Rune of Life

My latest Bind rune I crafted as a representation of Life’s journey. It contains the runes Isa, Perthro, and Raidho.

  • Isa: For knowledge of the self, centering the carrier of the charm, calming force
  • Perthro: The laws of nature as represented by the Norse concept Orlog. This is not fate, but the laws by which fate is determined and involves a formula of one’s hamingja (actions/luck) and wyrd (life’s direction)
  • Raidho: This is the journey itself, both a physical motion-towards as well as a deeper understanding of the spiritual aspects of such a physical trek

I believe that life is the process by which we move through time or by which we let time move past us. We can be a rudderless craft within the swift-moving current or we can use the current’s energy to guide our own directions within it. The rune above represents the latter, which is how I try to live.

The first requirement is to understand where you stand: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. This is Isa. It’s a standstill: but a kinetic type, not a static type. It is centering and forming, not paralyzing — especially when combined with Perthro and Raidho.

Once you know what Isa means for you, gain a solid understanding of Orlog, of the rules by which your future is determined. The gist of this is that your future is determined by your actions — positive and negative. This is the concept of the combination of Orlog, Hamingja, and Wyrd. This is what Perthro represents.

With knowledge of yourself and your position in your future, you are ready to take the journey itself. Raidho comes into play here: movement forward while knowing what processes are right and how you fit into those rhythms.

The bind rune strengthens the concept of each rune by folding them together. The three have shared components and do fit in a way that makes sense. Also, the bind rune fits my concept of what life is and may not apply for you. While the historic representations of each rune are established, there are subtleties within them that each person may feel differently about especially when bound.

My plan is to carve this rune into a charm out of a type of wood that makes sense for it. Within the Norse view of the world this would more-than-likely be yew: the literal tree of life.

Rune of Calming Power

I’ve been doing more and more runework over the last week or two, picking up from where I left off years ago. While the years have added a level of comprehension I certainly didn’t have before, my stamina for dealing with the after effects of forming, crafting, and carving a bind rune is not what it should be. To that end, I created the rune above. The idea behind it is contained within the meanings of the bound runes: Isa, Nauthiz, and Thurisaz.

  • Isa: For knowledge of the self, centering the carrier of the charm, calming force
  • Nauthiz: Constriction/Constraint/Control of inward/outward flows as they travel through the self (Isa) and become transmitted
  • Thurisaz: The projection of energy towards a particular purpose. In this case, Nauthiz ensures the right amount of energy is projected in proportion to the self.

So that’s the formula. If you want to try it for yourself — though it is a very personal interpretation of these runes — start the drawing with Isa from top to bottom. Attach the thorn of Thurisaz and then place the angled cross of Nauthiz in the center being sure to stay parallel to the top angle of the thorn. That should do it.

The Awe of Nature

While gathered around our dining table last night, Gabe, Danielle and I talked about the possibilities of the nature of the universe. We pulled out a pad of graph paper and sketched out the various theoretical shapes of the flow of time, the warp of the universe, and the theories that have been proposed because of such things: wormholes, faster-than-light travel, out-of-time experiences, multiple quantum dimensions. The more we talked and sketched, the more Gabe’s eyes reflected a glowing sense of amazement at the possible answers to the question: “How does our universe work?”. Never once did our nine-year old son feel discouraged, lonely, estranged, or depressed about the universe, the world, or his place in it.

There is a frightening tendency to paint atheists as cold, calculating, science worshipers: a group of people who eschew the spiritual for the logical. Some people believe that raising a child in an atheist household is akin to stamping out imagination and murdering the soul. I’ve heard the argument stated that if we use science, philosophy, and logic to find the answer to “How”, we remove our capacity for wonder and awe at the answers we may find. All of these statements are absurd.

Atheism is simply a word that defines us as living without a need for gods to help us feel a sense of wonder and awe. Atheists understand that the way things are put together has nothing at all to do with an outside, super-human force. Rather, nature itself is awe-inspiring and fills us with wonder. Atheism — and science in general — is not capable of providing us answers for the most burning question humans have: why.

Gabe left that discussion last night with a head filled with the possibilities that logic, philosophy, and science offer. Never, however, did he feel as though they were providing him with the reason for existence. And that’s okay. Finding our purpose, we told him, the answer to “Why?” is not something science will provide. The only way to find that answer is by working at it ourselves. That journey to find the answer provides the joy of living.

Our family has tended to eschew the label of atheist because of the vast amount of misunderstanding around what it means. For us, though, being atheist simply means that the human journey is experienced without any assistance from one, three, or multiple “gods”. So far, this has done nothing to diminish our excitement for life, joy of the journey, or wonderment at the universe around us.