“The New Nordic Astrology: an Introduction"
by Lavrans Reimer-Møller
It's probably safe to say that many of us in Heathenry are familiar with or have been influenced by Astrology. Many of us have not only had our charts done, but have learned to do charts as well. Even though, as we shall see, there are a number of fundamental flaws in traditional Astrology, the craft nevertheless seems to yield useful results. In spite of the historical fact that the practice has its roots in non-European traditions, we should try to find a means of incorporating Astrology into our practice of Heathenry.
Some of us have the good fortune to live outside big cities; others have to make a special trip to view the unpolluted night sky. But all of us are sensitive to the splendors of a starry night and are aware of its power. We need only look up to feel and accept the notion that the stars and planets :have an influence on our lives. But one should not be satisfied with observing a chart which is a secondhand abstraction of the magic of the stars. We need to observe the stars directly and get an immediate sense of their power, as I am certain our ancestors did.
I'm sure that I am not the first or only one among us to sense the absurdity of defining myself as a "Sagittarius with Virgo rising", while at the same time practicing a religious and spiritual philosophy grounded in northern mythology. While Edred Thorsson1 and others have demonstrated that our northern European based beliefs have cross-fertilized with other mythologies in the past, in the modern practice of Heathenry we are inclined to a system which is clearly Norse and Teutonic.
The first big problem is in basic orientation. By examining "The Stars: A New Way to See Them" by H.A. Rey 2 we can get a very clear idea of what is positioned where in the sky overhead and how orient ourselves to that reality.
The first glaring discrepancy we note is the difference between tropical and sidereal correspondences. Traditional Astrology divides the heavens into 12 houses. These not only then correspond to various areas of personal activity, but have also been associated with asterisms or constellation which lie along the belt of the Zodiac. The problem is that the sky has moved, and due to the precession of the Equinoxes, these alignments no longer are true. A study of Sidereal Astrology demonstrates that there is a difference of at least one whole sign!3 A new revised method based on the actual heavens must therefore be a sidereal system.
Next, we note that the sequence of constellations along the zodiac is reversed. By examining a sky map4 we immediately see that the sequence is clockwise, not counter-clockwise as shown on traditional horoscopes. Figure 1 demonstrates the actual sequence and alignment of the zodiac.
FIGURE 1 Zodiac
Setting aside the 12-fold division of the skies for a moment, the next step in developing our Nordic Astrology is to divide the chart into 8ths. It has been fairly well established that our ancestors divided the year into 8 seasons, and this method is the basis of the calendrics we use in modern Heathenry. The practical application of this idea is to begin by arranging these 8ths in a ring so that we can start to establish a balanced set of correspondences.
The relationship of the 24 letter Futhark to the horoscope is solved in incorporating the arrangement shown by Edred Thorsson in "At the Well of Wyrd" 5 and elsewhere in which the Runes are assigned to the 8ths from the vertical rows in sets of 3, not the Futhark sequence itself. (figure 2)
Figure 2- Runic correspondences
When we add to this the idea that for our ancestors the year began at Winter Solstice, we lay the foundations of our method. Next, we can take 8 of the 9 Worlds of Yggdrasil and assign them to 8ths based on seasonal considerations. 6 As this arrangement is largely based on my own personal intuition, it may be subject to some revision as this system is further developed. At first, there may seem to be some apparent conflict between the Runes and the Realms; for example, the question has been raised as to the appropriateness of placing Fehu at the Winter Solstice, in the icy Realm of NiflheimR. It seems to me that this can be worked out as showing that which is most needed at that point, Fehu countering the cold as exemplified by the lighting of the Yule log. The rest of the correspondences can be worked out similarly, and often involve the juxtaposition of conflicting ideas in a manner which creates tremendous dynamics.
The next problem has to do with finding associations between old Norse and Teutonic mythology and the constellations, especially those in the zodiacal belt. 7 Unfortunately, Nigel Pennick's "Runic Astrology", while a compendium of fascinating lore, is often inaccurate, incomplete and in error. Robert Zoller's unpublished ms. on a new Norse Astrology is fine as far as it goes, but doesn't follow through 8 on some of his key assertions. One can only hope that he will be inspired to continue his work in this area, as he has succeeded in giving us a tantalizing glimpses of what must have been the true lore of our ancestors. For example, there is much that might be done by exploring O.S. Rueter's "Germanische Himmelskunde"; but it is difficult to obtain, and the english translation by M. Behrend is 9 out of print. (see figures 3& 4).
