It’s a dark, cold night. The fires are lit in the hearth of the mead hall. Straw and reeds are strewn on the floor and dogs wander about looking for scraps of food. The long, heavy benches are drawn up alongside the scarred and worn oak tables. The game board is laid out. You have your pieces and I have mine. We each know the rules. You can sit there and ponder, strategize, calculate and project, even imagine what it is you think I will do, what move I will make, but at some point you must reach in the pouch and gather up the dice and then roll them. You must take action. You must we willing to play the game. And then, only then, will you know what moves to make and then, only then, will you be able to see the unfolding because as you make your moves then I too must make mine and both of us must step into the realm of the unknown and into the game of life. And so we begin.
Pertho is the rune of chance, of birth and beginnings, of something coming forth from the pouch that is the known as well as the unknown. Look at her shape. She’s the woman crouching in childbirth; she’s the pouch that holds the dice that are rolled in the game of life.
The things that are known are the board, the pieces, and the rules. But we can’t just wait for the unknown to be revealed. We must participate in the play.
Spirituality isn’t just about being serious. It’s inseparably linked to our creativity and our sexuality.
The gods want us to play with them, to join them in the long halls, noisy, loud, boisterous, with all the smells and tastes and the sounds and sights of life. They want us to play with them, knowing that there are no guarantees, no assurances of what the roll of the dice will unfold or reveal or how the pieces will be moved.
Our spirituality must be playful and risk-taking. It’s detrimental to our wellbeing to get caught in pious, trite sayings, such as, ‘it must be your karma’, or ‘you must have chosen this thing so you could learn a lesson’, or even worse, 'it was God's will'.
I always wonder why it is that these supposed lessons we have to learn are always about suffering or pain or struggle. Have you ever heard anyone say it must be a lesson you’re supposed to learn when things go really well for you or your life is incredibly wonderful?
Our lives aren’t just a predetermined set of events. No, we play the game of life with the gods and it’s our participation with them and our willingness that determines and changes the outcome over and over again. Yes, there are threads of Wyrd that have been spun and woven before us but we get to spin and weave our own threads into this tapestry creating our own patterns.
For me, this is Pertho. The rune of chance. The rune that reminds me of the Nornir. She sits by the well in the roots of the World Tree. She was there before the gods. She knows what cannot be changed and she knows what can. Even the gods must consult with her prior to handing out decisions or decrees.
I follow Pertho down into the dark, into the earth, into the roots of the tree.
I follow Pertho down to the well, to the waters that hold the ancient wisdom of the runes.
I follow Pertho down to learn what I need to know about my willingness to roll the dice and to take a chance.
It is she who plays with you as you roll the dice with the gods, in the mead hall, on those dark, wintery nights, when the dogs doze and warm themselves in front of the fire.
Are you willing to roll the dice? Are you willing to play?
The gods demand both play and sacrifice.
Let Pertho take you down to the well.
A Rune Casting* For 2015 The Upcoming Year
I wait for nightfall at the Dark Moon closest to Winter Solstice. I cast the wolf-bone runes again and again onto the reindeer pelt, once for each dark moon and once for each full moon in the coming year. I ask for guidance and wisdom.
The rune staves are signatures of powerful forces of nature and life, attuned to the star patterns in the night sky and the energy lines we walk here on earth.
With each casting a story unfolds.
The rune Calc appears a significant number of times in the casting of the Wheel for the coming year 2015. Calc is the sacred container that is emptied, the natural progression from being full. The presence of this rune asks the question: How often have we raised the mead horn, sworn a solemn oath to the gods and then drank all of the contents, forgetting to pour some out, back to the earth to nourish her, back to the ancestors to honor them and back to the World Tree Yggdrasil, to feed her roots?
This is a year where we will have to hold an accounting for how much we have taken and how much we have given back.
We cannot prosper, the earth cannot flourish, life cannot thrive when we consume all for ourselves, forgetting to give back. We are reaping the results of this on many levels.
Calc reminds us of this. It is not about cutting back, or limiting. It’s about having a full cup and sharing. The gesture of drinking, honoring and pouring out takes place in the present moment, and in your present location. Not sending the cup off to places you've never been and to people you don’t know, expecting someone else to pour it out. Calc is about drinking and pouring out right where you are standing, where you live, in your community, in your city, in your home.
The Yr rune, the bow, carries the message of focus, taking aim and release, remembering that sometimes we must pull back in order to go forward.
Pertho also carries a strong presence, a rune of great uncertainty which reminds us we have freedom to make choices and at the same time are restricted and affected by circumstances, events and energies outside ourselves.
There is much more to be gleaned from this casting. One powerful way to experience it is to schedule an appointment for your own personal casting for the year and explore how your energies are woven into the pattern that is already being laid down by the Norns. A personal casting takes about one hour and can be done either in person or by phone. The cost is $150. Contact me through my website.
Ingrid, the Rune Woman
Wise and Irreverent
Awaken Your Hunger
* A prediction or forecast is a statement about what may happen or the way things will happen in the future. The word prediction comes from Latin meaning to say before. It can be a foreknowing based on experience or wisdom gained through means of divination.
My relationship with the runes isn’t that I read them. It is more accurately described as they speak to me and share wisdom through vibration. I attempt as best as I am able to interpret this information in a way that is relevant to the time in which we are living.
Ingrid Kincaid is an author, teacher, and irreverent wise woman in the spiritual community. Her connection with the Runes and other Northern Mysteries is ancestral. She’s available for private readings and speaking engagements.
Yesterday I spent several hours working on a project that was technical, troublesome and tedious and when I finally completed it, I found myself with the inner and outer dialogue of how hard it was and how much time I'd spent or wasted and how it kept me from doing all the other important things I needed to be doing, should have been doing.
So this morning as I was writing my Morning Pages, (thank you Julia Cameron), I asked myself: What if I would stop the thoughts that what I had spent so much time doing was wasted or stressful or wrong somehow and look at it instead as having done the thing that was being called to be done at that moment? And if something else was needed, I would have done that. This line of thinking presented a very different perspective, a shift. I could change my story from 'there was something more important or better that I should have been doing' and state the fact that it was just what I did.
No matter what we do in life, it is our experience and experience adds to what we know and knowledge and experience affect the decisions and choices we make in the future.
I'm not fond of expressions like 'I learned a lesson' or 'I was working out my karma'. The thread I have just spun and woven into the great loom of the Wyrd will affect the pattern of my life as an individual as well as the pattern of the whole. Some people will be more affected than others by my threads, depending on where and how often their own threads cross mine. At the same time, what I spin and weave can only come from what has been before and can only be woven into the web that was already laid in place by the Norns.
So nothing is a waste of time. There was nothing else I should have been doing. Life just is.