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October 20th, 2008

The Rede

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studying runes for the joy of it

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October 20th, 2008

Runes From A Vanic Perspective: Ansuz

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Traditionally, Ansuz is seen as the rune of Odin there is good cause for this as He is the one who brought the runes to all the races so that they might use them as best they could. But it is because the runes are so flexible, because they are the ultimate current for communication that we are where we are. And ansuz embodies the manner in which the Vanir bring to bear Their presence in this world. Ansuz is representative of both The Gods themselves as well as the ability to communicate with both the divine and those around you. It is a rune of conceptual thinking and spiritual being. Ansuz is representative of both The Gods themselves as well as the ability to communicate with both the divine and those around you. It is a rune of conceptual thinking and spiritual being.  

The Vanir are very active in the world around Them and us. They are Gods of becoming, each of the Vanes in one guise or another has a way of encouraging growth, whether that growth is of plants that will be  harvested, taken into us and used to transform into energy which can be used for the growth of the body... Or whether that is more of a transformative, personal growth, which allows for the individual to go from one state to another. 

What it takes to foster this state may not be obviously different to those around them at first but will in time, as the individual learns better communication skills.  Often, part of the transformative process that I have noticed has to do with how one learns to express themselves, and their emotions, and how one relates to the world around them...   It seems to me that one goes to the Vanir for lessons in learning to express the harshest of your feelings and emotions in a manner that causes the least controversy and pain. Though they may at times be blunt, it is most often that you will find because of Their desire to bring peace and light into this world that they will attempt to show you the way to peace within yourself and how to foster it in your surroundings.  For that true communications skills are needed not just the surface things that one gets taught to get by in a social setting. 

One of the main ways in which personal transformation takes place upon bringing ansuz to bear is that those who have shut off their ability to communicate their own feelings to themselves will often find the floodgates opened. This can be uncomfortable, in that dealing with those things you have suppressed/repressed is not easy, but by doing so you become stronger and find yourself capable in ways you did not previously imagine. Transformation cannot come from an outside source it must come from within. This is one of the things which the Vanir like to teach us.  After all the grain of wheat transforms because the pattern was there all the time. It may get encouragement from Them, but it already knew what to do.

Runes From A Vanic Perspective: Thurisaz

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Thurisaz speaks about the thorn how it can be used as means of defense for an individual or group of individuals. In times past those who were not wealthy, and needed a means of defense for their family would build hedges of thorn bushes about their homes, to keep the harmful things at bay. This allowed them some layer of defense, before the wolf was directly at their door so to speak..  The family had a way of then coming together and fighting as a unit, or at least supporting the person most qualified to do so. 

In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty we see the function of the hedge of thorns at it's most potent. Here all those who are not supposed to have access to the Princess Aurora and try to breech the hedge become caught in the thorns and die gristly deaths.  The prince who comes at just the right time, walks right through, because the hedge is in full bloom, roses are everywhere and it magically parts just to let him pass and have access to her. Allowing him to break the spell she has lain under. 

Thurisaz is seen as the bane of women, because of it's highly phallic shape, but this is inaccurate, it is only that women must bleed each month and thus be pricked by the sharpness of the thorn so to speak, whether they would bear children or not. At least until that stage of life is over for them..It does in fact give to women a great gift, allowing them to carry many secrets of how to focus the life energy if they can master the sharp pains both of monthly cramping and of giving birth. Childbearing has always been inherently dangerous, in the past moreso than it is today, though it is still possible for a woman to die in the act of giving birth. It is easy to see how this could be interpretted as a bane to women when so many sacrified their lives in the act of childbearing.  

Those Vanes who are most associated with Thurisaz are those who have taken Jotynja as mates(Njord,Ullr,Freyr, ) finding a way to bridge new ways in being. The Vanir themselves are about fighting primarily from a defensive standpoint, the Jotunar are about fighting as a means of resolution, which we see when Skadi confronts the AEsir as well as from a more aggressive stance if need be. It should be noted, that in the story of The Ragnarok no Vanes are really noted as dying other than Freyr who takes part in the fighting. There is a kind of unspoken agreement on the part of the Jotunar, that if the Vanir don't take aggressive action against Them neither will They harm the Vanir. Of course having bonds of marriage between the two tribes is bound to be helpful here.

