Which is the most powerful rune?
I had a shaman client today and the session really left me considering how I used the rune sounds to hold the healing...
I should point out this is focused on my work as a shaman, with no reference to my client. Also I work with the younger futhark, though this blog is about runes in general.
So we are connected via Zoom, they are relaxed, I am using lokk-seidr (chanting to create an altered state of consciousness) to journey as their shaman. We have worked together many times, and they have a deep personal connection to shamanic work.
Th journey starts as it so often does, I connect with my guides and open space with a gentle “Norn-a-Norn” chant. I enter their soul space and the chant deepens into a more masculine “pushy” rune-da-rune” as I centre myself, and do some general energy clearing. Working with my guide I am told to walk with my client to a beach I use- a deeply healing space where I connect with ancestors and the Vanir (Frey, Freya & Njord)
I know my client is very able to connect shaminically themselves, but when we get to the beach there appears to be a change in their energy. I struggle to feel their presence- but am told by my guides to trust the process, that the work is being done on a deep level and accept that.
As I continue chanting I am left with no clear “work” to do- yet I feel the expansion of my client, and am now struggling to hold focus as their spiritual expansion is de-stabilising me. My left brain is making suggestions of rune sounds to weave into to chant- to call Vidar or Ull for their deeply grounding energy, my logic is making sense. Yet something about that felt wrong in my gut, intuitively I knew this wasn’t enough.
As I chanted and struggled to stay connected to hold space I heard myself asking “Which is the most powerful rune?” and my chant changed as I allowed myself to answer my question “mann-oh-mann”. Freya’s rune “mann” is my most powerful rune. Freya is one of my patrons, and it is the rune sound I have worked with the most as a shaman. As I chanted, I could feel my client’s energy, was able to centre myself, and continue the work. Intime I blended more sounds in, weaving the soundscape to guide us both back to my clients space, and then me to mine.
It's no great surprise, though not something I had logically considered. The strongest rune is the one you have the best working relationship with. Yes different runes have different strengths, different associations, but in the end the power comes from our understanding of, and relationship with the rune.
I have played around with this in the past- working a journey only using Frey’s rune (fe) and found I could use this rune for any element of the healing journey. It was nice to explore what happened when I needed to use this technique- there’s always an added learning experience when we need to do something, rather than playing to see what happens.
So to answer my question- the strongest rune is the one you have the best understanding of, and working relationship with. This may be several- so after depth of understanding I do think the qualities to support the need of the situation are important, and over time perhaps the strongest rune/s will change.
At she start of my personal journey in 1999 I felt very disconnected with mann, and avoided working with this rune at all costs. It is time, patience, and personal understanding that has led me to a point of comfort with the rune. I am far too aware there remain certain runes I would still rather not work with (though I understand logically they are probably the ones that would allow most personal growth).
So I can not answer which is "the" most powerful rune- it is totally dependent on the practitioner's experience. I know right now Freya's rune is one of my most powerful, along with Frey, Hel and Loki. Who knows, that may change with time- maybe the rune I currently avoid will one day be my strongest?