Reuter sky map- 1
Reuter map 2
However, by comparing the available lore with the factual sky maps and references of astronomy, we can a least begin to try to assign Nordic associations to both fixed stars as well as those figures called asterisms. (figure 5)
A big set of clues can be found by determining the nature of certain key fixed stars and then by determining how planets may interact with them. Pennick gives us a bit of this, but he fails to authenticate his sources. The main source for this type of analysis may come from Vedic astrology.
More research needs to be done to establish a workable set of correspondences. Returning to the zodiac, we now have the question of the 12 houses given 10 in the Grimnismal. To start with, it is unclear whether there are 12 or 13 houses listed. If there are 13, the system becomes a lunar cycle of 13 months rather than a solar cycle of 12 months. How these realms align with the zodiac 11, 12 is a subject of some conjecture,with authorities such as Aswynn, Gundarsson and others in disagreement. This is an area worth pursuing, as the additional lore derived will certainly enhance the astrological process
The key to interpretation begins with the way the sky map aligns with the outer ring. As with the traditional horoscope, the juxtaposition of the sky with the life of the subject, especially at the Ascendant and Midheaven give us the basic interactions which define the path of one's life experiences. By examining the combination of Realms, Runes, Houses and Asterisms we have the means to define one's Ørlög at birth and the continuing effects throughout life. (Figure 6)
complete sky map
The next set of correspondences to be worked out and added to this process involves the planets. The usual associations we get from Tacitus such as Odin = Mercury, Tyr = Mars, Freya (Frigga?) Venus don't always seem to hold true. Odin, as All-Father can and many times does manifest himself in any of the planetary influences. He can operate through Mercury as the god of wisdom, but also through Mars as god of war, or Jupiter as ruler of the gods. It has proven to be very difficult to work out a set of useful correspondences. The idea is that the planets have their own intrinsic nature independent of mythological associations directly applied; the gods and goddesses may operate through these planetary channels as kinds of facilitators. This would then open up a much broader set of definitions for determining how the position of a planet might operate in relation to other previously discussed factors.
A final determining factor is the definition of the actual sky overhead at the time of birth; a clear idea of which stars were rising, setting and at the midheaven directly overhead will add much to the understanding of the horoscope.
The next step we should consider is a method for casting a horoscope. However, there are several points which should be cleared up first.
This is not an attempt to try to recreate whatever system or method of Astrology might have once been used in Northern Europe. Prior to the introduction of Middle Eastern Astrology to Europe we have no way of knowing for certain what kind of Astrology may have been practiced by the Norse, or if they even had system that corresponds to Astrology as we now know it. To assume that they did anything like erecting a natal horoscope and using it to determine a person's seems highly unlikely. We have evidence that they used the stars as an annual calendar to keep track of the change of seasons for purposes of planting and harvesting. They probably used both a 12 month solar calendar as well as a 13 month lunar calendar. Based on the slim evidence available, we may assume that they found a correlation between the stars and mythology and used the sky to illustrate the tales of our gods and goddesses. But it would he unlikely that they utilized the zodiac, in part because many of the constellations we are familiar with become invisible during the Summer in the North. So let me try to be clear. This is an attempt to use the mechanics of modern astrology combined with Norse mythology to create a synthesis of the best features of both ideas in a manner which will be relevant to the practice of Heathenry. Up to a certain point we may try to incorporate authentic ideas into this method, but beyond that, it’s made up!!
The use of the zodiac in this system is not as important as it is in traditional Astrology. The discussion regarding how the palaces in Grimnismal may correspond to the signs of the zodiac is not essential, although useful in a secondary manner. Further, the reference to our system being sidereal is only in the sense that we want to work with the real sky: the actual positions of stars and asterisms, not a theoretical set of references as in Tropical astrology. This is not to be confused with Sidereal astrology as an alternative method to Tropical. (The main difference between Tropical and Sidereal methods is that the actual constellations have moved from the positions in the sky which were relevant at the time when the system was first devised. To convert a chart to Sidereal, subtract 1 sign. then add about 6 degrees.) While a knowledge of the difference between Tropical and Sidereal Astrology maybe useful, it is not an important part of this system. We are going to divide the year and the sky into 8 parts or ÆTT'S: each Ætt will then be divided into 3 Runic houses. The 12 house zodiac is only used as a means of locating the positions of the planets using an ephemeris, which are then translated into our system. Any use of the zodiac beyond that is only as a secondary subset. The Ætts and Runic houses are the primary means of interpretation. It would be an error in trying to incorporate the zodiac by doing nothing more than putting different labels on the same old cans of beans.
