Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Faith of the First Fruits

 Here in suburbia, it is "my Lughnasadh," and I've begun a 12-day devotional in honor of the Many-Skilled One.  If anyone has ever spoken to me at great length about such things, you may have heard me called the Fire Festivals "portable."  What I mean is that the solstice and equinoxes have fixed astronomical points, related to the Earth's orbit around the sun.

The fire festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltainne, and Lughnasadh) have been assigned points mid-way between them, but my own UPG is that this is a modern convenience, and the folklore surrounding them may indicate that events in the tribal pastoral/horticultural rhythms were indicators of the time for being festive.  If you take, Imbolc, for example, one of the things surrounding Imbolc was the ewe's milk coming in, so a key indicator of by how much your heard may be increasing. Well, what if that doesn't happen on February 2?  What if it happens on February 5 or January 27?  

What if we haven't even "invented" February yet?

Surviving folklore and traditions around all four of them indicate, to me, a recognition of an agricultural cycle.  So, I set out to determine, for ME, when my cross-quarter days could be celebrated.  Two of them were really easy.  Our frost free date around these parts is Mothers' Day (or May 15, depending), and long standing local advice is to not plant ANYTHING until after that. This year cut it kind of close, with cold temperatures up right to the Saturday before (so I waited until May 15).  Similarly, our First Frost is usually around mid-October sometime, so each of those become my Beltainne and Samhainne, respectively.  

(Incidentally, I have forgotten to get things from the garden before that... and saw the effects a killing frost had on my tomatoes.   It totally drove home the admonition to get the harvest done before Samhainne or else the goblins get the harvest!)

That left Imbolc and Lughnasadh.  Thanks to the central Ohio climate, we TYPICALLY have a midwinter thaw around the end of January or beginning of February. If I were so inclined, I could plant cold-weather crops (lettuces and the like) around them.  I'm not too trusting of that, though, but still I could do it.

Unfortunately, global climate change has significantly impacted the last couple of years, and we've not really gotten cold enough for any kind of obvious or meaningful thaw.  So I must look to other indicators, and I talk about those here, in another blog.  

Geese at Imbolc has proven to be a consistent predictor of that, but what of first harvest?  I've toyed with a number of things.... My own garden is irregular as far as things to harvest, sometimes the first things I can get out of the garden occur before Summer Solstice.  Or don't happen until ALMOST Fall Equinox.  

Instead...I've chosen the first time I hear our annual cicadas pipe up.   It's usually mid-late July, and this year was no different.  Although I think they were a TAD early. Maybe the Brood-X Cicadas inspired them?

So what does all this have to do with my title?

I irregular post about my multiday sabbat observances. Lughnasadh is no different.  When Lugh arrives at Tara, in the Second Battle of Moytura, he extols his many skills (wheelwright, smith, poet, champion, etc.). I developed a 12-day (or night) devotional for each of the "skills" There are 11, which is an odd non-3 related number, so the twelfth one honors him as all those aspects.  I'm working on offerings and text and all that stuff (to be released later).  The offerings for the last day INCLUDE whatever first fruits of my garden there are.  

Coincidentally, I DO have a summer squash!  I've identified it as the offering when I get to day 12.  So far though, it appears it may be the ONLY squash.  I can be stingy and say "Well if I offer this I won't get anymore."  But then I'm no better than Bres who withheld reciprocity from the temporarily conquered Tuatha De.  It occurs to me that by sacrificing the first fruits of the harvest, the ancients may have been signaling their confidence that the land would keep its part of the bargain, and keep producing.  In our modern terminology, they had faith that those first fruits wouldn't be the last.

So, on July 25, I will wind up the devotional. I will honor the Many-Skilled God as Chieftain, and master of all. I will offer him oil, grain, apples, and that summer squash, and maybe a first tomato or first bean if that happens, knowing and holding faith that more will come.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Twelfth Night Divination for 2021

(I started this on 1/2 and then the world went kerblooey again....) 

Once again, I was happy to host a Twelfth Night Celebration and Sumbl at our house. Well, it was via Zoom.  And there were a LOT more oaths this year, so we'll see :) The toasts were moving, the boasts were worthy, and the oaths were S.M.A.R.T.  Because of the pandemic, it was all on line. I really hope we can be all together next year.

