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Divination 2, question 9

Describe the results of nine divinations you have done for others (without assistance from a book). (min. 300 words per reading, and 600 words for a summary)

Divination 1

I was asked to help a friend understand the root of his significant other's insecurities about their relationship, and to recommend a possible solution (or set of solutions).

q1: Describe the roots of [name]'s insecurities.

- Giant
- Mouth, god, etc.

- Bad luck, probably relating to communication and relationships.
Connotations of pain and even cruelness, often sitting amongst the thorns before looking about.
Learn from mistakes, or heal from them?

- Communication is vital.
Also, beginning a journey.

Overall, I would say he's been hurt (badly) by relationships that likely involved poor (or, more likely, deliberately misleading) communication. There is deliberate cruelness in this rune thurizaz, and on the part of the person in question, probably a trusting feeling that was painful (i.e. he "sat among the thorns"). Communication is, ironically, the font of this central insecurity.

q2: How best to show assurance and support?

- ing

- First among East-Danes
Fertility and sexuality.

A rune of historical firsts, of a single person who starts something great. . . you may be the first person to care so genuinely about him.

Mixed with this rune are notions of sex and fertility, which complicates matters: Sex, a large part of relationships, probably worries him a lot. The fact that you are the first to really show this much interest in his well-being, in not hurting him, may be confused by the sexual aspects of the relationship There may be a fear that you really aren't so interested in him, but the sex is good. The first person to show such emotions will often appear as disingenuous as all the others.

What this rune seems to ask is this: be who you are, and show through your actions where he can see them. Make them known, and patience will be rewarded.

q3: Perspective on situation to prevent frustration?

- Nauðiz - frustration

- lack of choice
learn from it
hard work

This is, ironically, a rune of frustration. It is need, want, that which you lack. It is hardship. The rune poems specifically indicate a lack of choice, and here I agree: there is not much you can do for this situation. You love him, and thus you are, to some extent, stuck here.

The runes, though, also indicate hard work. This is something to work at, to dig your heals in and make work.

The perspective this rune offers is one of learning. After looking over the spread, key lessons are these: balancing sex and the non-sexual aspects of your relationship; gaining knowledge about your partner and communicating your aims back to him.

The process will be long, but you will find it worth it.

q4: End Result?

- Raðio

- Action, togetherness, purpose, journey

This rune is about where you are going. I think of togetherness as the horse-and-rider, or a journey of purpose, with a definite goal in mind.

More importantly, that goal is achieved, realized, should the rider take proper care of his horse. There are definite connotations of one party doing most of the work, but the other party does his fair share.

Whether you are horse or rider is something you will need to figure out. If you are the rider, take care of your horse: give him what he needs: food, rest, water. Don't push him too hard.

If you are the horse, trust your rider. He will guide you where to go, and give you what you need when it is needed.

Most importantly, so long as you both keep true to each other, you will certainly arrive at your destination.

Divination 2

In this divination, I was asked about where an application to a graduate school went, and to recommend information to the person who was applying. I modified my usual setup some for this particular question.
q1: What was wrong with this application?

- Tiwaz, guidance
- Thurisaz, thorns
- Dagaz, dawn

- Tiwaz, see below
- Thurisaz, Tiwaz, and Dagaz came together as a single omen for me.
- Dagaz, see above

In this case, all three runes pointed to a single omen for me: there was something unintentionally sharp and even pointed about the application. It had come off with a very defensive tone that needed to be repaired. . . It was as if she was forcing her readers to sit among the thorns unaware, and when they sat upon them, they found themselves in a lot of pain. Because of this, it seemed best to recommend that the application be revisited from a perspective of reducing sharp or pointed things, to round out anything that stood out and might "stick" a committee member.

The addition of Tiwaz and Dagaz, "guidance" and "a new day" both spoke to me as describing that this was not a bad omen, so much as a corrective omen.

q2: How can this application be made better?

- Berkano; fertility/sucker trees: work from what is there
- Algiz; give/get, avoid defensive tones?
- Jera; year, fruitful harvest
- Tiwaz; Right action/path

This omen was also very positive. Here, it appears that there is a lot to be proud of in the current application. Berkano is (of course) the birch tree, which the rune poems indicate does not reproduce by seed, but rahter by suckers growing directly out from the tree. As a result, it's clear that she should work from her existing material and simply refine it rather than rejecting it. Algiz speaks back to Thurisaz: it's a warning about not being too defensive and not trying to justify too much, but rather to stand on her strengths.

