Yesterday was the first harvest festival of the year, celebrated as Kvasi Fest (see Forn Sidr of America’s post) by Norse pagans, Lughnasadh by our Celtic pagan cousins, and Lammas in the Wiccan-created wheel of the year. Over on Diviners Anonymous we did another set of group divinations. (You can find some of the spreads used below in our free rune booklet (PDF).
The first edition of Urd’s Snowflake Rune Cards’ Booklet is now available to download for free!
This 13 page booklet was written as part of the Urd’s Snowflake Rune Cards project, which grew out of a need to vet information about runes and remove misinformation, white supremacy, and cultural appropriation while re-grounding rune divination practice in current academic research on the primary and secondary sources by linguists, historians, and archaeologists.
[The limited 1st edition of the card deck, which includes Elder Futhark, Younger Futhark, Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and selected bind-runes, is available through Etsy.]
In the booklet, which can be used without the cards by any rune user, we discuss both the history of the rune rows, and the more recent history of rune divination, and have attempted to pare away ideas that came from von List’s gang of ethnic nationalists, the I Ching, Hermeticism, and Tarot (to the extent that’s possible in a card format). Our suggested divination keywords are drawn wherever possible from current translations of the various rune poems, and do not include reversals.
We’ve also done our level best to flag any runes that were stolen by the Third Reich or are currently being misused by white supremacists, and to vet the suggested readings. We’ve provided our recommended reading and sources list, and a list of mass-market rune authors to avoid.
Happy Midsommar and blessed Litha, friends! Solstice divination spreads about current events:
The second reading uses the snowflake layout included in our rune booklet (PDF link), without the outer ring of cards about the future.
card 1 (centre) = issue at hand or querent or past = the Othala + Laguz bind-rune Erda, representing Mother Earth (per Nigel Pennick’s Complete Guide to Runes)
card 2 (top left) = current global thinking and creativity = *Naudhiz, need, constraint, plight, hardship, pragmatism, or conflict
card 3 (top centre) = current global health or behavior = an Anglo-Saxon bindrune of Stan, Nyd, and Ior once used to prevent action by enemies, “Stop It!”
card 4 (top right) = subconscious and spiritual factors = *Perthro reversed, willful misunderstanding
card 5 (bottom right) = emotions at present = *Othala, home, ancestors, legacy, inheritance
card 6 (bottom centre) = present obstacles = *Isa, stasis, lack of action
card 7 (bottom left) = potential obstacles and hidden influences = Stan, obstruction (by multinational corporations or right-wing politicians) or (ecological) collapse
The “stop it!” card really jumped out at me, and I viewed the runes pulled as advising that we’re risking our inheritance from our ancestors and ecological collapse if our countries don’t begin to treat climate change as an emergency.
Yay! The customs paperwork took a bit longer to do than I anticipated, but, CA$600ish later, our 1st Epic Mail Day is done. The photo above represents all the backers who were getting only decks of cards. If that’s you, you can expect a message here on Kickstarter with your tracking number in the next day or so.
The cards are now also in-stock locally at Where Fairies Live. (Backers got the cards at wholesale price.)
I’ve also realized I never got around to posting the unboxing video for y’all! It’s coming, promise, and I’ll also post it on our Instagram (@mannazandwyrd), twitter (@mannazandwyrd), and Discord server (I inherited the nigh-dead Diviners Anonymous from the prior owners, please join! The server’s purpose is to provide a space where people with divination as part of their spiritual, magical, or self-knowledge practices can socialize, share resources, learn from each other, and ogle pics of each others’ decks. We have channels for discussing runes and many other divination methods, and we’re beginning to organize group readings, book club, study groups, & watch parties. Permanent invite link: https://discord.gg/BMMX4Fg9Fj ).
Unfortunately, the dice molds are still giving us (me and my son who’s a member of Ravishing Raven) technical issues – there are bubbles in the resin that make the dice unevenly weighted, and the sultry summer temperatures we’ve been having are encouraging the resin to cure unevenly. So, in the interest of timely fulfillment, I propose that those of you who backed at a level that included sets of three 8-sided rune dice get a slight materials upgrade from epoxy resin to sets of 4 6-sided rune dice made of opalite, a glassy man-made crystal, hand-engraved by me – as shown in the photo above of my prototypes. They’ll still get treated with madder-and-dragonsblood tiver and highlighted with gold leafing pen. If you’re a backer getting dice, expect a note from me asking if this is acceptable to you.
Fortunately, making the coaster / altar tiles is more forgiving, especially if we use the soft UV resin which takes longer to cure.
(republished from our 8 June 2021 Kickstarter update)
Look what arrived from the printer yesterday! This means I can begin fulfilling your backer rewards — so if you have moved since the campaign ended, please let me know in the next, say, 72 hours so I don’t mail your goodies to an outdated address.
During that wait I’ll be prepping and addressing everyone’s padded mailer envelopes, making sure the correct backer rewards head to the correct people, and dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s (more on that below).
