The runes were historically a magical Pagan Aett, or alphabet, of central and Northern Europe. They were used as a system of divination, decision making and communication. There are a total of 24 runes making up an Aett.
A rune stone was originally a small stone, piece of bone, or carved wood, which was marked with a runic symbol. Nowadays a set of runic stones can be purchased from a wide variety of retailers. Of course, for a more special effect, they can still be hand-made.
The following definitions have been kindly supplied by Simon Blake, who has been studying the Viking Runes for many years.
“Man-az” – Literally: “Mankind” – Esoteric: Humankind, awareness.
|Rune of the Divine structure of intelligence in the human soul or psyche. Rune of the horizons of human existence and collective potential.|
Psi: Mind & memory (Hugin & Munin), the difference between human and all other life, development of the intellect, rational mind, perfected intelligence
Energy: Psychic order of the gods reflected in humankind, projection of Self into time
Mundane: Thinking, planning, analysis, the human condition, people at large (contemporary: the masses)
Divinations: Divine structure, sustainability, intelligence, awareness, social order, divine influence in life; or depression, mortality, blindness, self-delusion, collective suicide, bigotry, elitism, intellectual arrogance.
Realisation of the divine structure in humankind.
Increase in intelligence, memory and mental powers (passing tests).
Unlocking the third-eye hvel, the “mind’s eye”.
Activating the dynamics of your own inner Christus, or Higher Self.
Awareness of our roles as co-creator with the gods and nature.
Mental and spiritual potential.
In a spiritual sense, nobility refers to those who seek to comprehend the mysteries of Life and who strive to master these mysteries for greater awareness. Access to the Higher Self or ‘Christus’ of the soul is not restricted, as religions maintain. Even the staunchest athiest has a path to Enlightened Being, without ever having to profess belief in a god or faith. All humans can rise to this state as Perfected Human, regardless of name, race or creed. Christus is merely a Greek word which serves as a title given to any human being who evidences a state of unity with the Universal Mind, or God/Goddess. One could as easily use the word Buddha, as in Buddhism, or Illumined, as in Hermetic Philosophy.
From its very beginnings, the Northern spiritual tradition has maintained a path by which each individual human being can become a Christus, that is a completely self-actualised person, in time (lifetimes) and with great study and personal commitment. Furthermore, in the North this archetype is imparted within humankind as a genetic link, not a contractual link, with the gods. The promise is equality with the gods as an attainable human potential, which is one of the basis of occultism and the Enlightenment (the philosophy behind science).
Access to the collective unconscious of earth and humanity can also be gained by invoking Mannaz. Mimir’s Well is the Northern equivalent of the Sanskrit Akashic records. It contains information which provides answers to the deepest mysteries of Life, as well as being a storehouse of new knowledge waiting to be discovered. Mannaz is the rune of Mimir’s well, for Mannaz is the rune of human consciousness which ever seeks wisdom and insight to continue its evolutionary progress toward Perfected Human. See also LAGUZ for insight into the Well.
Mannaz is the rune of human intelligence and the rational mind. This rune is a particularly beneficial one for academic studies, tests and any contests of an intellectual nature. It is well placed when the task of dealing with matters that affect a society or entire civilisation, especially those rooted in the individual human mind.
“Gay-boo” – Literally: “Gift” – Esoteric: Fair Exchange, Sacrifice, Sacred Marriage.
|Key Concepts: Gifts, giving, taking, trade, sacrifice, process of exchange, balance, compensation, equilibrium, law of reciprocation, altruism, the gravity of equals and opposites, generosity, hospitality, honor|
Psi: Gratitude, forgiveness, appreciation
Energy: Exchanged powers, sacrifice, dissolution of barriers through gifting
Divinations: Generosity, gift, magical exchange, honor, sacrifice, divine vision; or influence buying, greed, loneliness, dependence, over-sacrifice, unbalanced behavior, dishonesty
Mundane: Material gifts, thankfulness, trade
Mystical union and ‘Sacred Marriage’ between partners.
Understanding of the true meaning of gifting and binding.
Giving of oneself from within.
Harmony between brothers and sisters and lovers.
Favours, contracts, obligations, debt and oath-taking.
Gebo is perhaps one of the runes which has the most lore. When we say X-mas, the X is unconsciously representative of this rune. In the Havamal, the Cosmic Law of Compensation is written as ‘Better not to over-pledge as a gift demands a gift’, and ‘No man is so generous he will jib at accepting a gift in return for a gift’.
The exchange of gifts, whether physical or otherwise, is a highly meaningful act, as is the idea of trade. It is associated with magical rings, which give kings the ability to share powers with their followers, as is expected of leaders. The need for exchanged energies and powers to remain equal in amounts is at the heart of the rune Gebo. In the Havamal it also says ‘A man should be loyal through life to friends, and return gift for gift; Laugh when they laugh, but with lies repay a flase foe who lies.’ Though this might conflict with the New Age morality, it was the ancient way of expressing ‘what goes around, comes around’.
Elsewhere in Northern lore we find, that there is always a price to pay. Every decision you make requires the acceptance of one thing and simultaneous sacrifice or release of another. For more on that sacrifice, see INGUZ. Self-sacrifice (for honor in battle or for the greater good) is a common theme with the death of warriors. Odin on the tree sacrifices ‘himself to Himself’ in his shamanic initiation to discover the knowledge and wisdom of the runes.
Gebo is also tied deeply to the exchange of sexual energies between male and female, and so it deeply governs mystical union, sacred oaths of marriage and sex magic. For more on sacred marriage, one must uncover the mysteries of EHWAZ.
“Anne – suhz” – Literally: “Woden” – Esoteric: “Breath” or “Ancestral Sovereign God”.
|Key Concepts: Order, gods, Odin, transmission of intelligence, communication, reason, inspiration, language, breath, sound, origins of language, the Voice of the Universe, spellsong, casting, chanting, ancestors, passing of the breath along the ancestral line, evolution of gods, speech, poetry, discussion of runes, memetics, semiotics, etymology, linguistics.|
Psi: Mental stability, communion, inspiration, listening
Energy: Sovereign ancestral god, animating spirit, breath, communication, exploration, order, answers.
Mundane: Words, conversation, symbols, elders, music.
Divinations: Divine inspiration, word-power, synthesis, transformation, intellect, open paths of communication; or misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom, bad advice.
Convincing and magnetic speech and writing, and the power of suggestion and hypnosis.
Acquisition of creative wisdom, inspiration, ecstasy and divine communication.
Reason, analysis and good advice.
Connecting and networking.
Listening to oneself and one’s own particular inner-voice.
Odin’s gifts to the first humans is said to be the breath of life and inspired mental activity, along with form, speech and the cognitive senses. The root energy of this rune triggers inspiration and ecstatic mental states. The ability of our minds to work with patterns (which computers for the most part completely lack) is inherent in the energies of Ansuz. Thorsson aptly states that Ansuz is the “rune of ancestral sovereign power of the mind consciousness, inspiration, enthusiasm and the power of the use of symbols for transformation of consciousness.”
The spirit takes up its residence in the human body when the babe breathes its first breath. It leaves the body with the last breath. Breath is the actual point of osmosis between the physical world of the human being, and the transpersonal energy that animates the universe. Emphasis on the breath is seen in meditation practices in all traditions. Inspiration means to breathe in the exalting or quickening influence of cosmic awareness. The breath is also connected to ancestry, as even the word spirit comes from the same root as breath. Our ancestral lines are unbroken with those of the gods still to this day, in blood and in breath.
