The Initiate’s Bindrune

28March

From time to time people send me questions about runes, and I had one come my way recently that I’d like to share with you. A reader from Berlin asked about changing an Algiz tattoo into a bindrune because the Algiz rune by itself has some rather negative connotations in Germany. For the reader, the symbol was closely tied to his journey for sacred knowledge, and he wanted to preserve the meaning, but didn’t want anyone to confuse it for its new negative cultural meanings.

A little background first. In Germany, the Algiz and Othala runes are closely linked with racist hate groups, and the police often link these symbols with criminal intent. Sadly what is sacred and spiritual to some is also misappropriated by nefarious groups as a way to self identify.

To keep the original meaning of the tattoo, I sent the reader a new bind rune that I call an “Initiate’s Rune”. It symbolizes the journey forward toward new knowledge, and the changes that can come about in ourselves as we discover more about our place in the universe.

The Initiate's Bindrune

The Initiate’s Bindrune

In addition to Algiz, there are:

Ansuz – Odin’s rune, and the beginning of the path for hidden knowledge since Odin sacrificed himself on Yggdrasil to learn the runes

Raido – Representing the journey to acquire knowledge

Ingwaz – In this sense, Ingwaz represents solitude, for the journey toward enlightenment can sometimes be a solitary walk

Othala – Here it represents those around you who support your journey for wisdom; family, friends, and colleagues

Gebo – Represents both the sacrifice to obtain hidden knowledge, and the gift of that knowledge once you have worked for it

Wunjo – A rune of harmony; after becoming something new, we have to integrate our “old” selves with the new things we have discovered, and create a new balance

Tiwaz – Here a rune of protection and justice, so that you may be protected on your journey when you need it, and in turn seek justice for others when they need it
Initiate's Bindrune Detail

Runes contained within the Initiate’s Bindrune

I’m hoping to include this bindrune in to the catalog soon, so stay tuned!

Rune Videos Series Complete!

25October

Finally finished the last video in The Elder Futhark series, Othala! It’s now uploaded and ready for viewing – please pass on the good word if you enjoy the videos, and thank you all for your patience, kindness and encouragement.

Daily Runecast for April 10, 2014

10April

Runecast 04/10/2014

Runecast 04/10/2014

You’re being oversensitive to the opinions of others and their expectations of you. Your most valuable assets – the qualities that make you unique – are turning into liabilities by people who value conformity and adequacy. Develop a thicker skin, and stand up for your ideas and creative impulses.

Daily Runecast for April 9, 2014

9April

Daily Runecast, 04092014

Daily Runecast, 04092014

You’ve gotten by lately, and that’s about it. Your method for staying out of trouble is retreat, non-action, hugging the wall. Forces are coming that will disrupt things for you, and you won’t be able to avoid it. It’s all for the best, though, so when it comes, throw your arms around it.

Iceland Trip 2004 :: Geysir

8April

Geysir, Iceland 2004

Geysir, Iceland 2004

As part of our driving tour, we stopped to see the geyser fields, and walk around a bit. I really wish we’d been able to see more of the area on that trip; we’ve added it to our list for the next visit, definitely.

Daily Runecast for April 8, 2014

8April

daily rune spread

Wayfarer’s Mark :: Daily Rune Spread for 04082014

You struggle daily just to stand still, always fighting the pull back into destructive behaviors. There will be a much-needed break from this endless toil soon. Take time to regain your strength, and ready yourself for the wild ride ahead. Big challenges are still ahead of you.

The Final Aitt :: Video Series Nears Completion

4May

InspirationThe final videos in “The Elder Futhark :: A Brief Guide” series are getting their finishing touches, and should be released within the next 30 days. It feels good to get this rather large project nearer to completion, and allows me to plan out new projects, both personal and professional.

The work for the video series will be assembled into a booklet format and sold for $1.99 through the store. The written guide will give a brief rundown of each rune, two different divination systems, and interpretations for both my Troth and Druid friends. It will contain original artwork as well, so be on the lookout for “The Elder Futhark :: A Brief Guide” booklet in June!

I’m also working on a new series of bindrunes and hallows, both of which will be turned into fabrics through Spoonflower. I’ve had a few requests from my fiber arts friends to put some fabric designs together, and I’ll be spotlighting some of the work resulting from that.

Busy months ahead! I wish you all the happiest, safest and most enjoyable seasons ahead.

Artist: Lucian Freud and Inspiration

30August

I saw a very interesting documentary this week that I wanted to mention — worth watching, and it prompted me to think about something that relates to people who create.

The documentary in question was “Lucian Freud’s Naked Truths” about the German/Brit painter grandson of Sigmund Freud. He painted stills and portraits in an honest, almost brutal way, almost exorcising some the demons from his intimate relationships. I had a chance to see one of his first exhibits at the Hirschhorn in the early 90’s — before I saw the exhibit, I confess that all I knew about him was the his famous grandfather, but I was glad to learn and appreciate both his art, his personal struggles and how they affected each other.

The “Oh!” moment for me came during a segment of the documentary when they started discussing the “why”, the reason Freud painted. In his life, he had some major issues when it came to the close relations in his life: his wives, girlfriends, and children. One painting in particular caught my attention, especially the process by which it was painted.

The painting (I can’t find the name of it, but you can see a small version of it here:  http://www.acquavellagalleries.com/news/the-guardian/. Two of the figures are his ex-wife and then-current girlfriend, and the other two are his children from two different mothers. The odd aspect is that he painted the figures in isolation – the ex-wife posed alone, the one daughter and the current girlfriend were painted together, and his son was painted sometimes with or without the others. Very telling that he attempted to keep all the messy relationships as separate as possible. He also used his art as a way to resolve some of his problems with his family — getting to know his many (rumored as many as 40) children by having them pose for him, and finding ways to re-connect with some of the many women he loved and left in his past.

I was thinking about how we as spiritually-minded artists work out our relationships with the Gods, Ancestors, Nature Spirits and Tribe through our art. Is it a conscious thing, or is it something that happens just beyond our notice as we create? Are you working on some “messy” relationships through your art? Has your art ever given you a solution to a spiritual issue? Has it ever revealed a spiritual problem you weren’t aware of?

For me, it’s a mix. I sometimes create with a specific spiritual component in mind, and even perform a mini-rite before I start to get my mind focused on my inspiration. Other times I gather inspiration over a long period, and I don’t even see the spiritual aspects until long afterward.

What about you?