This is the first day of the fortnight (August 29 – September 12) governed by the rune Rad or Raidho. It has a phonetic value of “R.” Its meaning is variously described as “road,” “riding” (as on horseback), “wagon,” and “wheel” (as on a wagon or chariot). In fact, the German word “Rad” does translate as “wheel.” It is referred to as the “travelers rune.” However, my preference of meaning is “road,” as I have devoted so many years to driving and understand the road as a unifying metaphor.
In its essence, Rad signifies the channeling of your life-force along the right road leading to the right result. The “right road” traces a particular path leading to your particular destiny. Everyone’s pathways reflect the natural laws of Karma and Dharma. Your “right” path illuminates the way forward and gives you the means to get there. This dynamic is reinforced by the Rad’s position opposite Tyr (meaning “arrow”) on the Runic Compass. I think of this pairing as representing the arrow of eternal time.
The relationship of Rad and Tyr along a single axis also has special significance to me because it was within the fortnight of Rad that Holly died. Somehow the timing of her death seemed appropriate: it was an auspicious time for her to be traveling the road on her soul journey. That the rune on the other end of the axis is Tyr reminded me that her journey through time would ultimately result in spiritual triumph. It was a strange comfort to me that her death seemed to come at the appropriate time.
I have since come to understand this soul journey we take at a deep level that I know as truth. We are eternal spirits who have serial human experiences. We each come into this lifetime with a spiritual “learning assignment.” We are born into particular families and circumstances in order to experience certain lessons which can be framed within an overarching theme—and probably several stacked themes as you think into it more deeply.
One of the major themes in my present lifetime has been “Learning from Illness and Death.” From the time since I was a young boy, most of the significant people in my life have had chronic illnesses and disabilities. Many of the most important lessons in my life have resulted from my observation of, and participation in, the challenges and choices that have accompanied the mental and physical maladies of people I love. The greatest emotional landmarks in my life history have included standing in for my mother at the commitment of my father to a VA hospital when I was twelve years old and Holly using my finger as a bite-stick when a surgical tube was being removed from her abdomen without anesthetic. Now that I am older and experiencing irreversible changes in my own health, it is clear that I have been learning and preparing my whole life to live well and wisely in this present moment.
When it is my time to die, I know there will a review of my life and a summation of what it has taught me and what I have learned before I am given my next assignment and continue down the road of spiritual progress. I am blessed that I have had glimpses of my immediate past life, and through them, have gained a sense of the continuity of experience which exists from one lifetime to the next. This continuity is for me the deepest meaning of Rad and the “road” it represents.
In esoteric terms, Rad also represents the “vehicle” which must be employed in order to achieve anything, but most important, to achieve spiritual development. Rad signifies the necessity to appropriately channel our energies and attention if we wish to achieve the results we desire. The emphasis of Rad is being in the right place at the right time to perform the right act.
But the main emphasis is on personal transformation. It signifies seeking and striving, a quest and search for spiritual wisdom. Rad symbolizes our conscious attempts at controlling the facts which affect our fate and well-being. Rad also symbolizes the wheel of the year, with which we must come into harmony if we are to live a reasonably successful life. This is reinforced by observation of such natural phenomena as the daily path of the sun and the cycles of nature and humanity. Good advice and judgment according to right order are ascribed to Rad.
Materially, Rad can mean physical travel, a change of address, or forced relocation.
Magically, Rad can be used to explore the unknown. Applied to another person, it arouses restlessness and dissatisfaction, and causes changes in life which may be good or bad depending on which runes accompany it.
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