Ansuz governs our mental capacities to name all things. Whereas THURISAZ deals with chaotic forces, Ansuz is a rune of ordering. Naming a thing properly can give power over that thing, and in ancient traditions, naming has often been used to dispel mischievous spirits, bind demons or break psychological fetters. The relationship also is indicative chaotic events can be used to shape ordered circumstances and one’s own thoughts, or the thoughts of others. Ansuz is suggestive of the relentless patterns that modern chaos theory declares are universal in every system. The newest theories of language are also found in the mysterious order and ‘strange attractors’ of chaos linguistics.
It is here that all speech can be deciphered and understood as well, so Ansuz is a rune connected with listening and speech: communication and meaning in general. Use such skills wisely for manipulation can, through temptation, become an end in and of itself, and corrupt the power of the rune. The problems with propaganda and misdirection are that the mind will follow its own words into confusion and create hypocrisy, which will damage the hamingja. Thought and action are most powerful when aligned and honesty is the best policy.
The rune of secrets, silence and true listening is BERKANO, but there is a type of listening that will allow one to hear the Voice of the universe, and this power lay within the power of Ansuz. The rune of higher reasoning and mental abilities particular to human is MANNAZ. These three runes, used in conjunction are extremely powerful.
“Oh-thall-ah” – Literally: “Homeland” or “Ancestral Lot” – Esoteric: Inheritance, estate, noble.
|Rune of anscetral spiritual power, divine inheritance and earthly estate.|
Psi: Ancestral spiritual power.
Energy: Ancestral spiritual power, inheritance, heaven on earth, “The gift of Ing”, paradise, utopia.
Mundane: Household, estate, inheritance.
Divinations: A home or estate, group prosperity, group order, freedom, productive interaction; or lack of customary order, totalitarianism, slavery, poverty, homelessness, xenophobia, racism, genocide.
Collection of numinous power and knowledge from past generations.
Acquisitions of wealth and property.
Right understanding of global unity.
Security, safety, protection, the walls of Asgard.
Ascension to King amongst men.
Realisation of Paradise.
Othala deals with matters of family, estate, inheritance and ancestry. Both Fehu and Othala are runes of wealth and continue the cyclical nature of the runes by their positions as first and last. The difference is that Fehu represents mobile expansive force of money as well as new beginnings and Othala represents the permanent wealth of immobile property accumulated by yourself and your ancestors over generations, which is clearly the continuation of a long line back to the beginning.
You have several ancestral stream to explore before you find the one or two that are dominant in your blood. Identify your natural talents and explore the ancestral stream that would have contributed those talents to you. There is a spirit or breath that has been passed on to you from many sources as well as your genetic makeup.
The weight of virtuous deeds of past generations tends to accumulate within a family tree over the generations, like being stored in an etheric energy ‘battery’. Part of your inheritance, yours for the taking, is to claim some of that energy for use in this lifetime. You must find what provisions you must agree to for its payback into the ancestral stream as you become one of the ‘ancestors’ yourself. Such a contribution will likely be in the form of a virtuous deed on your part during this lifetime.
You may find that there is a deficiency of energy due to non-virtuous deeds of certain ancestors, at which time you should seek the last link at which there were surplus energies. As a major player, you will be aided by honorable ancestors, who would see the breach restored and ‘things set right’.
The ultimate realisation of Othala in the rune progression is heaven-on-earth, and the homecoming of the Savior and this is why I favor it as the final rune of the cycle, over any Dagaz-ending theories. The ultimate enlightenment is liberation and transcendence from the Self. Othala means that we take responsibility for our own destinies, that the future is a continual movement toward paradise, an alignment of the inner-compass toward heaven on earth.
My belief is that Othala signals the final and eternal beauty of heaven, and the love for one’s home. It signals a transcendence of geography, both planetary and astronomical. It is the individual and family risen above cultural and spiritual inheritance and the establishment of new fundamentals. Indeed, this rune signifies the inheritance by the whole of humanity of the planet itself, the restoration of the planet to its harmonious and sustainable state, and the inherent responsibilities thereof. It is the shift from basically existential modes of existence to humanistic, even divine modes and that is why I believe it to be in the correct position as the final rune.’
“Oo – Ruse” – Literally: “Aurochs” – Esoteric: Endurance, Formation, Manifestation.
|Key Concepts: Life force, physical health, courage, organic structure, manifestation, formation, healing, vigor, endurance.|
Psi: Determination, persistence, freedom, courage, will, territoriality, independence.
Energy: Vital formative force, archetypal patterning, raw primal power, survival, healing, endurance, manifestation, organic structuring.
Mundane: Physical health, stamina.
Divinations: Strength, constancy, vitality, tenacity, pattern, luck, health, pragmatic knowledge, understanding; or weakness, obsession, misdirected force, inconstancy, sickness, ignorance, uncontrolled rage, insensitivity, brutality.
Self-healing and maintenance of good mental and physical health.
Assertion of home ground, personal space, independence and freedom.
Strength and tenacity, courage, persistence against all odds.
Ability to control aggression and take responsibility.
Rites of passage, especially into adulthood.
While FEHU is the symbol of a domesticated cattle, and Uruz is a symbol of the wild bovine, a reminder that cattle were once wild creatures. If Fehu represents young lovers, Uruz represents young warriors.
Though Uruz energy is also heavily invested in the hamingja, it is not suited for easy, conscious control as Fehu is. It is the rune of powerful unconscious shaping energies that need to be guided wisely as they manifest. It is an early reminder within the series that the untamed powers of creativity are not without danger – a reality quite clear in our modern technological civilisation. It is the user’s skill and practiced techniques that will control the energy unleashed by this rune. It is the rune of independence, asserting oneself and one’s territory.
Life’s persistence and its endless resourcefulness in the task of survival are all implicit within the rune meaning of Uruz, thus it is a rune of manifestation, regeneration and endurance. The organic patterning energy of Uruz laces up the skin, sustains the ego and can be used to protect the psyche from trauma. Self-healing is the energy which pulls a diseased or ill form back toward its ‘primal blueprint’: the original, invisible shape intended by nature’s design.
Uruz is the rune of the inner-King and inner-Queen. We can assert our right to exist and be free in the very same primal authority that the aurochs did theirs. It is the will to live passionate and free.
Uruz is linked to the god Thor and so continues on toward THURISAZ.
“Per-throw” – Literally: unknown – Esoteric: The Norns, Fate, Lot-Cup.
|Rune of fate and the unmanifest. Rune of probability and the role of luck in the evolutionary process of the all things. Universe at play.|
Psi: Co-incidence, living with the unknown, the art and magic of guessing, pattern recognition, prophecy.
Energy: Evolutionary force, luck, nothingness, the unborn, the unmanifest.
Mundane: Gambling, random occurrences, guessing.
Divinations: Good omen, knowledge of örlög, fellowship and joy, evolutionary change; or doom*, psychological or emotional addictions, stagnation, loneliness, delusion, fantasy, unknowability.
* Doom is the way in which the uncontrolled aspects of our self conspire in our destiny. It does not necessarily mean death.
Manipulation of cause and effect.
Placing runic forces in the stream of Nornic law.
Alteration of probability and dependence on luck.
The creation of favorable circumstances.
Chance, gambling, divination and the art of guessing.
It is important to remember that the true meaning of Perthro is unknown to scholars, as it is not a recognised word, and though many have agreed that the idea of a ‘lot cup’ seems fitting, I think that this ‘unknown’ or ‘nameless’ quality is extremely significant.
A ‘lot cup’ is an ancient dice box from which ‘lots’ were cast by warriors seeking knowledge of their fate before a battle. Perthro represents orlog, a concept of the larger matrix of the universal law of cause and effect. It encompasses the fixed and unalterable law of action and reaction. Wyrd is the working out of the law of cause and effect on a personal level. It is not unalterably fixed, like orglog is. A person can move about within the web of their wyrd in accordance with their degree of conscious development (and using the rune Nauthiz).
