Womanrunes: Rune of the Self. Beginnings, Potential. Innocence.
The truth of being may be grander and deeper and broader than you can ever imagine. Look before you and bear witness to the magic, the pure potentiality that surrounds you all the time. Is not your very Self a true miracle? Thinking, breathing, moving, walking, grasping, laughing, loving, writing, talking, holding, birthing, creating. These systems that animate your body, beat your heart, grow your fingernails, circulate your blood, digest your food, gaze at your baby. This is incredible. Incredibly majestic, incredibly miraculous, and incredibly mysterious. What is this process of cell division? What is this process of thought? What is this process of life and living? Where does it come from and where does it go? How does it work? Really work. The language of meiosis and mitosis and synapses and electrical impulses is not enough. We can explain life in scientific terms…sort of, but underlying it is still a fundamental majesty of unimaginable wonder.
Rune of the Self: Potential. Innocence. Beginnings. Just as the acorn holds limitless oaks, the Self has limitless potential. Expanding, contracting, opening, closing, leaping, pausing, watching, knowing, asking questions…
To be a human being sitting on a rock, in the sun, feeling wind, breathing in and out, reaching. This very moment, this very experience, this very capacity to sit and see and wonder, is the soul of life.
Today* my mom and I spoke briefly about my grandma and whether or not her “spirit” is still present. I’ve mentioned that I don’t really get the kinds of “messages” that other people seem to experience after the loss of someone important to them and my mom feels pretty certain that life is over when it is over. So, once again, the Womanrune I drew today felt particularly perfect for the things on my mind.
I’ve thoughts for years that the answers, so to speak, are beyond the grasp of our imagination, beyond the boundaries of our physical experience. Bigger, deeper, broader, and more intricate than we can ever hope to learn or know and that is why, I do not pretend to have any sense of certainty about what, if anything, happens after death. There is too much we do not know or understand about the way the world works, the way the universe dances, to make any sort of definitive pronouncements and I return to subjective understanding, personal experience, and felt reality. Felt intuition. My felt intuition says that energy goes somewhere and that the animating force that runs through each of our bodies in life, stirs us into being, incubates our dreams and hopes, breathes life through us. That force may well remain forever, embedded in the ripples and eddies of time and space. It may remain recognizable, it may remain conscious. Or, it may become dispersed into the larger currents of reality, though having made an indelible imprint and a lasting mark at its place on the ribbon of eternity. These threads, in the Goddess-Earth-Universe tapestry, with which we weave and are woven, hold infinite potential, and are connected in an unbreakable fabric of relationship and wholeness. It doesn’t matter how far away the ribbon unfurls, there is still a mark on it named Mamoo. It doesn’t matter how great and grand the tapestry grows and how far it is woven, there is still a thread in it named Mamoo. And that thread, is interwoven with my own in deep and lasting ways. This place on the ribbon named Molly right now, I like her and I enjoy her company.
My mind has been on my grandma all day today. I’ve been working on her memorial ceremonies and looking at pictures and crying and thinking about my speech for her luncheon. Something I realized is that some of the things I admired most about her are interestingly the same things that I am often critical of in myself.
When I came in from my woodspriestess time, I decided to do a guided meditation called Connect to the Red Threads: a meeting with the cosmic mothers from Lunation. I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time and even though my to-do list was a mile long today, I decided to give myself the 15 minutes to do it. In the meditation, you descend into the earth and into caves below it, while your “red thread” curls around connecting with the planet. In my “vision,” my grandma and my mom and my daughter all joined me in the caves and we were all connected by the red threads, navel-to-navel. My grandma sat there, holding her thread and smiling, but looking kind of out-of-place and I thought, she would SO have really done this. Even though it wouldn’t have been her thing and she would have felt like it was silly or not really been interested, she would have been game to sit in a cave and hold a red thread with me in real life if I’d wanted her to do that, because if it was important to me, she tried to be interested in it too. When the meditation moved out of the cave, I sort of got swirled out into the atmosphere and I held my grandma’s hand and took her with me. We hovered out in the universe together, her wearing a blue flowered jacket, white shirt, blue slacks and blue canvas shoes (I thought it was the outfit from her obituary picture, but it wasn’t actually) and the 13 “cosmic mothers” of the meditation came out to meet us. They were not easy to perceive—they were basically each a swirly woman in veils of different color, there was an orange one, a purple one, a green one, etc. Then, we went back down to the ground, to the earth and they sat around us in a circle. My grandma and I were standing. We put our hands together, palm-to-palm, and made a kind of circular, sweeping motion. Then she said, “I am still a part of the world,” and touched my face. The meditation ended and the 13 cosmic mothers swooped away and took her with them.
One of the things I talked about today with my mom was whether or not the “message” truly comes from outside of you or just from your own psyche, doesn’t really matter. It still tells you something. It is similar to shamanic journeying—it doesn’t actually matter how much of the experience is “made up” or self-created, it still happens and it means something.
For my grandmother’s ceremony, I re-worked part of a T.S. Eliot poem into a responsive reading so we can do it together. The group as a whole will read the part in italics and I read the other parts. I like call-and-response things like this, because it gets the other people actually involved, rather than just listening to someone talk…
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from…
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the appletree…
Heard, halfheard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are infolded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”
In a stroke of irony, since I just wrote about the value of boundaries, my attention was also caught by an old recording I made called Boundless. It is a sort of meditative musing and rather than transcribe it, I decided to do an experiment and I uploaded the recording itself to Soundcloud instead. Let me know what you think
(*These thoughts were actually collected on May 6, which is the “today” of which I speak in this post.)
The first post in my Womanrunes series is available here. The runes and the names of them come from Shekhinah Mountainwater’s Womanrunes system for which there are no written interpretations available other than the name and one word meanings. I’m engaging in a semi-daily practice of drawing one and then going down to the woods with it to see what it “tells” me–basically, creating what I wish I had, which is a more developed interpretation of the meaning of each womanrunestone.