Beltane 2019 Sabbat Box Theme Release • The Rune Box
• 2019 BELTANE • SABBAT BOX THEME • THE RUNE BOX •
Boxes ship: 4/19 ~ The Wheel of the Year turns towards Beltane, the sun is brighter and the days grow warmer. As we swiftly head toward the halfway point between spring and summer, ships set sail for richer shores!
During this particular time of the spring, many of our ancestors would begin planting season, if they hadn't done so already, and would have made offerings to the earth and various deities with the specific request of crops abundantly emerging with a bountiful harvest and good return. Like the Wheel of the Year, we turn (our attention) to the upcoming fire festival of Beltane on May the First, where bonfires, feasts, and communities coming together are in focus.
Within Wiccan lore, during Beltane, the Lord and Lady (The Goddess and The God) have reached the integral point in their perpetual dance to come together in sacred union—with their young adulthood being the result of growing fertility and the ascendancy of light and Sun. Their love and infinite ebb and flow of separation and togetherness is cyclical throughout the seasons and during the turning of the wheel, but during Beltane, they become a symbol of divine union. Within this lore, their coupling of the divine feminine and divine masculine is meant to be a representation of nature around them. Their instinctual coming together to continue the cycle of life that would lead to reproduction, (a fruitful harvest), ultimately provides a way forward for new life to be brought forth -- New life being the ultimate return on love and labor invested.
And while we have focused the past few year's Beltane Sabbat Boxes on the Gaelic/Celtic and modern Wiccan forms of Beltane celebrations, (which is one of the more commonly observed forms of this festival in observance within modern Paganism), we here at Sabbat Box thought we might offer a primer into another part of the world's practices held during this time of the year: those of the Nordic and Germanic pagans to the east, and the mystical beliefs and system of magick that stems from them: RUNES.
As one treads onto the path of Germanic and Old Norse systems of Pagan beliefs, you will quickly discover that similar to all spiritual beliefs of old, it is filled with deep history and folklore made up of stories, legends, mythology, poetry as well as shamanic and occult practices. It is with these stories and mythological texts from the Viking age known as the Poetic Edda and the Havamal that people have been able to lay the foundational landscape for what has been molded and adopted into that of modern day Norse Paganism. Modern Norse Paganism is blanket term that can encapsulate the adopted practice of various pre-Christian beliefs during the "Viking Age" of Northern Europe. Norse Paganism is mostly rooted in ritual practice and tradition known as forn sið ("old custom") or heiðinn sið ("heathen customs") that has emphasis on rituals, actions, and behaviors rather than a "religious doctrine" or a "textual belief system" itself.
One of the larger aspects of those ancient Nordic and Germanic practices that many modern Pagans study and have adopted are the system of runes. Runes are not just merely letters that helped to shape our modern alphabet, but they are considered to be a powerful and complex form of magick, conceived in the minds of ancients priests and magicians. Runes are a culmination of magick wisdom, mystic symbolism/correspondences, a form a divination, a form of talismanic magick, and a phonetic language, all of which are steeped in lore and historical significance. The commonly used Nordic or Scandinavian system of runes that is used (and we are focusing on for this box) is the Elder Futhark: a system of twenty-four characters used to communicate or mark words and ideas on everything from structures to swords. Today modern Pagans have reconstituted and adopted the runes into various Pagan practices, and regardless of the pantheon of belief, are still to this day considered to represent the ways and wisdom of our past.
It is in the spirit of this ancient time and ancient place that we focus our Beltane Sabbat Box procurement this year. We have collected a number of elements that provide insight into the age-old magick of runes, how they can still speak to us, while further learning what unique practices stem from Norse paganism and how they can help broaden our own spiritual beliefs. We hope that the upcoming summertime brings lots of light and life to you, and we hope that this Beltane Sabbat Box may enhance the bale-fires that we light inside us.
- Aeden B