Now, to make the birth chart. First, print out the diagrams which accompany this article.. Now make copies of both the outer ring and the inner skymap. Then carefully cut out the center portion by cutting along the heavy line. (Cut out the skymap and you are ready to begin. Using the simple method borrowed from the astronomy map called Sky Challenger, we simply align the skymap in its proper place inside the ring. Find your date of birth on the inner skymap and mark it. Then find your time of birth on the outer ring and mark it. Note: The clock on the outer ring runs counter-clockwise, with 12 midnight at the bottom and Noon at the top.) When you align those two marks, you now have a basic natal chart. Secure the skymap in position with a gluestick.
Seems to easy to be true? You're right- it is too easy to be entirely true! The time of birth shown on your birth certificate is for the edge of that time zone; to get the exact local time you must make an adjustment. You need to consult a book titled "Longitudes and Latitudes", which shows the time correction for your city or town. You should also consult "Time Changes" to see if you need to correct for daylight savings time or war time.
If at this point You don't have the means to do this yourself, you'll have to consider getting your chart done by an astrologer. If you already have your natal horoscope or know how to do one, then all you have to do is convert to the Norse system. If you have a computer software program then you not only can do your own, but may be able to provide charts for others. At some point in the future there will probably be a software program written for the new Norse method. If you don't have a chart and don't want to get involved in the arduous task of learning to do one, then consult your nearest occult bookstore or mail-order astrologer.
Be sure that you have the degrees of your Ascendent and Midheaven correct. The entire alignment depends on these especially the Midheaven. You will next want to get the correct positions for the planets. Once you have established this, it is simple enough to translate this information imo the Norse system. Just remember that the system begins with Capricorn at the beginning of the 1st house and proceed from there. Each Ætt is 45°, the Runic houses are 15°. Thus a planet at 10° of Aries becomes 10 of the 3rd Ætt (Jötunheim) and 10° of Thurisaz. When you combine the planetary position with the Ætt and Runic house of the inner skymap with the Rune and Ætt on the outer ring, you will have the beginnings of an interpretation. I have also shown a speculative association on this chart with the Grimnismal correspondences which seems to yield workable results.
It now becomes necessary to sort out the planets. There are correspondences which seem to work as far as assigning Norse deities to their corresponding Roman planetary gods, but these are not always entirely satisfactory.
For example, Odin is associated with Mercury, and that seems to work well; but there is an equally valid case to be made for Odin as Alfather= Jupiter, or War-god Mars! Should Venus be associated with Freya or Frigga? Does Loki correspond with Saturn? My interim solution is to consider the traditional associations for the planets (ie.: Mars=Male, yang, creative, aggressive, usw) and try to work out the Norse mythological associations as best one can. Each planet has its own unique nature; the godform-energies operate through that matrix to define one's Wyrd.
The outer ring represents the various aspects in the evolution and development of the self. The progression is similar to but different from the assignment made to the Houses of traditional astrology.
In this diagram the outer ring is fixed. The juxtaposition of influences is determined by the manner in which the inner ring if the chart is positioned, determined by the time, place and date of birth. The arrangement of the outer ring is as follows:
Each realm is 45°, divided into 3 Runic houses of 15° each. The realms or Ætts are ruled by 8 of the 9 worlds of Yggdrasil; the 9th world, Midgard is the Earth from which we observe the heavens.
The Ætts correspond to the seasons of the year as divided into 8 parts. These 8ths are based on a division according to the Equinoxes and Solstices as observed from most of the continental United States; that is, from an area centered roughly on 45° north latitude. The additional division at the midpoints between these key points produces an eight-fold division of the year which is common to the Germanic people.
The sky map works as follows: if you go outside on a clear night at midnight at Winter Solstice and look due north, you will observe the actual sky as shown on the upper part of the sky map. If you perform the same observance on the Vernal Equinox, move the map around so that “Spring-West” is at the bottom. The same holds true for any time of the year. The date and time can be determined by the position of the inner ring.
