The Minimalist Beauty of Womanrunes

The Minimalist Beauty of Womanrunes September 28, 2017

Womanrunes by Molly Remer and Shekhinah Mountainwater
Womanrunes by Molly Remer and Shekhinah Mountainwater

If I were stranded on an island and could only have one divination tool, I’d pick Womanrunes. The images are simple glyphs that anyone could draw, but the messages are always so clear and profound. I love all of the stunning, artfully designed oracles in my collection; but when I need to go straight to the heart of an issue, it’s the Womanrunes deck every time. It never lets me hide, play small, or go down a labyrinthine path of doubts and questions. It enfolds me like a soul friend, holding space, offering wisdom, and guiding me gently toward the answers I seek.

A Brief History

Shekhinah Mountainwater, a priestess and foremother of Goddess spirituality, received the forty-one runic symbols in a state of enchantment on the Summer Solstice in 1987. I would describe it as a cosmic download; she described it as being “goddess lightning-struck.” It was a complement to traditional runes—a more feminine system with symbols in which women could really see their lives reflected. She then introduced Womanrunes in her book, Ariadne’s Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic, in 1991. Though the book is currently out of print, used copies are still circulating.

After Shekhinah’s death in 2007, Molly Remer discovered an article about Womanrunes in a back issue of SageWoman magazine. Enthralled with them, she began making rune sets and using them in women’s circles and retreats. As time went on, those who had been introduced to Womanrunes wanted deeper explanations and a guidebook. I’ve found Molly’s accompanying text to be wonderfully supportive, thought provoking, and richly poetic. Both the guide and the card deck are available on her website at Brigid’s Grove.

Working with Womanrunes

There are many ways to work with these Goddess-inspired runes that go beyond divination. Several useful spreads are featured in the guidebook, but it also includes other suggestions that can take your practice deeper. There is a pronunciation guide that you can use for runic writing, for example. This is especially useful for creating bindrunes and incorporating them into your spellwork. There are times when I will draw specific runes on my body when I want to cultivate those particular qualities in my life, and I also love using them to create totems and artwork. Use your imagination and have fun with them.

In a time when we are bombarded with media symbols and icons everywhere we look, it is refreshing to work with something clean and transparent that still speaks so deeply to the psyche.

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