There is a large portion of our unmanifest future that rests on an element of chance. This awareness must be incorporated into the lore of Perthro and divination is a way to discern the parameters of that element of chance. Divination through casting of lots using dice or runes provides conscious indicators of unconscious ‘lay’ or pattern of cause and effect as it pertains to any specific future happening.
Of all the runes, this one is the most mysterious, perhaps next to Eihwaz before it, because Perthro deals with the mysteries within the runes themselves and the birth of the universe. On one hand this allows you to intuit original knowledge about the runes that may have been suppressed, destroyed or incompletely passed on over the centuries. On the other hand, the ‘how to’ techniques are less defined than with other runes, for we are dealing with fundamental mysteries of the universe. Orlog plays out as the consequences of the cosmic and primal laws themselves unfold from beginning of the universe until the end. All patterns are interdependent and interwoven, throughout all existence.
The proper relationship between Perthro and Nauthiz is that Perthro allows you to become aware of the hidden and relatively fixed workings of the deep law of cause and effect, which in turn give us the ability to see into the unmanifest and peer into the unknown. This is wyrd, and lay within our influence if we have knowledge of how our personal fate can be manipulated. Nauthiz helps you get around the workings of orlog, using the forces of resistance to change direction of the flow of wyrd. Together, these two runes govern the magic of ‘the Wyrding Way’.
All the records of all events are stored here, so Perthro’s power helps the recollection of knowledge that is hidden within the collective unconscious of humankind, especially human lore lost over the course of the centuries. The same process is responsible for prophecy. Perthro will assist the birthing of a great idea into your environment by raising awareness of the forces arrayed against its manifestation. Co-incidence and deja vu play an enormous role in the recognition of the fundamentals of this rune.
Other topics: quantum probability, Akashic records.
“Not-this” – Literally: “Need-fire” or “Necessity” – Esoteric: Constraint, Friction.
|Key Concepts: Need, resistance, constraint, conflict, drama, effort, necessity, urgency, hard work, need-fire, life lessons, creative friction, distress, force of growth, the consequence of past action, short term pain for long term gain.|
Psi: Resistance, need, effort.
Energy: Necessity, coming forth into being, urgency.
Mundane: Doing what must be done, chores, hard work.
Divinations: Resistance (leading to strength), recognition of örlög (ultimate law, primal truth), innovation, need-fire (self-reliance), personal development and life lessons, achievement through effort; or constraint of freedom, distress, toil, drudgery, laxity, warnings, worry, guilt, moral cowardice, unfulfilled or unrecognised needs.
Acceptance of the unchangeable.
Development of magical will, the manipulation of wyrd.
Understanding the dynamic force of “resistance” in the process of creating.
The generation of creative energy for problem solving.
Protection of one’s own needs.
Recognition of personal need.
Love magic; especially to obtain a lover.
Without resistance, form would fall apart. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It is the basic resistance of unconscious forces against newly evolved consciousness, but also the overwhelming need for evolution of consciousness, and that unconscious resistance to it.
The mysteries of necessity are at the core of Nauthiz. It is central to manipulating Wyrd so that desired outcomes can be attained through negotiating with the energies of the Norns. Invoking need is more powerful than wishing, but what we need and what we desire are not always the same. In this sense, Nauthiz can protect us from ourselves, but its lessons are often harsh. The force of the past exerts its effect on us in the present. Previous action catches up with us and attempts to restrain and restrict future action, which is the counter-movement of the cyclical processions of JERA. However, armed with humility we can learn our lessons from not only our own errors, but the mistakes and successes of others.
Action governed by Nauthiz is rooted in common sense. The magic of common sense is that it is not so common, because our desires and ideals eclipse our true need and perception of real circumstances. As a war rune, Nauthiz empowers the invoker to have the courage and wisdom to recognise what must be done in an otherwise complex situation. Necessity is the mother of invention. No pain, no gain. It is connected with the harshness of reality, like Hagalaz.
We have a painful fear of necessity and a love hate relationship with our needs. This is illustrated most excellently in the symbol of Nauthiz as two sticks rubbing together to create the ‘Need-Fire’. Our need for fire as a species is balanced with our fear of the power of fire. Consider this well and you will develop a profound understanding of this rune.
German Linguist Guido Von List writes in the early 1900s writes:
“Ing-guz” – Literally: “Seed” or “The god, Ing” – Esoteric: Process, space.
|Rune of isolation or separation in order to create a space or place where the process of transformation into higher states of being can occur. Rune of gestation and internal growth.|
Psi: Internal growth, personal development, the power of suggestion, the inner-child, wholeness.
Energy: Earth-god, stored energy, gestation process, male mysteries, subtlety, planned bursts.
Mundane: Male sexuality, agriculture.
Divinations: Resting, gestation, internal growth, expectation, time for oneself; or impotence, scattering, movement without change, frivolity, immaturity.
Passive meditation and centering of energy and thought.
Sudden release of energy.
All forms of subtle, creative action.
Represented by the very ancient god image Ing, Inguz is a rune of male fertility. The English language participle “-ing” adds to any verb the idea of action. Do-ing, Be-ing, See-ing, etc. The addition of “ing” represents action in the actual process of activity (rather than an object). Thus, even common elements within our most common language use “ing” to infer the process of creation.
Inguz is that potential energy that must accumulate gradually in storage before being released as a single surge of energy. It represents the process of a mental ‘seed’ desire implanted by the conscious mind into the subconscious for incubation and gestation, later to emerge as a new creation in your life affairs. Inguz governs the process of seed into catalyst, and the self-sacrifice of one form to bring into being a new form, and the characteristics inherited because of this transformation.
Thus, Inguz contains within its lore the true meaning of sacrifice. Such sacrifice occurs when one form is called upon to die so that a newly evolved form may begin to grow. This is one of the cornerstone concepts in what is known as the ‘male mysteries’. To die for something, such as a cause or an ideal such as freedom, a universal theme in warrior traditions, is thus connected to the energies of Inguz.
There is great wisdom in creating an analogy between this fundamental act of nature and the mystical act of generation. The failure of a magical operation is often caused by the lack of the operator ‘letting go’ of some past form of manifestation so that a newly desired form can be born. All humans live in the past to some degree or another, but one must apply the laws of nature which call for death of the old in order to bring about transformation into new energies and new forms. This sounds simple to do on an intellectual level, but in practice it is requires masterful artistry.
|Ihwaz (also: Eihwaz)|
“Yew-was” – Literally: “Yew” – Esoteric: Yggdrasil or Kundalini.
|“The axis or process of spiritual becoming.” Upper and lower worlds meeting in Midgard (earth). Rune of the mysteries of life and death.|
Psi: Death mysteries, the timeless, kundalini.
Energy: Axis of heaven-earth-hel, secrecy, encoding, immortality, the chakra system (hvel).
Mundane: Longevity, initiations, trees.
Divinations: Movement toward Enlightenment, endurance, initiation, protection; or confusion, destruction, dissatisfaction, weakness, death.
Liberation from the fear of death.
Development of spiritual endurance and hard will to gain initiative.
Communication between levels of reality – the Worlds or Yggdrasil.
Eihwaz begins the second half of the 24 rune Futhark and represents the vertical axis, whereas Jera represents the horizontal. It is also indicative of the verticality and energy of the human spine. The spine (the pelvic region not included) has 24 vertebrae, which I do not believe is a coincidence in the case of the elder futhark.
