A lovely friend of mine asked me this morning, "Are you doing anything for the super blue blood moon?! Should I be doing something?" And I'm so glad she asked. It got me focused with 48 hours to spare. 😹Read More
April was one hell of a month.
There was a lot going on in the cosmos, big-picture style, and I sure did feel the effects. My family did too - between myself, husband, friends and loved ones, there were a lot of changes happening, upheaval style.
In the midst of much chaos, I found myself taking a necessary-but-unwanted sabbatical from my studio work. Even though the month previous I had been learning more, and reaching further, than I ever had before…
There resides at the heart of everything we do a core purpose. It ranges from basic to profound; it can be as simple as the elements (I’m cold, therefore I am buying a jacket), or as complex as our life’s purpose on this planet (I’m a natural organizer and creator who craves independence, therefore I’m going to start my own business).
At the start of last month, I reached an uncomfortable conclusion: I could no longer define my Core Purpose in running my own business. The desire and motivation remained intact, but when I asked myself point-blank, “Why are you doing this?” I didn’t have an answer.
That freaked me out.
First, I tried to justify my inability by claiming it was temporary lack of clarity; I tried to use more practical stand-ins to keep myself going. “Why does it matter if I know my core purpose right now? I still need to earn an income and support my family. Money is enough motivation for the time being,” I told myself repeatedly.
That sure didn’t work.
Next, I tried to rediscover my core purpose as it related to the work I’d already done. “I haven’t learned this much and come this far to start over! The sum of the parts will show me the meaning behind the whole,” I told myself rather desperately.
That didn’t work either.
Eventually, I reached that maddening point we’ve all encountered before — the harder I pushed for results, the more I slowed down. Eventually I was at a near-standstill, spending 90% of my day listlessly drifting through my domestic routine, and wondering if I should just go apply to work at Taco Bell because apparently all my gumption had fled with the candlesticks in the night and I was never cut out to run my own business in the first place.
In the midst of this lethargic, apathetic angst, I did have the presence of mind to hold space for divine intervention. Eventually it became a rather grumpy form of surrender through meditation. I had no extra money to pay for coaching or energy work services, but I knew I needed outside intervention in the form of someone who could inject a dose of clarity and fresh air into my stagnant, mopey bubble. So I asked, over and over, for that person to appear.
Enter Kathleen Saelens, an angel of divine timing and massive intuitive ability. In exchange for market research for her business, she gifted me with a Soul Essence Session, during which she took a deep dive into my energetic makeup and my reason for showing up and sharing my work with the world. It was one of the most powerful energy work sessions I’ve ever experienced, and about halfway through, she shared one symbolic image with me that felt like a lightning bolt of pure energy striking my head and zapping all the way down to my toes.
It was the symbolic key to my Core Purpose.
And, as with the revelation of all true things, it was a complete and utter “Oh my gosh how did I not see that and put it together for myself?!” moment. Hindsight is a glorious frustration.
So now, as we enter the month of May, which has its own intense but far calmer energy, I find myself faced with an entirely new challenge. Thankfully it’s not the challenge of finding a reason to roll out of bed in the morning, beyond laundry and the hope of insight… no, this time around it’s the challenge of reframing Studio Kittie to contain and broadcast this old-yet-new, shiny, bright, full of insight Core Purpose that I now understand with brilliant clarity without knowing how to word it and roll it into my existing body of work.
That’s what we both have to look forward to in the coming months. I’ll be changing, tweaking, refining, redecorating, and generally molding Studio Kittie into a new and improved version of itself. I have no idea how the final results will look, but I know they will be beautiful, because a journey of this magnitude can only lead to great things when we get over ourselves (even if it takes an entire month of video games and pajama pants) and surrender to the fact that change is the best possible path forward.
When I read her blog post, I wanted to jump up out of my chair and cheer her on from halfway around the world (she lives in Japan). We all create false starts and false realities and false stories; we all have the power to tear down those falsities and start over, fresh, with a new truth. We are creators, and so we are destroyers. We are allowed to destroy that which no longer serves us.
I recently took an eleven-day hiatus from business development and, in that amazingly free time, I was able to clear away the cobwebs and wipe some the dirt off the mirror. I started to see, more and more clearly, that I was hung up on a conflict between myself and my perceived expectations. And this conflict had been influencing my business development choices for some time.
