Further Analysis of the Algiz Rune

Algiz

ᛉ / Z

Algiz is a rune with many meanings, names, and connotations. In Proto-Germanic, it goes by the name Elhaz or Algiz, both of which mean“elk”. This rune symbolizes the largest and most robust of the male deer, mirroring the antlers in shape and meaning. Algiz represents defense, vitality, strength, protection, health, fertility, and the entirety of the forest; that which the Elk overshadows. In reference to antlers, or horns, Algiz can be attributed to the Celtic god Cernunnos, the Horned One. In many pagan faiths, Cernunnos (Hurnaz) is the “Lord of the Forest” and the animals therein.

As with Cernunnos, Algiz can also be associated with hunting. The hunter must form a sacred relationship with these animals and their environment, studying them and meditating on them. The skilled hunter needs to not only have knowledge of these animals and their nature to be able to hunt them effectively, year after year, but also develop a deep respect and understanding of them; a dedication to observing their patterns and habits. The hunt is a sacred activity, whether for food or for sport. Algiz reminds us of this sacred relationship we must maintain with the forest and its’ beings to live in harmony amongst it; reaping rewards from it and giving back with reverence.

In Old English, this rune goes by the name eolh, meaning “elk or moose”. This is also reflected in Old Norse, with the word elgr, which also means “elk or moose”. This reverence of horned animals goes back to the root word of Algiz in the proto-Indo-European hel-, meaning “deer, elk, and elephant”. The “Old English Rune Poem” states:

“Elk sedge has a home oftest in a fen,

It waxes in water; wounds grimly,

Besmears with blood every man

Who lays anywise ahold of it.”

This is the only poem that refers to this rune as the Elk. Although here, its reference is regarding the sedge plant, which is barbed and sharp like the antlers of an elk. These sedge plants can cause one to bleed if grasped or stricken by its’ spines, as one would be by the antlers of the elk, if attacked. Sedge is commonly found amongst the “fen”, which is a type of marsh, bog, or swamp. This could be the allusion to the abundant life-force and robust natural energy associated with the elk, something our ancestors may have seen reflected in these natural environments.

It is safe to say that Algiz carries a certain masculine energy within it, separate from the other horned animal rune, Uruz. Algiz is more focused and less chaotic; fertility and health based on steady wisdom and not ancient fury. The grace of the elk or moose has long been an impressive force to behold, and they demand our respect. This beauty is inherent in the Algiz rune.

In the Younger Futhorc, this rune shifts names and sounds, being called in Old Norse, Madr, meaning “man”. This form of Algiz absorbs the Mannaz rune, taking it on as its focus and sound while retaining the core shape of Algiz. The “Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme” states:

“Man is an increase of earth;

Great is the grasp of the hawk.”

This poem invokes man as the “increase” of earth (dirt), something that refers to our transcendence over pure terrestrial matter. This points to mans divinity and difference from the rest of nature around him, as he has an “increased” awareness of his own existence. The second line alludes to the feet of the mighty hawk, who’s shape mirrors the rune in appearance.  

As with the Norwegian verse, the “Old Icelandic Rune Poem” echoes this rune as “man” as well, stating:

“Man is sport for man, and an increase of earth,

And the adorner of ships.”

This poem states man as “sport” for man, meaning competition, training, entertainment, and coaching. In short, we are pushed competitively by our fellow man towards greater heights, creating a “sport” out of life. The second part reflects the same notion as the Norwegian poem, referring to mans’ divinity. The last line, in my opinion, is a poetic reference to a fully armed ship, “adorned” with men as though decorated.

Although the name and focus shift drastically between the Old English and Scandinavian poems, they all resonate a tone of good health, virility, and power. This, we can say with confidence, embodies the “light” side of Algiz, while the “dark” side encompasses old age, degradation, and loss of health. This can be seen in the Proto-Germanic aldiz, which means “age, generation, lifetime”, and in the Gothic alþeis, meaning “old.”

There is no doubt that Algiz can also be attributed to the trees, as its shape mimics a tree (or man) with outstretched limbs. This is something that alludes to the Norse creation myth, where it is said that life was given to two posts of wood, creating the first two humans Ask (Ash) and Embla (Elm). Evidence can be found in our previously viewed proto-Indo-European root word hel-, which also refers to certain types of trees displaying a “bright” bark like alder, elm, and fir. Further evidence can be found in the Bulgarian elhá, meaning “fir, evergreen, or conifer”.

