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Posts Tagged ‘anglo saxon rune poem’

(A third G entry for this week, because I thought of it on the way in to work yesterday. Now I’m all caught up with the PBP2014! Yay! On to H!)

Generosity brings credit and honor, which support one’s dignity;
it furnishes help and subsistence
to all broken men who are devoid of aught else.

Gyfu is one of the runes identified in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, and it represents Generosity and Hospitality, and the very important cultural concepts of both. For the Indo-Europeans, the guest-host relationship was extremely important (which I talked about in my post on *ghosti) and provided a lot of the substance of social interactions. It provided for care of travelers, established social relationships, and represented humanity’s relationship with their gods. One’s hospitality was a measure of one’s worth, and it was extremely important to maintain those cultural and social bargains.

As a rune, Gyfu is the “gift for a gift” transaction that comes out of that relationship of hospitality. It is common in ADF to hear that we have given offerings, and we now ask for blessings, “as a gift requires a gift in return”. Not in a manipulative sort of way, but in a way of cultural and social understanding of how the world worked for the Indo-Europeans. This transaction is what is called for in this rune, and it can be representative of needing to uphold your own side of the bargain, or a representation of something coming back to you as a return gift. (No rune is without nuance, of course, so interpreting it in the situation is important.)

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Last week’s rune was Dagaz – the rune of daylight and hope. Aside from an amusing (and frustrating) correlation to problems I had with the power company on Tuesday (whereby I literally had to deal with “the lights”), I’m not sure I get a strong feeling where this rune applies to last week. There are a few situations that are minorly improving or showing signs of awareness of a need for improvement, but no great realizations or hopefulness or anything. Perhaps drawing the rune was little more than a joke about keeping the lights on.

This week’s rune is Berkano: Birch, Strength, Flexibility, Resourcefulness

      The poplar bears no fruit; yet without seed it brings forth suckers,
   for it is generated from its leaves.
   Splendid are its branches and gloriously adorned
   its lofty crown which reaches to the skies. – Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem

This is the rune of resourcefulness and making something from nothing, and Rev. Dangler speaks of it as the rune of “female strength” (Very Basics of Runes 47). It speaks of birth and rebirth, and physical or mental growth. There is also an element of strength and pride to this rune meaning, alongside the current of fertility and creativity, that you can see in the last two lines of the rune poem. I see self-sufficiency as well, in the first lines of the poem (the tree that brings forth new trees generated from its own leaves).

I have a scheduled “girl’s date” this week that I hope will be reflected in this poem – though admittedly that will be a gathering of female strength and about sharing our burdens and working together as much as it will about self-sufficiency. The self-sufficiency aspect I hope will be more reflected in my work this week, as I could use a dose of this sort of energy in my professional life in a big way. Hopefully both of those will come about this week.

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