The meditation will take place this Saturday, same place, same time.

“Do not love half lovers.
Do not entertain half friends.
Do not indulge in works of the half talented.
Do not live half a life and do not die a half death.
If you choose silence, then be silent.
When you speak, do so until you are finished.
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent.
If you accept, then express it bluntly.
Do not mask it.
If you refuse then be clear about it
For an ambiguous refusal
Is but a weak acceptance.

Do not accept half a solution.
Do not believe half truths.
Do not dream half a dream.
Do not fantasize about half hopes.
Half a drink will not quench your thirst.
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger.
Half the way will get you no where.
Half an idea will bear you no results.

Your other half is not the one you love.
It is you in another time yet in the same space.
It is you when you are not.
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said,
A smile you postponed,
A love you have not had,
A friendship you did not know,
To reach and not arrive,
Work and not work,
Attend only to be absent,
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you,
and they strangers to you.

The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being.
You are a whole that exists
to live a life, not half a life.”

~ Khalil Gibran

This Equinox is particularly important to me because it is so closely linked to my birthday and we are also still dealing with the energies of the New Moon (which was in Virgo and has now moved to Libra).

There are some powerful and transformative energies at work. I can feel it in my gut, and I’m feeling restless. It’s a knowing and a waiting for something on the verge of happening, though I don’t really know what it is that I’m waiting for. A sign, a gift, a confirmation…Or all the above? There’s really nothing else to do but being receptive and allowing things to manifest on their own timing.

Meanwhile, enjoy your personal harvest!

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Happy Equinox (in Kennaz)! How does your personal harvest look like? Be aware that you reap what you sow. Allow Kennaz to shed some light on what needs to be worked on and what needs to be healed. Let it do its purifying work. Like a beacon in the dark, let the flame of whatever drives you be the guiding light on your path. Learn from your mistakes so that they become the bricks on the road you are building towards growth, self mastery and success. And sow now the seeds of your intentions and dearest wishes so that they can grow in the ether, and later take form in the physical world around you. #runes #runesdontlie #runicwheeloftheyear #runiccalendar #runicinnerwork #inneralchemy #kennaz

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The Weekly Druid

Raeucher-Pfanndl My Räucher-Pfanndl with a selfmade and a bought smudge stick

Smudging is, by now, a ritual that is widely practiced in the Pagan community. What I mostly observe when invited to pagan group ceremonies, though, is the use of Prairie Sage bundled into smudge sticks, a way of smudging as we see some Native Americans doing it.

Sage smudge sticks are a great tool in many ways (easy to carry around with you, easy to light, to hold in your hand etc. etc.) and considering which plant is being used and what it is associated with, it makes so much sense. But as always in my spiritual practice, I ask myself: is there something my ancestors did, or folks still do, that is more connected to me and my own homeland?

So, what I would like to do today is explore a different smudging practice. Please see that as my personal…

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I’ve been harvesting redwood branches for years, usually freshly fallen ones. Redwood is an ancient tree, a time & record keeper, with such a nice energy. I always feel at home in the midst of a redwood grove.

A few years ago, I had a hard time finding anything regarding its medicinal uses, except for a few anecdotes regarding Native uses in the past, but nothing specific. Nowadays, for some reason, there is more information available about redwood medicine.

I was especially happy to find a useful link that talks about Western as well as Eastern (TCM) medicinal use for this tree. Some of the info is a confirmation of the things I had observed as well as guessed.

Rosemary Smudge

As I mentioned before, there are 2 things I truly love & am dedicated to: Runes and Herbs. I started learning about healing herbs when I was 15 after I awoke from a dream about Sage (out of all plants)…The Runes entered in my life my later (though I apparently already showed signs of interest in esoteric things & fortune telling as a child) and I didn’t come to them for divination (that came later).

I had read that there was once a healing tradition involving the Runes, and that’s what interested me (and still does to this day). However, the Runes belong to an oral tradition that was passed down one generation to the next. Today you may find countless books on Runic Divination and even Runic Magic, some better & more in-depth than others but it’s not up to me to judge, it all depends on what you are looking for, how dedicated you are, and how far you are willing to go. But on the topic of Runic Healing, there isn’t a whole lot of literature to choose from, and since I don’t speak any of the Scandinavian languages (old or new) I can’t even go look for ancient sources. So all I have are 2-3 English books, whose contents may or may not chime with my chore, what I’m looking for, or what I’m looking to (re)create. I have learned to rely increasingly on my intuition over the years, some things being revealed little by little – he or she who works with the Runes knows that it’s a personal and never-ending learning process.

My unorthodox approach to things may and will cause people to say that I’m following the tradition. True! It wasn’t taught to me by anyone…I had to dig and research, I had to learn on my own, I had to see things unfold with my own eyes, but more importantly, I had to trust that what I was being shown, drawn to, and given was real. It may not be THE truth but it is my truth. And as far as tradition goes: to keep it going, you need to keep it alive – which means to adapt to the time & place we live in, as much as connecting some dots – and you need to share your findings.

