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It's All        
    In How You Look At It:

    It all started as any other quest for knowledge, I began seeking within the written word, not only for the simple pleasure which reading brings to me, but also because I am ever in search of further enlightenment, and then, BAM! Whilst reading from the Havamal, or Songs of the High One, of the Poetic Edda for the umteenth time, two different Stanza's from within the section of the All-father's ordeal literally jumped out to me and seemed to have bothered my brain so, nagging at me to place them both within the bright light of understanding.
    While the second stanza to have caught my eye from the Havamal is the second installment of this section ::SG:: The first, Stanza #140 from the Poetic Edda, depending upon the translation, is as follows:

From the wise son of Boltorn, Bestla's Father,
I mastered mighty chants nine,
and a draught I had of the dearest mead,
ladled from out of Odraerir.

    This particular portion shall touch upon the first stanza only, for it is this stanza which brought to mind a series of nine complex, intricately woven Bind-runes containing the twenty-four staves of the Eldar Futhark instead of the nine individually irreversable runes of the same Futhark as some speculate.
    After many a sleepless night and an unhappy wife, (due, in fact to a cold and lonely bed that beckoned, which I failed to hear due to my incessant questing), ::SG:: I came across a set of nine different bindings, the endings of which coincide with one another in a Spiritual sense.
    To further this inconclusive proof, the verbal, or phonic, sounds of the endings of each stave within each of the groupings also coincide, (just close your eyes and give license for a few linguistic errors, if necessary.) [Also note that the images are not yet up. I am having minor time constraints and some 'pewter difficulties. They'll be up soon, Kim {8^)   ]

    The first bind consists of Mannaz & Kenaz; combined together they create human inspiration, these staves are indeed of the Origin, for without them, I do not believe that I would have arrived at these, or any, of my current conclusions in my runic studies! It is within my thoughts that this may in fact represent the dormancy of Niflhem by symbolizing all that which resists us in our seeking. For without the concept of animating, enlivening, or exhalting, what is there?

    Next to bind are the staves of Eihwaz, Tiwaz, Ehwaz, and Ingwaz; combined together they then are able to create potential energies which are awaiting release, yet one must look within to find the direction with which to bring these energies under one's guidance and transform them with a sudden release of focused power. This then, would represent Muspellheim, in its full state of vital and active energies just awaiting a true seeker to create from the inspiration of Niflheim.

    Third to be bound together are the staves of Thurisaz, Hagalaz, Elhaz (Algiz), and Dagaz; for these then create an active defense with which to decend towards one's own de-evolution and thus gain the protection and self-less instruction of one's Fylgia which shall in turn begin to awaken an awareness of all levels of consciousness. Symbolizing Svartalfheim, the realm which holds not only our ancestral memories, but also enables our creative emotional influences to be reached and thus put into use for our own benefit.

    Fourth on this remarkable spiritual journey are the bound staves of Wunjo and Berkano; with which to grant harmony among all folk and bring forth to fruition new ideas, such as these I am currently in process of presenting to you. Represented by Ljossalfheim, the Realm of Thought, which brings forth the capable mental influences enabling us to decipher the facts from real events and to then deal with them in a practical style.

    The fifth Stave from Boltorn's son is the combination of Pertho and Raidho; which then opens one up to the realization of the divine order of Orlog so that one may now journey runically to the heights of previously unattainable levels. Contrary to popular thought, the realm of Helheim is not entirely dank and dark, for it does, in fact, represent our hidden fears and suppressed desires, which thus gives it this horrendous air and sense of doom.

    Which then leads to the sixth bind-rune fashioned by the staves of Gebo and Sowilo; which actually enables one to balance the internally antaganistic forces, such as those just mentioned, and so adapt to the needs of the Higher Self over those of the base self, this then enables us to create an individualization of Being. Considered to be issues that often confuse us, this symbolizes the realm of Jotunheim, where the only true crisis is that which we create for ourselves.

    Seventh of the nine is the culmination of Isa and Othala; to focus and then to concentrate upon one's own ancestral rights so that one may thereby claim what is rightfully due. Vanaheim may be symbolized as the realm of true well-being and grants unto us, as seekers, the ultimate balancing influences through not only a sense of internal calm, but grants these benefits through the knowledge of who we actually are capable of becoming.

    Which leads to the eighth combination, that of Ansuz, Laguz, and Uruz; the magical formation which is the inspiration of ALU, the one bind which is a given here. It is that of the words "I AM", created by placing all three one atop another. Representing AsgardR with its higher influences of Orlog and weird which should be considered as the almost unattainable. This, then is, in my opinion, the climax of the bindings given, for the next is…

    The realm of MidgardR which is symbolizing our ego, for it is our personal outcome in life which distinguishes us from all others and is the final Stave gifted, which is created from the three remaining runes with no apparent phonic mates, those of Fehu, Nauthiz and Jera; which, when bound together they do indeed create the understanding of true necessity through monetary wealth, which then brings about the realization of the natural cycles of life.

