As I mentioned before, there are 2 things I truly love & am dedicated to: Runes and Herbs. I started learning about healing herbs when I was 15 after I awoke from a dream about Sage (out of all plants)…The Runes entered in my life my later (though I apparently already showed signs of interest in esoteric things & fortune telling as a child) and I didn’t come to them for divination (that came later).
I had read that there was once a healing tradition involving the Runes, and that’s what interested me (and still does to this day). However, the Runes belong to an oral tradition that was passed down one generation to the next. Today you may find countless books on Runic Divination and even Runic Magic, some better & more in-depth than others but it’s not up to me to judge, it all depends on what you are looking for, how dedicated you are, and how far you are willing to go. But on the topic of Runic Healing, there isn’t a whole lot of literature to choose from, and since I don’t speak any of the Scandinavian languages (old or new) I can’t even go look for ancient sources. So all I have are 2-3 English books, whose contents may or may not chime with my chore, what I’m looking for, or what I’m looking to (re)create. I have learned to rely increasingly on my intuition over the years, some things being revealed little by little – he or she who works with the Runes knows that it’s a personal and never-ending learning process.
My unorthodox approach to things may and will cause people to say that I’m following the tradition. True! It wasn’t taught to me by anyone…I had to dig and research, I had to learn on my own, I had to see things unfold with my own eyes, but more importantly, I had to trust that what I was being shown, drawn to, and given was real. It may not be THE truth but it is my truth. And as far as tradition goes: to keep it going, you need to keep it alive – which means to adapt to the time & place we live in, as much as connecting some dots – and you need to share your findings.
Now the title of this article is about my “A-Ha” moment. As I said earlier, I’ve been trying for years to (re)create a Runic Healing Tradition of my own. I wanted to combine Runes, Herbs & Energy Work/Healing together. I did manage to create something, but that wasn’t enough, I was barely scratching the surface and felt frustrated that I couldn’t go further, there seemed to be obstacles on my path and I couldn’t connect the dots.
Then came a time of personal struggle and great transformation for me, which lasted years and is still going on, since we are constantly evolving (but now I recognize the signs, I’m aware of the patterns). That time of great suffering led me to 1/study and use the Runes for divination, 2/to start trusting myself again and relearn to be intuitive rather than logical (something I had always done in my childhood, until the system had me to conform and think with the square, logical mind – which slowly led to my own demise), and 3/to practice self-healing, manifestation and transformation with the Runes. The latter is what I’m currently teaching during my Runic Meditations and putting together with visuals in a Runic Oracle I’m designing.
So I thought that I had nailed it: what I was to teach (and I’ve known for years that I was meant to teach) was what I learned with my experience, which is inner alchemy – a form of healing. Until the herbs came back in the corner of my mind, a few days ago.
I’d like to point out, for those of my readers who don’t know, that I’m a French expat living in California, yet my mother tongue is German (my German is a little rusted but it’s coming back lately). Speaking 2 or 3 languages is a godsend because it’s often the case that a book isn’t translated into another language. Lately, I’ve noticed the emergence of a European/Germanic shamanic tradition that, in a way, complements their rich herbal tradition…And these books aren’t translated into English nor French. And while browsing through these books I discovered the missing link that’s been eluding me for years. I discovered the work of a healer who works with incense and smudging (and I’ve been making my own smudge sticks for years, I am most interested in the esoteric uses of plants) in a different manner & system than Native Americans do, especially since she uses plants native to Germany. She also takes smudging to a whole new level, not just for cleansing spaces, clearing the aura, grounding the self or for emotional wellbeing…She actually uses smudging for physical healing.
And when I discovered that, I understood right away that this was the missing piece of my puzzle, the thing holding me back and preventing me from creating my own Runic Healing Tradition: “Beyond the Smoke lie the Roots” is what I heard. The only reason why I could not go any further with it is that I had lost my connection with my roots, which is my Germanic heritage from my mother’s side of the family. I’ve had female Ancestors come to me in visions (I will not go into details here), offering help & support, they were always from my mother’s branch of the tree. I also understood that it, in order to remember & reconnect, I need to re-learn German (I will have to, just to decipher those books anyway). During yesterday’s hike, as I stopped by an Elder tree, I received a confirmation of all that and got a great feeling of peace and of finally knowing for sure where I was heading. By mending the past, I have set the stepstones for the (near) future…