Rune Stones are engraved stones or crystals sometimes made from wood staves engraved with the letters of the Runic alphabet and are now seeing a renaissance as a powerful tool of divination.
Futhark Runes originated from Northern Europe, there are usually 25 runes in a set including the blank rune each one with one letter of the Runic alphabet engraved or painted on it with the exception of the blank rune.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination states that the word Rune actually means 'whisper' or 'secret'.
There are many myths surrounding the Runes, one of the better known and accepted is that of Odin, the Norse God of Wisdom, who hung upside down from the world tree for nine days.....
Place them so that they are read from RIGHT to LEFT, in other words the first rune which represents the situation is far right, the middle rune is action, the action required, and the left rune represents the new situation
3.. New Situation
1. Mannaz -The Self
2. Gebo -Partnership, Gift
3. Ansuz - Signals, Messenger Rune, The God Lloki
4. Othila - Retreat, Inheritance
6. Perth -Initiation, Something Hidden, A Secret Matter
7. Nauthiz -Constraint, Necessity, Pain
8. Inguz- Feritility. New Beginnings, The Hero God Ing
9. Eihwaz - Defence, Avertive Powers, The Yew Tree
10. Algiz - Protection, Sedge or Rushes, The Elk
12. Wunjo - Joy Light
14. Kano - Opening, Fire, Torch
15. Teiwaz -Warrior Energy, Vctory, The Sky, The God Tiw
16. Berkana - Growth, Rebirth, A Birch Tree
17. -Ehwaz -Movement, Progress, The Horse
18. Laguz - Flow, Water, That Which Conducts
19 Hagalaz -Disruptive natural forces, Elemental Power, Hail
20. Raido -A Journey, Communication, Union, Re-union
21. Thurisaz - Gateway, Place of non action, The God Thor
22. Dagaz - Breakthrough, Transformation, Day
23. Isa - Standstill, That Which Impedes, Ice
24 Sowelu - Wholeness, Life Force, The Suns energy
25 The Blank Rune - The Unknowable, The God Odin
The Ogham Alphabet
The Ogham (owam) is the sacred Druid alphabet. The ancient Celtic people believed that trees were inhabited by spirits and some trees had healing powers.
Oak Ash and Thorn were regarded as 'Faery Trees' where they grew together, a triad of trees.
The Ogham alphabet was used by the Celts to practise magic and painted or engraved staves were used for divination.
Beth -Birch -November
Luis - Rowan - December
Creating Sacred Space
Smudging Technique -Creating Sacred Space
Smudging is the burning of smudge wands, usually sage and sage blends with the intention of clearing a space, whether that is your home or office or any place where negative energy has built up, some people use smudging techniques to clear and purify the auras and also for healing.
Traditional sage smudge wands are favoured by many people who conduct smudging, it is an ancient and sacred technique associated with Native American Indian practises for hundreds of years. Incense sticks can be used however we believe sage smudge is the best and most powerful.
Before undertaking a smudging ceremony you should clean the area where you will be conducting the ritual. If you are smudging the whole house for example, clean every room, clear all clutter and unwanted items, (don't be tempted to hide in drawers or cupboards.
Clean each room thoroughly by vacuuming or sweeping, dusting, clean the windows, tops of doors, under beds, change the bedding, basically give the house a good spring clean. Some people like to have a bath before a smudging ritual, others may prefer to bathe afterwards.
Once you have cleaned whichever space you wish to clear ensure you choose a time you will be left undisturbed.
Gather what you require to conduct the smudging, a smudge wand (stick), matches or lighter, a fire proof dish to place the smouldering smudge stick on and carry it from room to room. Open windows, this allows the smoke to leave.
Light the end of the smudge stick, wait for it to catch, once it begins to smoulder with smoke blow out any flame, once the stick is smouldering with smoke begin by working clockwise around each room allowing the smoke to move upwards and into the room, particularly the corners, behind doors, under tables and cupboards.
Starting at the bottom of the house and working your way through each of the rooms clockwise and then again upstairs, don't forget to include bathrooms, hallways, lobbys, no matter how small the space. You may like to use a feather to guide the smoke or you can use a hand.
Focus and concentrate on your intention while you are conducting the smudge. You may like to say a prayer, quote a psalm, speak words of power, whatever your believ system and those that mean something to you, they should always be positive.
Once you have finished ensure the smudge stick is completely extinguished and hang in a place which is dry.
Ground yourself by eating something small or drinking a cup of tea or similar.
Once you feel that the negative energy has dispersed you can conduct a second smudging this time concentrating on bringing light positive energy into the space. This is not absolutely essential but it is a nice way to finish
Take care with any kind of smoke, including incense particularly if you or anyone present has asthma or chest complaints
The Wheel Of The Year
The Wheel of the Year is the Pagan cycle of the year and it's seasons.
Within the Wheel of the Year are eight festivals, known as the Minor and Major Sabbats.
Four of these festivals are Celtic in origin, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain.
The four remaining festivals mark the Sun's cycles, the Spring and Autumn Equinox, this is when the length of the day is exactly the same as the length of the night and the Winter and Summer Solstices, marking the longest and shortest days of the year.
Stonehenge and other neolithic sites are giant solar calenders where people have gathered to honour and celebrate the Solstices since ancient times
The Wheel of the Year symbolises the changes in seasons and this reflects back to the very essence of life, our own changing seasons in our physical, as well as, emotional and spiritual bodies.