The spine is the channel for one of the most powerful energy flows in the human psyche, which Yoga has termed Kundalini ‘fire’. It is the flow of megin energy up from the root hvel (chakra) to the crown hvel in the mind, bringing cosmic consciousness. Attempting to awaken Kundalini fire too early in your training can cause serious harm.
The needle of the yew is poisonous, containing a toxin that affects the central nervous system. The vapors from the toxin can become concentrated in close proximity to the tree. As a conifer/’evergreen’, it is associated with immortality, and the mysteries of life and death. Death is understood as the Great Initiation into the mysteries of life. To die before you die is to discover what in life is truly important. In psychology, this often happens as a result of near-death experiences.
The fear of physical death is one of the great inhibitors of humankind’s potential for total freedom of mind and spirit. Eihwaz gives you the power to recall your past lives, in short fragments or in more complete segments, and as a result confirm your death in this life as only one stage of a greater journey. Invoke Eihwaz as you conduct a meditation or dream exercise for the purpose of discovering past life patterns in the present. The answers lay not in memory, but in the clues of your here and now.
Eihwaz can be invoked for communication with the underworld and the dead. It is wisest to remain within your own ancestral stream when doing this, as your ancestors have reason to respond to your inner call. There should be sufficient reason to invoke such dark workings, but it is not an ‘evil’ exercise.
|Algiz (or Elhaz)|
“Al-jiz” – Literally: “Elk” – Esoteric: Protection, Higher Self.
|Rune of the essential link or connection with the patterns of divine or archetypal consciousness, such as the Valkyrie. Rune of the possible danger of realising this link when unprepared.|
Psi: Divinity, higher self, the state of listening.
Energy: Protective teaching force, the divine plan, Valkyries.
Mundane: Protection, safety, spirituality.
Divinations: Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life, protection; or hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of the divine link, fear.
Mystical and religious communication with non-human sentient beings.
Communication with other worlds, especially Asgard.
Receiving instruction on the magical potential of the runes.
Banishing the fear of death.
Algiz is the single strongest energy connected with my own existence. It is a protective teaching force that promotes independence and autonomy as well as faith. Courage in the face of fear is central, not the absence of fear, because fear may or may not be a warning to us that protection and defensiveness is necessary. Algiz supplies the insight necessary to make such judgments and stand in true service to Asgard.
The spiritual force, hamingja, generated by Algiz envelops the invoker with so much energy that he or she becomes sacred, set apart and protected by Divine power. The image of the Valkyrie in mythology is fully representative of the way in which the energies of Algiz work to protect you. Meditating on the image of a Valkyrie in her teacher, swan and warrior forms is a powerful method of invoking Algiz energy.
The Valkyrie will not assist in evading punishment for wrong deeds, or illegal or immoral acts. It will act to soften the blow of punishment if the person willingly accepts accountability for the harm caused by his or her acts and begins to take steps to compensate.
Do not mistake the archetypes encountered through use of this rune. Ask them politely of their purpose and to identify themselves. Good entities always will respond favorably to such requests, and mischievous or harmful entities tend to become offended or refrain from answering. Have courage and fortitude, as you will sometimes be tested. These entities come in many forms, so be prepared to open your mind as to allow their unique methods of communication to take place.
Perception of the Divine Plan.
Knowledge of the Ultimate Good in all things/events.
Listening correctly to the Voice of the Universe (as non-human sentient beings ie. Valkyries, gods, giants).
Being tested by such entities and instructed.
“Fay-Who” – Literally: “Cattle” – Esoteric: Mobile Property, New Beginnings, Wealth.
|Key Concepts: Wealth, money, food, sustenance, Hamingja, luck, personal power, circulation of power, financial strength, prosperity.|
Psi: Beginner’s Mind, presence, freedom, first impressions, young love.
Energy: mobility, luck, charisma, dynamic power, liquid and mobile transferable energies, abundance, circulation, ‘mana’, sexual attraction.
Mundane: money, recent purchases, reputation, freshness, fashionability.
Divinations: New beginnings, social success, foresight, energy, travel, money, control; or greed, failure, atrophy, poverty, endings.
Drawing gravity into the personal sphere.
Promotion of personal and social evolution, changing circumstances of importance.
Increase in personal monetary wealth.
Beginner’s mind and presence as a tool for consciously creating a fresh start.
Fehu is actually the rune of ‘luck’. The universe is not so much made up by chance, as by luck. Luck is a hidden but real energy field inherent in your ‘hamingja’. Fehu governs the capacity to hold this luck and use it like a magical ability. This basic energy, your accumulated luck, is the foundation of the wealth and power in your life. Courageous deeds are central to increasing one’s ‘luck’.
Circulation of power, wealth and the mobility of all things is a key aspect to Fehu. These are associated with new beginnings, but keep in mind that there are no true new beginnings or endings, only the conscious marks of transformation. This can be most effectively understood while studying the runes as a cycle in and of itself (visually, a circle). The use of this principle leads to beginner’s mind and to presence as a tool for consciously creating a fresh start.
Indeed, money will work for you best under the guidance of the energies implicit in Fehu. Yet money is only a mundane and simplistic representation of Fehu’s nature. It’s best to think of wealth as food, water, shelter, clothing, sustenance and mobile assets, rather than needless luxury.
In starting new endeavors, Fehu will activate the will, restore self-confidence and assist in goal-setting followed by immediate action. Use the symbol and its teachings against procrastination. It is a reminder to think for yourself, which is fundamental to working with the runes. I find that the vibration of this rune to be in alignment with the principles of sexual attraction, first impressions and young love. Fehu is a reminder for us to act out of the present moment.
The conscious use of money for right ends is the domain of Fehu. In society today it is important that we explore new definitions of wealth and come to a realisation of what is truly valuable. Wealth is a creative process in every sense of the word, not a static and measurable mass. I encourage the exploration of this idea right away.
“Won-joe” – Literally: “Joy” – Esoteric: Hope, Harmony, Perfection.
|Key Concepts: Joy, perfection, the art of correct wishing, correct application of the will, well-being, contentment, hope, expectation, relationship, family, bonding, trusted kinsfolk, shared ideals or aims, group harmony, symbols of shared identity, optimism, cooperative effort, like-mindedness, friendship.|
Psi: Contentment, optimism, like-mindedness, wishful thinking, shared identity.
Energy: Harmony of like forces, effortless ease, fellowship, fulfillment, wishing, genuine friendship.
Mundane: parties, friendship, family, community.
Divinations: Joy, harmony, fellowship, accomplishment, prosperity; or stultification, sorrow, strife, alienation, warns of caution, blindness to danger, deception, betrayal.
Invocation of fellowship and harmony.
Banishes alienation and other inharmonious impediments to trust.
Creating joy through the use of true will.
Realisation of the link and multiplicity of relationship of all things.
The art of correct wishing, ‘law of attraction’.
Wunjo is the inner urge for realisation of your soul’s true will to achieve perfection of consciousness and the drive to this realisation in this life-time. It wards off woe and sorrow so that the abundant gifts of the multiverse have no trouble bestowing themselves upon you. In Wunjo we find harmonious energies characteristic in functional families, group affiliations, healthy societies and nations and ultimately, the world.
It is here we find the force of Love curing the warrior who has hate in his or her heart. Because the Northern tradition was abruptly cut short in its evolution of conceptualising Love as a cosmic force, we have to search for ideas in the Elder tradition that would indicate its latent potential. We find this idea especially in the rune meaning of Wunjo, for Wunjo carries all the elements of Love between and among human beings. Wunjo is the rune that guides harmonising human energies into a whole. It is the alignment of individual will with the will of the community and ultimately with the divine will. The rune of Love and Unity between all life is LAGUZ, and it’s interesting to me that they have similar shapes.
