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Eco-magic - Rituals:
A Bindrune for London

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In May 2004, a group of us collectively designed a bindrune for the protection of London. At this time, people may be interested in using this as a focus for their own work in relation to the City.

London Protection Bindrune

London Protection Bindrune

The occasion was the Avalon in London Beltaine open ritual in May 2004, held at Green Angels in Southwark with about 20 people present. It was run as a joint event with Dragon Environmental Network.

Avalon in London is the metropolitan wing of the Glastonbury-based Isle of Avalon Foundation, responsible for the Goddess Temple there and the annual Goddess Conference. They celebrate their own wheel of the year, based on different aspects of 'the Ancient British Goddess'. Beltaine is the festival of Rhiannon, goddess of love, also associated with sovereignty.

After calling on Rhiannon and Mother London, there was a short discussion about the meaning of sovereignty and about London, including an extract from Peter Ackroyd's 'London: the Biography': 'London goes beyond any boundary or convention. It contains every wish or word ever spoken, every action or gesture ever made, every harsh or noble statement ever expressed. It is illimitable. It is Infinite London.' Mother London was described by one participant as a compassionate Goddess that never turns anybody away, perhaps like the Tibetan Tara.

Adrian then led us through a snowballing exercise to collectively design a bindrune. It was agreed that the intent was to honour the spirit of the city and to positively promote its protection, rather than focus on the fear of attack.

The runes chosen encompassed the theme of protection, as well as aspects of the city itself. The bindrune that we eventually agreed on seemed to include most of the wished-for attributes, combined in an evocative chalice-like shape.

Everyone present drew the bindrune onto a pebble, or carved it in clay. These were placed on the central altar, along with candles, images of horses (linked to Rhiannon) and a London A-Z. We energised them by dancing round in a circle singing 'maybe it's because I'm a Londoner'! The images were taken home so that a network of them was in place across the City.

Protective runes

In this Bindrune Berkano (great mother, health, among other meanings), is balanced by Thurisaz, linked to the cosmic phallic power of thor's hammer. Other runes with protective associations include Algiz (protection from problems) and Eihwaz, linked to the World Tree and endurance.

The Bindrune is strengthened further by the inclusion of Tiwaz (sky god) and Sowilo (solar energy), both associated with success and positive outcomes.

Runes for London

Othela is a rune associated with the land, or more specifically the ancestral country. It is clearly relevant to a working linked to a notion of place.

Laguz is the rune for water - in a city built up around a river, its significance is obvious. For thousands of years, people offered up treasures to the river, suggesting that the original deity of London may have been a river god/dess. After all don't people still talk of 'old father Thames'?

Isa stands for ice, along with fire one of the primordial forces that created the earth in Norse mythology. It reminds of London in winter, and of the Frost fairs that used to be held on a frozen Thames.

Gebo is associated with partnership, and exchange of energy between poles whilst Wunjo represents the force of attraction, binding into a single harmonious force. London is clearly a place that attracts people from all over the world, and its strength is its ability to create some kind of balance while maintaining an incredible diversity.

Similarly Raidho (journeys) and Ehwaz (movement) reflect London as a global place of destination and departure, as well as the ceaseless motion to and fro within the city itself.

Finally, Perdhro is a cauldron, linked with fate and change. London is nothing if not a cauldron in which its numerous ingredients are constantly being blended in new combinations. It is also a place where people come in search of change, leaving behind small town restrictions and expectations to create new identities for themselves. This is the London we want to honour, nurture and protect.

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