This was actually our second try at ordering the finalized cards; first time, we goofed and ordered 1 full deck and 60 packs of replacement cards for the ones that had been changed, instead of the other way around. So, last week we offered some of those extra cards as swaps to the Alleyman’s Tarot card swappers, which we’ll treat as a promotional expense; each of you will get a spare card of a bind-rune representing our wish of good health for you and yours; and we’ll be offering the cards individually or as a pack of 15 in our Etsy shop. You can turn them into art cards or bookmarks, use them in your craft, or add to your mismatched tarot deck project.
With the arrival of the prior shipment of test decks, Eira was able to complete the readings for those of you who requested them (If you missed yours, please check your spam box for an email from mannazandwyrd-at-gmail-dotcom.).
We also finalized the first edition of the booklet PDF, which you’ll all get a photocopy in your package. The PDF itself will be available as a free download shortly, through our website. I hope you’ll be impressed by the amount of information it brings together in a dozen pages.
We also have news on the syllabus front, which has been our primary writing focus since our last update. First, we realized that ‘syllabus’ is the wrong term to use, so it’ll be titled Urd’s Snowflake Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans instead. Second, we got some really helpful feedback from experienced educators, and we’re in the process of incorporating that feedback. Third, we bit off more than we can chew and tried to cover too much material! So, we’ll be finishing what we can to the best of our ability, with July 1st as our planned completion deadline. The completed lessons will be PDF’d with “coming soon’ placeholders for the incomplete lesson plans, and that will be available as a free download on our website. The final draft on GDocs (including the incomplete lesson plans as well as the complete ones) will be available to anyone who wishes to test-drive it and give us feedback to help us improve it. Finally, we will include the hiring of an educator to improve and expand the entire set of lessons in our crowdfunding budget for the 2nd edition.
For those of you with resin dice or coasters from Ravishing Raven Handmade among your rewards, the third pandemic lockdown here in the ideologue-governed laissez-faire Province of Alberta is still ongoing while the variant coronavirus runs wild. This unfortunately means the RRH teen team have been unable to gather to finish making your rewards. BUT, they have at last done a porch-drop of all the remaining supplies and equipment to me and my RRH-member teen, so as soon as I hit send on this update I’ll be strapping on my fume-blocking respirator and finishing prep on those items. So, the 17 of you getting dice and 4 of you getting coasters shouldn’t have to wait much longer for your packages than those backers who only requested a deck of rune cards or a divination cloth.
Expect an update telling you how much stuff has shipped and showing off photos of the finished dice, coasters, and remaining divination cloths by the end of next weekend!
(republished from our 2 June 2021 Kickstarter update)
1. This past week, the second prototype decks with a new, improved colour palette were delivered from the printers – see the photo below. (We shot an unboxing video but we’re having technical difficulties with uploading it here, so please watch our Instagram for that to appear in the next couple of days.)
We’re all heart-eyes over how they turned out. There are a couple of tiny design tweaks still to make for the final version, but these decks are perfectly useable for syllabus testing. (The tweaks are: some black text has a weird yellow halo, so we’re changing its colour; the tuck box design needs to be scooched over 3 or 4 pixels; and the correct names from your backer survey responses need to be put on the acknowledgements card.) If you haven’t snagged yours yet, about 50 of the limited edition are still available to pre-order on Etsy.
2. 7!13 Books’ way-cool enormous mismatched Alleyman’s Tarot deck launched the day before yesterday, and they already wildly surpassed their funding goal! Our Dagaz card is part of this one-printing-only indie deck, alongside the stunning work of 79 other talented contemporary artists and designers, and cool designs from decades-old public-domain decks. Honestly, we’d be excited about this project’s concept even if our art wasn’t included, and we can’t wait to shuffle it and do our first readings with it. Check it out at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/713books/the-alleymans-tarot
3. The draft of the rune-meanings-and-pronunciation PDF remains available on GDocs while we collect feedback from colleagues and collaborators. We’d love to hear what you think! Meanwhile, the interdisciplinary syllabus is a bit more than half written.
4. I (Eira) took a much-needed break from writing to make batik divination cloths and help our collaborators with resin dice and coaster production. Pandemic lockdown conditions mean we don’t have photos of the finished resin products yet, but here are some work-in-progress photos of the batik, which was done using beeswax collected as it melted from candles on my household altar, organic cotton bandanas from my favourite fair trade dye house, and madder root extract. Madder was one of the natural dyes used in early medieval Scandinavia and has been used as a tiver to activate runes. In the process, I’ve learnt that my vintage dressmakers’ chalk doesn’t wash out anymore (sigh), and I’ll need to either use a chemical solvent to remove the wax stains from the cloths – or make them mimic old, soft oilcloth by thinly coating the whole thing. Follow along on Instagram!
(Republished from our 16 April 2021 Kickstarter update)