According to Celtic legends, if February 1st brings bad weather, then the Winter Goddess Cailleach is sleeping and Spring will arrive early. However, if the weather is mild, then the Winter Goddess is out looking for firewood, ensuring a longer duration of Winter. So, dress warm, grab your snow shovels, and let us all revel in harsh weather today! Good Imbolc to all!
All things, whether sentient or (seemingly) insentient, possess an essence or a “spirit” within and around them. If you hold a stone tightly and close your eyes, you will sense a connection between your heartbeat and the “rhythm” of the spirit within the stone. In Rune work, this would apply to the Raido (ᚱ) rune. If you approach an ancient oak (or any other old tree) in the forest, you will feel undeniable connections and energies emulating from within it and its’ spirit can be accessed, communicated and interacted with. Once you recognize the spirit within everything, you will see how life starts to slowly connect and form one large, organic cosmos of interconnected spirit and matter.
Bodies of water, groves, and mountains are held in especially sacred light within our minds and they have undoubtedly immense power and essence within them. Each stream, river, lake and piece of land has its’ own personality and habits. We build connections and relationships with these environments and habits just as we do with the people we surround ourselves with, and the ancient man developed beautiful and passionate relationships with the landscape, its’ habits and the spirits of those landscapes. These days. people can easily relocate and move; more than likely their blood hasn’t yet built a connection to the soil because they haven’t experienced it for very long. I think this would apply to most people in America save the Native Americans.
It takes hundreds, if not thousands of years for organic relationships to be established between the soil and the blood of the people inhabiting it. The ancient man was locked into the cycle of his environment, as if his own body and mind were attached to its events and happenings. The patterns that were experienced outside of man were mimicked internally and recognized as one cycle. Time existed as an eternal and endless circle, not as a linear phenomenon with beginning and end. This recognition of patterns (and cycles) established the foundation for “religion” or Paganism/Animism.
Jera represents the harvesting of your previously cultivated endeavors and energies. Whether that be physical, mental, or spiritual energy, it is the reaping of what you have sown. Jera shows you that your hard work has paid off; a feeling of accomplishment that should bring celebration and confidence. Jera represents patience and allowing things to come into fruition in due time; paired with hard work and determination.
Jera is a symbol of happiness and peace, a beacon of prosperity and success. It allows us to bask in the rewards of our efforts and feel hopeful for the future. We are given confidence and hope each time we complete a cycle upon the Earth; reaping rewards as we carefully master its’ patterns and habits. This act of harvesting provides the strength and will to trudge through the rough winter months of the year, which closely follow the final harvests.
Jera (and the harvest cycle) is shown by the sowing of crops, the maintaining of their growth and health, and the reaping of their benefits. It represents the breaking open of germinated space that has been cultivated to fruition. Jera is a rune of natures patterns, symbolizing a pivotal moment in the year when we make our last stand with the sun against the draconian winter. Jera is our final chance to prepare ourselves for the season of darkness.
Jera represents a release of internalized energy. When we’ve carefully maneuvered our ideas internally (with scrutiny and confidence), we can finally allow them to come forward and be released. Jera is the breaking of that closed internal space; a release from the internal realm. Jera is an external propulsion of force towards your goals and the harvesting of your mental, physical, and spiritual labor.
The Earth is alive, and its’ cycles of death and rebirth are also mimicked within us. As much as we harvest physical bounty in the fall, we also harvest metaphysical and spiritual bounty along with it. Like the falling leaves, we must also fall and wither. We must “die” with the sun and maneuver the realms of darkness; awaiting our triumphant rebirth in the spring!