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Article Specs

Article ID: 12215

VoxAcct: 202887

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,336

Times Read: 3,173

RSS Views: 37,959
Where the Wild Runes Live: Fehu Aett

Author: Tree Higgins
Posted: December 2nd. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,173

Runic meditation can be done in many different ways. For some it is a deep journey within. For me it is a connection with living, powerful forces. I frequently find these runic forces as I walk these mountains of West Virginia without human companionship.

The Earth and all Her Songs are the love of my life and always have been. As I walk in my runic meditations, I find the wild runes quite alive and well here. They are not obscure symbols left in ancient lands or just another divination tool.

Runes exist.

Fehu is all the wild forest, rich and carrying both heritage and responsibility for that green wealth our race was given. Every single leaf, stalk, bark and moss is as valuable as any thing ever held in the vaults and chests of humanity. Fehu sings its ancient song of the responsibility of wealth and inherited knowledge to me with every step I take in these wonderful, wild places. It is a privilege to walk here. It is a responsibility to do what I can to keep wild places as an inheritance for those who follow me.

Uruz becomes the bear’s song, a thing of power. The bears walk these mountains quietly. One would think that so large an animal’s footsteps would be heard a half-mile away but, in reality, you can stand on the other side of a bush and not hear the bear walking past. It is a quiet strength that Uruz has, knowledge of itself and its capability. Bears do not advertise their strength. Like Uruz, they have no need to. The power is simply there and, when need arises, Uruz (and bear) meet that need.

In the great scheme of things, we humans are Thurisaz because we have such infinite possibilities of healing the wild places or of sending them forever into the night. More than any other creature on the planet, humans carry the fate of all in our hands. We have the technology to obliterate the world, to rape and ravage every wild place and every wild creature and to annihilate ourselves. That same technology could heal the planet. It could heal all our people and the wild places if applied with as much vigor as our race does to destruction.

As I walk the wild paths, I think about what we have done. I sing both spells and rune songs to the most wounded of places, the clear cut mountainsides and mined earth. I sing healing runes and protection spells. Although there are limitations to what a single witch can do in one life, I will give what I am able to the Earth and mourn what I am unable to do. Thurisaz has the power of healing through painful transformation, like ore being reforged under the smithy’s hammer.

As I walk the wild paths, I feel the ore’s pain and, sometimes, its rejuvenation. I find Thurisaz’s potential everywhere.

The wind and waters seem to have their own songs. I am a lover of the music of the bubbling creeks and wild rivers. Up on the Cranberry River, I hear the old messages still being sung. I frequently perch upon one of the house sized boulders and lean over to watch the water for hours.

Ansuz is old rivers’ songs. The New River’s song is the deepest because it is the second oldest river in the world. I have stood by its shore at twilight listening to its songs and, like a deaf hag, could only understand part of the words. Still, I was embraced by the rhythm of the New River Song. Old rivers have a lot to say to those who will listen, just as Ansuz opens so many different levels of communication. Yet, Ansuz lives not just in the rivers but it the animal songs of the forest, the coyotes’ plaintive voices, the snort of a startled deer and the rustle of the leaves. All these are sounds are life communicating to life that there is still some simple form of balance in the forest.

Ansuz speaks across the forest in many forms.

My life in wild places has been a long journey. There have been times I have lived for weeks in wild places, seldom seeing anyone and only keeping civilized company of my dogs. Days pass quickly here. Spring flew by and now summer draws to an end.

Raidho here is the passage through the forest and the seasons. It is the force that carries the dance of life that accompanies the songs. Sometimes, the Raidho’s movement is slow like a leaf’s slow descent from tree to ground. Other times, it is the charging sleet stinging everything it contacts. Always, it is about movement, about the journey and the journey is not just about the wild places.

Raidho is about the person who walks the journey with no promises given and no expectations. Raidho keeps the movement, the walking, going until…?

No one knows for sure when the end of the skein is finally reached, until her skein is spent in this realm.

There are places that ignite passion and wonder for the Earth. They sneak up on you, appear suddenly just around the bend. I was seeking a particular herb and not finding much luck a couple of months ago so I took a road that I had never been on before. It was one of those bending, climbing roads that cling tightly to the side of a mountain then suddenly splits. The left hand fork went up the mountain and the right hand fork seemed to follow its curve.

I have a problem with bends in the road. I have to know what is beyond the next bend.

I took the right hand road.

A half mile later, I stopped the car and got out, gape mouthed at the beauty. A rock formation that was the size and shape of a great ship jutted out of the upper side of the road. The “prow” had the features of an ancient face staring away from the mountain. Across the road from the rock formation (which I promptly and without any egotism named “Tree’s Ship”), the land rolled down into an open meadow and I could see mountaintops go on forever until it was impossible to tell where the mountains quit and the clouds began.

There was Kenaz, a ting that hangs between earth and sky promising new horizons. There the torch was lighted inside me, Kenaz burning away the mundane and lighting the new knowledge and the new path.

Many times, I have found Kenaz in places like this. I found it in the Brazos Cliffs early one fall morning and I found it again here last summer. Kenaz is fire that burns away the unnecessary thoughts by blinding the eyes and mind with awe of new knowledge and new sights.

It is a most holy fire.

Last summer I had a wonderful day spent gathering wild blackberries and contemplating life’s joys. Gebo is the fruit and the medicine of the forest but, in gathering fruit and herbs, I enter into the same sacred contract, unspoken but implicit, that all my ancestral mothers entered. I agreed to take the fruit and the herbs only if I used them wisely and did not waste them. The gift of blackberry jam and, later in winter jars of blackberries for cobblers is Gebo.

Gebo is the mead I make from those fruits and herbs. Gebo is the gift and the offering of the mead to my Old Gods and Goddesses. It is the healing that I must offer when the need arises with the herbs I harvest. Gebo is the joy of finding wintergreen berries at my feet or blackberries along the edge of the forest.

Gebo is the sacred contract I enter with the Earth when I take Her Bounty.

Wunjo. What can I say except that I have found Wunjo in this joyous relationship with the wild places, the Old Goddesses and Gods and myself? Wunjo is the Cosmic Dance of mortal beings like the wild places and myself. Wunjo is the fawn I saw running along the my driveway at first light, the laurel blossoms as sunlight caressed them through forest canopy, the sound of the creek singing and laughing over rocks and the full moon rising tonight over the mountain.

Wunjo is the blessing of community and family.

I understand the wild runes when I walk the wild places. They reach out and gently touch me as I walk by and life is good.

Old magic is alive and well.






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Tree Higgins


Location: Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia

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