Journey to Retreat and Renew

This blog post is a companion to my article A Rune Journey to Retreat and Renewal presented in the December 2020 edition of The Cartomancer Magazine. It is available now as a downloaded pdf. The full journey is available there for now.

When life gets hectic, crazy, and overwhelmed with activity, taking a half an hour or so to reset is an important act for personal and spiritual growth. Sometimes, it’s as simple as reading a book, disengaging from social media, or visiting nature in some way. For cartomancers and other seers, turning to divination cards or divination tools also provides a way to take a journey of retreat and renewal. The runic journey presented here is just one way to tap into the insight and energy of the universe to guide you along this calming path.

The rune journey to retreat and renewal is a mediation designed to take some time aside to calm the mind and shock the system with a bit of a reset.  This will help gain a better perspective, be able to recognize a new idea or different approach, and perhaps just have a needed time out. 

The journey could take a short period of time up to 30 minutes or longer, depending on you. The runes create a type of “rune walk” that leads along a path from the hectic activity you are currently experiencing through a slowing and evaluation period, a revelation and recognition, and seeing the growth of that calmness reveal a renewed vigor. The runes are: kenaz, isa, naudiz, perthro, ingwaz, and berkano.

Expanded Meaning of the Runes

We gain our rune basics from three rune poems composed between the 9th to 10th centuries, written down in the late 12th to early 13th centuries, and preserved as copies later. These are the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (Old English; OERP), the Old Norse Rune Poem (ONRP), and the Icelandic Rune Poem (IRP).  Here are some expanded meanings of the runes used for the rune retreat meditation.

Runes clockwise from top: kenaz, isa, naudiz, perthro, ingwaz, berkano arranged in a circle.

The runes as arranged for this Runic Journey

  • Kenaz is the torch/lamp burning brightly. In the OERP, it burns brightly and shines where people are calm and relaxing. I shows us that it represents not only the action we are currently experiencing, but also that even in the light of this activity, we can relax. And likely should. Light and fire generally represent activity and action. Much that we are experiencing in modern life and society.  
  • Isa is clearly stated in all three poems as ice. There are many properties to ice. It is cold, slippery, potentially dangerous. Contrarily, it is also beautiful, it preserves, it can also bridge gaps and form large masses like glaciers. When we look the environment of ice, we find other factors to consider for our journey.  One of those is the slowing down and stilling of our activity. Ice is water. Water molecules are always swiftly in motion. As the molecules cool, they slow down and this forms ice. For this exercise, we use isa to remind us to slow down – there will be time to become active again, but for now slow down.
  • Naudiz shows us the things that are needful. When we slow down and contemplate, we can seed what the difficulties and troubles are. It is not easy to have these in our view, but when we do – we can plan how to respond to those needs, how to take them on, and to listen to it in the stillness of isa.   
  • Pertho is the revealer of mysteries, the outcome of the games played. In the OERP, it shows the warriors and community relaxing in the hall. Strive for that peace and relaxation. When you get that relaxed state of mind about something, pieces can get into place (like on a game board) and finally lead you to the solutions you need.
  • Ingwaz is one of the few runes directly connected to and named for one of the gods, Freyr – also called Ing. It is the rune of potential and fertility. Unlocking that seed of potential will require some specific factors. Factors to review during the isa and naudiz portions. These factors include the right timing, the right conditions (some are trials by fire and some by water), and preparing the ground to provide optimum circumstance for it to spring forth.
  • Berkano is the animation growth potential.  Berkano’s renewal comes from within not from without: “The poplar bears not fruit; yet without seed it brings forth suckers [shoots], for it is generated from its leaves.” (Bruce Dickins translation) Berkano is most often connected to Frigg, goddess associated with hearth, home. It’s the rune used in childbirth and to bring forth new ideas and success. This can be manifested with branches full of green leaves and reaching majestically to the sky.

Taking the Journey Through Tarot or Oracle Cards

In the article, the journey to retreat and renewal was presented with runes for a runic meditation.  But you can also use the journey outline with your favorite tarot or oracle card deck.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can use multiple decks or add the runes to  your card journey to see how they enhance or enlighten the message you received from the tarot or oracle.

Prior to beginning your meditation, shuffle the deck, pull six cards, then place them face down in either a circle or a line. As you progress in the journey, turn over the appropriate card to contemplate on the message it is providing you.

