Tuesday, June 03, 2003

my blog posts these days are few and far between, as i am still hovering in the realm of school - which is not of my choosing.

Nonetheless...I feel the need to rant about something. anyone who reads this and isn't interested in runes in some way probably isn't going to get it, but since I'm ranting more to the purpose of expelling the energy, does it really matter?

So I read runes on occasion, now more than in the past as things are changing swiftly with me. They have always been helpful and have never lead me astray. Like any good oracle, I have used them only in time of need and only for self exploration as opposed to asking them what color pants I'm going to wear next week. (i already know that. the answer is black)

i only have 2 books on them, although over time I had looked up various interpretations of runes and gleaned their meanings as others saw them. One of the books I have...which was a gift from a former stalker.....(ewww, you;d think I'd get rid of it because of that...but there's more to the whole situation that the ickiness hasn't touched) I did not purchase it.

This book was written by one Ralph Blum. According to many people in the community of "runecraft" or what have you, he "invented" this blank rune which to most people is an abhorent idea. The blank rune is a non glyph which umbodies the unknowable, the divine force, god, fate, wyrd...etc. People find the entire concept ridiculous. They find Mr. Blum to also be ill educated in the matter of runes and one who was simply out to make a buck on his book and included set of plaster runes (which I also have)

These people are picking and gnawing on the proverbial bone by going on and on about how the number 24 shouldn't be corrupted by this 25th non rune, and how he's further disrespecting/destroying the art by not putting the runes in their correct order according to the aettir (runes arranged in three groups of eight and placed under Freya, Heimdall, or Tyr, respectively). Over and over they accusers say that there is no historical evidence of the use of a blank rune, and that Mr Blum's work is utter trash.

After examining this phenomenon, I come to the conclusion that the large paw of dogma is smearing its proverbial poop on the carpet.

Yes, dogma is not just for christians anymore. It's the breakfast cereal of champions and stays crunchy in milk.

Let's start with the idea that "there is no historical evidence that a blank rune (or such a concept) was used." we're talking about spiritual tools here....why do we necessarily NEED historical evidence as to whether or not they were used a certain way? And why does lack of evidence automatically mean that something must not exist? Isn't this a tactic that scientists like to use to try and explain away things of a spiritual nature? Do we have solid historic evidence of Christ? I'm not talking the bible, I'm talking about the man. How do we even know that we are interpreting historical evidence correctly? People are phenomenally good are misinterpreting the simplest things and then finding out later that oops....maybe it was the other way around.

Next, to the point of Ralph inventing the blank rune. Here's a quote from the book: The rune stones I was working with had come to me in England: tiny brown rectangles hardly bigger than a thumbnail, with the glyphs scratched onto their surfaces. The woman who made them lived on trindles road in the town of redhill, surrey.....(more details about thr runes)To the twenty four original futhark runes had been added a Blank Rune defined as the path of karma; that which is predestined and cannot be avoided. Matters hidden by the gods."

Seems to me that unless Ralph is a total lier (which I doubt)...he didn't invent the blank rune. This lady on Trindles Road in Surrey did.

Next, to Ralph's disrespectful screwing up of the "traditional runic order". here's another quote from the book: When I began to work with the runes, I had never seen a runic text and, therefore, did not realize that I was breaking away from the traditional sequence of Freyr, Hagal and Tyr used by the early practitioners or runemal. But function determines form, use confers meaning and an oracle always responds to the requirements of the time in which it is consulted - and to the needs of those consulting it. In the end I relied on the runes to establish thier own order and to instruct me in their meanings."

So, here's a guy who gets a set of runes from some chick in England, and has no instructions for using them. He has no idea that there is a "historical" right and wrong to the whole rune issue. He sets the runes aside, not quite knowing what to do with them. He finds them a year later, still not quite knowing what to do with them, so he consults the runes to ask them what order THEY would like to be put in.

The runes arrange themselves, and so in his book he logs them that way because that is how HE learned from them.

What exactly am I getting at?

I am finding that a wonderful tool that I have used numerous times for self discovery is a victim of the same dogma that has been inhabiting other organized spiritual organizations. It is one thing to study the old ways of doing things, and to respect those traditions. There is nothing wrong with that. It's another thing when the traditional old ways are repeated time and time again because "That's the way they did it back then, that's the way it's always been done and it's the right way." That's like the parent telling the teenager you're going to get an office job, settle down and have 2.5 kids just like everyone else in the family because that's the way it's always been...even though the kid is very obviously an artist with no desire to work in an office, let alone follow in their parents footsteps.

So runes have a traditional history. That's good. That's nice. But that does not mean that one needs to follow the traditions letter for letter if there is no meaning in it, or if the runes WHEN ASKED decide to present themselves in an unconventional way. The man was using the tools as they were meant to be used, in a manner that was useful to him in his state of unknowing and the runes did not snub him. The runes didn't spell out "hey, you ignorant idiot...yer supposed to use us like this". Our times are different. No matter how many pagan tree worshippers try to recreate the religions of old, they can never be reproduced as they were centuries ago because the physical, emotional, and spiritual climate of our world has changed. In order to make old spiritual tools work in our world, they need to evolve some. And if that means altering some traditions, then so be it.

We are looking for meaning, not rote or routine. We need to do what brings us meaning. What is meaningful to one person is oftne garbage to someone else.

I'm not saying that the old ways have no value. they have plenty of value, but one must realize that their place in the world is not the same as it used to be. The ideal would be to learn about the old traditions (in any realm) and using that knowledge, learning how to take it and make it something that works for you. Knowing traditions is the best way to break them and evolve them, but sometimes intuition can be useful as well.

My basic jist of this whole rant, is that there is so much I'm right, you're wrong attitude floating around in the communities of people who consider themselves religious/spiritual. The pagans have been complaining about how the christians behave...how holier than thou they are, how they are trapped in these inane rituals that have no meaning for them. then they turn right back around and impose the same damn dogma and prejudice they were force fed onto others who are beginning to explore their faith. it's still all about power and being right and oh MY spiritual teacher can kick YOURS right in the ASSTRAL PLANE.

And frankly, I'm damn sick of it. As i have mentioned before, I am not pagan, I am not christian, I am not buddhist or hare krishna or what have you. I can find truth in any of these faiths, I can find plenty of good and useful tools that can help me better know myself and the world, but unfortunately the one thing that I find so very little of is evolution. When rituals become rote, they lose meaning. When meaning is lost, the actions are empty. When asking too many questions gets you in trouble, when having an original thought that strays from the established perspective causes "discomfort", then there is that much reason for change to take place. When beliefs are challenged by a different but valid way of thinking and (god forbid) cause one to rethink their situation...that's a healthy thing. While humans are extremely adaptable creatures, we fear change the most. We get comfortable with our routines, we find security. But we still need change. Dogma is what happens when things get so comfortable that people forget why they did what they did to being with.

So what the hell am I trying to say? Stop being comfortable. Don't fear change. Don't let the meaning slip out of your life. If you've lost it in one aspect, find it in another. That's how we evolve. Clinging to traditions for the sake of history is useless. Allowing our traditions to blossom into something better by adding a bit of ourselves on our search toward better being who we are, is something to be admired.

Even if ralph did have a profit in mind, he was not totally full of shit. He was doing intuitively what the human mind needs to do using an established tool. Growing.

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