Jera clearly indicates a good outcome, and when I sought further information about the harvest it may create, I received Tiwaz, which indicates to me that she is on the right course. I cautioned that with Jera involved, the harvest is unlikely to be what she expects when she expects it, but it's clearly a good omen.

I also created a bindrune for her to use in a bit of Chaos magic, mixing the runes form the divination and a few others in to give her a strong magical link to help her in the process.

Divination 3

This divination was related to divination 2, in that it was for the same person and for application to grad school. It flows from the answers given in the previous questions.
q1: Is it still possible? Am I still on the right path?

- Laguz, overflowing
- Tiwaz, guidance
- Jera; year, fruitful harvest

- Laguz, things are flowing
- Tiwaz, being guided and on the right path
- Jera; a year, either Sept. to Sept, or 2009

Things were still possible. There was a fear that it was possibly too late to get into this college, and a fear about being on the right path still. The omens showed that things were still on track and flowing well. The reappearance of Tiwaz here was also very heartening, showing the right direction.

The appearance of Jera really spoke to me of the process taking a full year. When asked if this was Sept. to Sept., or January to January (divination done on 1/08/08), I indicated that I couldn't tell from the context. I guessed on the 2009 timeframe, rather than the September to September timeframe.

q2: How do I ask? How much do I submit? Where do I go from here?

- Raðio, journey
- Tiwaz, guidance
- Oþila; ancestral ties

- Raðio, be prepared to travel
- Tiwaz, being guided, right path
- Oþila; ancestral learnings

Here the question was very much about how many letters, and what kind of letters, to submit. After looking over the omens, it appears that the letters, when submitted, will work: travel will occur. More importantly, she knew what to ask (Tiwaz) and how to ask about it. The "where to go from here" is mostly in the ancestral leanings of Oþila: Do what you do in honour of your ancestors, and all will be good.

q3: What guidance can be provided on letters of recommendation?

- Uruz; strength
- Eihwaz; Transition
- Fehu; cattle

- Uruz; focus on strengths
- Eihwaz; transformation
- Fehu; reciprocity, and people involved in that

Here, again, we wanted to focus on the strengths of the applicant. Possibly how things have been overcome rather than on how they have adversely affected her life and ability. In Fehu, I found reciprocity, and suggested that the people to ask about sending letters were the people directly involved in helping to overcome the issues presented.

q4: Is there anything else we should know?

- Nauðiz; need
- Manaz; man
- Gebo; gift

- Nauðiz; need
- Manaz; friends
- Gebo; reciprocity and trust

I simply interpreted this as "trust your friends and those you ask." Reciprocity appearing here, along with manaz, seems to cancel out the negative portions of Nauðiz, and bring in the feeling that those in need can count on their peers.

Divination 4

This divination was requested by a friend who was looking for direction in a relationship, particularly revolving around sex and long-term viability, as well as what actions to take.
q1: Where do things stand between these two people?

- Ehwaz; horse
- Ing; God from the East
- Kenaz; torch

- Ehwaz; journey and enjoying the ride
- Ing; Fertility, ancestors, and new people
- Kenaz; fellowship

The first rune spoke strongly of journeys and enjoying the ride. Of course, with any horse-related rune, the journey is always harder on the one who is ridden. On the other hand, a short journey can occasionally be just the exercise both need to get the blood pumping: it can be an exhillarating ride, too. There is a definite sense of movement from one place to another, and (in comparison to Raðio) a leisurly sort of travel.

Ingwaz brings in a bit of fertility, and ancestral writing. I also associate it with meeting new people, this particular bit fits in strongly with the current situation (a piece written about an ancestor was central to the current relationship). There's also a feeling of reaching out to others involved here.

Kenaz speaks to the torch. While I usually read this rune as "ulcer" (or I have in the past; it seems that my general feeling about this rune may be changing to read "torch" more often), this time I saw fellowship, kinship, and friendly banter. The image of being in the hall and enjoying the company of others. These omens spoke well of the current relationship.

q2: Where are things going? What about sex? What about relationships? What about an interaction between sex and relationship?

