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
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
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.
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
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
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