The 24 Runic houses are numbered counter-clockwise starting at midnight at the bottom of the diagram, aligned with Winter Solstice. When the inner map is placed on the outer ring, align the birth date on the inner ring with the time on the outer ring. In a later chapter we will discuss a more accurate method, however, this will yield remarkably accurate results.
It should be noted that the arrangement of the Ætts on the outer ring not only corresponds with the progression of the seasons, but are also pairs of opposites. They can also be seen as representing the evolution of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. The order of the Runic houses is based on two considerations: first, that the Germanic year began at Winter Solstice, and second, that the Runes may be arranged to correspond with the Ætts by vertical rows of 3 rather than the linear Futhark progression. (See the illustrations from Thorsson.) The manner in which the Ætts, Runic houses and calendar of the outer ring align with the zodiacal houses and time of the inner ring are the basic frame of reference for interpreting the natal horoscope.
What follows is a brief examination of the Ætts and the Runic houses. It is also recommended that one study the information in Thorsson and Gundarsson as well as the other material listed in the bibliography. It may also be useful to use the outer ring as a calendar and track the Sun’s daily progress.
The 1st Ætt, NiflheimR, represents the pre-formative state, containing within it the potential for what is to come. It is water and mist before it congeals and forms into ice. The state is contraction and magnetism; in-gathering, internal focusing of powers. It is analogous to anti-matter, a black hole. It is an area which may be likened to a “cosmic deep-freeze”, an area where energies, forces and resources of all kinds are stored until needed.
NiflheimR can also be said to represent the earliest stage of consciousness in the individual, before the complete assimilation of the parts of the psyche is even begun. It is ørlög in its primal state, prior to any imprinting by the current life-cycle. In Nordic Astrology it represents the Self free from the effects of outside influences. What influences are gathered in NiflheimR and how they are organized will affect the life course of the individual.
The influence of the planets in NiflheimR define the most basic characteristics of the Self and may be seen as an expression of the concept of SjalfR- the self. It is the beginning of self-awareness and self-consciousness. It is how the planetary energies are channeled through this Ætt which define the self.
The 1st Runic house of this Ætt is Fehu. The main meaning of Fehu in NiflheimR is initiating energy; the fire which releases the potential of the forces gathered in NiflheimR. The idea of mobile wealth is expressed in the idea of putting one’s resources in motion. The inertia and restrictive nature of this Ætt must be overcome by the expansive energy of Fehu. This Runic house covers the period from 12/21 to 1/5, the 1st 15° of the zodiac, starting at Midwinter.
The 2nd Runic house, moving downward to the first Rune of the second row, is Hagalaz, the Rune of Change. The sudden application of volatile energy is what must be used to release the energies trapped in NiflheimR. Hagalaz provides the means to escape from the restriction of this Ætt in order to progress to the formative realm of Svartalfheim. Hagalaz also represents the seed-form of moisture in the form of a snowflake or hailstone, which may seem to be disruptive, but always contains within it the seed of new life. It completes the cycle of the breaking of the old and the nurturing of the new. This house covers the period from 1/5 to 1/21.
The 3rd Runic house is Tiwaz. This represents the process of judgment in the cyclic process of rebirth. The definition of one’s ørlög comes from the applied rationality of Tiwaz and makes it clear. It completes the work to be accomplished in the first Ætt of NiflheimR and prepares the individual for the process of formation that is to come next. Tiwaz will also define the role which one is expected to fulfill in relation to one’s society. It rules from 1/21 to 2/5.
The whole sum of the Runic houses contained in NiflheimR is: the magical force of Fehu expressed in the universal wholeness of Hagalaz brings the victory of Tiwaz, thus releasing the potential contained in NiflheimR. This Ætt runs from Winter Solstice or Yule to Horning or Disting on 2/5; it is the second half of Winter.
The 2nd Ætt Svartálfheim is the realm of the formative aspect of being. The shape (HamR or Hyde) is formed in this Ætt, as all things in Midgard have their original shape or form in Svartálfheim. It is the realm where the beginnings of the feelings or emotions are formed. The means of work or labor may also be formed here, especially as work relates to ørlög.