  • Position 1: What is the activity that I need to focus and work with?
  • Position 2: What can help me to slow down, retreat from the bustle, relax? 
  • Position 3: What are the greatest needs that this issue brings out?
  • Position 4: What is revealed to redirect and refocus myself?
  • Position 5: How best to prepare for that new energy to sprout and grow?
  • Position 6: What will help me put those plans into motion to come into its fullness?

That brings you back to the real world with a fresher look at a topic and a direction to move to improve its affect on you.  As with the runic journey, take the time you need to contemplate each message.

Thank you for taking the journey, either with the runes or your tarot or oracle deck. Please consider sharing your experience in the comments or via email.

Rune cards used in feature image from Runes of the Northern Light Oracle by Paola Tartara. Publisher, Llewellyn. Runes made from a Utah Quaking Aspen branch by author with crochet “Heimdall” rune bag.

Tarot and Runes Divination

Greetings and welcome to the divination accompanying The Cartomancer Magazine June 2020 Edition available in print and eZine format at https://thecartomancer.com/

This edition includes my article about using runes with tarot (and oracle) cards as a way to add new layers to your reading. While writing the article, the cards and runes in the above image were drawn asking:  “What is the message once this edition is published?”

This reading is very appropriate given the events the world is experiencing at this time. The runes compliment the message of the tarot cards and give a little guidance in how to direct the message the tarot is giving.

  • Tarot: Justice, Knight of Cups (reversed), and King of Cups.
  • Runes: Gebo, Elhaz (Algiz), and Naudiz (Elder Futhark).

Justice is asking us to look for fairness and balance during these times. Fairness to yourself, and balance.  As the first card, it calls for a check of our mindset and to remove what is not serving us.  The rune that joined the reading is Gebo. Gebo is the rune of exchange and gifts. As an exchange, Gebo supports being balanced. A great compliment to Justice as it encourages us to not swing to one extreme or the other. Being informed from multiple resources will provide information from which to help maintain the balance and fairness Justice is encouraging. 

The next two cards are court cards of the cups.  These two address facets of our personality and how we express those on an emotional level.

The Knights of tarot are often referred to as having the active, outward expressions of teen-age energy.  On the go, exploring, challenging the norms, finding their identity. The Knight of Cups reversed here is indicating to calm those energies and be present in your own body as you work to remove what is not serving you. Being too active and on the go can cause us to miss the resources and answers we have that are near us.  Elhaz/Algiz is the rune of protection. A grove or sanctuary. By not being the adventurous, testing the limits “teen-ager”, use this time to pull into your grove or sanctuary. Surround yourself during this time with the things you need to keep safe and healthy.

The King of Cups represents the parental energy of the “father” role. As the later version of the Knight, this is the role of approaching life with maturity and objectivity. Having this follow the reversed Knight, emphasizes the advice to not be making quick, rash, not fully researched decisions.  The Naudiz rune calls us to look at the things we need. Look at the basics and things that are truly needs and not “nice to haves” or wants.

This is one of the things of “adulting” people want to avoid but are necessary to return to at certain times and situations.  This adulting time does not mean we cannot have fun or expressions of wants, but it’s a reminder to be sure to not ignore the most important things we need to take care of during the times and situations you are facing now. 

It is interesting that the two of the tarot cards are from the same suite (court cups) and the runes are also from the same aett, rune row family. The second rune row, referred to as Hagalaz or Heimdall’s Aett, is one that I see as how we address the challenges and needs of our lives in Midgard (mortal plane). 

Naudiz and Elhaz are both seconds -from the first and last of the aett.  What this means to me is that this isn’t the beginning nor the end result. The challenge (Hagalaz) has already occured, now time to look how it affects what we really need. Elhaz is not where we need to stay, after it comes Sowilo which is sun and health.

 So there is more to look forward to. But for now, we just need to “hunker down” a bit and focus on the things we need to make it through.  

Thank you for reading the article in The Cartomancer. Please find The Cartomancer on Facebook and Instagram: @thecartomancermagazine. And at the website: thecartomancer.com.

Follow me on Instagram: @wyrdgifts1 and on Facebook: @giftsofthewyrd

Cards used in this reading are the Giant Rider-Waite by U.S. Games. The runes were made by me on discs of Quaking Aspen.