“A tree is the most perfect of spiritual beings, with its roots buried alive in Mother Earth and its limbs alive and growing in Father Sky.
According to the Song of the Sybil, when the earth was young, Odin and his two brothers found two trees: an ash tree and an elm, faint, feeble, with no fate assigned to them. Breath they had not, nor blood, nor senses, nor language possessed, nor life-hue. Odin gave them breath. Hoenir gave them senses (shape). Blood and life-hue was given by Lothur. We are the forbears of the trees.
One does not just carve runes, one recreates this ritual. By chanting the name of the the rune, one give the rune breath, the energy of its name. By carving it, one gives the rune senses (shape). By coloring the rune red (blood is optional), one gives it life’s hue. When you carve runes you create life.”
-Russ the Runester
I have felt the need to write about this process for a while. I feel pretty recovered from holiday bustle, so here I am, to tell you about consecrating runes.
If you are consecrating runes, whether you have a new set that you’ve made (or purchased) that needs to be loaded, or you’ve made a bindrune and want to load it with energy and set it to the desired purpose, here are some of the things I like to do when consecrating my own runes.
First, set up a sacred space to do this work. This can be indoors, or outside, just make sure it is somewhere you can work undisturbed, and are comfortable. I like to cleanse the space with mugwort and sage smoke, spreading the smoke with a feather. This is not necessary, but is beneficial, as the smoke will remove any residual energies that will not help with the process. In Norse, this space is called vé. Usually, I do what is called Hammarsettning or ‘Hammer Rite’. I imagine my willpower as the hammer in this rite, that way the energy comes from my center, and not from some force outside myself. In this way, I am cleansing and holding a space in which to do my runework.
Here is an example of the ‘Hammer Rite’.
After this process, I sit down with the rune or runes to be consecrated. After carving and galdrar, the runes are ready to be coloured. I use my own blood for this, as I feel this makes the rune(s) inexorably my own, and blood carries so much power. As a menstruating woman, I have easy access to blood without having to cut myself or poke my fingers. If you decide not to use blood, you can use a natural pigment found at an art store (like madder or ochre) or use acrylic paint. When using another colouring agent besides blood, it is still important to make the runes “your own”. That is to say, put some of yourself into the runes. Using another bodily fluid (Like saliva, sweat, semen or vaginal fluids) is totally acceptable.
It is my belief that this “blooding” is done for 2 reasons: to mark the runes as specifically yours, using your DNA your most sacred signature, and to make an offering of ‘yourself’ (again your DNA) to the runes themselves. The runes, after all, are the deep mysteries of the universe, and they demand an exchange for the wisdom they share.
As I paint the runes with blood (or any other colouring agent chosen), I galdr the name of each rune. So, as the stave is painted and coloured, it is being “loaded” with its name. As I galdr, I hold in my mind what that rune means to me. I picture it in my mind’s eye, and put that thought into the galdrar.
After the runes are stained and they have dried, they can be passed through smoke, or smudged, to cleanse them. Mugwort, (Artemesia vulgaris) also known as women’s sage in some North American Indigenous cutltures, or white sage (Salvia apiana) are both very suitable for this task. As they pass through the smoke, I sometimes say a few words, but it is not necessary.
After the smudging, I often hold each rune in my hands and galdr its name one last time, while picturing what that rune means to me. If it is a bindrune, I now vocalize what runes are bound, and what purpose or task they are bound to.
I hope this is helpful, and many blessings as you Walk the Runes.
ALU : ULA