Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 10 – Nauthiz

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Nauthiz [pronounced Now-theez] translates directly to ‘need’ in Old English with the same meaning in Old Norse, with the added nuance of ‘constriction’. This rune along with the preceeding rune, Hagalaz, and the following rune, Isa, form a trinity of the most challenging runes.

Although not attested to in any ancient sources, many scholars believe that these three runes relate to the Norns – Urd (became), Verdandi (becoming) and Skuld (become), similar to the Greek Morai – who carve the fate of each infant in runes at the time of their birth. In many ways they represent the inevitability of difficult times in human experience and the events that hold within them the potential to either destroy us or set us on a more enlightened and emboldened path. It is in this sense, the ups and downs of life and luck, that all three runes can be seen inextricably tied to the Wheel of Fortune.

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Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 9 – Hagalaz

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Hagalaz [pronounced HA-galaz] means ‘hail’. A less than welcome rune, Hagalaz refers to the ambivalent forces of nature. Not just an inconvenience from which shelter is sought, a hailstorm to the ancient Norse could spell the destruction of entire fields worth of crops and a destabilising of their homes and animal shelters or perilous trips at sea.

In our modern times, this rune represents an outside power that disrupts your potential or assumed success. Plans or projects have been implemented and suddenly a big spanner is thrown into the works, grinding everything to a halt. In its most archetypal context, Hagalaz can be seen as the downturn of the Wheel of Fortune. Everything was going so well, until it suddenly wasn’t, and now nothing feels like it is going your way.

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In the Three of Wands we see the initial stage of achievement, the ships and their cargo have set sail and a new dawn is beginning in the life of the figure before us. Imagine then, a vicious hailstorm raining down upon those ships that have just left the harbour. The sails are ravaged and the ships are wrecked onto the rocks. In this context, we can see Hagalaz as representing a reversed or shadow aspect of this card, where carefully orchestrated plans are scuppered by ill luck.

Similarly, in the Eight of Wands, we see swiftness in action, where everything is heading towards its intended destination with speed and accuracy. Hagalaz then, can be seen as a reversal or energy-blocked expression of this card, where plans are beset by delays and nothing seems to be remaining true to course.

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You may be glad to hear that Hagalaz cannot appear merkstave, so this is as bad as it gets. In fact the Anglo-Saxon rune poem ends its stanza with a ray of hope, promising that the hail now raining down upon you “is tossed by the wind and turns to water”. This Suggests that there is not only the potential for this energy to dissipate quickly, but that what finally results from those hailstones, water, can in fact nourish your plans in the long-term. It is here that we can see a suggestion of the Ace of Wands, where unexpected disruptions actually spur on and revive your efforts with renewed enthusiasm, problem solving skills and creativity. These interferences on the one hand humble you to the forces outside of your control, and on the other, force you to think and act with greater ingenuity.

Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 8 – Wunjo

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Wunjo [pronounced Vun-yo] is a very happy rune and one of the least complicated to unpack. Translated to English it simply means ‘joy’ or ‘bliss’. For me, it is a rune of success, contentment and happiness on the earthly plane rather than any sort of spiritual ecstasy or enlightenment (which we will see later in the rune Sowilo). Representing the more mundane joys of life, I see Wunjo represented in the happier cards of the tarot’s minor arcana such as the 6 of Wands, where will and sustained efforts have yielded success. There is a sense of joyous recognition for the things we have achieved and the acknowledgment that our successes positively impact not only ourselves, but also those closest to us.

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Free Weekly Reading: A message for 19 – 25 June, 2017

From the Tao Oracle: Hexagram 27, The Corners of the Mouth, Mountain over Lightening

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The focus for this week is self-care and nourishment. So many of us feel disconnected or at war with our bodies, we feel shame that they don’t look a certain way or can’t seem to do certain things. We can feel burdened by our own bodies, often treating them as cumbersome vessels we would rather not have to look after, or at worst, feel a sense of loathing for.

This week it is time to extend your body some tlc; it is not just a means to an end or a vehicle for some distinctive or separate matter we call ‘soul’, your spirit is infused into every cell of your being, and it needs some love.

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Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 7 – Gebo

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Gebo [pronounced Gay-bo] means “gift”. Far easier to unpack than previous runes, Gebo nonetheless carries a vital message about the importance of generosity, reciprocity and charity in maintaining friendships and happy communities. Amongst the Germanic peoples, practicing good hospitality and generosity were the glue that held communities together, and there were few insults to a person’s honour more serious than the accusation of being ungenerous. At its heart then, Gebo tells us that to build strong bonds of friendship, love and community we must be giving of our time, resources and compassion. Continue reading

Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 6 – Kenaz

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Kenaz [pronounced ken-ahz] is another rune attributed different meanings and rich with symbolism, so there are quite a few cards to cover! The most widely accepted interpretation is torch, as attested in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem. At its heart, this rune speaks to the human discovery of fire, an event of pure elemental harnessing that empowered humankind and shaped our destiny and capacity for not only survival but also our ability as a species to thrive. As such, Kenaz is associated with spiritual revelation, enlightenment and the powerful wisdom of the gods. On a more mundane level, it speaks of a time of teaching or learning and opportunities for knowledge, clarity, understanding and utilising skills Continue reading

Exploring Tarot and Rune Correspondences: 5 – Raidho

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Raidho [pronounced Ride-ho] translates to ‘rider’ but is also commonly associated with numerous forms of travel, including by cart, wagon, chariot or even boat. It is the traveller’s rune of movement, rhythm, speed, action and purpose. The most obvious associated card related to this rune is the Chariot, where we see the harnessing of wild forces to speed us to our destination. Both Raidho and the Chariot conjure images of will and adventure, they are the tidal waves of momentum that keeps us moving, driving, ever onwards.

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