I don't know why I can never center these!

Throughout the Twelve Nights, I took an omen each night for the coming year, each one a rune to describe the energies for a month. So on the first night it was January, second night get the idea.  I used Taren Martin's Anglo-Saxon deck, so some of the names may be different that you may be used to (and some don't appear in the Elder Futhark systems). 

My mind has been all a-jumble with all things pandemic and politics, and I don't see either of those ending any time soon. 2021 will be as challenging a year as 2020, although the specific challenges will be different, as will the bright spots...and there will be some.

Without further ado:

January: Feoh (Fehu)...I always try not to be too literal, but as many of us found stimulus payments on January 1, this is spot on.  Feoh can refer to wealth that is movable...and should be.  Times will be tough and those who are able to help should. Not everyone got that aid, and it's not enough for many that did.  It makes sense the focus in the early part of the year is on those immediate, practical concerns.

February: Ing (Ingwaz)... Ing's poem makes interpretation hard for me. Connected with Freyr, it has connotations of all that god represents, but none of those feel quite right here.  I'm interested that some variants of this rune look a little bit like a double-helix of the DNA strands. something all of humanity (all of nature?) shares.  A time to look at the common humanity and unite behind it?  I'll check back in Februrary. Also could be an intervention of some sort.. maybe a great discovery or solution?

MarchEoh (Eihwaz) Ur (Uruz)...Both of these cards popped out at the same time.  It feels to me that they are in opposition as opposedto working together. The groundedness of the world tree for Eoh as opposed to the wild uncontrolled energy of Ur. This may be a month of great challenge to hold the center.

AprilTir (Tiwaz)... The guiding star! Ways out of the difficulties become clear and paths forward make themselves know. Those may be different for different people and different contexts. Politically? Pandemically?  Can't really get a sense so maybe both? 

MayGear (Jera) ... Often translated as "year" and thus a harvest kind of thing.  A reckoning as at hand, with rewards or not depending upon what kinds of seeds have been sown.

JuneMann (Mannaz) ... I always see this as a hopeful rune, one of community and togetherness.  Even so, the poem reminds us that our time here is short, and not to take each other for granted.  Many have lost loved ones in this time... even though it's not from the poem, I'm feeling attention to memorializing those losses.

July: Calc ... This rune has no poem attached to it, but means "chalk"or "lime."  Chalk is useful to mark, but it isn't permanent and can be washed away.  I'm feeling like some structures in place are temporary...whether they are good or bad isn't really clear to me right now.  Either way, it's a transition.  

AugustEohl ... The elksedge is defense, but passive defense.  One only gets cut if one goes dashing through it.  I get a very strong "get ready" from this in August.

SeptemberIor ... This is only in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc, and translates as "beaver" or "river-fish." Despite being a mammal, it swims and lives mostly in the water. It's adaptable, changing its environment as the need arises, and so too should we embrace this energy now.

OctoberThorn (Thurisaz) ... I often see this show up for difficulties or obstacles that can be overcome, with care and caution.  So if we saw to our defenses in August, and adapted ourselves in September, we can overcome whatever we need to....carefully.

NovemberNied (Naudhiz) ... I can definitely see a trend in the fall of the year.  More energies associated with being prepared and ready, as we are not out of the woods yet.  A focus on what we need (to again take things literally) as opposed to what we want is kind of auspicious as the Yuletide shopping season silliness begins again.

DecemberWynn (Wunjo) ... I'm not going to lie. I was really relieved to see this on 12/31 given the way the fall was going.  Joy is not necessarily elation or ecstacy.  Joy can be "having enough" as the rune poem suggests. I feel a sense of relief here.  Might have to see what happens, and then also what January 2022 brings!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Midwinter's Dream

Not really a dream. More like a daydream.  I was reflecting on the Solstice Vigil I had with friends via Facebook Messenger and Zoom, and then kind of let my mind wander....

The sun was starting to set as the residents of the settlement started to arrive at the common house.  They trudge through snow-strewn paths from their individual dwellings in this eco-village, carrying baskets of food and carrying slow cookers of assorted tasty foods for the feast.  

