"Lot-box is always / play and laughter / among bold men / where the warriors sit / in the hall together"
(Anglo-Xason Rune Poem)
The stave-shape of perthro appears to be that of a lot box, which suggests the early Germanic love of gambling, a game fraught with far more meaning than one might guess at first. Tacitus has written that even while sober, the Germanic warriors would gamble for hours until one had lost all his possessions and had to wager his own freedom on a toss of the dice, and that if he lost that throw, he would go cheerfully into slavely, even under a weaker man, because he thought it to be the will of fate. In this seemingly excessive and pointless game, one of the greatest parts of the Teutonic spiritual understanding may be seen: the deep awareness of the turnings of the Wyrd. While the vitki may sometimes write his/her own weird or at least write around it, the ordinary woman or man can only meet it with courage. Hence you see the typical image of the Norseman laughing as he goes forth to die, as well as the high worth placed on the luck of a leader or king, for it was clearly better to fight for someone whose weird was written for success and victory.
Perthro is the rune of divination. The dice of the early Germanic tribes show this might in its crudest form - the same method is used for tossing the dice and casting the runes, and the root understanding is the same: that the web of that-which-is and that-which-is-becoming is so woven together that the idea of randomness or coincidence is impossible. Thus the dice shows the ur-layers (orlog) on the level of the personal fortune, and the runes show the shape of this web in all ways. Both dice and runes are tossed out of a cup, which is the early embodiment of the Well of Wyrd from which flow all the runes that the Norns have written. The act of casting the runes thus partakes of the magickal law of sympathy. As the runic streams flow from the Well, they must be reflected in the carven staves flowing from the cup with perthro, the rune of the Well, written on it.
The act of divination is the willed attempt to reach an awareness of the workings ot that-which-is-becoming and that-which-should-be, or an awareness of the contents of the Well in their wholeness. Urdhr´s Well is the side of the Well´s bieng which is active and choosing, but this side of its being is necessarily based on the Well of Mimir, which holds all of that-which-is. The name Mimir seems similar to the name of Ymir, the proto-etin, the difference being that the runes mannaz, the rune of thought and memory, and isa, the rune of ego, are put in the stead of jera, which shows a natural unconscious process. Hence, it might be said that Mimir can be seen as the embodiment of self-awareness of the cosmos. The story of Odin giving up an eye for a drink from Mimir´s Well can be understood easily when one realizes the nature of the well itself. By internalizing the entire awareness of that-which-is, Odin changed his own sight so that he could at once see the evolving present as most are aware of it and the whole structure of the hidden layers which lie beneath and shape it. This is the third root of Odin´s powers: as he gained the runes themselves by the initiation of Yggdrasill (eihwaz), and the power to use them with the might of galdr-magick by poetic inspiration of Odhroerir) (ansuz), so he gained the awareness of the workings of the Wyrd, of his own ability to alter it, and the knowledge of what should come of his workings from Mimir´s Well (perthro).
Perthro can be used for all manner of divinations and for an understanding
of all the workings of Wyrd through the worlds, including an awareness of synchronicity
and an understanding of the entire pattern of universal evolution. In workigs
of woe, perthro can be used for intensifying the woe-bringing effects of Wyrd
in another´s life, or for awareness of another´s actions.
Perthro is the rune by which you can gain the wisdom and the awareness to tuse the runes without unknowingly destroying yourself or another. It gives you the capability to think runically, to see the workings of the forces of the runes in daily life and to understand how to use them in a setting which seems to have changed greatly from the time that first learned and wrote of them.
Ritually, perthro represents the cup of runecasting and the several-fold process
of self-checking by runecasting, which should go with an active use of runic
magic. Used with other runes, perthro receives them and sends them out into
being. It is the passive complement of the active uruz in the context of the
Perthro can be used to tap into the wisdom of Mimir´s Well and to recover knowledge about the runes themselves that has either been forgotten or never was learned by humans. It is the rune of meditation.
A stone which works well with perthro is layered onyx, the pattern of which shows the layers upon layers that determine the shape of weird. The onyx has often been thought of as a stone of ill-luck; in fact, it embodies orlog, the effects of which are often woe-bringing and need the willed assistance of nauthiz to alter or mitigate. By meditating on the layered pattern of this stone, you may come to a better understanding of the workings of Wyrd and the structure of that-which-is.
You are inside a hall, sitting on a circle of rough wooden benches with a group of long-haired warriors. The fire burns in a pit in the center of the hall, the smoke rising out of a hole in the thatched roof. Pale winter daylight shines through the whole. Your cloak wards you from the bitter cold behind, and the fire warms you from the front, aided by the thick ale you drink from your horn. The other warriors are garbed similarly, wearing heavy cloaks but light tunics and breeches. A dice-cup is passing around, each person shaking it until she or he makes either a good throw and can pass it on or a losing cast, in which case he must strip off one of his heavy gold bracelets and pass it with the cup. You know that this game can keep on until one wo/man has lost everything s/he owns, even freedom if that is his werid.
