"Viking" runes, modern meanings (II)


We continue with the quick description of modern runes. We remember that this article was divided into two parts, if you do not find a rune, you can find it in the first part.

ᛢ Eoh or Eihwaz is the rune of time. Its name and shape symbolize a Yew, a sacred tree in Europe for its evergreen foliage, its wood and its poisonous fruits, which only birds can eat. It is associated with the Yggdrasil tree and Alfader, the creator god who later associated/manifested himself as Odin/Wotan. Its meaning is success over time, just as a tree takes time to grow. The rune symbolizes the roots, trunk and crown of the tree. It announces moments in which you will think about giving up, but urges you to continue, as it indicates that the goal will be achieved. Talk about long and expensive processes, but with guaranteed success. It is considered a positive rune, and does not have an inverted form.

ᛈ Perth, Perthro or Peorth is a rune that speaks of beginnings, opportunities, chance and karma. Its meaning is uncertain today, since while its etymology seems to refer to some fruit tree, its stanza in the runic poems relates it to some entertainment in the tavern: that is why it has been related to a dice cup. As for the associated divinities, attempts have been made to unite her with Mimir, god of wisdom, or the Norns, weavers of destiny. The Perthro rune can be considered a mysterious answer that refers to the person's luck and expectations. Its meaning is unexpected joy, new beginnings, profits and rewards (rewards or sales that were no longer counted on, for example). The rune encourages the person to take the initiative.

Inverted Perth is the complete opposite: luck is gone, everything that could be done or won has already been done. It is not a completely negative rune, since the closing of one stage is followed by the beginning of another. However, we cannot know this new stage, we simply know that the one we were in has ended, so it is advisable to be cautious from that moment on. It also indicates the need for patience.

ᛉ Algiz is the rune of protection. Its meaning is the yew tree, but also "elk", probably referring to some reeds that received this name because of their ending in several points. It is believed that the meaning of protection was given because those materials were used for shields, or the rune to decorate them. It could also be because its shape is reminiscent of the forehead of a helmet, with the nose guard. On the other hand, we have already seen that the yew is a sacred tree, so its association with Yggdrasil or with the branches of the crown of a tree, which protect from rain and sun, would also be valid interpretations. Obviously it is a rune with great amulet value. Its meaning in divination is prevention, courage combined with calculation and preparation. Warns that an act, whatever it may be, is of no use if it is not evaluated and meditated, to be safe.

Algiz inverted indicates that it is not the time to make decisions. Whatever is done at this time will not turn out as expected, there are things that still need to be better prepared. It announces failures, or at most, minimal achievements. It's not about being patient, but about trying a little harder to achieve a clearly positive result.

ᛋ Sowilo or Sigel is the rune of the Sun as divinity. It is light, energy, life, success, victory. It is a totally positive rune. Any step taken at this moment will have a good result, in any area: health, money, work, studies, love... Its shape symbolizes a ray of sunshine, but also the light of the storm, since the energy without control can be destructive. These runlas were used by the SS of Nazi Germany (Schutzstaffel, protection squad) with the sense of Triumph given to them by Guido von List. This rune does not have an inverted position, so, although it is always positive, the runes around it will define the intensity of its influence.

ᛏ Tiwaz or Tyr is the rune of victory in combat. Etymologically it is linked to the word deus/divus (god). It is a rune related to blacksmith tools, a sword, as Tyr was an Icelandic god of battle, and the polar star. It is a rune that speaks of success and victory in all aspects of life. It is also a rune of protection, and several runic spells (alu) have been attested with the union or superimposition of Tyr runes. (See Galdr Norse magic article)

In an inverted position, the rune will communicate failures, the results will not be as expected. Maybe what you are looking for is not appropriate at that moment. It is also a message of justice, of sheathing the sword and not giving in to rage, revenge or despair.

ᛒ Berkana is the rune of fertility. It is related to the birch (Anglo-Saxon Birch) and to the goddess of spring, Ostara or Eostra, whose etymology is linked to that of East, which is where the sun rises (lat. orior, to be born). Its shape has been interpreted as the breasts of Mother Earth, or as the profile of a pregnant woman. In any case, it is a positive rune, which speaks of birth and rebirth, in all environments: from the birth of a baby to the idea of a business, everything that is about to be born is positive. The waiting time is over. This rune is used as an amulet by women who want a child, as well as those who begin difficult projects.

Inverted Berkana warns of a longer waiting time than calculated. These may be physical or mental obstacles, which will take a while to overcome, although success is guaranteed once overcome. Likewise, it speaks of rebirth, because even if a failure or a detour from the path has occurred, the possibility of resuming it or continuing on a better path still exists.

ᛖ Ehwaz is the rune of movement. According to some, it symbolizes the constellation of Gemini, as well as divine twins from mythology, however, given its meaning, the meaning of a horse, or two horses looking at each other, seems more accurate. Their associated divinities are actually divine horses. It is a rune that indicates progress, flow, movement, good direction and good work. Everything is going well and is on the right track, projects, relationships, learning, health conditions, etc., will advance favorably and with a certain speed.

Ehwaz inverted, on the other hand, indicates a bad path, obstacles, stopping, stumbles. The progress of affairs will be slow and full of problems. You may have to stop and go back to an earlier point to start from where the problems started. Patience and redoing things should not be seen as something negative.