As one walks into the main common area, the counters begin to fill and be arranged by type of food and the course of the meal. Salads over here, sides over there, deserts along the far wall. The timbers and railings along the second floor where the library was were all decorated and festooned with greenery, red and white bows, strands of cranberries and popcorn. A large fir tree had been cut down in the forest and was in the process of being stood up in a stand, with some of the folks judging if it were straight, or if was leaning this way or that. Another hub of activity was in the kitchen, where roast turkey and duck were being removed from the ovens, and being prepared.  The great hearth was dark, although it too was decorated as the rest of the hall. Wherever there was a small flat spot, candles were found, lit and shining.  The noise in the room began to rise as more and more of the residents streamed in. Even outside there was much activity, as friends and relatives arrived in RVs and campers and were directed to safe places to park so they wouldn't get stuck in the damp snowy earth.  

Once everyone was assembled, the eldest couple spoke about the meaning of Yuletide, especially to the children.  All joined in blessing the food, thanking the spirits of land for their sacrifice, thanking the ancestors that taught the techniques to prepare the food, and thanking the deities for ordering the seasons thus.  The feast began and even with seconds and occasional thirds, it was over far too soon, as Greta commented that it took longer to prepare than it did to eat!  Some of the musically talented members began to sing and play, as others took their turns helping to clean up the plates and serving dishes, sweep the floors and restore order to the dining area.  Some went to work decorating the big tree, while others adjusted the electrical lights on the outside of the hall.  Still others went about setting up the big altar.  They went to the ancestor altar and transferred pictures of women who were mothers, grandmothers, aunts, inspirers, teachers...anyone who defined as female, and placed them in a special spot on the main altar, plates of food and drink set before them, the ever present candles for each one.  Special honor was given to those who found their place among the ancestors in this year that was passing away.  Stories were told as the altar was arranged, and names were spoken to keep their spirits alive.  

Others set about decorating the big tree with more cranberry and popcorn garland, electric lights, and then other ornaments that had been saved in storage.  A large multi-pointed star rested next to the tree on the stoop of the hearth.  The timekeepers kept watch on the sky, the setting sun, and yes, on their computer devices. The magic was in the perfection of the timing, after all.  

Lastly the woodbusters set about bringing out the trunk of last year's Yule tree, and cut it into two logs. One was placed in the fire ring outside, and the other was hauled into the house and laid in the hearth.  

All was made ready, and at the appointed time, the elder couple began to tell a story. The adults and most of the children had all heard it before, but some of the younger children had not.  All were enthralled as they told the tale of how the sun dove deep into the underworld on the longest night of the year, taking with her all the sorrows of the past year.  She did this on this longest night to make sure she could exchange them all with hopes and blessings to bring back to the world. Everyone was asked to think about those sorrows and regrets they wanted to put behind them, and then come outside.  

The group went outside and faced west.  They watched, and chanted softly their wishes for a good journey.  At the appointed time, a bell rang, as the sun dipped below the horizon.   A match was struck and a single candle was lit under the dying light.  The group turned and somberly went back into the hall, where all the candles and light had been extinguished.

One candle lit another.  The second candle went outside, but the first one went to the hearth, and that candle lit the fire that had been laid there.  After a few moments, the kindling and tinder were crackling, and the bark on the year-old log started to glow. Outside the second candle had done the same to that fire.

The vigil had begun.

As the spirit moved them, the folk lit other candles.  People outside sang and changed around that fire, whereas inside stories were told, wise advice was given.  At the first hour, everyone joined in toasting their female ancestors, for it was Mother's Night.  Every hour after that, they would stop and join in toasting another deity or spirit.

The small children were the first to drop off, and parents carried them back to their RVs or campers, or back to the dwelling. If they were older, they were often allowed to sleep in some of the comfortable chairs.  The adults started to fade too and slowly some went home to nap for a bit. They would come back in a few hours and others may leave, but both fires were always attended.  People nibbled on leftovers from the meal and there was a bit of mead going around for the toasting.  In the darkest parts of the  night, when the smallest numbers were there, the chanting got quieter and the talking turned to whispers.  Even though everyone knew this was not the end, the night still had a feeling of trepidation, of tension.  

Around 6am, anticipation began to build. Those who had stayed awake the entire time were giddy that they had made it, especially if it was the first time.  Some who had napped were stirring and entered the hall sleepily, making sure the big coffee pot was ready to go.

