What’s on my mind

Rune Alchemy Workbook by Marie Judson

It’s hard to contemplate writing about anything except what’s foremost on my mind at the moment! I had a week off (sort of) before starting to teach summer school and spent it (and some!) figuring out how to set up newsletter send out, getting sign ups, what should go in the newsletter, and so on.

I finally decided on what I want to give away, when people sign up. That sent me on a three-day non-stop scanning jag (when not working). This is it: I spent years studying runes. I didn’t just study them; I GOT INTO them. I created a wheel of the year with a rune every two weeks and learned a bit more about that rune each time. There’s a natural precedent for that since Jera, the twelfth rune, is tied to Midwinter and Dagaz, the 24th rune, to Midsummer.

Runes have a philosophy. They’re not just letters with phonetic value. When they were carved or embroidered onto something, they carried a wish or a warning, protection or well wishes, with more than words – bestowing some magical power imbued by gods or sacred trees, the earth, the sun, a mountain, an animal.

After a while, I began to design sigils—a combination of multiple symbols blended together to have a more complex or integrated meaning. Over years, I developed a full set of the twenty-four runes combined with alchemical symbols and more recent rune sets (such as dragon runes). I added information from ancient sources such as the Ogham and corresponding sacred plants to the backs of the cards. I thought I might develop the designs into tarot cards. That might happen someday but, for now, I decided to create a workbook that allows people to write reflections on the designs, with prompts. It’ll be going out with welcome emails to anyone who signs up for my newsletter.

I’m pretty thrilled to have moved through this process. Making adjustments never seems to stop, at this point. It’s a long and detailed process! But satisfying. I think it should be up and running to go out with welcome letters to newsletter subscribers in a few days.

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