It’s time. The great wheel has turned. What needs to die, be harvested, right now in your life so that something else can live?
The rune Jera carries the wisdom that is present in the earth at the time of harvest, the wisdom that reminds us that ripening cannot be rushed, nor can it be delayed. The word ripe implies completed growth beyond which the process of decay begins. Current efforts to artificially ripen fruit such as melons and tomatoes with ethylene gas result in food that is tasteless, unsatisfying, and possibly toxic. Have you tried to force something to ripen? Harvest is a time of discernment, of paying attention, to life, to the seasons, to circumstances. Perhaps you have tilled the soil, planted, watered, weeded. Perhaps you are wanting to gather from nature’s bounty. But there are things in life over which you have no control, no matter how much you wish, no matter how positive you are, no matter how much effort you put in or how much worrying you do. Winter never comes early. Spring is never late. These are just expressions we humans use to speak about our personal experience with or memory of how things have been. Jera reminds us that the turning of the wheel is part of a cycle over which we have no control. We all must learn to value both the rest and labor held within the wisdom of the seasons. Threshing is done to separate. Grain is threshed to separate the kernel from the stalk. Both have value. Both are necessary. It takes wisdom to know the difference. What might be the significance of a story in which Loki, who is often called the Trickster, cuts the golden hair of Sif, an earth goddess who was consort to a thunder giant? Was her hair grain? Was it time for it to be harvested? Did Loki play the role of Jera? Was Thor, the storm-god consort of Sif, angry at the turning of the wheel? How could something growing from the earth be replaced with something forged from metal mined by dwarves from the depth of the earth?