Runes From A Vanic Perspective: Uruz

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Uruz is the trial of initiation from one stage of life into the next. It is a stage of becoming. The Vanir are very concentrated on the concept of supporting each other and those who came into their tribe as a kind of collective conciousness in a sense. Because of this, there is a sense that at certain times, the individual needs to seperate themself out, and find their own path, become more than they were before. This brings greater strength to them as an individual which they can then add to the whole. 

In times past, young men would go out to face the aurochs in a contest of strength and cunning and if they survived and brought back evidence of their kill (usually the horns) this was a sure sign that they had become an adult and capable of contributing to the survival of the whole. There was more to it than this though, because those who chose could in fact pick the rite of utiseta(setting out on the burial mound of one of their closest or eldest ancestors) in place of the hunt, this was considered just as dangerous if not more so. and had other connotations to it.. I believe that in allowing oneself to be opened up to the spirits of their ancestors individuals allowed for personal insights which caused great leaps in growth that might have taken years of development otherwise, but, risked the lack of being able to process it, which is why it was considered so dangerous. The Vanes, particularly Freyr, were mound oriented so the rites of initiation in my opinion are connected integrally to uruz and the Vanir. 

We don't have a huge amount of information on the rites of initiation for women, but I sincerely doubt they were any less harrowing.  Some believe that it was simply the act of beginning to have a monthly cycle that initiated a girl into the world of womanhood at which time she was given more knowledge and responsiblity. Others believe that though this was an 'introduction' into the world of womanhood, one did not become a full woman until actually giving birth because until that moment a female did not in fact risk their life in the same manner that a male did. I think that it was a matter of personal perception, especially as women were the peaceweavers of the tribe, and upon the point that a girl was able to be marriageable she picked up a responsibility that would weigh heavily in ways we today can only imagine.

When one looks among the various tribes of deities one of the first things that comes to mind is that They are most likely to want to bring about peace. Though They will fight for that which is right, in order for prosperity to reign peace must also dominate. This is why Freyr does not permit criminals in His holy places and why when Nerhtus travels through the land in her wain peace must reign wherever She happens to be.In marrying Skadi, Njord brought peace between Her and the AEsir... Though Freyja is a deity who is concerned with warfare, it can easily be said that She fights for peace. Though this is a hard concept for many people to encapsulate, it does exist. One must excise a disease so that the whole will be healthy again. 

Uruz is, therefore, a rune both of individual growth and of the tribe. It is a rune that shows us the many faces of strength, not just physical, but of character and of spirit. It gives resilience in difficult situations and allows us to bounce back against difficult odds.

Runes From A Vanic Perspective: Fehu

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Fehu is the essence of Freyja. It has been commented on more than once, that one of the ways that Fehu is reflective of the essence of Freyja, is that Freyja knew her own worth and made her own bargains without looking at how society would judge Her, when seeking to obtain Brisingamen. In the process She had many lessons to learn, as She sought out her husband Odr, only to find that never would They again know each other as They had before. But, She had gained a great embodiment of Her personal power, one which could never permenately be taken from Her. One which all the worlds have connected to Her just as ineffibly as Thor is connected with Mjollnir.

Fehu shows that wealth is transient, it moves not just from hand to hand but from a dormant to an active state. Just as when Freyja went searching over all the earth seeking for Her lost love the land responded to the presence or absence of Her so it is the same as when it is being tended or used and when it is not. If you do not keep wealth flowing in a positive direction, if it feels misused it will simply cease to work for you. Because Fehu is mobile wealth, transient and transitory There is a way that it can be used to stabilize you, but you have to keep it moving in order to do so, you have to work, whether creatively(even if you are on disability or whatever, exercising your creative muscles allows for this to be fulfilled)or in the open job market. You have to own your abilities and not be deprecating of them.

Fehu honors that which is within each of us that calls out to bring forth a way of making life better for ourselves and those around us. If we constantly say that what we do is of little or no worth than that is what you will get from it, little to no compensation. No matter how hard we work for the money. It will simply evaporate the minute the check hits your hand. There is a folk belief among many different people that if you let the crumbs from the bread you are eating fall to the ground, or you waste the bread you are eating, then you lose your wealth but if you save them you will gain in wealth. This is because you are actually becoming mindful of where you spend your efforts and the fact that everything comes into your life, or flows out of it for a reason.  If you decide when and where to allow that to happen, rather than being careless of it, your wealth increases if you simply 'let the chips fall where they may' you end up getting whatever hand is dealt you.

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