Fehu: The Keeper at the Gate

Laure Lynch over at Gate of the Slain discusses the Fehu rune spirit as a gatekeeper, among other things. My own experiences with Fehu over the last several years confirm this. I began working with runes in divination, personal alchemy (another phrase for psycho-transformation), and magic(k) in December 2008. I’ve learned a lot about all of the runes since then but over the years I have had the nagging feeling that something’s disturbingly inadequate in my rune work. Sure, I meditated on the meanings of the runes, I did in-depth divination, and I purchased the latest books on the subject. Yet and still, I was having the nagging feeling month after month that something was off.

What I knew but have only recently (since about Yule 2010) begun to realize on a deep inner level rather than just intellectually is that the runes each have their own mysteries to teach and that you can never truly unlock the secrets of one without having passed through – at least the initiatory – lessons of the rune before it. This process has nothing to do with understanding the meanings of each rune, but instead is concerned with experiencing the initiatory mysteries of each rune, having their foundational lessons etched on your consciousness and heart.

That being said, no matter how many of the runes I “learned”, my mind and my heart always returned to Fehu. She called me back. It was like when you rush past a doorman in a hurry and then they frantically yell “Ma’am, come back. You forgot to show your ID.” Or, “Ma’am, you have to pay the toll. Ma’am?!” That’s essentially what Fehu was doing to me. I’d get so far and then I would be called back to pondering her mysteries. When I realized she was really serious, I was a little irritated. I felt I had the broad strokes and a working knowledge of at least a few of her more interesting nuances; I was doing just fine. Wrong! She told me that I would not be able to “move on” until I “got it” and “gave it up”. Of course she was vague on the details at the time…as usual! In this way, Fehu served as the Gatekeeper to the rest of the Futhark. I would be banging my head against the proverbial runestone until she saw fit to release me from that agony. So, I meditated and I waited. I had to relax and accept that the knowledge of her, the Fehu rune, would come to me when I had earned it.

After a number of grueling rituals and hundreds of tears cried (none of which I consciously linked to my Fehu initiation at the time) she whispered to me. Fehu gave me insight into who I am and what I have to offer the world and others. She showed me the bounty within myself. And what did she demand in return? I had to check the anxieties and insecurities that shaped and defined me up to that point at the gate. This may seem like a lop-sided deal to the onlooker. Some of you might be saying to yourselves as you sip your tea and adjust your legs that this chick is full of it. I assure you, I am telling the truth about my Fehu epiphany, on my honor. What I gave up was no easy thing and it frankly did not have to be done. Most of us live our lives in a steadily filling pit of our own brown-black filth. That is not Fehu’s thing and she will not let you carry that crap through the gate with you in its full craptastic glory. Nope, you have to be working on cleaning house. Otherwise, all that stuff just gunks up the other runes and clogs your ears so you can’t hear them as clearly, and really what good does that kind of blockage do the rune spirits. That BS does not make for good relations!

It has been super hard learning Fehu’s lessons. Am I done? Hell to the no! I keep trying to go back to what’s comfortable, the insecurities and doubts that at one time were the troublesome foundation of my self view. When I understood this, when it was written in my mind and heart. Fehu flung open the gates and suddenly Uruz started to whisper to me. I still have my ear to the ground trying to make out his lessons and I have no doubts that he’s going to take a chisel to my soul and start hacking at the dark, calcified bits. Or more correctly, he will give me the chisel and demand I do it myself or leave my passion for the runes behind! In fact, our initial encounter was visceral, primal, feral. We have not actually graduated to words yet. More on my initial encounter with Uruz at a later date.

Hail Fehu, Persistent Lady at the Gate! Hail Uruz, Mighty Wild Aurochs, I pray you greet me well! To the journey!

6 thoughts on “Fehu: The Keeper at the Gate

  1. Hello Lady of Bones!!

    Always good to hear from you. I know you’re busy with graduate school. I can totally appreciate your insight. Blessed be as you work through that realization and try to make changes and build a deeper, more committed relationship with Aphrodite by surrendering/letting loose/losing control!! I am sure that Aphrodite will totally get on that band wagon with you.

    When I first drew down Hekate, the largest barrier was trust. Could I surrender to another being and trust that I would come out on the other side (hopefully better for the experience)? When I opened to Hekate, that was when she came down. A huge part of that process was prayer. I did not know how to let go but I assured her that I wanted to and she kinda did the shoving necessary to occupy my body for a least a little while. Right now I am working on doing the moving myself so that she does not have to shove. I want my ability to act to be in line with my True Will.

    I think that oathing to Hekate will deepen our relationship. I have already begun the formal bits of the process with the other Stone Witch that we both know (trying to maintain her anonymity). In my mind oathing/dedication acknowledges the fact that we (humans, gods, and other beings) do not exist in a vacuum; we are always in dynamic interrelation with other beings, and that we shape and are shaped by each other. It feels like an affirmation of our growing and strengthening relationship.

