Hail to the North Wind that sings
Hail to the South Wind that warms
Hail to the East Wind that speaks
Hail to the West Wind that weeps
Hail to each breath I take into my body
– from “Neolithic Shamanism: Spirit Work in the Norse Tradition” (Destiny Books, 2012) by Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova
The word for “breath” in many languages is also the word (or closely related to the word) for “life force” or some variation thereof. In Old Norse it is ond. In ancient Egyptian it is the ka. In Chinese it is chi. In Sanskrit, prana is a collective term for types of cosmic energies responsible for body functions and is specifically the first which enters the body through the breath.
This month’s New Moon occurs in Libra on October 19th (about 3:00 pm EDT). Libra is the cardinal sign of Air and, being depicted by a set of scales, is most basically and obviously concerned with balance.
The themes of balance began with the Autumn Equinox and were aptly illustrated by the energy of the White Tiger (see The White Tiger of the West: Autumn Equinox Oracle). This energy continues and concludes with this new moon before the Sun enters into Scorpio.
Now is an appropriate time to look back over the last few weeks and ahead to the rest of fall and winter, which have the potential to be very healing and renewing but also very revealing, and maybe not always in seemingly “positive” ways.
In the west, we frequently think of Libra and the scales in terms of truth, justice, law and order, thanks to the legal system’s use of the anthropomorphized Justice – a woman, often blindfolded to show impartiality, holding a sword (strongly connected with the element of Air) and a set of scales.
However, this was not the original symbol of Libra. The ancient Egyptian glyph for Libra stood for the month when the harvest was weighed before it was sold or stored. It was the Romans who ascribed law or legal concerns to the symbol.
Originally, the sign Libra was Khonsu the child, whose name meant “traveler”. He had the symbol of the New Moon on his head and was the son of Ra and Mut or Hathor. He became the symbol for the ripened crops ready for harvest.
Khonsu is the god of light in the night and, as such, is invoked for protection while traveling at night, from wild animals, and for healing.
The breath and keeping one’s life force or energies in balance are the foundation of health and wellness, and it is when we are out of balance that illness occurs.
Each New Moon is an opportunity for a fresh start, for healing and recovery, and for setting new intentions for new cycles.
Marcia Starck says, in her book “Healing with Astrology”, “Anatomically, Libra rules the kidneys and bladder, which regulate the liquid contents of the body and eliminate waste products. If one is not clear in relationships and not eliminating emotional patterns, problems in these areas may develop.”
Venus, Libra’s planetary ruler, governs the throat and thyroid glands, kidneys and bladder.
Doing pranayama, or “breath control”, is a wonderful exercise, particularly for this Airy time, to help calm and balance your energy. It is also a great starting point for any meditation or shielding exercises, and for any magic workings in general.
For this Libra New Moon Oracle reading, I chose to pull one card from my Tarot Mucha deck to sum up the main energy and message of this Moon. I chose this deck this time because it is particularly beautiful and, again, Libra is ruled by Venus, who of course is concerned with beauty, as well as health, order and stability. I strongly believe that beauty is also key to much comfort and healing, and surrounding yourself with beauty and making yourself beautiful (inside and out!) can do wonders for your energy and outlook.
The single card depicting this New Moon’s message is…
The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune represents destiny, fate, chance, witnessing miracles and seeing the mysterious threads of life all weaving together. It is also about turning points and change, movement, crossroads, uncovering patterns and cycles and developing or heightening awareness.
Note the various symbols of change, time, movement and “chance” in this image…the circle of flowers, the windmill in the background, the hourglass, the dice on top of the hourglass.
So much in life seems like mere chance and coincidence, but things affect other things in ways that we may not always see. In my experience, the more coincidental something seems, the less it really is. There is much more interconnection in this world and in our lives than we realize. Taking the time to slow down, to breathe, meditate, observe and reflect can reveal how much more there is than meets the eye.
Healing also takes time and patience, and often requires us to let go and trust in higher energies and time itself. Sometimes an illness just has to run its course, and the catching of a certain “bug” or illness usually feels like “bad luck”. This can be true to a point, but remember, no illness ever occurs without there being some imbalance somewhere.
