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Celebrate Yule with a Norse Rune Meditation Ritual

Amanda Tamane

God Jól! Yule is upon us! This marks the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is the first day of winter, and it marks the point at which the days start to get longer once again. The sun will slowly return, until it reaches its apex at the summer solstice.

In this ritual, we will celebrate the season by learning the significance of three runes that are related to the holiday.

You will need:

In many Northern traditions, we face north during ceremony. If you are practicing this way, set up your altar or ritual space so that you face north as you sit before it. 

Draw the runes you will focus on for the ritual: Jera  (“yay-rah”), Eihwaz  (“eye-woz”), and Perthro  (“perth-row”).

The runes you will need for the ritual: Laguz, Jera, Eihwaz, and Perthro

Place the container of water before you. Trace the Laguz ᛚ rune three times above it, while saying the rune name aloud (“lah-gooze”). Then, say: “From the Well of Wyrd this water flows, and to the Well it shall return.”

Sprinkle some of the water over the altar, and say: “I bless this space with the waters of the Well of Wyrd.”

Spend some time in silence, allowing your breathing to become deep and even. 

Point to the north, and say: “Guardians of the North, of the element Earth, and keepers of the secrets, hallow and ward this stead.”

Point to the east, and say: “Guardians of the East, of the element Air, hallow and ward this stead.”

Point to the south, and say: “Guardians of the South, of the element Fire, hallow and ward this stead.”

Point to the west, and say: “Guardians of the West, of the element Water, hallow and ward this stead.”

Return to the north, point upwards, and say: “Hallow and ward this stead.” Point downwards, and say: “Hallow and ward this stead.”

Light the candle, and focus softly on its flame. If you are imbibing in cannabis, you can light it in the candle and enjoy it now. 

When you are in the right headspace to begin meditation, look down at the runes. Take the bloodstone into your hands and hold it as you take in the first rune, Jera.

Jera represents celestial bodies in motion. The shape of the rune resembles two objects in one another’s orbit. It reminds us that nothing stays still, and life’s only consistency is change. As you look at the rune, consider what other meanings it presents to you. What feelings and sensations does it reveal?

Next, take in the next rune, Eihwaz. This rune represents the backbone, and so it is associated with the trunk of the world tree Yggdrasil, which holds all of the different planes of existence. It also resembles an arrow, and encourages us to draw our metaphorical bow and let the arrow fly! Spend some time contemplating this rune. How does it relate to this time of year, and what messages is it giving you?

Finally, spend some time looking at Perthro. This is one of my favorite runes. It is often associated with a dice cup, and games of chance. It can also be seen as a well of black water, like the Well of Wyrd. It embodies the power of the Norns, and is associated with secrecy and silence. It is the Well of Urd and the Well of Mimir. It can resemble a womb, or a woman crouching in the birthing position. It has a sense of waiting, and something about to be revealed. These images are very relevant at Yule, when the Sun is at its weakest, and we wait for it to be reborn. Consider these images and how they relate to the other runes.

When you feel the meditation has run its course, look back to the candle and say:

I sorrow not, though the world lies wrapped in sleep.
I sorrow not, though the wind blows hard and fast.
I sorrow not, though the snow falls cold and deep.
I sorrow not, for this shall soon be past. 

Blow out the candle and gather the bowl of water. Say: “Now my rite has ended. I thank all who have attended and lent their energy tonight.” 

Take the water outside and return it to nature, or pour it down the drain and say: “May the water return to the Well of Wyrd.”

Carry the bloodstone with you to remind you of the lessons of the season! Blessed be!

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