As the clock struck 7 the excitement began to build even more.  The breakfast team got to work preparing the morning meal for the folks who kept the vigil through the night.  As the clock moved closer, people began again to gather outside. The original candle, which had also stayed lit, was brought out as well.   The folk turned to the east to see the black night slowly turn to dark grey, then lighter grey. The moon had already set. The stars began to fade in the growing light.

  Finally, the grey turned to gold with streaks of pink and purple.  The bell finally tolled again and a great cheer rose up with the top of the bright golden disk of the sun became visible above the horizon.  Drums were beaten, rattles were shaken, horns were blasted... the sun had returned!

They group went inside to the hall.  When they had all entered, the child that had been chosen by lot was brought to the Yule tree.  They were helped up the ladder where they affixed the star to the top. The elder couple suggested that throughout the day, the folk take a moment to soak in the newborn sun's rays, and feel the hope and blessings that had been exchanged fill in those spots where sorrow and regret were removed. After a pause, activity began to rise again, as some went to go sleep, but others had breakfast to start their new day...their new year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Samhain Divination

 I remembered to do this! And now I've remembered to share it!

I used the Druid Oracle.  These are TWO sets of cards designed to work together.  The Druid Animal Oracle I am more familiar with. The Druid Plant Oracle complements it, and I'm less familiar with it.

Normally, I take pictures, but as there are likely copywrite issues there, I will kindly request that you Internet search.  They also have a phone app, but I did use the physical cards. 

I drew 9 cards from each deck.  There is one for each high day to reveal the energies (animal) and insights (plants) at play starting on that high day through to the next.  The ninth cards are sort of a keynote or theme of the whole year.

(I do this type of thing often. Sometimes it's interesting to compare the Samhain card themes with the Yule Rune spread for the year, and then my own Tarot horoscope thread... but that's kind of crazy obsessive too, so I don't know if I can recommend it.

So, with out further ado...


Ram (Reithe):  Ability to achieve a breakthrough, inner strength for success; Sacrifice/breakthrough/achievement; groundedness for power to overcome, perseverance

Mugwort (Liath-lus):  prophecy/clairvoyance/protection; following intuition, and banishing negative influences, connection to inner strength and healing.

 The year is about struggling on and keeping one's sense of self, holding one's center and staying grounded, all while listening to one's gut, staying positive. And really, I didn't choose those out of their approrpiateness for Pandemic-mania! Interestingly enough, a number of friends have also shared their omens for the year and really, there's a lot of hope but it is at the end of a very long struggle of a tunnel.  



Blackbird (Druid Dhubh)  walk between the worlds, become more self aware, follow a spirit path; enchantment/the gateway/the inner call
 Clover (seamrag chapaill): Wisdom/health/good fortune; auspicious card, good fortune to come, but perhaps not in terms of money.


The first step is always "Know Thyself" and in the beginning of this dark part of the year, the descent, getting in touch with that inner spiritual strength for the journey ahead is key.  This is a positive and useful experience, which connects you to much wisdom, if you be still and listen for it. 




 Sow (muc):  generosity/nourishment/discovery; generosity and giving freely and enjoying those things given in return
 Burdock (Seircean suirich): harvest/purification/attachment:  free self of a toxic habit, enough is enough, seek learning from negative experiences.


 That discover process that  comes from turning inward is worth nothing if we don't take the wisdom, be it positive or...shall we say...challenging, and use it to get rid of whatever it is we don't want to take into the light, making more room for the growth of what we do want to bring.   It's somewhat ironic in this time of social distancing that I pulled Muc, but I feel like this means to keep our social connections as best we can, even if it's tedious, and some of our loved ones still have no idea how to have a Zoom gathering despite 9 months of trying.  
The hinge of the solstice is not just a new page on the calendar (in a few days, anyway), it's also a turning back outwards to greet other travelers into and out of the dark.




 Fox (Sionnach): Diplomacy/cunning/wildness; knowing when to make one’s move, be diplomatic, be silent, and keep councils
 Mandrake (Mandrag): Called upon to alleviate suffering in some way; wealth/fertility/anaesthesia


Light grows slowly at this bend of the wheel,  and Sionnach reminds us that we should also be slow to share or reveal all we know. I am remembered of the admonishment of T.H.I.N.King before we speak. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Important (or Inspiring)? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?  How will it ease the suffering of the people we come into contact with?   As we are, hopefully, moving out of a very dark and challenging time into vaccination becoming more and more widely available, the tension we all fee may actually get worse; THINK and do what you can to help others.