Svartálfheim is a realm in which agreements may be made regarding the course of one’s life. One will owe a debt to the “dwarves” for the manner in which they have forged the weapons one needs in order to achieve victory. The manner in which the forces are defined in this Ætt are not easily changed. The training and educational processes are at work here as well.
The planets which are in this Ætt will define how these building blocks of the self will manifest themselves in one’s actions in Midgard. One may be predestined to play a certain role in affairs; the means of that action will be defined by the energies that flow through Svartálfheim. Images are formed here which have the power to bridge the gap between the spiritual and physical worlds. That which may be crystalized in the imagination in the opposite realm of Ljusálfheim may be materialized in Svartálfheim.
The first Runic house in this Ætt is Uruz, the Rune of primal formation and organic structuring, of the vital power of the will. It shows the need for strength in the formative processes taking place. Uruz is an earthy power and once initiated becomes a force which has great inertial energy. Care must be taken in putting this force into motion. Without the applied force of Uruz, the formative process will be weak or incomplete. This is the mighty engine which will drive the work of completing the tasks of life. The period covered by the operation of Uruz in Svartalfheim is from 2/3 to 2/28/95.
The second Runic house in this Ætt is Naudhiz, the Rune of need. It informs us of the necessity of duty. It offers resistance to the work done, which leads to strength. The need-fire of the higher will must be lit; distress and discontent must be overcome. Unless one is aware of the needs of duty, what is being formed in this Ætt will become an unbearable burden. It is the cleansing and transformational power of fire. This Rune operates in Svartálfheim from 2/19 until 3/5/95.
The third Runic house is Berkano, the Rune of Birth. This indicates the passage of the pre-formative through the formative into the life experience. It is the force of liberation and becoming; it is the harbinger of Spring when all of nature is reborn. It is concealing vessel of protective force. All that has been formed is now ready to be brought forth. This Rune operates from 3/5 until 3/20/95.
The sum of the Runic forces at work in the Ætt of Svartálfheim may be expressed as The Power of Uruz empowers the Need-fire of Nauthiz and makes way for the Birth of Berkano, completing the process of Formation by Transformation. This Ætt includes the first half of Spring, from Horning or Disting on 2/5 to the Vernal Equinox or Ostara on 3/20.
The third Ætt of the year is assigned to the realm of Jötunheim between Ostara (the Vernal Equinox) on March 20th and Summer Finding (Walpurgis) on May 5th, the second half of Spring. It is a realm of constant motion, seeking to test whatever it meets. Forces of dissolution and destruction are at work. This is the realm where what has been formed will be tested. It is a catalyst for change and evolution; it is the reactive power of destruction necessary to evolutionary change. One must be prepared to take chances and risks in order to progress through life. Here is disorderly growth, the wildness of Spring, when random chance favors the well-nurtured. It is sometimes dangerous , but often energizing and exhilarating to throw caution literally to the winds of chance and see what happens.
The consciousness of the individual is now interacting with the world around him. This tension between the inner and outer worlds is the primary means of achieving the Jungian goal of individuation or self-realization. The tension of the subjective self in opposition to the objective universe is the vessel in which the creation of consciousness is realized. One has no choice except to change when subject to the forces of Jötunheim.
The energies of the planets will be enervated and challenged by the gigantic forces of this realm. The action of the gods is modified accordingly, and they behave in unexpected ways. Any self-delusion that has occurred during the previous stages of growth will be challenged in Jötunheim.
The operation of the Runes in Jötunheim is as follows:
The first Runic House is Thurisaz, the Rune of directed force. It is armed with this Rune, the hammer Mjölnir, that one may successfully tame the wild forces of Jötunheim. When threatened, this is the force which defends. It does not come from Thor as an external source; it comes from within and is empowered by making the magical link with Thor. Thus one can tame and control the wild forces of this realm. It rules from 3/20 to 4/5.
The second Runic house is Isa, the Rune of Concentration. When buffeted by the wild forces of the Jötir, at may become necessary to retreat within and refocus the inner force. Thus one gains control by self-control, the concentrated self, unity of being and the ego-consciousness. Difficult situations are overcome with inner resources, an unused source of power and energy. It is centering and pulling inward, as in meditation; the strengthening of the vertical axis internally within the self. Rules from 4/5 to 4/20.