Alienation and failing community is a severe problem in our society now, which can be deeply troubling to almost every human exchange we engage in. Alienation presents itself as mistrust. In a social group with no overriding objective, it’s only a nuisance. In a community service group, the project fails. In a family, it can lead to disaster. Wunjo can reduce alienation by broadcasting love into the chaotic human energy field. Yet rather than being performed abstractly with no conscious awareness of the intervening energies, the invocation of Wunjo is focused by the magical will of the operator for specific results. This is a technique paralleled (and complimented by) modern Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
The art of correct ‘wishing’ is perfected by seeking your unique purpose in life and aligning your thought and action with it. It is the motivation to act upon your true will which opens the path to completing your personal purpose in this lifetime. Step by step, life by life, we fulfill our cosmic destiny. This is the essence of the Law of Attraction, and a core magic of the Nothern tradition.
“Yehr-ah” – Literally: “Year” – Esoteric: Harvest.
|Rune of harvest and reward for, or reaction to, right actions in a horizontal (naturally ordered) cyclical process. Rune of peace on the land and in the heart.|
Psi: Psychological time, patience, the measurement of time.
Energy: Good harvest, orbits, cycles, progress, biorhythms, right effort.
Mundane: Waiting, gardening, farming, the seasons, harvest.
Divinations: Reward for positive action, plenty, peace, proper timing; or repetition, bad timing, poverty, conflict, regression.
Peace, prosperity and plenty.
Realisation of the cyclical nature of the multiverse, invoking the power of time and cycles.
Bringing other concepts gently into material manifestation.
Initiating gradual and lasting change in flow of life.
The summer harvest was winter food, the seeds from the harvest became next summer’s crop. So while attentiveness to cultivation of the present moment is paramount, within the present moment lay the wisdom for future planning.
The cycle of the seasons is not so much associated with time, but the inflow and outflow of the land’s breath. The rhythms of sleep, dusk and dawn, the heartbeat, the breath, all these are keys into unlocking Jera’s subtle nature. Like Isa, Jera is has an unstoppable energy, gradual but unrelenting, unhurried but persistent, indifferent to human influence. Nature has a way of persistently marching on. Jera’s changes are not sudden or explosive, and cannot be forced. The key is making small, gradual changes every day, for the better. Taken alone these events may seem trivial, but they are cumulative and proceed forward with all the inevitability of earth’s journey around the sun.
Jera is a rune of patience and movement with the harmony with natural tides of life. Moving with such life rhythms brings abundance and plenty. The cyclical recurrences in the biosphere and of the astronomical procession spirals through time, and contains many more profound secrets than does our common involvement with linear time, calendar dates and the clock.
Jera has to do with right timing. Jera is in the maxim “This too shall pass”, the proverb, “As you sow, so shall you reap”, and in the modern adage, “time heals all wounds.” Using this rune is the key to understanding the mysteries of time and the psychological importance of dividing and managing time. Deadlines bring out the best in us and motivate us to grow to levels beyond our present ability. It also moves us to strategically taking action when the time is right. Take advantage of the ups and coast through the downs.
Jera can magically speed things up or slow things down, and manipulation of subjective time in this manner is governed by this rune. In this rune we see the most stark western counter-point to the maxim ‘time is an illusion’. If a person sows no seeds, does no work, plants no goals and desire in his or her thoughts, Jera will bring about situations which reflect that lack. The ultimate consequences of past human action unfold into the future.
Literally: “Torch” – Esoteric ‘Ken’ or Knowledge
|Key Concepts: torch as a symbol of knowledge and intellect, illumination, searching for enlightenment, shedding light on matters, quest for truth, skills and abilities, creativity, art, craftsmanship, cunning, acquisition and application of knowledge, occult female secrets, intuition, enthusiasm in teaching/learning, study, kin-fire, opportunity, playfulness|
Psi: Observation, clarity of thought, cognitive faculties, humility
Energy: Controlled energy, transformation (pheonix fire), teaching/learning dynamic, illumination.
Mundane: Art, technique, improvement of skills, school, the stars.
Divinations: Artistic or technical ability, craft, transformation, offspring, new information; or disease, decay, breakup, inability, lack of creativity, ignorance, arrogance, elitism, over-conceptualisation.
Creative inspiration, enthusiasm for learning.
Exploration of paradigms in the search for truth.
Exposing the hidden to gain new knowledge, esp. through study, reflection and new information.
Strengthening of abilities in all realms.
Female occult secrets.
The light within, the observer.
Kenaz symbolises the control and harnessing of fire for warmth and illumination. It represents our having harnessed forces and energies greater than ourselves. Where THURISAZ is the creation of tools, the rune meaning of Kenaz speaks to their skillful use. It signifies the mystery of transformation and our power to create as nature does.
Ancestrally, we each must carry our own torch, creating a path of light that flows through the darkness. These torches are never extinguished, and can be used as signposts in the navigation of the ancestral stream, and to acquire the knowledge and tools from our ancestry represented within ANSUZ that are rightfully ours to use in the present lifetime.
The scientific method and art as an exploration of truth exemplifies Kenaz, as do all fearless forays into the darkness of the unknown (represented by PERTHRO) in search of illumination. Also consider that there is inborn and hereditary knowledge, and that one of the cognitive faculties governed by Kenaz is intuition.
Kenaz is like a torchlit library, and the energy is clearly filled with unlimited potential to learn and to map. Sometimes a good deal of digging around is necessary to uncover the knowledge that will help. Do not forget that the map is not the territory, as Kenaz represents the acquisition of knowledge, not the knowledge itself. Not truth, but the search for truth.
In matters of learning, which can be complemented by the protective teaching force ofALGIZ, it is wise to remember that humility is the prime requirement of a good student, and that no one learns more than the teacher. Therefore arrogance, elitism and authoritarianism signify a disconnect with the principles of Kenaz. Information wants to be free!
“Tea-waz” – Literally: “The god, Tyr” – Esoteric: Justice, Sacrifice.
|Rune of the balance and justice ruled from a higher rationality. The rune of sacrifice of the individual (self) for well-being of the whole (society).|
Psi: Spiritual warrior, honour, righteousness.
Energy: Sovereign order, sacrifice, right decision making.
Mundane: The rule of law, fairness, peace keeping.
Divinations: Faith, loyalty, justice, rationality, self-sacrifice, analysis, victory, honesty, even-handedness; or mental paralysis, over analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance, defeat, tyranny.
Building spiritual will and development of sound judgement.
Develops the power of positive self-sacrifice.
Develops the “force of faith” in magic and religion.
Tiwaz is a warrior rune named after the god Tyr who is the Northern god of law and justice. Tyr is related to the north star in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, around which the fixed stars in the night sky appear to rotate. Ancient seamen used Polaris as their main navigational aid in their long journeys, and the symbol as an arrow pointing upward is perhaps made in reference to this. This symbolises the positive ordering of the cosmos and humankind through law and justice and our moral compass. Chaos comes to order through the attributes of awakened consciousness and the guiding principles concerned with carrying out such an awakening.
Tyr is a one-handed god with a long history, and his hand was sacrificed to trick the wolf, Fenris, into being chained. Tiwaz is just victory according to the law of accumulated right past action. To rule justly, one is asked to make many self-sacrifices, and Tiwaz can develop the power of positive self-sacrifice and temper over-sacrifice. The belief that courage and a right cause carries the day is governed by Tiwaz. It is the common justice of the people rather than the use of law by tyrants (a word that uses Tyr as a root)
Tiwaz will bring about a correct balancing of the scales so that you are assured a fair hearing and fair decision. Do not be thrown off balance by the chaos of your environment. Like the North star, you must remain true and calm, assert your case with confidence and let the energies of your orlog assisted by the force of Tiwaz bring about a right solution.
