One day during my last summer as a camper, I remember poking around the Alchemy Hut with the other girls in my cabin. During my time as a yearly summer camper, the Alchemy Hut at Geneva Glen Camp was a small cinderblock building painted with vines and purple flower and had a small wooden deck outside the front door. Inside the dimly building were glass jars filled with dry herbs and flowers, and supplies for making “potion” teas, aromatherapy eye masks, lip balms, salt scrubs and so on. I had been in the hut many times but had never before noticed a series of papers depicting strange looking symbols called Runes. Each page featured a different Rune and it’s corresponding meaning. One Rune’s description in particular, caught my attention, so much so that I scribbled it down on a scrap piece of paper I found laying around the Alchemy Hut.

It was the Rune “Gebo” which is Germanic for “Partnership”, that had struck me with a feeling of truth that I couldn’t explain at the time. The coinciding symbol looks like an “X” and the description reads:

“True Partnership can only be achieved by separate and whole beings who retain their separateness even in unity  and uniting. Remember to let the winds of heaven dance between you.”

Since I was 16 I have carried this message with me and it was the catalyst for a shift in the ways I saw all relationships in my life – friendships, family relationships, and partners. This Rune became the foundation of my believe that in order to truly love another person we must love ourselves first, and find wholeness from within. We cannot expect another person, nor can someone expect us, to fill a void that is felt internally, only we truly have the lasting ability to do this for ourselves. Unfortunately, there is a preoccupation with looking outside ourselves, to our relationships in hopes of finding that person/or people who will make our lives complete. This unrealistic expectation of another will only damage relationships and ultimately diminishes the power we have over our own joy and happiness.

If we become so immersed in another person that we lose a sense of who we really are and what we need, true happiness will always evade. There is of coarse beauty in intertwining lives with another person when done so consciously from a place of choice rather than necessity and fear, and with a mutual respect for each other’s separate identity. If we can truly know and honor who we are at our core and have the courage to remain steadfast in this knowing while in relationships, what better gauge is there to know whether or not a relationship is in our best interest, and to really know if we are loved and accepted for who we are, rather than who someone thinks we are?

Even after conceptualizing this belief it was difficult for me to actually live it. I am a people pleaser and caregiver by nature. I’m also a “go with the flow” type and easily set aside my needs for others. In most of my relationships with friends, family and partners I have found myself bending to their needs, wants, and preferences, completely forgetting my own. I had no sense of boundaries or real respect for myself.

It took many tough experiences and heartbreaks for me to finally understand the power and necessity of respecting my inherent needs and desires, supporting myself as an independent being, and finding the strength to empower myself to find my own wholeness, which the Rune has alluded to all those years ago. It has been a long journey. I’ve had to do a lot of letting go. Letting go of approval, of wanting to be liked, and of relationships. But in those spaces I’ve found that I’ve gained so much more. First and foremost I had gained a deeper, more respectful and nurturing relationship with myself. The added bonus…the incredible byproduct, that my relationships, new and old, have risen to a new standard or left my life altogether.

The beauty of the Runes is that this very same Rune “Gebo”could be interpreted entirely differently by every other person who reads it, and that is precisely the power  and intention behind the Runes. I wasn’t until years later, my senior year in college when I unintentionally came across “The Book of Runes” by Ralph H. Blum, that I actually knew what it was I had found in the Alchemy Hut all those years ago. The Runes that I had discovered are actually a series of 25 stones carved with a different symbols, an archaic alphabetic script, used by many ancient societies, including the Vikings.

As I understand it, a person seeking insight into a particular issue in their lives asks a question and pulls a stone with a Runic symbol (or sometimes three) out of a bag. Whether the symbol is pulled upside down or right side up changes the interpretation of the meaning. Runes are not for fortune telling but rather to be interpreted by each seeker as a way to getting in touch with their own intuition. In the Preface of “The Book of Runes”, Dr. Martin D. Rayner, Professor of Physiology at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine states that Runes can provide “a mirror for the magic of our Knowing Selves, a means of communication with the knowledge of our subconscious minds.” Dr. Rayner goes on to say that the Runes simply “point your attention towards those hidden fears and motivations that will shape your future by their unfelt presence…once seen and recognized, these elements become absorbed into the realm of choice”. The use of the Runes is said by Ralph H. Blum, to be “a training tool for strengthening our intuition, which is everyone’s second language”.

How many times in our lives do we hear or experience something that strikes as important of profound without knowing the reason why? Is it possible that we can hear a message many times but until a precise moment, when we are ready to hear it, do we finally grasp it’s meaning. The underlying message of the “Gebo” Rune is not unique but for whatever reason it spoke to me at that particular moment when I was 16 in a way no other form of the message had. When I first read it, I had yet to formulated any of what you have just read but I knew it was important all the same. Why is that? I like to think as Dr. Rayner said that this message was a mirror for my subconscious, my inner knowing, my intuition. Another wink from the universe that has been time and time again reinforced since first finding the Runes. If we take the time to pay close attention to what captivates us, peaks our interests, and lights us up, what other wisdom might our intuition be trying to bring to the surface?


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As a Life Coach I’m am a huge believer in the power of intuition. I help my Coaching clients understand and interpret their unique intuition language. I also help others who struggle like I did, to find fulfilling relationships and who are afraid to, or don’t know how to put themselves first when necessary. I help people who lack boundaries and who don’t often say say “no”. People who give everything of themselves to others but rarely feel the reciprocation leaving them hurt, resentful, and drained. If this rings a bell, I can help you begin creating relationships that fill you up rather than suck you dry (including the relationship you have with yourself), because I’ve been there!

This is just a part of how I can help. Check out my website and “Coaching” page at

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Caitlin Bosshart is  Life Coaching in Fort Collins, CO but offers phone sessions to clients all over the U.S.

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