Goose (Geadh): committing to creative process, creative productive power, stable working partnership (family, long term relationship); vigilance/parenthood/productive power
 Borage (Borrach): courage, looking beyond your own needs and to the greater good; courage/forgetfulness/gladness


There is so much in this reading about looking out for others, which fits with our Keynote of the readings.  We may need to think outside the box a bit, and put our creative sides to work.  While we see to our hearths and homes first, we remember the larger social family, and how can we best support each other.




 Crane (Corr): Secret knowledge/patience, longevity; patience, perseverance, connections with the underworld and arcane knowledge
 Mint (Meantt):  Clarity/Concentration/Renewal; ensure your focus and concentration on work, life, etc.


The light is getting stronger, and with it comes greater understanding.  At Samhain we were tasked with turning inward, and it's interesting that here too, we are reminded of the wisdom and secret knowledge of other realm. Corr is a personal favorite of mine, and they can serve as your guide to remind you of the course you laid in at Samhain.




 Hawk (Seabhac):  see life with perspective, put things in place, find missing pieces, free self from baggage, connect with ancestral roots; Nobility/Recollection/cleansing
 Bramble (An dris bennaichte): holding one’s ground, protection; being sensitive to other people’s boundaries; tenacity;boundaries/rootedness)


It almost feels like this is a completion, a few arcs early.  I hesitate to make huge predictions; it feels like the we will be coming to terms with the general social lessons and patterns we encountered since March 2020, or whenever things hit in your area.  Seabhac is renowned for their vision, so we can look backward to how far we have traveled.  There is still a warning here about taking care and staying safe; it may be tempting to drop those boundaries, but perhaps it's too soon?




 Salmon (bradan): Wisdom/inspiration/keywords; wisdom, inspiration, connecting to your younger self.
 Vervain (Trombhad); cycles of good actions, your own good actions bring good things to other; Reconciliation/awen/magic;


 Despite the care and warnings of the last arc, the late summer into fall might just be a time for celebration.  Both the personal course you charted almost a year ago, and then the larger course the entire world is on, dare I say it, are coming to the end of the cycle? Playfulness abounds, the good things that come to those who wait are here.




 Eagle (Iolair): see self in wider context, decision making and charting goals with clarity and objectivity, detach from everyday worries and cares, grasp subtle concepts; Intelligence/renewal/courage
Agrimony (mur-druidhean): eliminate negative energy from aura and home; liberation from depression and lethargy; purification/liberation/preparation for new beginnings

The previous two arcs come together here.  The vision of Seabhac's perspective is broadened still further by Iolair, and those things we have been struggling to get rid of (be they pandemics or bad habits) are "gone," so we can prepare for the next cycle. "Gone" is always relative; bad habits might not stay gone without our vigilance, and we can say the same for any social ills as well.  

SO...there you have it.  I'd be really interested if anyone gleans any other insights, so feel free to comment below, or wherever I post this. Does it match with your own readings?

*I have chosen to use the Anglo-Saxon name for the Autumn Equinox, so that it "fits" more in my brain with Yule, Ostara, and Litha.  Aiden Kelly chose to use the name "Mabon," instead of Halig, which he explains here.  He has a good reason, so I'm not going to say he's wrong. As my own personal spirituality doesn't follow the general Wiccan theology of Lord and Lady and their journey through the wheel, Halig makes more sense to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Happy New Year...Again?

 Fun times...

So many times during this pandemic I've said "I  will take this time to blog" and, as you can see, I have not.

The pandemic really shattered my plans, as it has done for everyone.  Instead of my "Lent"ish goals I posted about previously, I instead tried hold it together as best as I could. Some days I succeeded, but most days I did not, until a call to the doctor and some "better brain through chemistry" could be achieved.

I did work with my land spirits, but when it came to officially marking the turns of the Wheel, I opted for the group rites (now via Zoom) and none of my normal home-based work.  Just wasn't feeling it.  And as you and I well know, that is EXACTLY the time that work needs to be done!