Should you need reassurances that there is value in building up positive patterns in advance of emergency, this is the time you will see its greatest manifestation. You have earned the right to a fair and just decision. Tiwaz will be used to bring fair distribution of the earned energies from your ancestral stream.
Tiwaz can be used to bring about a missionary zeal for a righteous cause. The most powerful insight we can draw from Tiwaz is that we must target our energies in the single most correct place, just as the arrow or spear symbolised by the rune must. Call upon Tiwaz for justice.
“Burr-can-oh” – Literally: “Birch Goddess” – Esoteric: Birth, Sanctuary.
|Rune of continued growth and continual rebirth or renewal in all things. The rune of becoming.|
Psi: Secrecy, silence, safety, mature wisdom, dependence.
Energy: Container/releaser, female fertility, trees and plantlife
Mundane: Motherhood, healing, gardening, child raising, the womb
Divinations: Birth, becoming, life changes, shelter, liberation, sanctuary, secrets; or blurring of consciousness, deceit, sterility, stagnation, conspiracy, insecurity
Strengthens the power of secrecy.
Works of concealment and protection.
To contain and hold other powers together.
Realisation of stillness, the Now-ness of all things.
Bringing ideas to fruition in the creative process
Berkano has the energy of a birch grove, and is an hidden sanctuary in times of need. The birch is the first tree to awaken in the spring time, and so Berkano is about the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Healing of all sorts is strongest through this rune, particularly recuperation, rejuvenation, purification, detoxification and regeneration. Purification & detoxification can be strengthened in combination with LAGUZ.
This is the rune of maternity and represents the ready womb for child-bearing. Also represented here is the the concealment and protection of what is coming into being, in the most mundane sense, pregnancy shelters the baby until it is ready to enter this world. There is no safer place for us, as living things, as the womb. It was a time of secrecy, silence and utter safety and dependence. We knew implicitly that our mothers going to exceptional lengths, doing all they could to protect us, and although we cannot consciously remember this experience, it is still accessible to us through deep meditation and work with Berkano.
Motherhood, the wisdom that comes with maturity and the patience developed by nurturing children are all mental and spiritual strengths emphasised through use of this particular rune. While INGUZ represents the inner-child, Berkano represents the outer-child: the power of dependence, trust and the certainty of love. While connecting with one’s own inner-child may be more in harmony with the domain of INGUZ, the endeavor of seeing the inner-child of all beings, in the outer-world, is a quest undertaken as the understanding of Berkano broadens.
Secrecy with Berkano is not a wicked thing, but a power that can be used to great effect. It is the mastery of silence as a device for listening and protecting. It is a life giving rune, so is best used to assist life, to heal and to protect. It will enhance efforts to give oneself, and others, the time and space they need to grow on their own. The creation of time and space is a magical act done consciously through restraint and silence, even concealment of one’s hand in the affair altogether. This ability is magical, requires great humility and is an enviable feminine power.
“eh-was” – Literally: “Horse” – Esoteric: Trust.
|Rune of harmonious teamwork and trust. Rune of pairs of entities working together for a common goal.|
Psi: Trust between individual entities, sexuality.
Energy: Trust, cooperation, the Fetch.
Mundane: Animals, teamwork, friendship.
Divinations: Harmony, teamwork, trust, marriage, loyalty, a friend; or duplication, disharmony, mistrust, betrayal, nightmares, indecision, an enemy.
Ability to detect deceit and uncover subtle queues.
Facilitates swiftness in every regard.
Establishing trust and bonds with animals (ie. horse whisperers).
Ehwaz symbolises all the various bodies as vehicles for travel and movement. Twins represent the Sacred Marriage of the Inner and the Outer, or mind and body. The horse and rider metaphor is the best way to represent the symbiotic relationship between two individualised, yet harmonious beings. Anyone who has had the least exposure to the value of a horse to a person, family or clan would understand the esoteric code hidden within Ehwaz.
Ehwaz is not force, but persuasion, suggestion and co-operation. Control issues that birth questions such as ‘who is the boss?’ are settled and accepted with assistance of this rune. Making the best of a situation, making the necessary adjustments to a relationship and the finding of means are frequent activities that focus on Ehwaz can assist. In every way it represents flexibility, adaptability, pragmatism. It is the activation and use of instinct, using gut over the analysis or reasoning of MANNAZ or ANSUZ.
The loyalty, trust and dependence build between two partners with each passing day forms a web of emotional and spiritual one-on-one connections which becomes highly resilient as time goes on. Genuine friendship develops, for it’s own sake, the kind of bond we die for. It is the combination of emotional energies with the intellectual spark to produce harmonious partnership represents the friendship with parents blossoming upon adulthood.
Ehwaz is particularly relevant to the energies which bond man and woman together in lawful marriage. Its energies can unify two people in a strong cooperative relationship and attract the right persons for partnership in work, business, teams or service.
Ehwaz is the rune of the psycho-spiritual construct called the Fetch. Your Fetch is the opposite gender as you, inactive in the material plane but still quite accessible within your spirit. Activating the Fetch can assist you in attracting to yourself the right partner as your life mate. It will also refresh an existing marriage or committed relationship by re-energising the two conscious minds of the partners in the coupling.
Most people do not realise that the answer to the great mysteries of the opposite sex are found within their own mental make-up when a communication link is established between oneself and one’s Fetch. One might imagine the Fetch, in modern terms, as the dormant DNA which is still active on a psychic level, though the physical manifestation has already chosen and developed its gender. Likewise, we are able to create an emotional understanding with any other human being, because within ourselves, we find the Other.
“Log-uhz” – Literally: “Water” or Ocean – Esoteric: Unconscious, Collective Memory.
|Rune of the unconscious context of becoming or the evolutionary process. Rune of Life’s longing for itself.|
Psi: Emotion, psychic powers, unconscious mental processes, love, dreaming.
Energy: Life energy, ocean spirit, origins of life, collective unconscious, the astral plane, love as unity, evolution.
Mundane: Water, imagination, occultism, dreams.
Divinations: Life, passing a test, sea of vitality and of the unconscious growth, memory, dreams; or fear, circular motion, avoidance, withering, depression, manipulations, emotional blackmail, lack of moral fiber, fantasy, poison, toxicity
Mastery of emotion in order to shape wyrd.
Guidance through difficult initiatory tests, ie. initiation into life.
Increase in vitality and life force.
Communication between your conscious mind to another’s unconscious mind.
Development of ‘second sight’ or prophetic wisdom.
All powers of dreaming (lucid dreams, astral projection)
Water is the symbol of unconscious and invisible Life forces. All of life is dependent on water, and therefore Laguz represents the universal ocean, the supreme unity of all life: past, present and future. The dream state and the Jungian “shadow” element both linger beneath its surface, and the human unconscious is revealed when explored and exposed to the conscious mind. We ‘take the plunge’. To the runic initiate the unconscious forces are controlled for good use through mastery of runic skills. Still, the initiate understands the potency of the unconscious sea to break loose from its control and is ever watchful.
The substance of Laguz is everywhere present, pervades all things and underlies all manifestation. It is the living energy out of which everything is made. It sustains and enriches any idea that is projected into it. The ability to see clairvoyantly and into the future are psychic talents associated with Laguz, as is protection from physical and psychic poisons.
The rune can be used in establishing a communications link from your conscious mind, under wilful intent, to the unconscious mind of another. Caution and much wisdom must be exercised in such subtle manipulations.