When you choose to build a heart- and soul-centric business, you choose to put yourself out there. It’s vulnerable. It’s scary. It’s liberating. It’s beautiful, and you grow and thrive by connecting with other heart- and soul-centric creators. There’s a lot of conversation revolving around Being Of Service, and for good reason; a heart- and soul-centric business is all about the personal connection you make with each and every person you work with.
If you are not creating from your heart, bringing about your amazing work to fulfill your deepest, truest needs, your service to others comes at the cost of being of service to yourself. You end up creating from the outside in, seeking first to provide something for others, and eventually hoping it somehow fulfills you in the end.
This doesn’t work. Not in the long run.
Those eleven days were just the right amount of time for me to realize that I was (subconsciously, unintentionally, unknowingly) creating parts of my heart- and soul-centric business to serve others first and myself… maybe? Hopefully? I was chasing the dream of growing a profitable business, that would help others, and be recognized for doing good. But how did I fit into that plan?
On the evening of the past new moon, I sat on the floor with my Mr. Sketch markers and my 3M pad of giant paper. I hashed out “What Do I Desire” alongside “What Is Fun For Me?” and I made a big list of “What Do I Want To Do?” Then I color coded, connected the dots, made a messy map of intersecting things that made me feel good.
Turns out, a lot of it overlaps with where I want Studio Kittie to grow and thrive. Some of it doesn’t. And that’s ok. My complete life is my business; but my business is not my complete life.
I’ve been living with these gloriously marked-up mind maps for days now, and as I re-enter the world of business development, I find myself growing more and more clear that every thing I choose to take action on must fulfill me in some essential way. The personal, the familial, the fiscal and the developmental - all must come back home to roost in my heart at the end of the day. Or else I will forever feel that I am serving others before myself, and not equal to myself.
Anything I do - even the boring stuff - should somehow fit into the This Fulfills Me box. Even the boring things (e.g. taxes) serve a greater purpose and can fulfill a future dream! If it doesn't fit, I reassess.
Then, each of the Me + segments are equally weighted; one is not more important than the others. I realize that now, having given too much weight and priority to the Me + Others category these past few years. From there it's a pretty straight shot to figure out how the thing I wants to do fits into my life's flow!
I totally get how this might feel like over-thinking. For some people, you lucky ducks, it is overthinking and I am glad you don't struggle to do things that feel good when you want. But for those of us whostruggle to balance our "obligations" with our "pleasures," it's crucial to sort out a way to allow all tasks, endeavors, projects, and plans to fulfill a central desire. That evening of the playing field takes off so much pressure.
I invite you to join myself and Marci in examining where in your life you might be creating from the outside in, allowing your own expectations (and the assumed - or real - expectations of others) to tip your scales of internal/external balance in an uncomfortable direction. And then share your findings! We are all in this together.
Out of all the divination forms I practice, rune reading comes the most naturally. I attribute this entirely to my Nordic heritage; there are inherited ancestral attributes at play which lend me a great deal of nuance and intuitive understanding. But that being said, anyone can throw the runes and use them for readings!
Runic divination can be as complex or as simple as you desire; just like Tarot, you can read one rune, three runes, or every rune in the set. Traditional rune sets are made with stones or wood tokens, although different materials are acceptable, so long as they hold a positive and meaningful energetic charge for the reader. My favorite rune set is made up of stones collected from a beach near my home that has held great significance ever since I was a teenager. I prefer to make my own rune sets, but you can buy beautiful crystal and wood sets online for a reasonable price.
For the purposes of this blog, I'm going to demonstrate a reading using every rune in the set! And see the end of the blog for additional resources and information.
An Elder Futhark rune set, which is what I use, contains 25 stones - 24 runes, and one blank stone, which signifies Odin and the mysterious unknown. The Odin rune stone is the signifier in any reading; it lands wherever I am meant to direct my attention. When I find it, I find the heart of the matter within the reading.
Every rune has its own significance and story to tell; where it falls in the reading, and the direction it faces, supplies the base information. After that, it's up to me to interpret the nuances; each rune carries many different possible messages and I have to reach inside my heart and my gut to feel which message is correct in the moment.
Before I throw the runes, I hold them in my hands close to my heart. I close my eyes and, in my mind's eye, I visualize the question or the issue I am addressing. I call up the feeling that is most important to me in the moment and transfer that to the runes. Sometimes I will gently shake the runes in my hands during this process. Then, eyes still closed, I toss them onto the ground in front of me.
Step 1 is to assess how the runes have fallen. I do this by looking at them from a grid perspective. To me, the grid symbolizes the World Tree. The upper quadrants signify positive, or active, energies; the growing branches and leaves, budding opportunity. The lower quadrants signify negative, or passive, energies; the decaying leaves, the hidden roots.