- Hagalaz; hail
- Gebo; gift
- Jera; harvest, year

- Hagalaz; sex is not a good idea
- Gebo; the relationship can be deep and reciprocal
- Jera; plant the seeds, tend it carefully, be patient

As for where things were going, when asking specifically about sex, the rune "hail" came up. This is not a rune I find comfort in, or change: rather, I see destruction. Sex, by itself, is not a good idea (the asker joked about the hail being "cold showers" needed to get through the desire for sex).

When thinking about a relationship, however, Gebo appeared: reciprocity, gifts, friendship, and relationship all being strong foci of this rune. There seems to be a lot of potential for a relationship of some kind.

Because of this, we sought information about a relationship and sex. The third question was to be "what action should I take?" but this rune cleared that question up nicely while commenting on the two previous runes. Here, friendship plants the seeds, and careful tending leads to a harvest of that which you planted, or possibly a branch from this relationship. Patience, it seems, will win out: the important thing is to recognize that these things can take a long time to develop, and that not rushing into things is the best option.

Divination 5

This person asked about whether it would be better to try and get into art school, or whether becoming a high school teacher was a better option. I started this divination by asking,
"q1: Where do things stand now?"

To begin with, I pulled Gebo, the rune of reciprocity. Here, I saw balance, standing in the middle. There's always a possibility, where giving is concerned, to give more than you take, or to put out more effort than you reap in return. I might say that you are in a relationship that is based on give and take, but I have a feeling that there is more giving going on than taking.

I next pulled Mannaz, which is the rune of "man" or (in modern readings) "self." I see here an idea of self-worth and dignity: seek within yourself what you value, and bring it out into the cosmos. Focus on those things.

I pulled Uruz next, which is a rune of strength, of removal of the bad (or the dross of the iron). This indicates that you are a person of great strength (which, incident, matches how I see you), and a call to focus on that strength and discard the weaknesses.

There's a lot here about rising above and getting what you deserve.

q2: Art School or High School? Which way should you go?

Thinking about the two schools, I was mixing my runes up, and Gebo fell out again. Again, reciprocity and standing in the center. I feel that both offer opportunities for great relationships and harmony. Let's look at each one individually, though.

q3: What is the outlook like with art school?

Wunjo, Joy. Often referred to as the "WooHoo!" rune. This is a path of joy and wonder, really.

Odila was next, a rune of property, particularly inherited. It could be that the skills run in the family, and that this is a heritage to be claimed, or it could be that there is a lot to build on here. I don't know enough about you and your family to say which it is. But this is a positive rune for this reading.

Manaz came out again. Here, it seems to indicate to me that this is something that would focus on strengths, particularly of you as an individual. These are good omens for this path.

q4: What is the outlook like for high school?

Laguz, the water. An overflowing, and treasures hidden in the waters. This is a deeper kind of reward, one that is sometimes hard-fought, but surpasses in wealth what other things might bring. A good omen for this path, too.

Suwilo follows this, the sun. Here, it seems that victory over something is eminent. I'm starting to see both the promise of a hard battle and a just victory in the runes at this point.

And here, Wunjo again. Joy. Indeed, it seems that both these paths lead to joy.

q5: Final reading:

On the whole, though, here's the thing: both paths are good ones. The art school path is joyful to start with, but it will require you to work hard later on, to really rely on your strengths.

The high school path will bring you up against challenges and tough things early on, but the rewards will be great, and so will the joy, as time goes on. Really, the runes reflect how I might generally describe the two paths: art school is a joyful time for artists, who then must make their way in the "harsh, real world" later on; while for teachers it is often rough starting out and fighting the battles a teacher must fight, but the rewards of teaching are much longer-term.

Divination 6

This divination centered around a coming move, as well as the things that would be faced, particularly in terms of relationships. I did the primary divination remotely, and did additional work while sitting next to the querant.
q1: What can [querant] expect with academics in [location] this fall. What about friendships and relationships?
- Ehwaz; horse
- þurisaz; throns
- Jera; harvest, year

- Ehwaz; relaxing into the ride
- þurisaz; being careful/mindful of surroundings
- Jera; patience

I see a relaxation into academia: pleasure-filled travel. In particular, this is aboug "getting back to what you know," and a fresh change of pace.