The 8 festivals or Sabbats:
Yule- 21-23rd December
The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the return of the Sun. We often see a yule log now in the form of a chocolate swiss roll at Christmas however the Yule log was traditionally a wooden log burnt at this time as Yule is a fire festival, it was believed to banish evil spirits and conquer the darkness, it also symbolised the return of the Sun, the light. A part of the Yule log is kept for the following year to kindle the fire for the new Yule log for the following year.
The Druids knew the Winter Solstice as 'Alban Arthun' and this was the time when the Chief Druid would cut the sacred Mistletoe from the Oak tree, a golden sickle was used on the sixth day of the Moon.
This is the time when Herne (the Hunter) rules the darkest days of the year, the king of nature. He is depicted with the antlers of a deer
Imbolc - Feb 2nd
"As the light lengthens, so the cold strengthens" A fire festival, which honours the Goddess Brigit. Bridgit is the Goddess of healing and fertility. this is a time when the strength of the Sun begins to increase, a returning of the light and warmth which aids the growth of new things, in nature aswell as ourselves. A perfect time to honour the Earth and cycle of growth and fertility by planting seeds in the earth and the mind. The first show of snowdrops, the first sign that the darkness is ending and we are moving into the light of spring.
It's a time for clearing the old out moded thoughts and stagnant views and making way for fresh new life and ideas, it is a time to spring clean, not only the home but your emotions and mind.
As the Earth is ready to bring forth new shoots then so must you, fresh ideas, fresh shoots, it is a time to begin afresh and to welcome the Maiden. The goddess Brigit is honoured at this time.
Clear any unwanted or outmoded clutter from the home, ask the children of the family to give away any unused or unwanted toys following the Christmas celebrations, the new will come when there is space.
Imbolc is the the traditional time to craft a corn dolly to honour Bridgit.
Ostara -March 20-23rd
The word Easter originates from Eostre, the Goddess of ancient times.
Now the days are growing longer, the Spring flowers, Daffodils, Crocus, Primroses are flowering, it is a time to celebrate the coming of the spring, natures breathtaking beauty and colour, the Goddess Eostre is honoured at Ostara.
This is a fertile time, a time when the lambs appear in the fields, new love blossoms in the young, everything is vibrant, forceful and energised, a time also of the Green Man and Green Woman, he is born of Mother Earth in the Winter and lives until Samhain.
We still celebrate to this day with Easter Eggs, which are symbolic of the goddess, fertility, new life, a wonderful tradition is to paint real eggs with pretty spring colours to decorate the home.
A great way to honour this joyful season is to plant something new, protecting the Earth, make compost, start an allotment, plant a tree, put out a bird table and wild bird food etc, provide a safe place for nesting, other forms of wildlife also need protecting, wild flowers and bumble bees for example.
A Major Sabbat, a fire festival. This is the most popular time of the year for handfastings, a celebration of the coming of Summer.
Many people still celebate this time with the lighting of fires, a particularly important Beltane festival is still held in Edinburgh every year. Dancing around the Maypole is part of the Beltane celebrations.
This is the time when Pagans celebrate the God and Goddess becoming lovers.
Litha or Lithia - June 20-23rd
Midsummer or Summer Solstice, the the sun stands still, it is the longest day of the year and the sun is at it's highest.
The Goddess is at her most powerful. After this time the Sun begins to decline. This is one of the most popular times for Pagans to visit ancient sites such as Avebury and Stonehenge to watch the Sun rise on the morning of the Solstice. Many other sites are visited across the land to celebrate the Summmer Solstice. "
"As the sun spirals its longest dance,
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny"
Wiccan blessing for Summer
Lammas -Lughnasadh -(loo-nasa) this time honours the God Lugh, a time of harvest, of gathering and storing the crops.
Mabon -Autumn Equinox
now day and night are of equal length, it is the time before the dark again begins, it is the dying of the Sun, a time of melancholic beauty, when the leaves on the trees turn a golden colour and fall to decorate the Earth, it's a good time for reflection and a taking stock of the past year.
This is the time animals will gather and store their food and get ready for hibernation. The fruits of the trees drop and rest in the earth waiting for re-birth.
A good time to give thanks for the harvest, to thank the Goddess for her bounty and a time for the harvest festivals to be held in Christian churches.
"We give ourselves time to stop and breathe deeply, to feel the satisfaction of what has been achieved, to start to relax. For resting and contemplation"
Emma Restall Orr, Joint Chief of the British Druid Order
the Feast of the Dead, some pagans celebrate Samhain as the Celtic new year, this is the time when the Celts believed the veil between the two worlds becomes thin and contact with the spirit world becomes possible.
Non Pagans call this time Halloween.
For Pagans Samhain is not a morbid celebration, old age is celebrated for it's wisdom, honouring those loved ones who have passed on is a large part of the celebration, contacting ancestors and spiritsparticularly for Shamans is now at it's most potent.
The death of the old year symbolises death in relationships, ideas, endings of all kinds, including actual physical death, a time to come to terms with all endings and move on.
Honour loved ones who have passed at this time, by setting a place for them at table when eating a special meal, light a candle with a photograph of them and thank them for the special qualities they brought to your life.
Ask them for help and guidance on your journey through this life