Note: The beginning of the process originally described below evolved into a full-length book of Womanrunes interpretations and uses. The book and cards are now available on my business site here as well as via Amazon.
I’ve written before about my attraction to Shekhinah Mountainwater’s Womanrunes system. Information on interpreting them is limited—available is a small booklet containing the name of each rune and several associated words as meanings. Shekhinah’s book, Ariadne’s Thread, says that the womanrunes are very intuitive and can readily be interpreted in this manner. While this can be true, I’ve also observed that many women wish there was more explanation for each in the little booklet, beyond a couple of words. At our craft workshop last week, I took my bag of homemade Womanrunes with me and I envisioned working up a more detailed paragraph about each rune. That didn’t happen, since I was running a craft school after all, but I did bring this idea together with my previous idea about a post-a-day experiment drawing a divination card, rune, or CroneStone and sharing the results here. I decided that instead I will draw one of the Womanrunes each day and take it to the woods with me to think about and then I will share here what I come up with. After I manage to work through each one (could be tricky since I’m drawing randomly, at least right now!), I will then have created that booklet of paragraph-long interpretations that I’ve wished for 🙂 I’ve been doing this for several days already, but time to write has been extremely tight to nonexistent.
Today I got off-course at the beginning of the day in trying to help someone with a complicated situation in conjunction one of my volunteer roles as a breastfeeding counselor. It ended up taking several hours and involved more than 20 text messages and an email. I was very preoccupied with the situation, as well as with several other “must-dos” and I found myself lamenting about needing to set boundaries on my roles and that it is okay to say no and to hold my own boundaries. I’ve also been fretting over several other things and feeling very behind on life—the things I need to finish before leaving for California (grandma’s memorial, plus family vacation) actually feel beyond the capacity of one human to handle. Today I also needed to get ready for both my in-seat classes, catch up with my online class, and finish the preparations for our spring women’s retreat on Friday—which includes multiple small ceremonies within it. I did manage to also almost finalize the ceremonies I was working up for my grandma’s memorial services. I experienced a “boundary” issue with some of my students this weekend too and I honestly just felt like lying on the floor and saying, please let me rest. I need to stop, but I can’t say no. I can’t stop responding to people who need me. I feel almost helpless and paralyzed at the foot of this Mountain of Too Much. Yet, I keep going.
Anyway, I am not kidding when I say that the Womanrune I drew after this was THE BOX: “rune of limitation: stability, lessons, boundaries.” So, I went to the woods with it and this is what I learned:
The Box: rune of boundaries. Boundaries. Hemmed in. Closed off. Boxed off. Or: safe, protected, assertive. What do you need to stand up for yourself about? What do you need to speak out about? How do you own your own needs? How do you respect your own inner call? What you want to do. How you want to spend your time. The Box reminds us of the critical importance of saying NO and how that relates to our ability to stay alive, vibrant, connected, vital. In order to be of good service, in order to be strong and healthy, sometimes we will disappoint others, let them down, say no to good ideas, good projects, and even sometimes to legitimate requests for help. What does your body want from you? What does your soul want from you? What do you need? Heed that call.
Set firm boundaries, establish personal space, draw lines in the sand if needed. Mothers know, women know, that boundaries must too be fluid and flexible, because that which cannot yield when necessary, snaps and breaks. So make sure that in your effort not to become taken advantage of, you don’t also become shut off, boxed in, and unable to connect. We must forever balance the forces of separation and connection. Boundaries. Boundaries. Lines. Squares. Diamonds. Protective forces. Sometimes with sharp edges. Sometimes with assertive language, but blessedly essential to wholeness of being and defragmentation of self. Sometimes we desperately need The Box. And, so we refine these boundaries, hone them, trust them, own them, and respect them, in ourselves and in others, when that is what our lives call out for.
To the woods with me, I also brought several items gifted to me for my recent birthday. A mini rosebush from a friend and matching candles from another (one to take to the woods and one to take with me in my travel altar) as well as a niftiest mini crocheted Goddess of Willendorf from my mom.
I also took a new statue of the Goddess Hathor, one I requested for my birthday specifically because she was advertised by Goddessgift.net as Goddess for the Exhausted. That’s what I need, I thought. Bring her my way! I had a lot of thoughts for her and recorded, I thought, about four minutes worth of musings about what is it okay to say no to, what is it okay to not do, but when I checked my phone I saw that I’d accidentally paused the recording 27 seconds in, so those insights have slipped away. (I record myself when I’m in the woods because I forget so quickly what it is that I say when I’m alone there.) I thought there was a bit of a “lesson” for me there too though—maybe I need to not try to type up those things I record! 😉 Or, perhaps her gift was allowing me to just speak and not have to transcribe. There was lots said about permission and not doing self-criticism or blame.
Hi Molly —
Boundaries are the BIG lesson for women. We are raised to have very permeable boundaries, and that’s good in many ways. It means that we can create wonderful, intimate relationships. But it’s also a problem, because we are expected — and we expect ourselves — to take care of everyone and everything.
I’m 66 and have been a feminist since I was 21. I’ve been a self-assured, confident woman for many years. But just last summer I started doing a small ritual every morning where I demarcated myself from others, because my mother was coming to live with me and I knew from experience that this living situation would be difficult for me. This little ritual has changed my life in such positive ways. It has enhanced every relationship in my life, and it helps me not to take on too much.
What I do is a) see myself in a pillar of divine light (the reality for me of being part of the Goddess and She a part of me). Then b) I run the energies down into the earth and up into the sky. And at the end c) I demarcate a circle around me with my hands and envision an invisible “tube,” with a slight sugilite tint, running down into the Earth and then up into the sky. The sugilite color is because sugilite makes you impervious to disharmony in your environment (disharmony was what I was expecting with my extremely anxious mother). Then d) I thank the Goddess and myself for doing this ritual and then start my day. Hope this helps.
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