From friends, however, there's a note of warning: be careful where you sit, for the world is full of thorns, and if you're not careful, one will end up right under you. There's also a bit of the "tormentor of women" to this rune: initially, I thought this had to do with being careful about men, but the subsequent conversation led me to identify this as a particular woman, actually.

Jera indicates that patience, love, and attentiveness to what you want to grow is important for a good harvest. And I feel that a good harvest is certainly possible here.

q2: What about person 1? (this question, and #3, focus on two individuals the querant asked about, unnamed)

- Jera, again.

I recommend patience with person 1. I have an idea of who it is, and patience, the high road, is the only way to really deal with it. Give it a full term, a full year.

q3: What about person 2?

- Berkano; New growth, fertility.

I saw this rune as clearly indicating that all hope was not lost. I explained the rune poems and their description of the birch tree as "growing from suckers", meaning that there was already something there, that the roots were still in place. Base this relationship on what's already there, build from that foundation, and all will be well. Be flexible, and bend, don't break. There's a lot here.

Divination 7

When I made a call for divination requests (accidental, really), I received a number of queries just like this one, asking about where Groves or various non-ADF groups were heading. Leadership is such a burden, it seems, that sometimes even the best leaders second-guess themselves. This person had some very specific questions (this divination was complicated by the way the questions were asked, and so I re-worked the questions to go a more "advisory" route than a "yes/no" route):
q1: What direction should the Grove go in?
Dagaz, a new day. Here, it seems that the Grove needs a new direction, or perhaps a renewal of their current one. The important aspect is newness and possibly embarking.

Raðio was the next rune, indicating travel. This seems to place the burden on the person doing the work. I'm afraid that the GO will need to shoulder a lot of the work to make this happen, but the journey should be joy, not pain. This relates to the previous rune in terms of a new start along the journey, and then continuing through it.

Jera, the year, was the last rune I pulled for this question. It indicates the good harvest, but also patience and a steady hand. Know what you want, plant it, and make it grow. I might suggest that this rune also indicates that the decision has to be made by the person doing the planting.

q2: What can we do to improve energy?

Pertho, the dice cup came up. Often a rune of uncertainty and unknowing, it is also a rune of commeraderie and togetherness. The rune poems speak of sitting together in the banquet hall, laughing and enjoying company. Perhaps something more social, less relgious is in order. Get the folk together as friends, and then see where things go.

q3: What will be the result of we do this?

Isa, the rune of ice and silence. Usually a "bad" rune in my book, but a "bad" rune doesn't fit this context. Instead, I look at it as those who know more leading those who don't. The idea being, if you do this, if you get together more socially, you will find that you come together to overcome the dangers and pitfalls that lie ahead.

q4: What is the outlook if we stay together?

Nauðiz, need. It will be work. It will very, very clearly be a lot of work.

Raðio shows up again here, indicating that the work will mostly fall to the leadership. There is a journey to embark on, but the leadership must be the one to bring the others along on it.

Kenaz shows up last. Again, like Perðo, this rune has more than one meaning. One of those meanings (and I think the important one) is commeraderie and togetherness. The torch always burns where princes sit, and they sit together with their fellows.

This route is clearly a hard one.

q5: What is the outlook if we disband?

Hagalaz, hail. The sling-stones and the icy rain from the heavens. This is not a good omen. Think about it basically as the destruction of all that has been planted, leaving nothing viable behind. It's starvation and death.

I was going to end there, but I felt to pull another rune: Isa again, this time without the positive qualities. Unlike the previous pull, which was related to pulling together, this one is related to disbanding: each person will be left to face the frosts alone, and to make their way across the ice without help.

For symmetry, I pulled a last rune, one that would hopefully clear things up and tie the previous two together. I pulled Uruz, which indicates strength. I puzzled over this for a while, and it took me some time to figure it out. It is basically telling us that the outlook can be overcome through strength. I think, though, that it's a strength of togetherness: it's overcoming the disbanding by recognizing that it is not the way to go, and that it's time to buck up and push ahead.