When the cup gets to you, you rattle it for a longtime, the dice inside clicking
against the wood like bones. You sense when it is time to cast the dice. You
let them fall, knowing that whatever your weird is, it is already written. To
of the dice show sixes, the third has become no longer a dice but a strip of
rough-hewn wood on which the rune perthro is gaven. As you state into the rune,
it grows and grows until your sight is wholly overwhelmed by its dark and mysterious
Slowly the rune fades from around you and you find yourself standing at the foot of the great evergreen Yggdrasil, looking closer into the Well of Wyrd. The three black-hooded women beside the Well ignore you completely. Their shadowed faces turned away from you. They dip their hands into the water and sprinkle a layer of muddy white clay onto the tree, the touch fo their water healing the tattered bark. It seems to you that Yggdrasill grows a little as they do this, the branches and needles stretching out just a bit farther and the gigantic roots beneath your feet thickening by a layer.
The air shimmers and you suddenly see that the tree and the world around you are only figures on a vast tapestry that the three women weave, the whole quivering at each touch of the thread which they turn and shape skillfully though the layers of weaving. The tapestry shimmers and fades; they are splashing water from the Well onto the tree again, and this time you see that where it falls, it graves runes into the bark in an endless, intricate patter of interwoven might. You know that you could follow any of these patterns through the tree, but you are too eager to see more of the power shaping them. You stand for a while, watching the Norns. You would like to speak to them, but you know that they must speak first. Their backs are to you as they sprinkle the roots and trunk of Yggdrasill. When you walk around the tree to see if they will notice you, some of the water they toss falls on your head. The world begins to darken around you, fading until you can only see the World Tree as a great shape in the darkness. There seems to be a faint white light glowing over the Well and you walk around again to see what it is.
The light comes from a torch. Standing beside the Well is a dark stooped figure with the white hair and beard of an old man. Only when you come closer do you see that his body is too thick and powerful to be that of a human, his head too broad and features too low. For all that you can sense the immense being this being. He is Mimir, wisest of the etin-kind and Keeper of the Well of Memory by which you stand.
"Be welcome", he says. His voice is deep and rough but not unpleasant.
"What do you seek?"
"A drink from your well", you answer.
"Do you know the price?", he asks. "Once you have looked through
its waters, one eye must always remain. Once you have drunk from the waters,
you must keep drinking forever".
"Nervertheless, I will", you say.
"So be it", Mimir replies and hands you the wooden cup from which you had been casting the dice. You dip it into the dark waters of the well.
As you drink, the water before you becomes clear. You see Odin, cloaked in
dark blue, drinking as you drink, and standing with one eye gone. Deep down
you know that the eye that was given to the well is the eye of all wisdom and
understanding of life´s patterns and how we can shape them into meaningful
events, actively or allowing ourselves to be worked upon by deeds, acts and
people in our lives to judge, assess, as well as to plan and predict ahead what
the best course of action or non-action is to be taken.
You see now and you don´t see because the Sight is within and many times must not be revealed without. Full consciousness can never be imposed upon others and yet it is brought about by personal commitment to Truth and Balance, a pursuit for who we are in all worlds and a desire to reshape ourselves and all realities to make them all wholer. In the briefest and most intense of moments, you contemplate your life and the choices you´ve made so far. Some were wise, others were not, but in this blinding moment of deep honesty you come to terms that that was then and this is now, time is never the same twice. You have come to accept the past, with its wounds and hard wisdom, and deep down you know that what really matters is the present, the moment you hold now in your hands so that the future can be built perhaps brighter and nicer with your deeds in all worlds and the deeds of those around you.
Tears roll down your face and you bow to the Norns in deep respect and admiration:
"Maiden, Mother, Crone in me, in the patterns of my destiny,
My own ways help me find to learn Truth and set things right!"
Three pairs of eyes turn to you for the briefest seconds and you feel the Three
united as One projecting the power of Perthro into your very heart, branding
your soul forever.
When you finally come back to your body, feet firmly planted on the ground, you reach out for the pouch where you keep your runes, and, with all love in your heart, you start carving and inscribing the rune perthro, knowing deep down that you will make redoubled efforts to grasp all opportunities and create others, assessing all possibilities and making choices, while you work for a breakthrough to transcend your limits and as such bring a little more peace, light, love and laughter in all worlds guided by the light of the Eternal Spirit that sings in your soul.
I am flexible during periods of change
Change is what makes me grow and I try to grow with what and who changes me
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