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Mannaz is the rune of humanity. It represents the vessel in which the spirit is carried and the critical analysis we can apply to the world around us. Mannaz is the ability to articulate and grasp esoteric knowledge, become aware of natures’ patterns, and form practical responses to those patterns. It is a rune of magical abilities and superior memory; associated with knowledge, thinking, and interdependence with the forces of nature.
Mannaz represents the unique conductivity, receptiveness and intellectual capacity within us. It also symbolizes the importance of finding control over that heavenly conductivity. Some say this means to equalize the “male” and “female” aspects of the self, but I think this control is more concentrated within that category in which we fit. Both energies (male/female) are valuable as separate entities in their own right; each having their own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and requirements. The Mannaz rune represents those energies coming together in the creation and preservation of the divine spark.
Overlooking, renouncing or ignoring the powers of the sexes in magic (or spirituality) is to miss the divinity held within both individually. In this respect, we should celebrate our physical incarnation and hold our biological strengths in high regard; recognizing the powers held within them both. Nature has suggested separate requirements for the sexes, and these are all necessary for the manifestation, cultivation and propulsion of Humanity. Mannaz signifies our journeys coming together equally to manifest creation and ascension.
Mannaz is the rune of intellect, logic and reason. Mannaz represents the sacred structure of mankind; symbolizing the intelligence, awareness and technical abilities we possess. These abilities distinguish humanity from the rest of the animal kingdom, who we are closely associated with in many ways, shapes, and forms. In the order of the Futhark, the Mannaz rune appears right after the (ᛖ) rune Ehwaz, which symbolizes animals. This close proximity (and similar shape) suggest a similar origin or purpose, but distinct separation.
Nauthiz is the rune of need; a fairly vague and unclear rune when approached for the first time. However, this “need” has a clear, yet deep and esoteric connotation associated with it. Nauthiz is above all, a force of resistance and resilience. It symbolizes obstacles within our lives, and the deep inherent “need” for these obstacles in order for us to grow. This is a required force of resistance, causing ones inner fire to be cultivated and strengthened.
Nauthiz can be applied to conflicts of the material or spiritual, symbolizing the changes happening during these conflicts. The conquering of these forces provides the “need-fire” creation within us; the unlocked power and function of Nauthiz. With this fire within us, we can keep climbing the ladder of defeated obstacles, eventually freeing ourselves of the need to incarnate; riding forever on the Eternal Winds of Wotan. Nauthiz symbolizes the hardships required for us to grow and reach further stages of development.
Without moments of darkness and uncertainty we would be robbed of our ability to grow and appreciate that growth. The only way to truly understand and strive for feelings of power and accomplishment is to be at odds with the possibility of failure; and perhaps even humiliation and shame. Nauthiz represents those moments in our lives when we have the opportunity to truly prove our worth to ourselves, and to the Gods. Nauthiz supplies us with moments to shine, as well as moments to fall.
Nauthiz is a rune of effort, or lack thereof. Nauthiz can be visualized with the saying “to light a fire under ones ass;” something that’s meant to combat stagnation and laziness. Obstacles can crush ones morality and inner fire, so we must be strong and keen to recognize these moments to show our strength and power of will. With persistence and consistency in action, we can achieve great feats and feelings of power.
By consistently conquering obstacles, we ensure our inner fire stays strong and bright, providing us with powerful and creative energies for the future. Nauthiz is a reminder of what must be done in order to achieve our goals, and a reminder of the hard work that lies ahead of us in our journey toward the Ultimate Truth. By constantly destroying the obstacles in front of us, we can remove any feelings of restraint and uncertainty in life; curbing all feelings of anxiety.
Nauthiz represents the development of your magical ability; meaning your ability to change and alter the circumstances in your life and surroundings. True ascension and spiritual cultivation is a warlike process on many levels, with your greatest enemy being yourself and your human condition. We battle the hindering aspects of ourselves in order to achieve victory and personal mastery; a state of ecstasy that is crystalline and unchangeable. Do not fear Nauthiz, for it is one of the greatest teachers and conduits of growth.