This brings us full circle in our journey through Algiz, as elk, moose and deer are all known for stripping bark from trees with their antlers. This implies a deeper connection between the hart (stag), the forest, and the trees themselves. This spirit, as stated before, can only be attributed wholly to one force: that force being Cernunnos/Hurnaz, the Horned One; the deified representation of life and the natural wilderness. Algiz, in this respect, can be viewed as a direct runic symbol for this god, as one would use Ansuz for Odin, or Thurisaz for Thor.

In conclusion, Algiz can be attributed many positive forces, such as good health, potency, vigor, and the ability to protect that which we care for. It can also take a darker form in the aspects of old age, bad health, and sterilization. Algiz takes the form of “man” in the Younger runes, representing divinity and power, something echoed in all forms of this rune, whether focused on man or elk. The majestic antlered beasts of the woods and plains have long fascinated mankind with their beauty and brilliance, and although we also hunt them, we have never forgotten that mystical energy that they carry within. A certain peace and stillness resides in these creatures, directly connected beneath their hooves to the spirit of the Earth itself, giving it expression through robust and vital presence and purpose.

Rune Ruminations

:

Lords of wealth,

And Earthly stride,

Pave the way,

Where wagons ride.

:

Drinking from,

Those robust horns,

Wild, merry,

Fighting forms.

:

Building high,

Crumbling low,

Bushes prick,

Protect from foe.

:

In the chest,

There lies a flame,

Howling wind,

Calls the name.

:

While in motion,

Keeping wits,

Travel far,

On land or ship.

:

On the wall,

The iron holds,

Illumination,

Of the soul.

:

Equal arms,

And roads to cross,

Giving and-

Accepting loss.

:

When one sits,

In total silence,

Peaceful sky,

And setting sun.

:

A sudden change,

To rouse the soul,

Under toil,

Life unfolds.

:

The lesson learned,

The wisdom gained,

From times of strife,

From times of strain.

:

That which blocks,

Can also shine,

Stillness heals,

And also binds.

:

Round and round,

The wheel turns,

Largest fests,

And wood to burn.

:

High and low,

Our arms in each,

Up and down,

Is all in reach.

:

Roll the dice,

Already known,

By the well,

There sits a crone.

:

Alert to all,

Wind or squall,

Blood rushes,

Antlers tall.

:

Sword of light,

Bolt on high,

Shine your rays,

From cloudless skies.

:

Measures made,

And painful trades,

Wars to win,

And debts to pay.

:

Silver, yellow-

Black and white,

To gaze upon,

In pure delight.

:

Trust in friend,

And never foe,

Ones we move with,

Bonds that grow.

:

Two wishes,

One reward,

Bridge of gaps,

Connecting fjords.

:

Roads upon,

All things connect,

The higher world,

And darkest depths.

:

Enclosed within,

A hidden space,

Seeds were sown,

Now taking shape.

:

Holy home,

Within the blood,

Sacred space,

From fire or flood.

:

At the end,

There shines a light,

Decimation,

Of the night.

Authority from Within

As the path of Odin, Shiva, Socrates, Lucifer, Buddha, and many others will reveal: authority, truth, and wisdom reside in our core, lying within us. Through the emulation and understanding of these most invulnerable and permanent forms, the essence of the Self stirring within every human incarnation, we get a glimpse into a higher, more focused, refined and crystalline sense of reason and awareness. Here is where all answers await, and where all questions of importance in time must be directed, as this is the only conveyer of truth, the eternal Self within all. This is the voice which calls the true seeker; drawing ever closer to its origin; striving to balance the earth and sky.

Irreplaceability, Mastery, and Glory

All men really want is to be irreplaceable.

Mans higher purpose is to become a master of something… a professional at X, a genius on Y, an authority on Z.

When it comes down to it, men want nothing more than to become irreplaceable. They want to know that no one can fill their shoes; that their existence has a meaning tied to their form. They want to know within that they have made a contribution and that their memory/legend will live on beyond the grave; whether or not one has heirs.

Man wants to conquer great obstacles, ascend the highest peaks, and soar into the blackness of space; each one wants his unique piece of the glory.

At a certain point, we must ask ourselves if this is really a bad or negative trait to possess. In reality, yes and no cannot answer this sufficiently, as it seems to be “natural” instinct for driven humans to behave like this.

Do we call the hunting aspects of a mountain lion negative or evil, even when they sometimes kill humans? No, it is natural for them to hunt any prey that is liable and in their territory.