The corn dolly was placed in the garden, and given flowers and herbs, but with little more than a "Thanks for being here."  I don't know if that's exactly WHY my garden was not so dandy this year...but I have taken note.

How would you look if you stayed out in the rain and sun for six months!

To that end....Friday was the new moon, and it starts the "moonth" that contains Samhain.  So, in a lot of ways, Friday was the beginning of my new year.  I reflected a bit on that odd concept, and how basically from Fall Equinox, with Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur, all the way through to Chinese New Year, sometime in January, we really just have a season of Happy New Years.  The good news, is if you break a resolution, you can already re-do it in a few weeks, rather than months (for a bit, anyway).

We also had the first frost Friday night.  If anyone reads this ever, they know that I consider my first frost to be my HOME Samhain, figuring that before calendars were invented, the land would let you know when summer ends.  

So... with the moon in the right phase and the land signaling the frost.... I again stepped to the liminal time, the end of this year, and beginning of the next.  I turned the compost. I took down this year's corn dolly, my avatar of my land's spirit. I decked her with the last of the flowers from my garden and introduced her to the young dolly for the next year.  Right now, she is whispering her wisdom and secrets to her, as they lay on my earth altar in the temple room.  Soon, her spirit will flow into the new dolly, who will slumber until awakening at Imbolc.  

So... I guess this is mostly just me getting back on track.  And trying to stay on some track even if the ground is shaky and uncertain.  The wheel keeps turning; the geese are migrating;  everything is as it was and as it shall be.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Random Musings on a Pagan Lent

I know...I know...

Pagans are not about austerities or otherwise about giving things up to honor a particular deity or things like that.

But...hear me out.

In Irish mythology, we have the concept of geas which is often a taboo or other personal "rule" (for want of a better word) that a person cannot break without suffering dire spiritual or even physical consequences.  For example, Cuchulain cannot eat dog meat due to his association with dog as what we could argue is his totem animal.  His geas is forever, though.  "Lenten austerities" only last for 40 days (although it's really more like 46. The Sundays somehow don't count, if I remember correctly).

The other thing is that even among Christians the idea of Lent is misunderstood.  Lent is not supposed to be a time of giving up something as a display of one's awesome willpower.  One should give up something meaningful, but for the purpose of improving oneself and one's relationship with God.  One doesn't even have to give something up. One could vow to add something to one's life to serve those purposes too.

Timing becomes a problem. It makes little sense to follow the Christian liturgical calendar, although one could start on Ash Wednesday and end on Spring Equinox.  However, the way Easter varies year to year, one may end up with a shorter period than is commonly expected.  This year, it's about 25 days between Ash Wednesday and the equinox.

One could though start at Imbolc and go to the equinox.  That would be about 6 weeks, or 42 days, closer to the length of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter.               

I have off and on, over the years, done "something," whether it's give up or add to, or both.  My earlier life in Christianity didn't have this, so it's not something that is a hold over for me.  The idea of doing something for the purpose of enhancing one spiritually has always been appealing to me.

SO... I will be starting this year tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.  I am starting later because to be honest, I've felt in a spiritual drought since mid January, and basically skipped the entire Imbolc season. I didn't go to any group rites, didn't do anything at home... not a great thing for a person who considers herself a Bridgid devotee.  I need to get my spirit right. Not because the gods demand it, but because I do. I am more centered and calm when I have my spiritual house in order.

My goal then is to do specific things that will address that:

  • Daily devotionals every day. Preferably in the morning, but if not, then at another point during the day.
  • Evening rites as needed. I have my own liturgical calendar in my head, and it includes moon rites at the four phases, flame tending for Bridgid and other devotionals to other deities, my house spirits, and my ancestors.
  • Morning yoga and meditation.
  • Exercise
We'll see if it works.  I'm not going to call it a geas since the folkore seems to indicate that is something given to one, and this is just me talking.

Oh....I'll probably give up the Starbucks too....

Friday, January 3, 2020

2020 Runic Forecast

As usual, I pulled a rune for each of the Twelve Nights of Yule that we just finished (or 12 Days of Litha, if you prefer).  Each rune was pulled after the spirit of that day was honored, except for days 10 and 11, because I had a really hectic time with family those days.  Those got pulled before the sumble, and the Twelfth Night rune was pulled after we did the three rounds.