Uruz is the rune of the Aurochs; a strong, wild and ox-like creature that is now extinct. This rune, like the animal, represents strength, endurance and vitality; and it was necessary for young men to venture out and vanquish one of these animals on their own if they hoped to join the warrior class. Uruz should be applied when you need that extra boost of wild energy; that flare of frenzied strength to push through the perimeters of your limits and obstacles. Uruz represents fortitude and the ability to work long, hard hours; giving sweat and blood to the Earth.
Uruz teaches us to be sturdy, head strong, and not to waver in the face of threats. It encourages us to make ourselves strong in all ways; to become untamed forces of self actualization and creation. Uruz should be applied to the body, mind and spirit; for if one of these elements is weak, they all shall suffer. Let Uruz be a beacon of strength and solidarity for you to meditate on, acting as an anchor for your soul in rough and unsure times.
Uruz is a rune of superior vitality and stone like endurance. You can never be broken if you have unlocked the powers of Uruz within; and it will always act as a force of resilience against weakness and illness. Use this rune to acquire deeper levels of strength and power in all aspects of life, for it will guide you to a place of confidence and quell any insecure feelings that hinder your growth. Uruz should be used to invoke divine strength, rage and vigor; a useful ingredient to any spell of confidence and solidarity. Meditate on this rune often for iron-like qualities.
Uruz is a rune steeped in chaos, for it still holds the wild and raw energies of creation. The Aurochs, Cow, and Bull are all very important symbols to the Indo-European consciousness; symbolizing the initial nourishing elements and building blocks of creation. From most angles of Indo-European spirituality we encounter a primeval creature similar to the Aurochs; this being usually symbolizing the first organic creation of existence, or the source being who is slain and brings about the creation of the world as we know it. Whether you follow Germanic, Celtic, or Vedic sources, you can trace these myths back to an original bovine-like creature who is associated with (or responsible for) the construction and cultivation of the world. Uruz represents this key component of creation.
Fehu is the rune of wealth, reward and prosperity. It represents hard work, strength, and determination; meaning something like “cattle/money/property” in Proto-Germanic. Cows were the primary symbol of wealth during this time period, signifying a persons riches and material resource. Fehu signifies what a person has earned with their sweat and blood, and how well they maintain it. Fehu is a sign of good luck and success in business, work, and the cultivation of land.
Fehu is a rune of peaceful, domesticated and blissful living. It can be associated with the god Ingwaz (Frey) because it is associated with abundance, good luck and fertility. Fehu, like Ingwaz, is a rune closely connected with the Earth, and it can be used to draw energy from within it. Fehu is a rune of harmony and balance upon the Earth and its’ forces.
Fehu is a valuable rune to visualize when concerned with pecuniary subjects. It can bring immense insight into business affairs and also guide you through times of financial difficulty. Fehu can bring blessings of tangible advice, ideas and tools for you to apply to the material world. Meditate on this rune for strength, luck and financial success.
Fehu can also be a protective rune, as your wealth is a form of protection and security. Monetary security and abundance in resources is a key component to relaxed, blissful living; knowing all that is needed for survival can be provided easily and quickly. Fehu brings comfort and stability to an otherwise unpredictable and wild world. Fehu is calm, collected, and confident consistency.
Fehu is a rune of the physical world; a moveable and material concept based on earthly forces. It symbolizes the great prosperity, fertility and abundance of the Earth itself. Like Gebo (ᚷ), Fehu brings gifts of nourishment and encourages vitality. Meditate on this rune for good health, happy living, and fruitful harvests.
If you are following the Uthark method, Fehu is the last and final rune; meaning it is the final achievement of existence. If you are following the more common Futhark method, then Fehu will be the first rune you encounter, symbolizing the immediate obstacles we must overcome on our journey towards the Throne (ᛟ) of Enlightenment (ᛞ). With both of these concepts in mind, we can see that Fehu holds a very important place in the order of the runes; and it deserves especially close attention when approaching them in their entirety.
Perthro represents mysteries, the unknown, and forces at work beyond our understanding. It represents innate powers that we are unconscious of; unlocked over time by the workings of fate. The secrets of our destinies lie within this rune, and it can be seen as the rune of the Norns; the rulers of the past, present, and future of man. Perthro is the key to altering this destiny if applied correctly.
Perthro represents the secrets of existence we have yet to understand; the depths of the mind and soul which we have not yet deciphered. These mysteries are things we can unlock with right action and right application of Will; tests and trials for discovering the powers within oneself. Within Perthro rests the fathoms of our being, and through practice with the runes we will see every secret illuminated, and every mystery unclouded.