ᛗ Mannaz is the rune of the Self, of the individual, of the human being. It has a rarely used variant consisting of a vertical line and a rounded shape at the top, so that it looks more like a person. For some they are two mirrored Wunjo runes. It is associated with the divinity Mannus, or with Heimdall, trying to see a bridge in the rune. It is a rune of personal growth, inner work, willpower, it indicates that it is the right time for reflection and to initiate important personal changes or transformations. It speaks of maturity and understanding, everything that you want to carry out will be well analyzed and known.

Mannaz inverted warns of haste, of lack of reflection or preparation, on a personal level, for what is going to come. It encourages waiting, patience. There are discussions and personal problems to come, errors and mistakes that will actually be the product of a lack of awareness, tranquility or willpower. It is not the appropriate time for transcendental changes.

ᛚ Laguz is the rune of water (lake, although for some it symbolizes a small waterfall), it is the rune of life and also death. It is a "feminine" rune, associated with aquatic goddesses, and with prototypical feminine aspects such as fertility, intuition, creativity, emotions. Its meaning is adaptability, the flow of relationships and thoughts. It is also a rune of cleansing and purification, to start something new or to get rid of something old.

Inverted laguz cancels all positive connotations. There is a lack of feelings and the ability to adapt, there is no imagination or ideas and nothing of what is desired is achieved. A dark and depressive time is coming, but even so change is intrinsic to the rune, and the situation will reverse.

ᛝ Inguz or Ingwaz is the rune of that which has been completed. It is a positive rune that speaks of achieving goals, well-being at home and in relationships. Its shape is reminiscent of several runes, linked into one, so their meanings are added: two Gebo runes, two intertwined Kano runes, an Othalaz rune with superimposed reflection... Inguz is linked to the god Ing-Freyr, god of the sun, summer rain and fertility, also identified as a mythical ancestor of the Swedish dynasty. The meaning of this rune is always good, it does not have an inverted form. He speaks of the present moment as the end of a cycle that began some time ago, which now brings the expected fruits and benefits, together with a time of stability.

ᛟ Othila or Othalaz is the rune of inheritance (material and immaterial) and private property. According to some, it symbolizes a fence. It does not appear in rune poems and has no god associated with its name, although Mimir, the god of wisdom, is linked to this rune as the basis of its meaning. It is a rune that speaks of the material and spiritual goods that we receive from our family, community and culture. It can indicate the acquisition of a property or good that was desired, which is why it is used as a talisman to attract money or good luck in certain economic areas. It also talks about family reunions, inheritances, parties with friends…

Inverted Othila is a warning against lack of care and respect for what you have. It is waste, carelessness, abandonment of a legacy. The rune warns that any matter at hand is being handled poorly due to a lack of awareness of what we have around us. Also, that although there are bad things in our family or our past, they are things that we have been a part of and learned from, and separating from it is not bad as long as it is not denied.

Dagaz is the rune of positive change. It represents the light of day, which is why it is identified with the god Balder. Others see the infinity symbol or a double axe, which would have a similar meaning to the ying yang, in terms of the balance of forces. Dagaz, however, only brings positive connotations, it talks about evolution, transformation, changes, improvements, good news. The light is metaphorical, in that the situation is illuminated to bring clarity of mind and spirit, as well as periods of prosperity, joy, tranquility... As an amulet, the dagaz rune is used in all areas, including health and work It is also used to bring about a beneficial change or simply attract luck. Dagaz does not have an inverted form, so its meaning is always good, even surrounded by other negative runes, since it indicates that the conclusion of the matter will have something positive to be grateful for.

The white rune or Odin rune continues to be a mystery to many. It is very likely that the blank Rune was the product of modern reflection on Odin's sacrifice, on the need for a rune that reflected, like the Hanged Man in the Tarot, that pause, that effort, that need and the willpower to carry out a sacrifice and a transcendental change. But of course, the runic alphabets were limited, so a blank rune was, on the other hand, the best way to represent that emptiness, everything and nothing. Ralph Blum is probably the first to openly manifest this new rune, despite the fact that, in his case, the white rune happens to be number 24, that is, the one that fulfills a numerological need.

Be that as it may, the rune has the meaning of personal sacrifice, of a relevant change, and at the same time, of the need to stop and introspect, analyze the present moment and establish vital goals, even if this means starting from scratch, or rethinking. things that were once discarded out of pride or innocence.

As has been seen throughout these two articles, modern runes have complex meanings that unite the messages and symbolism of the unique ancient poems with the needs of a modern society, which after all still has very similar concerns about its physical and spiritual well-being. Like Tarot and other means of divination, runes divide their meaning between messages from the future and a deep analysis of the human psyche.

Pietro V. Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


-Blum, R. The book of runes, Edaf, 2006

-Montfourt, P.R. Nordic Runes. Understanding, Casting, and Interpreting the Ancient Viking Oracle. Inner Traditions ed. 2003

-Rugdley, R. The return of Odin: the Modern Renaissance of Pagan Imagination, Inner Traditions, Rochester, 2006

Related Posts:

> "Viking" runes, modern meanings (I)

> Ancient runic meanings

>Armanen runes

>Ancient runic magic

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