There is a long, tough road ahead, but I think that the road is clearly the right one. Hardship can be overcome and won through. I recommend social interaction along with ritual (go to a movie, or go bowling. . . my powers of seership clearly seem to indicate bowling for some reason. . . I'm serious). Get together and have fun as a Grove, as fellows. It's tough, and the leader will have the hardest part, but the omens are clear: you can do it, and the alternative is not as nice as continuing. I also think it's up to the GO to determine the "new direction." If there's no vision statement for the Grove, I recommend writing one.

Divination 8

This divination bothered me in many ways: I felt I was a bit too close to the subject matter, and possibly that I'd read my own wants into it. As a result, I passed the interpretation below onto a good friend, who indicated (without knowing the situation) that I'd done a pretty good interpretation. That made me feel a lot better about this one.

Runes generally relate to each other intuitively rather than logically within the same question for me, but they're listed in order drawn. It appears that most of these were "paired", so you can almost look at them like two pairs of runes for each question. This just sometimes happens when I read.

q1: Where are things now?

- Gebo; reciprocity/relationship
- Kenaz; fellowship and ulcer
- Uruz; strength and dross
- Tiwaz; being guided, right path

Clearly, we're talking about relationships (Gebo). There are a lot of variables and possibilities (I was unable to determine whether to read Kenaz as "torch" or "ulcer", and Uruz as "strength" or "dross", and so, due to the lack of context, left them as representing "unknowns", and relating to the whole situation), and a seeking of guidance (Tiwaz, and here I gave up looking for modifiers to Kenaz and Uruz). Generally, this question was a "wash," getting me into the groove for the rest of the reading. It basically told me, "The situation is that the querant doesn't know where they are going, relationship-wise, and wants some guidance. "Gee, thanks," I thought.

q2: How will things be with Guy1

- Laguz; un/subconsciousness
- Wunjo; Joy, blissful ignorance
- Gebo; reciprocity and trust
- Nauðiz; need

Guy1 is hiding things (Laguz, the waters and that subconscious sort of thing: clearly, from what I've been told, "emotion" wasn't overflowing, so I opted for "things hidden"), and Wunjo has that little hint of "ignorance is bliss," which I usually wouldn't read into this rune, except for Laguz appearing. So we have this idea of really enjoying this relationship, which is not entirely honest (or, more correctly, not complete in general, because some things are unrevealed. . . which the querant may not care about). Gebo is (of course) "reciprocity," but the addition of Naudiz indicates that this reciprocity is lacking.

q3: How will things be with Guy2

- Wunjo; Joy
- Tiwaz; the right path
- þurisaz; "tormentor of women"
- Ehwaz; horse

Guy2 brings up Wunjo again, with Tiwaz. The idea of "ignorance is bliss" wasn't present, so I read this as joy in the choice to go that direction. Now, Thurisaz is, of course, the women's torment. I told the querant that it was going to be painful, but I also mentioned that Ehwaz, the horse, shows that Guy2 will be there for the querant, and will ease the journey (I mentioned Radio's association with the horse doing all the work, and indicated that Ehwaz was about partnership on the journey more than "hard for the horse").

q4: Is Guy1 a Lost Cause?

- Uruz; Strength.
- Ansuz; communication, a starting point
- Oþila; ancestral learnings
- Ing; The God from the East, ancestors, and new people

Uruz indicates that the querant will need strength, and Ansuz indicates that communication is required for this to work (going back to whatever is hidden). Also, the querant needs to rely on family (however the querant defines it: Odila has those ancestral ties), and I think the querant hasn't met his family yet, which is another thing that would have to happen. Ingwaz was another issue: I read it as "the god from the east," telling me that someone else was going to come in anyway. I characterized this as someone coming into the querant's life, but looking at it again, I could see it as someone coming into his life, too. I'm more likely to stand by my original statement about Ingwaz, though.

Divination 9

This was another set of questions about a GO's ability to run a Protogrove, and about the querant's hopes and fears, as well as about the direction the PG should go in the future.
q1: How can I be a good leader to my Protogrove?
- þurisaz; thorns

Keeping a sharp lookout , ensuring that the Grove Organizer (and the Protogrove) are careful of where they settle. Take care of the self, as well, since þurisaz is also sickness and torment to women. There is a definite call to be careful in this rune. The primary statement, however, is to be careful and vigilant throughout the time spent leading the Protogrove.

q2: What are [GO's] strengths as a PG leader?