    *Again with the long reply; I’m so sorry*

    • No, don’t apologize, I love long replies! 🙂

      I agree, exactly like you said, it’s a trust issue. I have always held that last part of myself back, the part that acknowledges that it *is* a surrender, a true relationship, it is not safe or tranquil or easy…when you put *all* of yourself on the line, the rewards and the risks increase in orders of magnitude.

      I suppose I could psycho-analyze myself (not that I’m trained in such things, obviously) and say that because it is so hard for me to truly trust people, I have carried that cynicism over into my spiritual life…as in questioning why the gods have taken an interest in me…is it for both of our benefit, or just theirs? In an ideal situation it would be a mutually beneficial relationship, of course. There is a lot of “growing” up that needs to happen in the space of just a few weeks. Like you said in your post, I have been living in a “steady filling pit of my own brown/black filth” and using it to cocoon myself away from what is real, what is happening (or could be happening) around me for the sake of the fact that this stagnant state is all that I have known. It also makes me question the extent to which I’m *truly* living in a fully aware and active manner, rather than just existing and going through the motions of life and hoping ecstasy and wonder will find me.

      • Yes, LB! YES!

        You said: “It also makes me question the extent to which I’m *truly* living in a fully aware and active manner, rather than just existing and going through the motions of life and hoping ecstasy and wonder will find me.”

        This is SO where I am at right now too. Finding within myself the capacity for active engagement, risky involvement, complete awareness, and wonder AND opening to allow the things themselves into my life, consciousness, and spirit. I am trying to “take it all in” whatever it may be, fully and completely with as much trust as I can muster. The spiritual moments that I have had thus far that I would characterize as ecstatic have been when my guard was down. Go team Trust :-D.

  2. Laure Lynch’s blog is awesome! I enjoyed reading a few of her posts.

    I think this is one of my favourite posts because I have been struggling to understand why I am not making any spiritual progress, and it could be because I am one of those people living in steadily filling pit of our own brown-black filth, and if I clean house, I can clear the blockages. How and where to start is the next question. Could you expound more on what psycho-transformation entails?

    Also can I ask whether you take any weekly baths to cleanse your aura?

    Lol @ “as you sip your tea and adjust your legs”..

    • Yes! I love her blog. She has great insights on the runes and I am always inspired by her relationship with Odin!

      At its most basic level, psycho-transformation, for me, has been a deep and resounding commitment to my own betterment, to what some call The Great Work. The improvements are not just for improvement’s sake. For me, psycho-transformation ultimately helps me to cultivate better relationships in all the worlds because I know who I am, how I am, where I have been, and where I am going. Also, from my perspective, it is an ongoing process. Once I think I have arrived, I stagnate and the pit fills.

      Regarding your ponderings on psycho-transformation, I feel you. The initial question is where to start (and the next few questions from there is how to keep going!). For me, I had to start at the beginning…take the crusty scab of one fear and start to pick at it (sorry for the gross metaphor). All it takes is one and trust me, it will yield to more. Each you can deal with in their turn. Issues you did not know you had or worse, thought you were over. It’s not an easy process, not for me anyway. I had to constantly remind myself to breathe, feel (cuz I get emotionally congested at times), emote/express, analyze all the pieces, and then make sense of it all (aka synthesize and integrate). One thing that my Uncle (who passed away in 2005) taught me is that it is important to narrate your own story. Breathing, feeling, expressing, analyzing and making sense helped me to tell your own tale :-D.

      Do you have a spirit guide, animal ally, ancestor, deity and/or a damn good friend who can shout cheers from ground level while you claw your way out of the pit? That and your own certainty that you will persevere I think are the greatest assets to the Work ahead. I know that my friends, Ms. Scorpio and Lady of Bones have been INVALUABLE in my process. So has HEKATE. She seems to steer the ship. Other deities and spirits bring great wisdom for me to ponder in my struggle. They way I see it in my own process, I’m still neck deep and tryin’ to deal with the stench but I can do it now with a smile and tons of hope because things are looking up (after all, I’m only neck deep!). *sorry this reply is so long. yikes.*

      • Oh my gods. While reading this post, I experienced one of those moments of rushing realization that knocks you flat on your butt and makes your head spin…I have never really let myself lose control, make any deep or soul-binding commitments, or basically surrender to the gods. This whole time, I’ve just been a polite attendee at the astral cocktail party, mingling and talking but not really forming any intense bonds. Probably why Aphrodite is usually irate with me. I couldn’t even give up the reins long enough for that drawing down, remember? *sigh*

        The thought that ran through my head, was “oh fuck. I’ve never done a dedication. Well, here it comes.” I’ve got some preparing to do…

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