    The only conclusion which I have come to regarding this bit of subjective information, if any at all, is that the final Bind-rune thus leads in turn right back to the first stave, completing this evolutionary circle, and thus brings forth a recognization of the fact that one's spiritual growth is a necessary course to persue in order to attain success.

Of the etin's lore, and of all godheads,
sooth, and but sooth, I say,
for I have seen all the worlds 'neath the welkin.
Niflhel beneath nine worlds I saw,
to which the dead are doomed.
The Lay of Vafthrúthnir  


    The second stanza to have caught my eye from the Songs of the High One, and to have bothered my brain so, makes mention of what would seem to be five distinctly seperate groupings of rune staves, that of Stanza #143 from the Poetic Edda *depending upon the translation.

Odhinn among Aesir, for alfs Dain,
Dvalin among the dwarfen folk
Alsvid for the hateful giants,
and some I wrought myself:
Thund, before man was made, scratched them,
Who rose first, fell thereafter.

    Now realize, I was unable to figure what exactly went where, or even if I was on the proper course concerning this matter. I was getting so flustered over this that my wife screamed, well actually it was me screaming, she would just roll her eyes and tell me to stop acting like…
    Anyway, I just let it lay to collect dust in File 13. That is, until serious mention of Blum and his so-called botched job of putting together the staves of the Eldar Futhark resurfaced yet again, bringing to memory his five rows of five staves each, along with that pesky Blank rune of his. Then it hit me, and hard…
    Could it be? Had I found what I was looking for? Ralph Blum does indeed give five individual rows in his Book of Runes and states that they should be read from right to left, the most common style, which would place the first rune of the first row at Mannaz, the stave of man. Second row, first rune is Pertho, the stave of spiritual mysteries, perhaps implying the Aesir. Third row, the stave which could easily symbolize dwarven motivations, Fehu. Fourth, Berkano is surely full of elven delight. Last would be Thurisaz, the stave of giants, for is that not one of its vast meanings? WOO-WHO!!! Think I found something here which no one else seems, or cares, to notice, mayhaps not even Blum himself.
    Let me expand upon this concept a bit, if you will.
    Although not in the exact order given in the Havamal, the staves of each row do signify a progression of the spirit, the one leading to the next and so on, etc. Yet each row is a unique system, sustained within itself. Therefore let's begin, where else of course, but with examining the first row of Blum's Order.
    By starting off with Mannaz, the stave to symbolize the human being, Blum approaches the subject where he believes his readers to be, at the spiritual point of wanting to evolve into a truly personalized, individual aspect of the Pefected Being. Without adding my personal views concerning this stave, Blum states, "Strive to live the ordinary life in a nonordinary way." This is what we all seek to do in our own evolved/involved way, yet often fail, due to a lack of understanding. We must always remember that once we are content with ourself, only then can we find the peace of others intoxicating to be around, which is signified by Gebo. This stave of mystical partnerships symbolizes the Rule of Compensation which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. To truly understand this concept we must give as well as recieve. Therefore we should be aware of the subtle signs and signals of Ansuz, the rune of communication, for without words where would our knowledge of our past ancestors come from, thus leading to Othala, which signifies that it is time to sever the past actions of what we once were and seek for the inner strength of Uruz to become who and what we truly are, a part of the Creative Life Force coming into Being. This then, is the final stave of the Row of Mankind. This can be considered as the Elemental Plane of Human Consciousness, wherein the seeker begins to realize, learn, and then overcome the limitations of the body, intellect and emotions in order to attain the levels of the Perfected Human, a Master of one's Self.
    Next, we shall touch upon the second row, the Row of The Aesir, that of Orlog, for it begins with the rune-stave of Pertho. This rune of hamR or inherant luck, mystery and meditation signifies changes due to a birth, not a death, for it is an initiatory renewal of the Spirit which we feel through this stave. Pertho enables us to become aware of our Orlog, while Nauthiz allows us the chance to write around the Orlog produced by cause and effect by using the forces of resistance to change the flow of direction. This then, creates a doorway of opportunities signified by Ingwaz, which can be seen as an indication of harmony and the resolution of issues as new ones approach. Yet that pesky obstacle hindering us from arriving at a resolution, may in fact be the stave Eihwaz. As Blum states, "The ability to foresee consequences before you act is a mark of the profound person." Now I don't know what he's implying here, but realize that no obstacle is really as big as we think it is, remember, transitions happen. That's why a control of the emotions is called for through the use of Algiz. This stave of divine communications is a bridge to higher realms for it allows us to strengthen our Hamingja, or spiritual appearence of luck, for the progress sure to come, and thus brings to a close the second row of Blum's order. This then is the Plane of Deity Consciousness, often glimpsed only by intuitive insight, where we now begin to focus on mastership of Life in MidgardR, after we have achieved the near-to-perfect state of Being that is mentioned in the first Row.