The humans’ need to conquer seems to be akin to this type of instinctual, non conscious behavior; transcending a human “right” or “wrong” duality. Repressing this can be detrimental to one’s own life and the lives of those around him. But, through wisdom, it can be mastered and maneuvered with divine accuracy.

This view ties one in with the physical and metaphysical simultaneously, as one must achieve earthy victories in order to attain the metaphysical “legacy” one wants to build or acquire. In many ways, although this doesn’t seem to offer any sort of climax or end, it reinforces man’s role as the being “in the middle.” We exist within that context, as a wheel in between tracks, moving onward into eternity.

We emerge and dissolve into many forms, although, the deeper parts of our spirit continue to rise ever higher.

Wisdom of the Futhark

: Fehu is resource, wealth, and abundance.

: Uruz is oxen, pride of the marshes.

: Thurisaz builds it, and also destroys.

: Ansuz is wisdom, wind of the body.

: Raido is wagons, rhythm of seasons.

: Kenaz the torch-light, fire of knowledge.

: Gebo the crossing, of gifts between friends.

: Wunjo is wishes, and joy in the heart.

: Hagalaz changes, liquid to solid.

: Nauthiz the trial, building the fire.

: Isa the focus, crystalline patience.

: Jera is turning, wheat into flour.

: Eihwaz the greenest, spine of the forest.

: Perthro is chances, the womb of the fates.

: Algiz the antlers, guardian of groves.

: Sowilo the fire, that burns in the sky.

: Tiwaz the arrow, celestial light.

: Berkano is thin, the bones of the woods.

: Ehwaz is trusted, moving with partner.

: Mannaz the flesh-bridge, between Earth and Sky.

: Laguz the water, to heal and to quell.

: Ingwaz the homestead, gestation and growth.

: Othala in sight, home of the fathers.

: Dagaz the light-source, breaking the cycle.

Second Edition of ‘Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination’ Out Now!

Pleased to announce that edition two of “Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination” has been published and is now available worldwide via Amazon.

Personal copies have been ordered and should arrive in the next couple weeks.

This version includes a new cover, new chapter covering the Younger Futhorc runes, new bindrunes, and various additions to the previous content.

The book runs for 154 pages and is an intermediate read for those at any stage of rune work, research, and development.

If you have the first edition, leave a comment with something you were able to take away from the book. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

Help spread the word by sharing and feel free to leave a review, they help a lot.

Hailaz

Algiz – Rune of Protection

Algiz is a rune of great protection and luck. It is a beacon of superior health, strength, life force and vitality. Algiz represents the Elk and its’ immense power and energy, a living example of sovereign health and endurance. The powers of this rune are extremely beneficial when summoned and will protect you in endeavors of the body, mind, and spirit. The presence of Algiz is also an invitation of friendship, a beacon of communion for those familiar with Germanic tradition.

Algiz is a representation of the forest; the utmost prime example of thriving health and flourishing life force. When meditating on this rune, it is wise to visualize the entirety of the forest; from the leaves to the branches, the branches to the trunk, the trunk to the roots, and the roots to the soil; the soil linking all things together to function as one through networks of fungus… This is the vibration and mindset we must enter to fully thrive within ourselves and nature around us. It’s a head space that allows us to re-align with the natural order and heal ourselves of the modern sickness. All organisms have a place within nature and it is our job to find our own place.

Algiz is associated with the Hamingja (the hereditary spirit of luck associated with our bloodlines) and connection to the divine. It represents our families inherited luck and good fortune, increased or decreased by deeds of honor and greatness. Listen to all advice given to you and search for patterns within yourself and nature. Nothing is a coincidence.

Algiz reminds us to focus on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We must remember to nourish the body, mind, and soul equally. Likewise, we should always treat nature and wildlife in the same respect. Clean up trash when you can and assist in the protection of the wilderness, as it is our duty to the Gods, and to ourselves. Being as untraceable as we can in our ventures into the wild shows that we can still have a sustainable relationship with mother Jörð, and she might continue to keep us around for a while. While in nature, always remember the mantra, “Leave no trace.”

Staying conscious of the fact that we are just another piece in the cosmic puzzle, another link in the sentient chain of nature, will keep us connected to the natural reality and grounded to the soil. For many years, people have tried to isolate themselves and/or remove themselves from nature, consciously thinking that they are a separate entity entirely and not connected to one another. They view it rather as something that must be overcome and conquered, separated from the worldly ventures of man. We must heal and mend this “civilized” way of thinking and return to a simpler, healthier, and more balanced way of living, with nature by our side.