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Today's Runes for Neal Stephenson


The Cross spread is used to plot the arc of your life and the forces acting on it. It is the most popular spread, giving a very complete view of the situation. Stone Runes are most commonly used for questions about the natural world and things beyond human control.
The left rune represents an important element of the past. Eoh refers to the Yew tree. The Yew does not go dormant and therefore represents endurance. Even the wood of the tree is strong, resilient, and pliable - the Yew bends, but does not break. The evergreen nature of the Yew is present even in the rune itself, as it cannot be changed even by reversal. This rune is historically symbolic of death, but, as in the Tarot and as suggested by the nature of the Yew tree itself, death is seen only as a transmutation of something eternal and unchanging - the spirit.
The middle rune represents a deciding element of the present. Ansuz is the spoken word of God. This rune is reversed, indicating that you are misunderstanding the divine voice or failing to hear it all. The word is always correct, so you must strive, whatever the difficulty, to hear correctly. Be wary of the advice you are given, for it may prove incorrect. Do not attribute infallibility to fallible sources...
The top rune represents a force that works for you. Nyd represents many things, most of them unpleasant - heed it well. Constraint, delay, loss, need, and sorrow are all frequently seen in this rune. Nyd speaks most strongly of pause, the hallmark of the both the timid and the patient, and is often interpreted as foretelling a delay in the effect of other runes that it accompanies. Fortunately, even where there is misery and danger there are valuable lessons to be learned - the trick is to learn them before you are overtaken by despair.
The bottom Rune represents a force that works against you. Gebo means gift, and like any gifts, the rune may be understood on many levels. Gifts are generally positive things, for both the giver and the recipient. In many cultures however, gifts and favors carry with them an obligation to respond in kind. It is for this reason that gifts, and hence the rune Gebo, are frequently symbolic of friendships, marriages, alliances, mergers, and other bonds between people or organizations. Gebo is a strong rune and the unions represented are strong as well. Moreover, Gebo is not reversible, as true friendships are not easily undone.
The right rune represents the critical element of the future, at the core of the final outcome. Dagez means daylight, and represents divine light. This rune generally refers to dawn (the initial sparking of energy) or to midday (the climax of energy). Both dawn and midday are symbolic of change, but unlike the changes in the perpetual circle of the year which are slow and subtle, the changes over a day are much faster and more dramatic. The breaking of a new day is symbolic of the rapid illumination of dismal circumstances, and is suggestive of Satori. Be careful - although this rune generally suggests a positive change, the symbology of a peaking point suggests that there must be a change downward as well. Fortunately for some, this rune is cyclic and irreversible, and so permanence is not promised - the only thing you can be sure of is an exciting ride.