Spiraling Runes

Now the title of this article is about my “A-Ha” moment. As I said earlier, I’ve been trying for years to (re)create a Runic Healing Tradition of my own. I wanted to combine Runes, Herbs & Energy Work/Healing together. I did manage to create something, but that wasn’t enough, I was barely scratching the surface and felt frustrated that I couldn’t go further, there seemed to be obstacles on my path and I couldn’t connect the dots.

Then came a time of personal struggle and great transformation for me, which lasted years and is still going on, since we are constantly evolving (but now I recognize the signs, I’m aware of the patterns). That time of great suffering led me to 1/study and use the Runes for divination, 2/to start trusting myself again and relearn to be intuitive rather than logical (something I had always done in my childhood, until the system had me to conform and think with the square, logical mind – which slowly led to my own demise), and 3/to practice self-healing, manifestation and transformation with the Runes. The latter is what I’m currently teaching during my Runic Meditations and putting together with visuals in a Runic Oracle I’m designing.

So I thought that I had nailed it: what I was to teach (and I’ve known for years that I was meant to teach) was what I learned with my experience, which is inner alchemy – a form of healing. Until the herbs came back in the corner of my mind, a few days ago.

I’d like to point out, for those of my readers who don’t know, that I’m a French expat living in California, yet my mother tongue is German (my German is a little rusted but it’s coming back lately). Speaking 2 or 3 languages is a godsend because it’s often the case that a book isn’t translated into another language. Lately, I’ve noticed the emergence of a European/Germanic shamanic tradition that, in a way, complements their rich herbal tradition…And these books aren’t translated into English nor French. And while browsing through these books I discovered the missing link that’s been eluding me for years. I discovered the work of a healer who works with incense and smudging (and I’ve been making my own smudge sticks for years, I am most interested in the esoteric uses of plants) in a different manner & system than Native Americans do, especially since she uses plants native to Germany. She also takes smudging to a whole new level, not just for cleansing spaces, clearing the aura, grounding the self or for emotional wellbeing…She actually uses smudging for physical healing.

And when I discovered that, I understood right away that this was the missing piece of my puzzle, the thing holding me back and preventing me from creating my own Runic Healing Tradition: “Beyond the Smoke lie the Roots” is what I heard. The only reason why I could not go any further with it is that I had lost my connection with my roots, which is my Germanic heritage from my mother’s side of the family. I’ve had female Ancestors come to me in visions (I will not go into details here), offering help & support, they were always from my mother’s branch of the tree. I also understood that it, in order to remember & reconnect, I need to re-learn German (I will have to, just to decipher those books anyway). During yesterday’s hike, as I stopped by an Elder tree, I received a confirmation of all that and got a great feeling of peace and of finally knowing for sure where I was heading. By mending the past, I have set the stepstones for the (near) future…

I’m currently reading “Runes et Chamanisme” by Jean Vertemont & Jean-Gabriel Foucaud. They have an interesting theory about the origin of the Runic signs that seems to support & reinforce their divine and otherworldly origin. There was already some knowledge of the cosmos and the astral bodies at the time, a knowledge that came originally from India, Greece, and Iran (but is particularly close to the Vedic system).

When considering the origin of the Runes themselves, you will stumble again and again on the text from the Havamal in which Odin describes than he hung upside down from the cosmic tree for 9 days and 9 nights, without food or water. Privations and improper blood circulation/blood oxygenation will surely trigger altered mind states and even hallucinations. The upside down posture is the same one that the one pictured on the Hanged Man card in the Tarot. An in-between state of mind and of being, literally.

But hanging upside down caused Odin to gaze at the Heavens: planets, stars, constellations and more…And the shapes of the Runes that he saw where the constellations painted in the night sky (combined with some knowledge of astronomy): Fehu looks like the Pleiades, Laguz looks like Pegasus…etc. There seems to be an astral counterpart for each of the 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark.

And who was Odin? He was a wise man, a shaman who shared his findings and knowledge with the rest of Humanity. And through his deeds, he became hallow and, over time, found his place at the head of the Northern Pantheon.

If you wish to learn more on the topic of Runic Astronomy, I suggest that you head over to the Runic Sky (though his findings may not be quite the same than the ones I’m discovering in my French book).

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while…Today we entered the Runic Month of Kennaz (some of the interpretations of this Rune are Passion, Creating a New Path & Leading the Way), and I’m already working on my first illustration for this deck.

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As I've mentioned before on my blog on several occasions, I collect tarot and oracle decks. Not because I'm superstitious, nor am I obsessed with divining the future… I collect them because of the beauty of their illustrations. And when it comes to divination itself, some are accurate and insightful tools, while others remain rather hard to use or to interpret (maybe because the symbolism is more relevant and personal to the author of the deck). This brings me to my actual project : as you already know I've been teaching Runic Meditations during which I mostly focus on the energetic and transformative qualities of the Runes, as applied to inner work. I feel like a classical teaching medium like a book wouldn't be the best choice here, so I decided to combine my approach to visuals and am working on a set of illustrations that will become a deck of cards at one point or another in the future (at least this is my goal). #runes #runesdontlie #divination #runicdivination #spiritualguidance #innerwork #inneralchemy #myowndeck #runicproject #tarot #oraclecards

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