Reem, Rob & Russ (that’s me obviously) have been continuing to work on getting our two decks closer to a prototype print run so we can have a go at using the cards to test them out. We’re still trying to decide on the final artwork choices and layout of each card, as we really don’t want any weak ones in the deck. Thankfully Ædan who created the amazing artwork is just a WhatsApp text away and ready to adjust to help make the deck perfect.
The origins of the Runes in Norway, Iceland and Britain all began with poems on the sounds and the meanings of each of the symbols and they were often very different depending on the culture using them. Some of these poem’s messages feel deeply pagan and ancient, some are steeped in Norse Mythology and some take their cues from the early Christian culture. We decided very early on that each rune would require its own new poetic paragraph to lift the veil on what might be beneath the strokes that form the symbol. We have the first drafts of seventy done with just eight left to complete. Then the editing and honing of the messages will begin. Tightening the text and tuning the internal chiming and rhyming.
Creating this deck has been such an epic task from the very start, uncovering the forgotten, unused symbols to researching their origins. Understanding how the runes developed, grew, transformed, shrank and were all but lost, was also a vast subject of endless questions rather than solutions. Next came collecting names and learning to understand the Anglo-Saxon language somewhat, this was joyful and so informative about the philosophies of the culture of that time. There were so many words to describe specific acts of love which on the whole we have reduced to that single word. All this growing knowledge allowed us to create this mighty deck of seventy-eight cards that stands in a distinctly separate place from the twenty-four Runes of the Elder Futhark used by most readers.
Then there is all the mythology that weaves into the stories of the Runes. We all adore delving into all mythologies but here we were looking at how they relate to our new deck. Things are more complicated though by being attested to or noted, in different selective poems, sagas and even operas, all from different sources and geographical origins. Some had similar facts and others veered into other areas and some written in different languages too on artefacts and archaeological finds. Names change, blend and adapt and so we had to factor in these different and distinctive parallels to keep the deck as current and clear as possible.
When considering the artwork, however much we might wish for certain parameters it was essential to allow Ædan the freedom to channel his messages that would be hidden deep within his art and choices of colours on the cards. The layout itself is also littered with questions and stumbling blocks of form, shape, patterns and ease of understanding. We tried to create rules of placement but the cards wanted their independence. So, we are now stripping everything back to let the art and the Runes speak their truths.
This journey began back in May last year and it has been an awesome experience and privilege channelling and building each new aspect into the whole with the help of so many others on YouTube. The next stage will be to have a small number of decks printed so the we might start shuffling them to explore how they work and if they might be refined in any way. We will also be offering a chance for all of you to win a deck on each of our channels. We’re all really excited about that. Then it will finally be time to consolidate and publish our hard work. We’re too excited beautiful people. We yearn for the deck in our grubby little hands.
We haven’t forgotten all of your efforts too, over the last eleven (I so want to write Elven) months. We will be creating a list where you might all include your names in a thank-you section. At times this project has felt so vast and fluid that it felt impossible to pin down and focus into a usable deck but we are so close now.
To thank all of you and to allow me to say hello again after a seven week absence since my dental procedure, we are bringing you all a mini New Moon reading from the three Norns.
Past, Present & Future. First let’s introduce you to the three Runes that represent the Wyrd Sisters in our new deck as they are now. They’re certainly not fluffy. They are the primordial beings that are said to have ended the Gods’ Golden Age by arriving with their Cosmic Laws and their challenges to all beings.
Urðr – The Past
Verðandi – The Present
Skuld – The Future
New Moon Three Norns Collective Reading
So I asked Rob to shuffle his hand drawn Rune deck and select three cards. What’s funny is that Reem appears in the middle card as the form of Hel herself as her silhouette was used as the template design shape. So here’s the New Moon message for you all from each of us.
Reem: Destiny run. I’ve fallen into the flow. It can be treacherous waters with my resistance but when I surrender it is fluid, sublime. A time where I can rest knowing I’m flowing where I need to be going.
Russ: A bubbling cascade of a mystical healing has carried us all down stream of a lifetime of traumas. We have reached the delta mouth that is where fresh and salty waters mingle and the salmon adapts its lungs before swimming into a new life.
Rob: We’ve developed mastery over our personal underworld ‘It’s time to come back now.” The light’s returned, the trial is over.
Reem: Guide and gatekeeper for those returning to light.
Russ: The damaged child has grown up and having found its feet refuses to be told how to live its life. This now stable radiant mortal is alight with Æther gifted magic and knows how to wield this wondrous power.
Rob: Now onto explore the rest of the Yggdrasil Tree. The middle world and the upper.
Reem: I’m burrowing deep within the soils and returning to my roots. Reaching depths I thought I’d never reach. Rooting myself in, to prepare for new growth.
Russ: The briars and bracken have been cleared away and your personal totems are visible and empowered, glistening in the sun’s rays as it kisses and chuckles at the freedoms you have created for your future.
After the Runes we are returning to the Alchemy of Astrology Deck to complete its journey to test printing stage. We just need to complete the very long task of writing six shadow and six light aspects for all ninety-one cards!!! Biting off more than we can chew? We do have three mouths between us. We just want to create a deck with an equal number of dark and light.
Plus there are three more decks in the pipeline that we will begin working on very very soon. Woohoo!!