I also felt compelled to pull a single rune for this New Moon Oracle as well. I use the Elder Futhark exclusively, which is the oldest (hence “Elder”) known system of runes and the foundation for two other systems, the Younger Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon. The runes were received and given to humankind by Odin, the wise wanderer, hermit, poet and warrior god.
I felt that a rune pull was appropriate for this New Moon as Odin is elementally associated with Air, and also knowledge, speech and breath, specifically the breath and voice of the gods. I also associate Odin with Fall and Winter, more-so than with any other time of year.
The term “futhark” is a sort of acronym, being made up of the initial letters or sounds of the first six runes – Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido and Kenaz. The word “rune” comes from the Norse word runa, which means mystery or secret. When informed practitioners say “rune”, they are usually referring to at least one of the Norse/Germanic futharks specifically, as these are the true runes.
Any other symbol system that uses the term “rune” (witch’s runes, the so-called Janarric runes of Raven Grimassi’s invention, dragon runes, “Celtic runes” – a huge contradiction – etc) is simply borrowing the term to mean “symbol”, but they are so much more than that.
I use a rune set that I made myself from cedar, and anointed with blood while intoning the name of each rune. This is, in my opinion, a very important part of using the runes. Making your own and infusing them with your life force creates a great deal of power that, with the right intention and focus, can only result in both effective readings and magic workings.
The single rune that I pulled to represent this Libra New Moon’s energy and message is…
Thurisaz is an ancient name for the god Thor, and the root thurs means giant, referring to the ice giants (among others) defeated by Thor. In fact, one of Thor’s main roles is to keep the giants – the Jotnar – who constantly threaten humans in Midgard at bay.
Does thurs make you think of anything else…? The day Thursday, perhaps? This literally means “Thor’s Day”. Interestingly enough, this New Moon is occurring on Thursday. The runes very often are, if nothing else, rather dry, to-the-point, and deadpan, and frequently downright tongue-in-cheek.
However Thurisaz is also connected with protection and healing. The symbol itself most obviously resembles a thorn, another translation and meaning ascribed to this rune. Thorns can protect, as in a thorny hedge around your home, or, of course, can be very harmful. In fact Thurisaz is one of the most (if not the most) powerful runes in the Futhark, especially when it comes to harmful or offensive magic, and therefore one of the easiest to backfire in such workings.
It seems that everyone everywhere right now is getting sick. I came down with a bad cold almost three weeks ago, and I have just recently been feeling almost completely recovered. My husband is recovering from pneumonia, several of my coworkers have been sick, my sister recently fell ill with the same cold, and several other relatives and friends’ relatives that are even far out of state have also been ill lately.
Has it just been a run of serious bad luck? Bad timing? Is there a specific reason for these so-called “cold seasons” and “flu seasons”? Either way, there is obviously a great deal of imbalance, and perhaps simply within everyone’s immune systems, if nothing else.
Thurisaz, in the context of illness and protection, can refer to the prevention of illness, and it is often easier to prevent something than to cure or fix it. We can look at this in terms of more than just physical illness. There is much imbalance, “negativity”, hurt, sorrow, loss etc. that can be prevented far more easily than can later be rectified.
So, between the Wheel of Fortune (fate, chance, choice, movement, turning points) and Thurisaz, we can gather from this New Moon that it is a time of changing cycles, of clearing out, of restoring balance and recovering, and focusing on maintaining health and the part that beauty plays in our well-being.
Thor is an Earthly, handsome, sensual, fertile, powerfully loving god, and I have always fancied beauty to be just as important to him as it is to Freya or Venus. Make your health a priority this fall, and prepare your body, mind and spirit for the colder days ahead. Thor is a god of summer, but his influence and strength can be felt and evoked to help temper the harshness of winter.
Be strong, be well, be true to yourself and do all you can to beautify yourself, your home and all you do and say, and the dark beauty of autumn and winter will open you up to the magic and power that will only grow as the veil continues to thin.
© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved
Featured image: “Libra” by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1907
Neolithic Shamanism: Spirit Work in the Norse Tradition by Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova
Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn
Healing With Astrology by Marcia Starck