Perthro, in my opinion, is related to the Laguz (ᛚ) rune, and can show us to be patient and “go with the flow” of time. We cannot control everything and much has already been predetermined before we were born; don’t try and force unreasonable situations upon the world or yourself. Make sure your energy is used and cultivated in a critical and calculated way.
Perthro can be viewed as the “game” of life. When we are born (potentially from the womb of Perthro) we enter into a game of chance and risk; a game of probabilities. This game is played out upon the web of fate; the Web of Urd. Perthro can be used as a tool to change the courses of fate and probability, potentially altering the web in our favor.
Perthro should be meditated on when we have to leave the results of a situation for chance to decide. It is associated with the forces of luck, probability, and gambling. With the aspect of gambling in mind, it is wise to consult this rune when we count on the forces of luck or fate to be in our utmost favor.
Perthro is the rune of runes, meaning the rune of secrets. It can be related to the Well of Mimir; the well that Odin sacrifices his eye into. In this well, all secrets and answers are kept and all mystery is illuminated. With Perthro, we can clearly see the things that have come to pass and the things that will potentially come to pass if the Web remains in its’ current state; that state being unaltered further by sorcery or other interference.
Isaz is the rune of ice, frost, and timeless stillness. It emits cold and frigid energies, glistening with beauty and gem-like radiance. This serene state of being, symbolized by ice, is a metaphor for mastery over focus and concentration; concrete and locked in place. Isaz is a great rune to enhance clarity, composure, and focus.
Isaz can also mean to kill or “make cold.” Like the motionless ice, the corpse also lays still and frozen. Isaz is a powerful addition to runespells of destruction or death; for it not only focuses the energy directly on the target, but it enhances any runes near it with this clear and focused intent. When paired with runes like Thurisaz (ᚦ), it can create an intense spell of either defense or destruction.
Isaz is a direct communication with the frozen underworld, Niflheim. This realm of mist, fog, darkness, and ice is a place that exists within all of us; within our blood and spirit. This primordial darkness and cold is deep within our subconscious and DNA, locked deep within our memory. Our species experience of the desolate Ice Ages still haunt us to this day; recalling that sunless existence upon fields of ice. That experience has been imprinted on our genes, and our memories of that ancient darkness give us our appreciation for the light. For the light means nothing without the dark.
Isaz is akin to the very slow and destructive movements of the ice upon the Earth. Ice appears still and calm, but it holds a ruinous power within. Ice is a slow and silent destructive force; one that sneaks up on you over years and years of steady, consistent movement. This consistency of movement shapes and carves the landscape around it, creating the vast arrays of mountains, valleys, and formations upon the land.
Isaz is a catalyst for memories; for it changes, locks, and transports them through time. States of physical being can be trapped within this force and carried through the ages, making them discoverable and tangible; almost unchanged by hundreds or thousands of years of stagnation. With this aspect in mind, we can feel confident in using Isaz to contact other ages and eras; using it as a conductor to access the frozen layers of the past. Meditation with Isaz can be powerful and enlightening, and it must be done to remember, access, and decipher the cold and desolate parts of the psyche.
Wunjo is a rune of joy, ecstasy, serenity and pleasure. This rune radiates blissful happiness and uplifting feelings of goodness. Wunjo is smiles, laughter, fun, entertainment, amusement, and enjoyment. Meditate on this rune to balance any detrimental energies of unhappiness within.
Wunjo is prosperity, good fortune and a protective omen of well being. When present, you can almost always associate it with good luck and good news. Wunjo radiates positivity in all ways, representing delight and gratification in life. Wunjo is the clear, calm, bliss of the soul.
Wunjo is a spell against anxiety, depression, and fear. Good health, meditation, and sleep will encourage its’ energies; allowing it to radiate from you in all directions. When we can achieve this constant flow of energy, we can begin to heal any habits that have led us astray. Wunjo is the hope (and rope) we use to climb out of the dark and uninhabitable places of the mind.
Wunjo represents the right choices and right paths chosen. The more right choices we make, the more we experience Wunjo. It is our reward for correct behavior and application of Will; the fruit of alchemical harmony within. Wunjo is fulfillment and satisfaction; the feeling of achievement. When we are victorious in life, we are reminded of this blissful phenomenon present in Wunjo.