Taking it a step further, I pay attention to how many runes fell in each quadrant. The left-hand quadrants represent the Feminine energies; emotional, being, passive. The right-hand quadrants represent the Masculine energies; logical, doing, active. Breaking it down thusly, it quickly becomes clear what kind of situation or challenge is before me; understanding the energies behind the situation allow me to divine the most heart-guided solution.
Step 2 is to locate the Odin rune. This is the blank rune that symbolizes the unseen forces at work all around us. No matter how many factors are at play, and no matter how complicated the situation, where this rune lands is the heart of the matter.
Step 3 is to assess how the runes are actually spread out. Groups of runes signify the active forces at play, whereas solo and outlying runes signify outside forces or factors that are of little consequence, or that desire to move closer to completion. How do I tell the difference? Pure intuition, and inference from how the other runes are interacting. It's a gut-feel process!
How runes land is also important. Runes that land face up are sending a clear and readable message. Runes that land face down usually signify the energies that are null, or inactive, in the situation. However, some face down runes are actually calling attention to energetic forces that are at play, but so far have been hidden from consciousness (this can absolutely include people who are doing sneaky things behind your back). Again, it takes intuition and inference to understand which are null, and which are asking for attention and to be called into awareness.
So, for this particular rune reading session, here we have the heart of the matter (pictured above). The Odin rune is the lower-right stone; it is blank on both sides. It tells me that this grouping of rune stones is the core of the reading. We have three runes grouped together: Algiz (top), Isa (left), and Perdho (right).
It's a little hard to see, but Algiz has landed on its side. This immediately tells me it wants to be read first; it feels like the rune is raising its hand and calling out. Algiz symbolizes Moose, and the energies that follow this animal; defense, protection, stability, safety in numbers, as well as the less positive aspects like heavy movement, solitude, and inertia. Algiz is all about willpower and how we utilize it when faced with difficult or heavy decisions. This is spot on for me, as the concern I was holding in my heart for this reading was indecision over how to proceed with an aspect of growing my business. My willpower - and my ability to calm down enough to become clear on my path - is always my strong suit, and always the first thing I forget to do! Plus, this rune carries Moose energy, which is cousin to Elk, my animal totem energy. Therefore I know this rune is hitting super duper close to home.
Supporting Algiz are Isa, which symbolizes the crystal clarity and total immobility of Ice, and Perdho, which symbolizes Destiny and all other unseen forces at work around us in the world. Isa is on the left, telling me that I am overthinking my situation and allowing my immobile thoughts to freeze me in place; a softer, more intuitive approach will thaw the ice and set me free. Perdho on the right tells me that actively partnering with Source, The Force, Life The Universe And Everything - however I choose to view it - will grant me the forward momentum I feel I am lacking.
Now that I've clarified the heart of this message, I examine all the other runes. I feel in my gut that most of the other runes don't have anything of importance to add to this conversation; that one core group is definitely the heart of the matter. However, there are two outlying runes that call to me.
First I read the rune farthest away from all the others; it's all out there on its own in the upper-left quadrant, which reads as positive-feminine. It is Dagaz, the final rune in the Elder Futhark, and it symbolizes the bright light of the midday Sun; it is a rune of satisfaction and completion. Its inverse meanings include anxiety, failure, and feeling disconnected. Seeing it all on its lonesome, I intuit that the sense of completion and success I am craving will play keep-away with me, hovering just beyond my reach, until I get over my own insecurities and begin moving forward again - in any way I can that is positive.
Finally, to close out the reading, I pay attention to the second-most outlying rune. It is Othala, the rune of Nobility and Ancestry. Whereas Dagaz is an active energy, Othala in this quadrant is a hidden energy. Othala is a reminder that we have everything we need within us to be successful, if we play to our strengths and ask for help with our weaknesses. I read it as a reminder of removal; the more I forget to call upon my inherent talents and abilities, the more I will feel divorced from my path of success. This outlying rune is not something evasive, instead it is something I can actively call closer to me whenever I desire (and remember).
And there we have it! This reading was helpful, as it provided clear insight into my confusion, as well as clear guidance on how I can move forward and out of the situation that feels so icky to me right now. Some readings are even more in-depth - and of course I could have actively read every rune and its significance if I chose - but some readings are more simple, and these can be the easiest to digest.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into the divination art of reading the runes! If you have any questions, or are interested in having me read the runes for you, just click here to email me and let me know!