The third Runic house is Ehwaz, the Rune of Harmony. Thus having passed the trials of the Jötir, one is now ready to form relationships with others, both personal and business. One’s success in this house leads to the recognition that one may not be required to always act alone. One learns the value of partnerships, teamwork, mutual trust and harmony. The awareness of the transcendental aspect of the union of opposites as an erotic union is manifested. Rules from 4/20 to 5/5.
The sum of the Runic houses operating in Jötunheim is: Force applied to Stasis creates the Harmony which causes Change. This taming of the elemental forces of nature represents the next stage in the transformational process of self-realization.
The 4th Ætt corresponds to Asgard, the realm of higher consciousness and the force of spirit entering matter. It is the source of divine inspiration- the house of the Önd. It is a divine state of being, the synthesis of the memory of divine existence and the faculty of the intellect. From Asgard flows the motivation for the transformational process. Here are matters of honor, positive influences from past states of existence, and the working of ørlög. The self-consciousness may find that it is receiving inspired revelations, although more in the abstract than in crystallized ideas. The religious and the spiritual become part of the self-awareness. The action of the planetary energies are seen as clearly divine in nature rather than purely mechanistic; these forces are informed and driven by actual intelligences. It is this realization which elevates the soul to divinity and leads to the empowerment of the archetypal god forms within the self.
The first Runic House is Ansuz, the Rune of Inspiration. This is the ancestral sovereign power of the mind and consciousness, the power of the use of symbols for the transformation of consciousness. This also is the house of word power, synthesis and the workings of the intellect. It is the inspiration to emulate the Odinic model of self-transformation, the operation of communications as an Odinic process. It rules from 5/5 to 5/22.
The second Runic House is Jera, the Rune of Reward. As the height of Summer approaches, one becomes aware of how what is nurtured now will reap a bountiful harvest. One may especially expect rewards for work already accomplished. Synchronicity and timeliness become important to the work being done. We are reminded of the importance of the entire cycle of the yearly harvest, the turning of the Great Wheel. Jera rules from 5/20 to 6/5.
The third Runic House is Mannaz, the Rune of the Self. It is the Rune of the divine structure of intelligence in the human psyche. One is aware of the horizons on human existence. This is the energy of self-realization and individuation. the incorporation of divine elements into the soul. At this stage, one is already preparing for death and is unafraid. Mannaz rules from 6/5 to 6/20.
The sum of the Runic houses in Asgard are as follows: the divine Inspiration of Ansuz facilitates the Harvest of Self-realization empowering the consciousness ; a high spirituality is nurtured in the self, expressing the divine. This Ætt covers the period from Walpurgis on 5/5 to the Summer Solstice on 6/21, the first half of Summer.
The Ætt from Summer Solstice to August 5th is assigned to the Realm of Muspelheim, being generally the hottest time of the year. In this realm, we find the idea of expansion and growth, as opposed to the contraction of its opposite NiflheimR. It is the cosmic fire, the state of light, heat, action.
The first Runic house is Raido- Journey. This is a good period to travel, to put plans in motion, to combine the expanding energy of Muspelheim with the motion of Raido. from 6/22 to July 5th
The second Runic house is Eiwaz- Defense. This rune operating in Muspelheim energizes the powers that bring protection and defense and expands those qualities. A mystical initiation strengthens and empowers.
7/5 to 7/22.
The third Runic house is Lagu- Growth: Life energies are expanded during this period, the passing of a test, the growth of vitality and the unconscious; the matrix of the action. 7/22 to 8/5.
The summation of the action of the Runes in Muspelheim is Travel on the vertical axis of the Tree to nurture Growth. The Grimnismal Houses are BreidablikR (Baldur) 6/22 to 7/22 and Himinbjorg (Heimdahl) till 8/22.
The 6th Ætt is under the rulership of the realm of LjusalfheimR, the home of the Light-elves, ruled by FreyR. This is the time of the approaching harvest, with the emphasis on the intellect and the crystallization of abstractions into clear thoughts. It is the time of the manifestation of inspiration.
