Rune Divination Practise

Today’s rune is H – Hagalaz  -“hail”: The sudden, unavoidable wrath of a hailstorm. Blight of crops, destruction of all that you have made.

As I posted below, I’m using Freya Aswynn’s “Runes of Yggdrasil” cards to do these daily rune readings. I drew last night for today and, for the first time, the card flipped.

When reading single tarot cards, I generally shuffle the cards until they “feel” mixed, then cut directly to the one “intended”: i.e., holding the deck face down, I lightly stroke my thumb and middle finger from the bottom to the top of the deck, feeling for the place the deck is ready to cut. I turn my hand over, bringing the bottom card of the packet face up and this is the chosen one (unless I am going to do a larger spread, in which case I will have told the deck that I will put the cut packet to the bottom and begin dealing the spread from the face-down card on top). If a card is determined to be selected and will not wait, then occasionally the  card will flip – selecting itself. This is one of the taken-as-read rules I have established with my tarot.

Well, I was mixing the cards by lying them all face down and swirling them together, allowing them the opportunity to become inverted (a technique I also use with the tarot if I plan on allowing the deeper layer of meaning that comes with the upright/inverted aspects). After swirling, I gather up the deck, square the cards then cut as outlined above.

I didn’t get the chance. Hagalaz flipped, the rune itself reinforcing this sudden, unexpected, forceful turn of events. Naturally I accepted the (non-invertible) rune, packed away the deck and went to bed, determined to stay hyper-aware and ready for anything the next day.


The next morning I woke with Hagalaz on my mind; this time, my awareness focussed on how I also associate Hagalaz, Nauthiz and Isa with the Norns – Urd, Skuld and Verdandi; past, future and present. Urd is the “oldest” of the Nornir, the “crone” aspect, and rules over all things past and done. All history and tales of our ancestors, she folds the cloth woven from the threads of wyrd, spun by Frigg and snipped by her youngest sister, Skuld.

As I brushed my teeth, I noticed that the drain guard on the bathroom sink is a six-armed cross – the alternate form of the Hagalaz rune. Rather than being the harsh, sudden strife of the hailstone, the “soft” form of the rune symbolises an unexpected blessing; like catching a snowflake on your tongue! I took this on board, acknowledging that Hagalaz could both harm and heal.

At work we use a wide variety of tools – some unchanged since the beginnings of craft (the hammer, for instance) and others using the modern magics of electricity and chemistry (the micro-flame welding torch that produces it’s own hydrogen and oxygen by the electrolysis of distilled water) – one of the most versatile  of these tools being the pendant motor… basically a dentist’s hanging drill with a flexible drive shaft. Two weeks ago, while polishing a beautiful ring, my long Norse beard got a little too close to the spinning mop. Before I knew what was happening, my beard got wrapped around the mop and the handpiece reeled itself into my chin like a hard punch. I took my foot off the pedal, switched the power off at the wall and began unravelling the mess.

To my dismay, as I unwound the mop, whole bunches of my beard hair fell into my lap. Once I got the tangle undone, I found that I had epilated the right hand side of my chin, from my bottom lip all the way to under my jawline. Worse still was that the sudden grind to a halt had caused the inner cable of the drive shaft to wrench itself into a kink… testing it revealed that it was too damaged for me to repair, and the huge waggle of the handpiece rendered the tool unusable.

I tried to buy a new driveshaft from my usual tool supplier, but they didn’t have any in stock, nor did the warehouse at head office. I put my order in, then left for a week-long trade show in London. At least I wasn’t having to make do without it.

When I got back, they still hadn’t got one in. It took a further week for it to arrive, which just happened to be this morning, the Hagalaz day. I phoned to find if it was in yet and how much it would be. With VAT it was just shy of £200. What with the huge outlay of exhibiting, building the stand, plus hotel and food at the trade show, we just didn’t have the budget for even such a moderate outlay. I felt thwarted.

Then Izzy asked if I had called Charlie.

D’oh! I should have called him a fortnight ago when the thing broke. Charlie is one of the best-kept secrets of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, you meet him by introduction only. He’s always on the road, wheeling and dealing the whole length and breadth of the country, but his base and storage unit is right here in the most central location. Anything you could want for precious metalsmithing and jewellery making, from a polishing mop to a electrolytic microweld, he’s got it. I felt such a fool.

I gave him a call and he had exactly the part for less than half the price (for cash) and he could be back in Birmingham in about an hour. Sorted.

I got the cash and walked up to his unit. I’m not exactly the tallest, but Charlie is a good head shorter than me. As he opened the door and I stepped into the dimly-lit interior, it really felt like being welcomed into the secret store of the Dwarven smiths. Deal done, I stepped back out into the sunshine, happy and relieved that I could get back to using the motorised tools, rather than the slow, long process of traditional hand tools.

Which is when I realised that the Hagalaz-as-a-snowflake blessing had manifested. Not only that, but that the original crisis of being punched in the face and breaking the vital tool (Hailstone Hagalaz) had happened two weeks ago (in the past, under Urd’s purview).

Not bad… all three aspects in one event. No wonder the rune had flipped!


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