Water is a psychically chargeable medium, and this includes all vital liquids such as blood and spittle. These are the fluids that carry your Life Force and act as a bonding medium for many, if not all, of your psycho-spiritual constructs.
“Hag-all-az” – Literally: “Hail” or “Hailstone” – Esoteric: Crisis or Radical Change.
|Key Concepts: Hailstones, crisis and catastrophe, disruption, radical change, destructive elements of nature, severe weather, the uncontrollable, unavoidable unpleasantness, Jungian shadow, psychoanalysis, regression, acceptance of the unalterable|
Psi: Disruption, change, personal past.
Energy: Power beyond human ability to harness, perfect pattern, seed formation, objective confrontation, destructive natural forces, chaos.
Mundane: Bad weather, obstacles, surprises, shelter.
Divinations: Change according to ideals, changes for the long-term good, controlled crisis, corrections, completion, inner harmony; or catastrophe, crisis, stagnation, loss of power, loss of property, short-term disappointment, victim-consciousness, obsession with the past, blame.
The inevitability of Fate, Wyrd, Orlog.
Evolutionary progress and operations of becoming.
The outworking of a perfect pattern.
Protection through banishing or exorcising disharmonious patterns, protection.
Awareness of the unconscious ideas for eventual processing.
Causing discomfort in others by awakening their own subconscious ‘garbage’.
Hagalaz signals a major shift of energies as the Elder Futhark begins its second row of aetts. Hagalaz is the rune of objective confrontation with past patterns. It will uncover the vast flow of energies around and through human energy systems. Its nature is completely impersonal and it represents power generally beyond human ability to harness.
Hail shocks you with stinging hardness (confrontation) then it melts into water which creates germination of seeds (transformation). The ancients describe hail as a grain rather than as ice, thus creating a metaphor for a deeper truth of life. It contains the seed of all the other runic energies and this can be seen in its other form, a six-fold snowflake. Spiritual awakening often comes from times of deep crisis.
As the ninth rune, Hagalaz has a special place in the ordering, as nine has particular significance in the elder futhark. Nine signals completion of a perfect pattern. Nine months is one of nature’s most regular human cycles, that of the gestation period for a baby in a mother’s womb. In this sense it is a protective rune, and assists us in acceptance of the unalterable, the seeking of shelter and patience while things blow over.
Hagalaz can be used as a force of repulsion or banishment. It is used in work to process and dispel the effects of subconscious baggage and ‘shadow elements’ so that your life pattern can carry itself forward in its pure form. Hagalaz has the magical energy of a ‘spring cleaning’. It reveals the personal past, past lives and early environmental factors in childhood development. It follows that LAGAZ, from which hail is ultimately made, is also a rune of profound unconscious exploration and personal depth.
Hagalaz can be used as a curse against others, aimed to bring up their suppressed inner conflicts and thus impeding them. It is a clean curse, as the recipient is only experiencing the ill effects of their own accountability. It is a dark, feminine power and can been associated with witchcraft and destructive female magic.
“Ride-ho” – Literally: “Ride” or “Wagon” – Esoteric: Journey.
|Key Concepts: The journey of Life, stories, heroism, means of transportation, right action, movement, motion, taking charge, being in control, initiative, adventure, decision-making, direction, counsel, the right path, the inner compass, leadership, kingship, nobility held by merit, moral responsibility, integrity, respect for the rights of others, innate knowledge of right and wrong, celestial procession, rituals.|
Psi: The story ‘form’ in the psyche, freedom from imprisonment, self-mastery.
Energy: Cosmic cyclical law, rhythm, presence (active).
Mundane: Street-smarts, common sense, travel, movement, taking action.
Divinations: Rationality, sound advice, action, justice, ordered growth, journey; or crisis, rigidity, stasis, injustice, irrationality, control freak, hypocrisy, wrongful imprisonment, restlessness.
Access to “inner advice” and our inner compass, following the heart.
Movement within one’s natural limits.
Blending with personal and world rhythms, consciousness of right and natural processes.
Mastery of circumstance and control of situations, taking the lead.
Establishment of creative rhythm in activities.
Protection while traveling.
Decision-making followed by immediate action.
Raidho is the rune of ordered movement of energies in time and space as it pertains to human awareness. It is the rune of leading by example and of actions that speak louder than words. Though ANSUZ may tell the stories, Raidho lives the stories. It represents our deepest personal life journey and the ultimate failures of language to communicate our experience to others. Something to notice about Raidho is the habitual way in which our minds concoct story and identity.
Use Raidho to recognise the direction in which your daily life pulls you, for there is a compass within you that can be tapped into using the energy of this rune. Following your interests and your love, your greatest wishes and dreams, is the best way to read the Raidho compass of the inner world. By meditating on Raidho you will begin to see time and space as a personal reality rather than something imposed on you from outside. You will also be able to realistically assess your potential and gain knowledge of limits and physical laws.
To enter the present is to journey away from unnecessary fears and past experiences that act as too much baggage to travel effectively with. Whether physical travel, inner travel or travel ‘through time’, Raidho is an energy that is always active within our lives, from an epic trip around the world, to a visit to the refrigerator for a snack, so the journey into the present moment is always accessible to us, whether we sit in quiet meditation or are mindful of our movements and actions.
The old ways made it easier for ancient people to live in the present moment, a skill most valuable in the practice of esoteric arts. Because of its capacity to bring focus and awareness to the present, Raidho will expose hidden dangers along the path, so that no strange place or new circumstance can sneak up on us during our travels.
Raidho teaches of the correct balance between respecting our own rights, and the rights of others. It is linked to kingship, leadership and nobility, which are not acquired by virtue of birth but earned or held by merit. A context of moral responsibility and integrity accompany all use of this energy. It is similar in this respect to TIWAZ.
“Thor-is-as” – Literally: “Thurses” or “Giants” – Esoteric: Strong one, Resistance
|Key Concepts: Unconscious forces, sociological forces, Thor, Loki as giant, chaos, destruction by natural forces, complexities of aggression, conflicts, disputes, psychological problems, lightning, breakthrough, aggressive male sexuality, battering down barriers, thorn of awakening, trouble, enthusiasm.|
Psi: Enthusiasm, struggle against unconsciousness, male sexual prowess.
Energy: Enthusiasm, self-empowerment, chaos, active defensive force, breaker of resistance, destructive storms.
Mundane: Storms, tools, weapons, conflict.
Divinations: Reactive force, directed force, vital eroticism, regenerative catalyst, constructive conflict; or danger, defenselessness, compulsion, betrayal, dullness, disease, explosive violence, annoyance, strife.
Awakening of the will to action.
Breaking resistance of blockages in body, mind and spirit.
Increased potency and prowess in romantic relationships.
Understanding of the division and separation of all things.
Aiming the use of psychic force.
The combination of right/left brain processes for generating powerful realisation.
It’s not uncommon for the rune meaning of Thurisaz to be described as a thorn that is most sharp, a grim and evil thing to take grip on or touch. However, it is representative of Thor and his hammer, protecting Asgard from the thurses, giants who resist the expansion of consciousness throughout the multiverse. In every respect, the energies of Thurisaz are a forceful enemy of unconsciousness, ignorance and the rule of brute violence. Thurisaz represents the warrior that combines consciousness and wisdom with matters requiring force. Thor is the champion god of courageous and free human beings and the ultimate physical fighting force.
Thurisaz is also a fertility rune in the sense that it breaks down the barren and hard, rocky realms into workable soil as to bring fruitfulness to crops and wombs. The best mental state for working with the rune is enthusiasm, rather than anger or fear, as the former will much better sustain right awareness and diminish the potential danger of dealing with strong Thurisaz magic.