The first Runic house is Kenaz, the rune of Creativity. Carrying the torch of discovery into the realm of the elves will bring great inspiration and enlightenment. Now is the time for realization of ideas. 8/5 to 8/22
The second Runic house is Perthro- Luck and good fortune. Luck is the ability to capitalize on opportunity, and now is the time to be alert for new possibilities. Cast the dice and let the LjusalfR guide you! 8/22 to 9/5
The third Runic house is Ingwaz- Completion: the cycle of conception, gestation and birth are complete and the new life is brought forth; think upon the mean to facilitate outcomes and results. 9/5 to 9/23
The summation of the Runes in LjusalfheimR is The Torch of creativity illuminates the source of good Luck in order to bring forth new Life. The Holy Houses from the Grimnismál for this period are: Breidablik/ Balder- 6/22 to 7/22; Himinbjorg/ Heimdahl from 7/22 to 8/22; and FolkvangR/ Freya from 8/22 to 9/23.
The 7th Ætt corresponds to the realm of Vanaheim, the time of Harvest, the result of ordered growth. It is the abode of fruitful and static balance- constant growth, eternal well-being, peace, pleasure and comfort. It is the realm of organic, personal and cosmic cycles.
The first Runic house of this Ætt is Gebo- a Gift. The operation of this Rune in Vanaheim exemplifies the process leading to harvest, the idea that in order to receive the gift of the harvest, one must have give in kind to the process. The quality and quantity of that which is harvested at this time is a direct outcome of what has been put into the process. This enhances the ability to give and receive power; through sacrifice, one achieves a binding loyalty between gods and humans. This Rune riles from 9/23 to 10/6.
The Second runic house in Vanaheim is Algiz, Protection. This Rune in Vanaheim re[resents the idea of the safety that comes from controlled growth in an orderly environment. The reach upward to the gods for inner strength is grounded in the rich harvest of Vanaheim. It is the Yew tree growing upward out of fertile ground. Do not grasp this Rune; become it. This sacred force is protected by divine power, divine inspiration and the empowerment of inner archetypal god-forms. It is protection by means of self-realization. Algiz rules from 10/6 to 10/22.
The third Runic house in Vanaheim is Dagaz- Change. This is the Rune of transformation and Synchronicity. The way this operates in Vanaheim is an expression of the completion of the great cycle of the year and the inner personal reflection of that cycle. The outcomes of the harvest are the result of the interaction of opposites throughout the year on both an inner and outer level. It is the completion of the transcendent unity of human and godly awareness. It rules from 10/22 to 11/5.
The sequence of Runes in Vanaheim may be summed up as follows: Orderly Growth: what is Exchanged (G) for inner Strength (Z) to bring abut Change (D).
The Holy Houses of the Grimnismal for this period are: Glitnir- Forseti, from 9/23 to 10/23 and Noatun/ Nordh, from 10/23 to 11/23.
The final Ætt of the year is associated with the realm of Hel, and the rulership of the Goddess Hela. It is the approach to the lowest ebb of the annual tides, the darkest and coldest of times. Remember that the Goddess of this realm had been portrayed as warm and vibrant in the upper part of her body, but cold and dead below- thus the inherent duality of the concept of death. Within every death there is the promise of rebirth and new life.
The realm of Hel represents the function of instincts and intuition, the pre-formative level of human activity. It is a place of inertia and stillness. It is analogous to the so-called ‘lizard brain’, the hypothalamus. The lowest realm of the dead is Niflhel, a place totally devoid of light and energy which is seen as the final resting place of the non-Erulian. Influences from past existences are passed on in the form of “Ørlög” or karma.
The first house of this realm is ruled by the Rune wunjo, which means “Joy”. At this time of year, we experience the joy that comes from the act of completion, the reward for work well done. Kith and kin join together in fellowship and celebration. Wunjo represents the idea of putting what is valuable into cold storage to be brought forth and used in the future. As if to compensate for the unpleasantness of the season, we make an extra effort to create and share joy. This Rune rules from 11/5 to 11/22.
The second house of this Ætt is ruled by the solar Rune sowilo. During this period we concentrate on what is most needed, the warmth of the sun. We light the fires of the winter season and are uplifted by celebrations of our successes. We are reminded of our hopes, goals, and find the guidance to pursue these ideas. The descent into the realm of darkness is lighted by the flame of hope and honor. We are prepared to pass through the ordeal which will lead to rebirth of the light of our inner spirit.
