Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Winter Solstice Rune Draw, December 2020
In honour of yesterday's solstice, I wanted to gift you all with a rune reading focused on our collective journey as we transition into the new year. Thank you all for being a part of my community this year. 2020 certainly brought with it some "dark night of the soul" punches; I hope that you emerge from it a stronger, truer version of you and that 2021 has gentler gifts in store for us all. For those of you not used to receiving my rune readings, I use what is called the Fourfold Wheel Spread. You can learn more about the Fourfold Wheel here.
The image above is of the runes I pulled. At the center of the reading is "the matter at hand" and the rune Dagaz. Literally translated, Dagaz means dawn or a new day. In readings like this one, Dagaz represents light or, rather, enlightenment. Therefore, this reading is focused on our path to enlightenment. Dagaz, in this context, is about our journey from the individual to the collective consciousness and transformation from paradox into non-dual awareness. It is worth noting that Dagaz is the last rune in the Elder Futhark and that the Runic alphabet can best be represented as a circle since the end simply represents a gateway to a new beginning. Dagaz contains destructive fire energy. It burns to purify and transmute a thing so that it is ready to enter the next cycle. Dagaz has come up a lot this year, in my full and new moon rune draws and in so many of my one on one readings. Working with you all and reflecting on my own experience, I would categorize 2020 as a bit of a baptism by fire. This year has pushed us all hard to let go of the past's dualistic belief systems and move towards accepting the non-dual reality of spirit and the universe. Non-dualism is the belief that there are no opposites (e.g., Good or Evil), that there are only spectrums within which we must strive to find balance. The shape of Dagaz is reflective of this philosophy, each side representing the reflection of the other (dark is an aspect or reflection of light) and the center of the "bowtie" representing the point of balance (the fulcrum, if you will). The beauty of Dagaz in the center of this reading is that it signifies swift and significant change. It comes up to tell us that we are on that fulcrum between the twilight and the dawn.
The rune in the shadow position (bottom of the wheel) is Ehwaz. Ehwaz means horse and represents the energy of partnership, teamwork and collaboration. It specifically addresses the way we evolve and grow to function more harmoniously with others. Thinking about a human's relationship with a horse, this dynamic is about finding a balance between cooperation and persuasion and knowing that neither will work if a horse isn't getting its fundamental needs met. Ehwaz refers to the trust and loyalty that flourishes between man and beast when there is mutual respect and acknowledgement of their interdependence. In the shadow position, Ehwaz usually refers to the things we refuse to change about ourselves in the interest of nurturing relationships with others or the times we resort to force instead of looking for mutually beneficial ways to collaborate and cooperate with others. The shadow character of Ehwaz is rigid, expects others to bend to its will, refusing to honour the connection between one party's wellness and the other's. In the position of the higher self is Laguz. Translated literally, Laguz means Lake and refers to the depths of the unconscious or the collective unconscious. It is where creation, mystery and magic live. It represents our life force and divine love.
Opposite Ehwaz, I believe Laguz tells us to step outside of ourselves and let go of our resistance and rigidity and be willing to feel the way we are connected to everything. When we step into the universal, macro view, it is easy to let go of whatever feels so critical at the individual, micro-level of life. In my mind's eye, Laguz is inviting us to dive in and surrender to the loving embrace of the water. She asks us to recognize the stuckness of our righteousness and fear and see how easily we can flow when we are guided by universal love and a willingness to be connected to something bigger than ourselves instead. In the position of the past is Berkana. Berkana is linked to the goddess Berchka, who is associated with the sacred Birch tree. Berkana is a feminine and fiercely protective rune associated with the process of gestation and birth. In this reading, she reminds us that we are in a never-ending cycle of continuous birth, death, and rebirth, that this is the process of healing. Berkana tells us that what has felt like darkness in the past has been a process of gestation. Wombs are inherently dark places, and every birth necessitates a death. For instance, a caterpillar cannot become a butterfly without fully digesting and liquifying itself using enzymes triggered by hormones. Only then can sleeping cells (similar to stem cells) set off the real transformation into a butterfly. This brings us to the final rune, what is to come, or the future. In this position is Tiwaz. Those of you familiar with past rune readings from me will recall that Tiwaz is named after the god Tyr, the Norse god of law and justice. My favourite story connected to Teiwaz is the notion that warriors would emblazon Teiwaz on their sheaths when going to war. The prayer connected to this rune on your shield was "May the just prevail," the idea being that no matter the outcome and which side won, one would have fought in service of the greater good. Honouring Tiwaz isn't about winning; it is about being a warrior of truth. It is also about understanding that you are always in service of something bigger than you when you live your truth.
In summary, Dagaz tells us that we are on the cusp of a whole new way. We are being invited to embrace universal love and a willingness to let go of those aspects of ourselves that only serve to disconnect us from the universal fabric. Magin Rose describes overcoming the shadow side of Ehwaz beautifully, writing that it is through "the loss of Self and the embrace of the Other through whom you come to know yourself again." Berkana reminds us that while navigating the dark can be scary, gestation requires the dark's protective cover. Tiwaz reminds us that each time we are reborn, we come closer to our truth and living a life in service of something bigger than ourselves.