It is a habit of mine to consult the Runes at the various festivals, giving me a focus for contemplation of the time past, and the time to come – a way of considering where I am in my life, and my current direction of travel.
This year, at Yule, I drew Mannaz: the self, the tribe, the family. Strive to live the ordinary life in an extraordinary way
And in support of that, I drew Uruz: the rune of strength, which can also be the rune of termination and new beginnings.
So, not only was this an opportunity to consider where I am and what I’m doing, but the runes drawn acknowledged the idea of doing so – the examination of self, in the context of the end of one year and the start of the next.
Mannaz is a rune of balance – it is formed by the rune of joy ( Wunjo) mirrored with itself to create a point of stillness and caution, even in delight. Focus, it says, on the here and now, pay attention to the tasks in hand. With Uruz beside it, it advises to let some things end and others come to be in their own time.
Stand still, Mannaz says, while the world and the wild spins about you. This is a time to experience rather than shape, or even be shaped. In the long night of Yule we descend into the darkness, sometimes alone – and sometimes in the company of friends and family – but always waiting for the promise of the dawn and the rebirth of day.
Stand firm, Uruz replies. You have the strength to weather the storm, and the maturity to see it through. After a storm comes calm, and at the end of the long night the sun will rise again, reborn. Choose to rise with it: be in the moment, and let the moment be.
Together, they advise: as darkness falls, consider your actions, and what must be done. Consider, also, those around you and what they bring to make you who you are. Where you stand as part of a greater whole, celebrate your tribe, your family. Gather the strength of many, and make it your own. Carry all of them with you, into the light.
Take this moment to center yourself in yourself: be true, be honest, and do not fear what may come.
My tasks are many – sorting the echoes of both my husband’s and my mother’s past, preserving their arts and creativity – and I must balance those works against my own desires and creative inspirations. There is so much to sort and settle that I can spare little time to dabble with new work and new ideas. I am conscious that trying to tackle bigger projects would unbalance me, leaving me with too much started and not enough done. But I am making progress. I am focusing on keeping tasks in motion and on ticking boxes as stages in the process are successfully reached.
The runes tell me to be patient and persistent, and that by doing so, I will be able to move on to new things in time.