G is for Grail, Q is for Quest, R is for Runes

I have spent my days at the Abbey sitting in the orchard with books I have borrowed from the vast library, sharing apples with Tinker and feeling at peace with the world. This is such a beautiful place. A stream runs through the orchard, where I bathe my feet and dip my hands and watch the minnows darting around my fingers.


I have been rereading Arthurian legends, and I also found a couple of books about runes. Runes are fascinating. I like to make my own out of pebbles, clay, crystals – something in these ancient symbols is so mysterious and bewitching.

My favourite is Raido, which means Wagon, and to Ride, and is a general symbol for travel. If I add Raido (R) to my own name, it becomes Grail, and I am indeed a questing soul.

The cup I seek is the Cup of Creativity. Is this the true Grail, from which all things flow, the Cup which holds the secrets of creativity for all who dare to drink from it?

The runic equivalent of G is Gebo, the Gift – the Grail is the Gift, for those who seek it, your own unique gift, for we all have one. To seek the Grail is to seek your gift, your true self. The runic symbol for Gebo is a cross – a kiss, a symbol of faith? The Holy Palmer’s Kiss was exchanged between souls who knew each other as they passed.

A is Ansuz, which means God, Creativity – so as I seek my Gift, as I travel in quest of the Grail, I am seeking God – the wellspring of creative fire.

I is Isa, Ice, a cold little rune frozen in time. Isa is said to be derived from the Germanic word Isan, meaning iron – but it is also the Muslim equivalent of Jesus, and is believed to be the name of a Finnish Goddess. Wherever it came from, in the runic alphabet it means alone, standing still, frozen in time. Sometimes that is just how I feel. I know my quest is often lonely, and I have often felt cold and frightened.

But finally there is L, Laguz, water, flow, the endless flow of creativity, running like water over rocks, flowing like rivers to the boundless ocean…

So when I feel alone I go back to the source, as I have come back to the Abbey. I drink deep of the waters, feel refreshment running through my tired body and mind, listen to the voices of my companions rippling like water over river stones, and know that I am not alone anymore on my quest. As the minnows gather around my hands, I remember that others have gathered here as well, seeking the Grail, as I have done.

In my cupped hand, the water sparkles…perhaps I had the Grail all along.


Posted on March 12, 2009, in Abbey Life, Light and Shadows, Nature, Planting Seeds, Reflection Room. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us; your interpretation is poetic. You have peaked my interest in the Runes as well.

  2. I love the meanings of the runes and what they make together in your name. šŸ™‚ I’d love to learn more, is there any site you can reccomend online?

  3. This is a fascinating post, Gail. You remind me of an artist friend years gone who included images of runes in most of his paintings. You would have loved his art.


  4. Your time in the abbey has been most rewarding – serenity just flows from this prose-poem. The tone is calm, the voice confident, and the wisdom profound. You’re a deep one, Traveller!

  5. The abbey has been good for you! And what is good for you somehow has been good for me. Thank you for sharing your beautiful wisdom with me. I have had too much time alone and am out playing.

  6. B for beautiful and W for wisdom, Gail. This was wonderful to read.

  7. Thank you for that beautifully written and wise piece. I love the way you have used the Runes to describe your inner processes. Your knowledge of them is profound. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I am very much in need of the Abbey Gail. I am hoping to join you soon, to break break and share drinks in your gypsy caravan beyond the orchard.

  9. Beautifully done, with intersting information and creative use of the descriptions of runes.

  10. Very special. The Norse used rune stones too. Fran

  11. this is very touching-you have opened several doors in the closet of my mind which I must now take the time ti investigate–thank you -Raven

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