    Blum begins the Row of Dwarves, the third row, with Fehu, bringing its highly symbolic meanings of transportable wealth and rewards to our attention, promising sacred nourishment from the Divine, yet all the while imploring us to conserve and wisely use what we already possess in order to attain a blissful sort of existance found in Wunjo. It is through the joyous light of this second stave that benificial outcomes can then be seen in the stave of Jera. But, we are warned, we must proceed with patient and deliberate caution least we damage what has not yet come to fruition. A new sense of clarity is called for through the rune Kenaz, so that we may come to recognize through this nurtured sense of total awareness what is then actually happening around, and through, us and thus leading us directly towards our Spiritual Warrior in Tiwaz. It is here, within the final stave of this Row, that we may now reflect, strengthen and align ourselves once again with the Self. This Plane of Elemental Mineral Consciousness holds the Key to the Law of Attraction and Repulsion. It is here, with the use of archetypal imagery, that we may access and work upon, as well as through, major life-changing transformations which would otherwise be unattainable to us.
    The fourth row, the Row of Elves, begins with the stave Berkano, which is oft times associated with fertility rites and the symbolic blossoming and ripening of the birch tree. It is concerned with the gentle, diligent, penetrating and pervasive flow of energies into new forms and beings. It is this movement which leads to the next stave, Ehwaz, that of physical transitions and shifs, illuminating all with its light of progression which leads to the sacred marriage, that of self to Self. Laguz symbolizes this significant merging point in our spiritual path by enabling us to attune with our own personal forces. It is a time of checking values, to go within and wash away the old self in order to create a void for the new transforming Self. It is this cleansing which oft time brings about a conflicting nature represented by Hagalaz, the rune of elemental disruption. Signifying, in turn, that it is time to break free of the physical confines so as to experience the spiritual freedom brought about by our insistant questing for the harmony of attunement as our inner worth mounts, thus leading us to Raidho. Blum states here that, "Once you are clear, you can now neutralize your refusal to let right action flow through you." In other words, we should reroute opportunities so as to take action and control the situation at hand, and thus implement the natural law of cosmic order to help bend unfavorable orlog, or wyrd. This brings to a close the Elemental Plane of Plant Consciousness which is highly evident by the dynamic actvity of conscious intellegence found in the form of adaptability to various physical conditions by the actions and reactions of plant cells through-out MidgardR.
    Bringing us next to the Row of Giants, Blum starts of with Thurisaz, the stave of non-action residing on the borderline of consciousness. It is here that we are confronted with who we actually are, not who others think we are. To break from this entropy, Dagaz is next presented for an awakening transformation, should we so choose to realign and be empty, enabling us to move more easily in the desired direction, yet, we must truly realize the value of action. Thus enters Isa, a period of patient gestation. A time to go within to reflect and seek out what it is that holds us back from the warmth of Sowilo. For this stave of wholeness is a rune of great power as it indicates that we are indeed upon the right path towards becoming who and what we truly are, a Master of the Creative Life Force awaiting the Unknown, Blum's final stave. Meant to signify our deepest fears and come to grips with them, this highly controversial "rune" relates well to an elemental aspect of gigantic proportions. This then, is the Elemental Plane of Animal Consciousness which can be signified by the fact that each creature is endowed with a certain degree of consciousness and intellegence so as to enable the survival in the course of its own evolution by the adaption to its personal environment, or perish… simply put, it is survival of the fittest.
    By using the groupings of five-by-five Ralph H. Blum has taken a personal leap of faith by using the ceative powers of the unknown to reinterprete the ordering power of the human consiousness. Each rune which he starts a row with does indeed correspond in some way to a proven level of consiousness, and without too much reaching I might add.
    By reviewing each stave in an individual row we can see how it correlates to the others within the same row, and the impact each row has in regards to the individual spiritual progression of the fundemental dynamics of occult lore. It is easy to see with eyes, but to see with the mind goes beyound that small, hypnotic step for the self insisting us to take that giant leap for the enlightenment of Human Beings.
    In closing, I would like to state that while I was in the beginning opposed to Blum's insistance of a blank rune, which I personally find to be redundant in the highly unorthadoxed order of his kristjanized version of the Eldar Futhark, I was never actually Bashing him, I just simply fell into the sway of the opinions of others, thus failing to heed my own sound advice…
        "…as with all sources don't just swallow it whole
            with-out checking it for the bones of validity."

homeward bound

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