I did NOT pull a rune for the year all together (a keynote or significator). Everyone has their own path, and hopefully by now you know what yours is for the year. (If me!)

So, without further ado...

January -- Algiz

Interestingly enough the beginning of the year brings the rune of protection, and given the way the year has started, with the drums of war beating, it makes more sense to me than it did on the first night of Yule.   The protection here is divine; Algiz is associated with swan maidens and valkyries, so look to your spirits for insight on how to best protect you from the emotional roller coaster of this first month (really, days) of 2020.

February -- Kenaz

From under the protective wings of your spirits, you can begin to seek out the best direction to head.  If you're like me, you made some resolutions (formal or otherwise), and while January's advice may have been to pause to get your bearings, now it's time to emerge and start down your path for the year.  I always liken Kenaz to a modern flashlight; we use it to search for things in the dark.  So start searching for the direction to go because in March....

March -- Naudhiz

The rune for Naudhiz resembles the two sticks one rubs together to get a fire started, and March is now the time to do this. Most people are done with their resolutions by mid February, but remember, we got a late start!  That's okay though!  The energy of Naudhiz in March supports your endeavors to light your own fire.

April -- Perthro

April is spring time here in the north, and the energy now is of getting together with others. The Dice Cup could be an integral part of gaming, and fostering connections and collegiality with others. So come on out of the winter and into the spring. Take a chance on whatever socializing is more than your usual. If you're an introvert, that can mean maybe coffee with one other person; if you're a social butterfly, try some new venues to meet people.  Keep a special eye out for those with advise (or warnings) related to what your path is this year.

May -- Berkano

The poplar tree shoots up from it's roots, providing lots of opportunities. The birch tree was used in saunas for purification. May is about all sorts of opportunities that need to be weeded through, discarding those that aren't helpful, and keeping those that are.  Busy busy busy!

June -- Dagaz

All is clear when the sun breaks through the clouds.  The answers to your questions will come easily, and you will know with certainty the direction that you must take.  Be careful though, to not be blinded by that which shines too brightly.

July -- Ehwaz

In July, we renew our connection to our spirits. In January, we sheltered under their protection; in July we work with spirit in partnership, as a horse and rider work together.  Sometimes, they will guide us more intentionally, other times they will let us go, always there as an anchor if we go too far from where we want to be.

August -- Othala

The rune Othala reflect ancient lands, farms that were passed from generation to generation, and is a rune of ancestry, but also boundaries.  In August, we may need to reinforce those boundaries, having expanded them in April.  We will have learned the lessons we needed to, and now it's time to begin to reflect on these and how they relate to your path this year.  For that, you may need to firm up those boundaries, and decide when you can push through them. 

September -- Laguz

Water is associated with wisdom, and I always associate Laguz with the wells at the base of Yggdrasil, holding all the world's knowledge and wisdom.  Likewise, we all have our own, inner well of wisdom.  Take the lessons of the year so far and see how they can be integrated with your own past experiences and knowledge, to increase and enhance your own intuition.

October -- Uruz

In the Norse and Icelandic poems, Uruz refers to the dross or slag that comes out of the process of shaping and making.  Once you've taken the lessons of the year to your own inner well, it's time to integrate them even more into your life, in whatever way that is meaningful.  Uruz is a lot like the Temperance card on the Tarot, taking two (ore more) things and melding them together into something new and useful.  Good for the harvest time!

November -- Eihwaz

Eihwaz calls on us to renew our connection to the worlds of spirit and this world, however you see them.  At the beginning of November we're connecting with our ancestors at Samhain, and as we go towards winter (in the North), it's time to turn inwards, reflect on not just our path and the lessons learned there, but also our place in our cosmology, and connection with the divine however we see it.

December -- Ingwaz

 I will admit, I was at first puzzled by Ingwaz, but then I remembered my own experience with Ing (Freyr) as a god of peace and frith. While those things are called for in a month of social gatherings with friends and family, whether we want to be with them or not sometimes, I feel this is calling on us to bring those qualities into all parts of our world.  I also hope that this is a positive end to a year that has started off on some pretty stressful footing, and that we will all (humanity, not just those reading this) be able to enjoy those qualities and energies that this rune brings.