As I’ve mentioned before, my special study group has been studying runes for a little while. We had been studying Christopher Penczak’s Temple series, but we needed a break and moved onto Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn. We liked the runes but didn’t love Aswynn, so we decided to stick with the runes and move onto Taking up the Runes by DianaPaxson.
I’ve had the Paxson book for a while, ever since I decided to do my crazy Norse study year, but this is the first time I’ve ever actually made an attempt to work through it. A lot of sources talk about using special ritual tools when “taking up the runes”, such as a new rune set or a rune staff or wand. But I don’t want a new rune set (I like mine a lot – they’re made of blue goldstone!) I already have a Dionysian Fool’s staff, and I don’t want another wand (I have three.)
I looked all over Etsy and Ebay (two of my favorite places ever) for some runic jewelry or an armband or something runic and beautiful and awesome. I didn’t find anything that I liked, though, which surprised me! I was a little disappointed, really, because I wanted something new and special to mark my new runic journey through Paxson’s book, and to use or wear while doing the rituals she suggests in her book.
My friend Tanaria, who is participating in the rune group with us, is a leather-worker and an artisan, and she mentioned that she was going to make herself a runic headband with all of the Elder Futhark inscribed on the band. I’ve seen her work before (it’s incredible!) so I asked her if I could commission a piece from her.
My super awesome runic headband was ready for our first runic ritual of Taking up the Runes! Even before I could come in and sit down, my friend was ready for me, excited to show me her handiwork. She gave the headband to me, and I was thrilled! It fits my head perfectly, and I can wear it a few different ways, which is awesome.
The best part is that while runes are traditionally inscribed in red (Tanaria’s own headband has red runes), she did mine in purple. “Because Amanda!” she said, and I knew exactly what she meant. While purple isn’t my official “favorite color” (is it? Maybe. I don’t know!) it’s something I tend to wear a lot, and it looks good on me, and also… Dionysus! Since purple is a color I associate very much with Dionysus, and I’ve had some interesting Odin and Dionysus rune journeys recently, the color was just perfect.
I felt like a Nordic Queen while wearing my headband, and at the end of the night I tucked it away safely into my rune altar box. It fits perfectly! I couldn’t be happier.
And for a handcrafted, custom-made, local artist product… this headband was surprisingly affordable! Buying from Tanaria was 100 times better than ordering something off of Ebay or even Etsy. So, it was affordable, it was local, I supported a friend, it looks great, it’s functional, it’s custom-made, it was made with love, I look great in it, it fits in my box, it’s appropriate, it’s a fun new ritual tool… and I love it!
Thanks so much, Tanaria! I can’t thank you enough for your love and artistry. I look forward to many more runic rituals with you! Love!