This early rune is representative of the use of tools and technology (so is KENAZ, to an extent), whether physical or psychological, especially as weapons of protection or active resistance against forces detrimental to the expansion of consciousness and awareness signified by DAGAZ. Human consciousness is a state of mind that evolved from pre-existing state of unconscious which continually strives to re-establish itself. Unless we promote consciousness actively in living out our lives we will succumb to entropy.
The power of Thurisaz is easily located because it is on the borderline, the frontier of consciousness. It is wise to never start a fight, but if one has started, be sure to finish it.
“Day-gahz” – Literally: “Day” or Dawn – Esoteric: Awakening.
|Rune of the hyper-consciousness. The process of concept becoming realised.|
Psi: Paradoxical truth, incommunicable experience, conceptual realisation, Enlightenment, satori.
Energy: Twilight/dawn polarity, non-dual reality, unity, synthesis, transmutation.
Mundane: Another day, daylight, the inevitability of dawn.
Divinations: Awakening, awareness, hope-happiness, the ideal, paradigm shift; or lack of vision, sleep, blindness, hopelessness, cataclysmic change.
Reception of mystical inspiration – the gift of Odin.
Disappearance and the act of becoming the invisible.
Invisibility as an organising principle of Higher Consciousness.
Synthesis of right-left brain dynamics..
Transformation of one thing into its opposite.
Integration of female and male into complete being
Dagaz is the counterpart to the rune Jera. Both refer to time, Jera on an annual cycle and Dagaz on a daily cycle. Both are runes of change – Jera is a rune of gentle change, Dagaz is a rune of bold change, for example, the burst of light at the moment of illumination. It contains within its energies the experience called ‘satori’, a spiritual awakening experience common in all cultures.
Archaeological evidence proves that Dagaz has been used as a symbol of Light for more than four thousand years. It is the rune of hyper-consciousness. Achievement of this state of mind SEEMS to be a relatively rare occurrence in human life at this stage of evolution. When chronicled, it marks the beginnings of the mission of a World Savior on Earth.
Much has been written on the psychology and metaphysics of uniting left and right brain functions. Dagaz holds dominion over this union and is a tool that gives you great potency for present awareness and future growth. It is reminiscent of the lemniscate, the symbol of infinity, and the moebius strip, timelessness and illimitable potential, as well as an overturned hourglass.
The ‘point of poise’ entails balancing polarities so that all mystery is revealed to consciousness. The transformation of paradox into non-dual awareness occurs with Dagaz energies. It is to find the center between two extremes and maintaining a state of mind undisturbed by any mental or emotional storm. At the center, all power is to be found and equilibrium is a desirable attainment. This practice eventually leads to the practitioner no longer requiring a single right or wrong answer to the mysteries and many truths can exist complimentary to one another. No one single belief or viewpoint is sufficient and so all beliefs and viewpoints can be progressively abandoned. In the stillness and silent questioning of the mind that is left behind, all truth resounds.
Dagaz can be used to gain absolute stillness. It is invisible transforming power. The vibrational patterns of the self, or an object can be dampened so that the perception of material things to the human eye grow faint. Finding this point of poise takes great skill and practice with Dagaz but mastery of this rune of enlightenment leads down the path of disappearance. Mastery of invisibility leads to the understanding of existence through its opposite: non-existence.
An interesting thing to keep in mind is that the futhark has no rune for the night or for the moon. These are absences, not things. Darkness is not darkness, it is a quality of the light. The sun is always ‘there’, it is our world that spins around and causes the illusion that it is not. As well, the light of the moon is a reflection of the sun’s light. There is little reason to think that the ancients were not aware of this, even mathematically. “Darkness is not darkness” is a wonderful saying to meditate upon, and will reveal to the seeker that there is no true opposites as we are often convinced of, but only polarities within the supreme mystery of existence.
“Iss-ah” – Literally: “Ice” – Esoteric: Stasis, Stillness.
|Rune of concentration of things in a static or frozen state. Rune of stillness and the Ego-Self.|
Psi: Mental faculties, focus, ego, self-image/self-identity
Energy: Stillness, contraction, stasis.
Mundane: Cold, self-preservation, harsh reality.
Divinations: Concentrated self, ego-consciousness, self-control, unity of being; or egomania, dullness, blindness, dissipation, immobility, self-centeredness, lack of change, psychopathy.
Halting of unwanted dynamic forces as an act of self-defense (ard against demonic influences).
Basic ego integration within a balanced multiversal system.
Power of control and constraint over other wights (entities), emotional outbursts.
Focus of the will into single-minded action.
Ice is beautiful and treacherous. It lulls the traveler to sleep with its peace and serenity. Nice locks life under its surface and keeps it motionless. However, there is little else as powerful as the slow moving glacier, which can tear apart even the bedrock as it inches forward. Although ice generally shows itself as it is, with little glamor, there is little so treacherous as a weak spot in the ice that will swallow the unwary with surprising swiftness, and soon enough leave hardly a trace. The hidden part of an iceberg, which represents 90% of its bulk, can remain hidden and gut a ship with little mercy. This is how the ancients saw ice: inimical, even hostile to life. Therefore this third rune of the second aett is yet another rune that represents an aspect of the harshness of reality.
In the most elementary dynamic, Isa is a building block of the physical world, slowing down fire energy and solidifying it.
Isa is a rune of control. As your ego-self grows in strength through spiritual thinking and training, this construct matures into the individualised YOU (or the ‘I’).
There is a dark side to this enhancement of ego as you can see by the dark side of Isa. When not kept under control, the ego-self can take a path into ego-trips of self-aggrandisement, superficial desire and fall for the glitter of false trappings instead of real spiritual substance. Those who claim to know with too much certainty: beware!
Isa will control and quiet emotional distress, but be wary! It will not eliminate any persistent root cause of unpleasant circumstance. But it can help in extending stillness into your aura. Isa is particularly useful in attaining stillness of presence.
“So-iölo” – Literally: “Sun” (Sol) – Esoteric: wholeness, success.
|Rune of guidance, goal setting and success.|
Psi: Central nervous system, seat of the soul, revelation, wholeness.
Energy: Sun-wheel, strengthening the hvel/charka, cosmic energies, motivation, life-giving force, action.
Mundane: Sunlight, fire, meeting of goals, confidence, taking action.
Divinations: Guidance, hope, success, goals, honor, life purpose, faith in outcomes; or false goals, bad advice, false success, gullibility, loss of goals.
Transmutation of thought into energy for action.
Activating highest values.
Strengthening of psychic centers (hvel aka Chakras).
Increase in spiritual will and optimal health.
Guidance through the pathways, “enlightenment”.
Victory and success through individual will.
It is the rune of the sun. It is the counter-force to cosmic ice in the rune Isa. Sowilo represents the force of fire in the physical and mental world. It promotes invigoration, dedication, optimism and persistence in any endeavour. It will ward against the harmful opinions of others to keep the heart focused on its purpose.
The hvel (Old Norse term equivalent to the Sanskrit word chakra) are the spinning energy wheels in your body. They look like miniature suns to the psychic eye. By increasing the capacity of the hvel to handle greater flow of megin energy leads to optimum health levels and advanced psychic capabilities.
The ancient mystics were intuitively aware that the sun provides this planetary system and its life forms with many diverse cosmic energies necessary for the evolution of the life force, and indeed, it is the power of the sun (and stars) that encompasses the dynamic energies inherent in all things within its system, as once it was all being forced within its unfathomably hot furnace. Sowilo exposes matters to the clear light of day and strikes suddenly like lightning in a controlled and centred burst of overwhelming, massive action.