The third house of this Ætt is ruled by the final Rune of the cycle, Othala, It is the Rune which represents our ancestral wealth- home and homeland- our spiritual as well as material inheritance. From Othala, we get our sense of belonging to the group and the nourishment which comes from that source. It is the source of the strength and inspiration we need to get through the ordeal of the final dying of the light, leading to the rebirth of life and light at midwinter Solstice. What better time of the year than now to gather together the family: kith and kin, and celebrate!
The ordeal of passing through Hel to be reborn is a demanding rite of passage that will require the utmost courage and commitment. The enemy is inaction; passive waiting for matters to resolve themselves is the worse choice.
The Holy houses from the Grimnismal in this Ætt are: Noatun/ Njord until 11/22, and Landvidi/ Vidar from 11/22 till 12/22.
This completes the examination of the annual cycle Ætts, Runes and Houses. The purpose of this work is to try to develop a system of Nordic Astrology which will be useful to all heathenry. The system begins with the assumption that the position of the stars and planets in the sky may provide us with a means of interpreting our “Ørlög” and, as with Runic divination, to find the means to take a hand in the process of living out our individual “doom” or fate.
When free will comes to grips with predestination, the solution is in the acts and works of the individual; how will you play the hand which has been dealt to you?
There is much more to be done. We must develop a set of correspondences between the traditional planetary tutelages and the Norse/Teutonic pantheon. Then there are the mechanics of setting up and interpreting the horoscope itself. The main ideas to keep in mind are that this system is based on the actual positions of the stars and planets overhead, not the misnamed Zodiacal houses of popular Astrology which no longer have any relationship to the real sky.
It is, of course, my intention is to write a book which will outline all of this in much greater detail. The finished work will include an appendix on calculating a horoscope, conversion charts and much more. I am investigating the attributes of fixed stars to see if there is another added level of interpretation that can be added. I'm still searching for the German Skylore book by Reuter, translated by Behrend. I'm also still/trying to figure out what the Hel Pennick is on about. I will include my own ideas on interpretations of the Ætts, Runes, Gods and the Grimnismal houses. But it seems obvious to me that most of you reading this already know everything you need to know to work out your own interpretations. I would very much appreciate hearing from any of you in Heathenry who try this system and your evaluation of the results. As I have admitted that I am more or less making some of this up, I can't in good conscience publish anything unless I am absolutely certain that it obtains valid results. I will have to finish the references and try 50 to 100 horoscopes and compare the results with traditional Astrology before I am ready to present this as a workable system. The more feedback I get from all of you, the better job I can do.
I welcome correspondence with other Heathens on this exciting project. I am especially interested in working out the best set of correspondences for the Runes and the Realms; the 12 houses of Grimnismal, the qualities of the fixed stars and asterisms, the qualities of planetary forces, more lore on the 8 seasons of the Nordic-Teutonic calendar and more. I hope to hear from anyone who has more ideas to exchange on this project; but please remember: it must be sidereal, clockwise and Nordic!
1: "The Hermetic and Odian Traditions of Magic" E. Thorsson; Rune=Kevels Rune Gild newsletter , New Series, #2 Summer 1993
2: "The Stars and a New Way of Looking at them"; H.A. Rey; Houghton-Mifflin Boston 1976
3: "The New Instant Astrologer"; Eshelman and Stanton; Astro Press, Los Angeles 1976
4: "Sky Challenger: guides and Games for Star Gazers" Wentz and Friedman; U of Cal Berkeley 1978
5: "At the Well of Wyrd"; Edred Thorsson; Weiser, York Beach ME 1988
6: The 8 Realms are arranged around the outer ring; the 9th world,Midgard, is taken to be the point of view of the subject and the world around him.
7: "Runic Astrology"; Nigel Pennick; Aquarian Press, (G.B.) Thorsson SF 1990
8. "Toward a Germanic Esoteric Astrology, et al" Robert Zoller; Rune Gild 1985 (published privately by Author)
9. "Germanische Himmelskunde" O.S. Reuter; Jena 1934/ "Sky Lore of the North" translated by Michael Behrend; Bar Hill, 1987
10. "The Poetic Edda", trans Lee Hollander; U of Texas pr, 2nd rev ed 1990
11. "Leaves of Yggdrasil"; Freya Aswynn, Llewelyn, St Paul MN 1990
12. "Teutonic Magic"; K. Gundarsson; Llewelyn St Paul MN 1990