ Victory/ Order/ Success/ Justice/ Legal Matters/ Fight/ Will/ Competition

5. Mannaz Evolution of Individual/ Female/ Self Perfected/ Social Standing / Self-improvement/ Communication/

Meditate/ Memory/ Intelligence/ Human Condition

7. Laguz Lake/ Healing/ Life Energy/ Flow/ Water/ Endless/ Terrifying/ Wild/ Dangerous/ Road to Adventure/

Transition/ Aid Intuition/ Influence/ Growth

8. Eihwaz Yew Tree/ Saftey/ Channeling/ Otherworld Communication/ Dynamic and Ongoing/ Protection/ Strength/

Paradox

9. Ingwaz Fertility/ Earth God/ Invoking/ Completion/ Grounding/ Progression/ Life Cycle/ Masculine (Barring fruit)/

Magical

10. Nauthiz Constraint/ a Need/ Defense/ Self Control/ Restriction/ Destress/ Limitations

11. Jera Year/ Sucess/ Harvest/ Year’s Cycle/ Hardwork/ Cause and Effect

12. Thurisaz Thorn/ Protection/ Overcome Resistance/ Weapon/ Barrier/ Rage/ Impulsive/ Losing Control/ Willpower

13. Sowilo Self/ Sun Wheel/ Wholeness/ Vital Energies/ Centering/ Higher-self/ Nourishing/ Clarification/ Illumination/

Journey over Water/ Strength/ Life Force/ Arrogance/ Cruelty 

14. Othala Prosperity/ Possession/ Ancestral Power/ Property/ Estate/ Enheritance/ Sacrafice/ Hardwork/ Skill/ Effort/

Family/ Environment/ Status/ Invoking Ancestors

 15. Berkanu Earth Mother/ Love/ Goddess/ Fertility/ New Endeavour/ Need for Neutering/ Invoking/ Emotional

Stability/ New Starts

16. Gebo Marriage/ Union/ Power Given and Received/ Gift/ Generosity/ Hospitality/ Equal Exchange/ Partnership/

Agreement

18. Isa Ice/ Standstill/ Delaying Defense/ Rest Period/ Stop Slander/ Relaxation/ Calm/ Coldness/ Unexpressed

17. Perthro Fate/ Game Piece/ Future/ Evolving Karma/ Hidden Forces/ Take Risks/ Lighten Up/ Sudden Luck/

Discover Secrets/ Emotions/ Meditation/ Rest

18. Ehwaz Horse/ Trust/ Motion/ Safe Journey/ Adjustments/ Astral Travel/ Mobility/ Prosperity/ Aristocracy/ Working

Together/ Cooperation/ Psychic Journey

20. Algiz Moose/ Friendship/ Protection/ Shielding/ Sharp Edges/ The Hunt/ Protected/ Incompentent

21. Raidho Ride/ Journey/ Quest/ Defense/ Decisions/ Taking Control/ Team Organization

22. Fehu Cattle/ Weatlh/ Good Fortune

Prosperity/ Power/ Creative Energy/ Love/ Growth

23. Dagaz Home/ Breakthrough/ Twilight/ Between Two Worlds/ Invisibility/ Light and Strength of Sun/ The

Awakening/ Enlightenment/ Hope/ Happiness/ Collective Consciousness/ Peak 

24. Uruz Strength/ Physical Health/ Vitality/ Strength/ Courage/ Healing/ Untamed/ Warrior Spirit/ Wild Natural

Energy 

25. Blank Destiny

References

  1. Bewitched Bemused, Aug 26,2020, Youtube, “Into the Runes: How to Charge them and Use them for Deviation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFoD4Zk9mE&list=PL2q7eRR0LSt-D7wQ8pdRdMwmtJa86mVWK&index=1&t=1s

How I Foreshadowed my Pregnancy with Deviation Runes

Last November, I went on a date that ended in disaster because the girl’s husband I was seeing was a communist/ Christian who deemed me a trump supporter. But, through all the chaos, she introduced me to deviation runes that foretold my pregnancy. This girl is still on my mind ten months later and maybe what I have left from our encounter is a new fascination with runes.

