Radical Runes: the class I wish I’d had

Radical Runes: the class I wish I’d had

The Radical Runes course has launched! You can register here. Registration is open until 5pm CST on Monday, September 14.

This summer, I’ve been deep in the process of course design. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to teach about the runes, but I kept second-guessing myself. I know that there are people out there who have been studying the runes for much longer than I have, but I also know that there aren’t very many online classes in runes. Enough people had asked about whether or not I would teach a class that eventually, I decided to go for it.

A view from my desk

The runes chose me. 

Six years ago I was dragged – kicking and screaming – into working with Òđinn. I cast a circle, ready to re-dedicate myself, calling out to any spirit who might want to work with me. I was prepared to begin a familiar relationship with a spirit, and instead the Allfather came into my circle and introduced himself. He was wry, a twinkle in his eye, his wide hat pulled low, and a staff in hand. I asked what he wanted to be called, and he repeated: “Odin.” 

Later, I scoffed. What are the odds that the Allfather wanted to work with me? I was just a lowly witch, initiated into Wicca and looking for something deeper. I wasn’t even certain I believed in deities, the very concept of a creator God impossible. I told myself it was probably just a mischievous spirit who was also named Odin that I was working with. I was too intimidated by the idea that this was the High One, and so I eased into the relationship. 

Fast forward to now, and I know better. I am comfortable with the idea of a God, even many Gods, as well as the numerous spirits that come with the Norse cosmology. I spend my time researching Nordic folklore and folk traditions. I have been diving deep for years around Norse practices and have just begun to scratch the surface of this rich and often hidden tradition. 

This course is a labor of love. 

As a queer non-binary femme, it is very important for me to look at my spirituality and see acceptance for who I am. And yet, there aren’t very many writers and teachers in this tradition that I can look at and say “yes! they get it!”

I’ve realized that it is actually my calling to work with the runes in public for this reason. Radical Runes is a huge part of how I’m doing that.

I don’t want to shy away from this beautiful source of my ancestral culture, and I also want to provide resources for other people who are seeking to understand the wisdom of the Norse oracle. I want to create a safe space for other people like me in this tradition: queer, compassionate, leftists looking to the next world for guidance.

We look to the past to gain perspective, and to learn from our mistakes. That’s why I study history, why I search for a historic basis. I want to understand all the factors that led us to this moment in time. This is a theme that runs through my work as an activist as well as my work in witchcraft. The occult often runs parallel to history: developments in ideas behind closed doors, in the shadows, impact what happens in broad daylight. As witches, we know this: If we didn’t, we would have a hell of a time casting spells. 

My relationship with my own runes has deepened significantly, and I feel a great shift happening.

Over the course of this summer, I came out as non-binary and am in the process of changing my name to Siri. The runes have held me through it. Radical runes, indeed! I’m writing this in 2020, in a year of change, tumult, and extraordinary pain. I’ve been able to find comfort in folk culture, in working with my hands and practicing things my ancestors have done. I’ve immersed myself in the John Bauer tarot, the journals of Hilma Af Klint, and have been reading through the sagas and source materials. I feel their support, even as I begin my own gender revolution.

If this sounds like something you would like to study as well, to immerse yourself in the world of folk custom and Nordic ancestors, I invite you to register for the class. We’ll be learning together, in a safer space. I hope you join me.

You can learn more about specifics of the course and register here! Registration for Radical Runes closes at 5pm CST on Monday, September 14, 2020.

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