- Fehu; wealth, generosity
- Eihwaz; protection and looking out for others
- Dagaz; a new day, a new dawn

By asking about strengths, I was seeking the positive aspects of the runes pulled. Here, we found a generous spirit in fehu, and an ability to understand and work with material wealth. The character of good leaders is marked by their generosity toward others, as well as the diplomacy that goes along with that. There's an ability to avoid bad blood that also comes with this.

Eihwaz brings protection, and looking out for others. This is particularly true for the interestes of the family, since the yew is also the bow and ancestral wisdom. Dagaz brings us a new day. There's a fresh perspective that this GO brings to the equation that will be very valuable.

q3: What are [GO's] weaknesses as a PG leader?
- Tiwaz; infelxibility, stubborness
- Kenaz; ulcer
- Isa; ice

Here, I was looking at the negative ideas associated with these runes. The first, Tiwaz, is hard to find problems with, but looking over the reading as a whole, it's clear that this is about stubborness and inflexibility. The GO cannot be guided only by that which is internal, but must also pay attention to the whole picture. There's a need to understand the needs of others.

Kenaz, the ulcer, indicates that the GO should avoid nagging. Recognizing when pain is present is absolutely required, and being compassionate rather than unfeeling is important.

Isa shows that inflexibility again. There's an urge to freeze up, constrict the flow, and refuse to move. Don't trust the face of beauty without being aware of what is below the surface, as well.


The first thing that I notice when I look over the above divinations is that the kinds of questions are perhaps consistent with what a long-time reader might expect, but nothing like what I expected. As I make little to no use of divniatory specialists outside of ritual (generally on the thought that divination rarely tells you things you don't already know, and anything it can tell you is likely something you oughtn't know since prophecies have a way of biting one in the mythological ass), I didn't really know what sorts of questions would arise, and I certainly had no idea how many questions would come my way. I think the single biggest misconception that was beaten away by this experience was the idea that everyone else treated divination in a way similar to me.

I look at the above as two basic categories of questions: the first is "The Grove Organizer Who Isn't Sure" and the second is "The Stuff People Ask Fortune Tellers." While I suppose this is a somewhat unfair sort of division in many ways, this is also about the only way I can really make sense of it, as it was my first real experience with questions from the general public rather than in ritual.

The first type of questions, typified by Divinations 7 and 9, are the Grove Organizer questions. I'm not sure why GO's were so eager to ask for direction from the runes, but I felt that it showed a lot of character that these leaders were second-guessing themselves and hoping for reassurance that they were, indeed, on the right path and that they were leading the Grove in the right direction. Since taking these divinations, I have to say that both Groves have found new energy and are clearly rooting themselves more firmly into their areas. The Grove in Div 7 has found new leadership and looks to be progressing well, and the Grove in Div 9 is really impressing me with their vision and direction. I like to think that I helped with the decisions that the Groves made, somehow.

The other kind of question, the sort asked of fortune tellers, was a bit more complicated. These are questions about life-direction, relationships, and jobs, typified by the other questions (not all divinations done once I posted asking for volunteers are represented here) showed me a lot about the amount of information the runes could provide, even though I had been skeptical about their ability to discuss these things before starting this requirement. I can say little enough about what (exactly) the response meant to the querant in this case, but several of them have checked back in with me and asked about their readings. Those who have reviewed their readings some months later have indicated that the readings were fairly on target.

Divination 8 was a particularly difficult divination for me: it revolved around a relationship that I already felt was unhealthy for the querant, and so I didn't fully trust myself to read the runes, and nearly recused myself from the reading before I even started. I decided to press on, however, and read for the querant because I felt that the reading could really help in this case. A day or two after the reading, I bounced my interpretation off of a friend who responded that my readings had been almost entirely correct (though he, of course, saw things different that I did in some of the same runes, and had a different perspective). It was very nice to get a sort of "vindication" of my rune reading skills, particularly this far into the work I had been doing. In the end, the querant chose neither of the two options, and is currently enjoying a relationship with someone else altogether.


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