Wunjo also represents love and its’ reciprocation. In instances of unconditional affection, we are transported beyond the reaches of our bodies; entering a timeless sphere of ecstasy. This is the metaphysical creation of Wunjo and a direct means of communication with its’ energies. The more habitual work you do with Wunjo, the more enjoyment you will see in your life. This is a holy act of self preservation.
Wunjo keeps us optimistic and enthusiastic, acting as a compass for us in hard times. Just like short whims of true joy, we are destined to feel equally crippling moments of sorrow and anguish. Wunjo is the promise of better days to come and the beautiful reminder that emotions are impermanent; all things shall pass. All hope is never lost if you hold-fast in your efforts.
Jera represents the harvesting of your previously cultivated endeavors and energies. Whether that be physical, mental, or spiritual energy, it is the reaping of what you have sown. Jera shows you that your hard work has paid off; a feeling of accomplishment that should bring celebration and confidence. Jera represents patience and allowing things to come into fruition in due time; paired with hard work and determination.
Jera is a symbol of happiness and peace, a beacon of prosperity and success. It allows us to bask in the rewards of our efforts and feel hopeful for the future. We are given confidence and hope each time we complete a cycle upon the Earth; reaping rewards as we carefully master its’ patterns and habits. This act of harvesting provides the strength and will to trudge through the rough winter months of the year, which closely follow the final harvests.
Jera (and the harvest cycle) is shown by the sowing of crops, the maintaining of their growth and health, and the reaping of their benefits. It represents the breaking open of germinated space that has been cultivated to fruition. Jera is a rune of natures patterns, symbolizing a pivotal moment in the year when we make our last stand with the sun against the draconian winter. Jera is our final chance to prepare ourselves for the season of darkness.
Jera represents a release of internalized energy. When we’ve carefully maneuvered our ideas internally (with scrutiny and confidence), we can finally allow them to come forward and be released. Jera is the breaking of that closed internal space; a release from the internal realm. Jera is an external propulsion of force towards your goals and the harvesting of your mental, physical, and spiritual labor.
The Earth is alive, and its’ cycles of death and rebirth are also mimicked within us. As much as we harvest physical bounty in the fall, we also harvest metaphysical and spiritual bounty along with it. Like the falling leaves, we must also fall and wither. We must “die” with the sun and maneuver the realms of darkness; awaiting our triumphant rebirth in the spring!
Gebo represents the mutual exchange of gifts between individuals. It shows a connection and reciprocated respect between people who have accepted each other as extensions of themselves. True friends and allies become extra dimensions of our own personality and greater image; teammates and kinsfolk in the grand experience of life.
Gebo has no negative connotations. It symbolizes the construction of alliances and bonds between individuals. Through mutual actions, respect, and trust, these bonds of brotherhood and partnership are formed and upheld. Gebo is the exchange shared between those who these partnerships are made; an ebb and flow of giving and receiving. However, always make sure your sacrifice or exchange is being reciprocated; otherwise the powers of Gebo will vanish between you and the other party, and your energy will be drained from you.
Gebo represents the trading of skills, powers, and ideas. If you desire to know something an ally does, it is best to find out what you can offer in exchange for their knowledge. Learning something takes a lot of time and energy; the many hours one person spends learning a subject another person has spent on others, so why not share this hard work for the mutual benefit of both parties?
If your circle grows collectively, vigorously, and engages in different skill-sets, then your tribe will be infinitely more powerful, effective, and self sufficient. Every member should be a master of something, and every member should be putting in the hours everyday to excel in his or her own areas of expertise. Sharing ideas between members will keep everyone intelligent, skeptical, and thirsty for knowledge. Gebo is equal sacrifice between individuals for the progression of the tribe or group.
Mutual sacrifice is one of the most powerful forms of Gebo next to the passing of cherished objects from one person to another. Gebo is that feeling we have when we must give someone we love something that we care most about. Anytime someone goes out of their way to give us something they’ve made or means something to them, it creates a special bond that cannot be bought; only cherished and reciprocated. Gebo is love, gratification, and appreciation for those you care about; it should be honored and always held in high esteem.