This unnamed woman and I had gone out a few times before. This time we wanted to include her husband to develop a relationship within the boundaries of their marriage. Unfortunately, I don’t fit in most people’s boundaries, even when I try to respect those lines. Regardless, my friend was visiting from San Diego, and after a few drinks at the bar, we decided to go to their apartment.

For what it was, things started okay. The woman I was seeing showed me her home, and we sat in the living room and talked about her and her husbands lives. He showed me his communist bible, and she showed me her deviation runes. I was far more interested in the runes (maybe this is where I went wrong.) I had never used them before.

She told me a little about them; an ancient Germanic language scripted on stones that Vikings and later Europeans would use for future telling. A set of 24 ruins, this set of small stones are carved and inlaid in gold. I mixed them up in a small tote bag and poured them onto the carpet. She directed me to remove all the runes that were facing upside down. I took the remainders and placed them in a circle, softly pushing them to the closest position. In the end, it looked like this.

I asked the runes what my future would hold. The centerpiece being a foundation rune; Tehraz meaning victory. My story would tell of new beginnings possibly driven by impulsive behavior. Starting from the one o’clock position, I began to read my tale. Feliu, wealth, the first symbol of the set and in my circle. I would interrupt this stone as Love, my meaning of wealth and something I was focused on improving at the time. Rather it be with myself or my family. The second stone is Jers, the rune that means years, cycles, and success. I found myself starting a new practice in San Diego, where I connected with my ancestors in a monthly pagan ceremony that would quickly lead me to moving to Humboldt county.

Isa, correlates to a standstill, and after our move, I reflect on a time when things were so content that it drove me to find excitement- something new. With my partner’s consent, I began to look on Okcupid for a female companion—someone to enjoy my free time with. Mannaz, the following stone revealed a female in my life, the one that would give me these stones I had used to do this reading. When I met her, a fire lit within my heart. She got along with my husband and daughter, and we were able to get away for dinners and walks on the strand. I enjoyed her company so much; her dialect would echo in my mind still to this day.

The runes would predict events that would happen as quickly as that same night, for by the end of the evening, her husband would show distrust in me and what I would perceive as jealousy. The rune Gebo, marriage, is paired with Nauthiz, constraint. I want to say that we live in a world where polyamory is as easy as its imagined. When I read this in the stones, I foresaw trouble in my relationship with the woman, and later on, I would do a tarot reading for her that also foreshadowed trouble. Her husband wasn’t open to my point of view and had no intention of discussing any side besides his own. The night ended in a hot debate that resulted in him asking me to leave.

We could have ended there, but we didn’t. We continued to see each other, and maybe that’s where I went wrong. I didn’t confront her husband but ignored him. The next rune stone is Dagaz, meaning home, breakthrough, and twilight. So much was happening at the time; I was graduating from my bachelor’s program, my husband and I were getting along, and he was supportive of my relationship with my lady friend. His family came to visit, and we were settling into our new home nicely. I was able to ignore the turmoil with her partner and was back to being content and sharing my life with this woman. The next rune is Ingwaz, Fertility. I didn’t know it at the time of this reading, but I would remind her of what the runes had told me a month later when I found out I was pregnant. At first, she thought my partner was trying to separate us by asserting his seed, but I reassured her it was planned, even though I wasn’t sure if I would conceive so quickly. She told me she wanted to work through it. It was a fantastic feeling to know she cared about me so deeply that she would work through such a life-changing event. We shared a romantic night at an Airbnb to celebrate my graduation, but afterward, her husband demanded I apologize to him. When I came over and did so, he did not accept my apology, and I saw no other choice but to break it off.

The last rune is Othala, meaning prosperity but also hard work and family. I was blessed nine months later with a baby boy. Even though the struggle of meeting someone I connected so well with and losing her would take a toll on my heart, the amazement of having a child and a new member of our family filled me with joy. Do I believe in deviation runes? Yes. This reading I did in November was very relevant to my life and forecasted some unknown events. I wish I listened closer and tried harder to keep this lady friend in my life so that we could share the excitement of a newborn and explore witchcraft further together. Perhaps it’s time for another reading. The runes may have something new to reveal.

You can purchase runes at my store or on my Etsy.