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.

New Book “Freyr’s Aett” Now Available!

This book is the first of a 3-part analysis of the deeper meanings hidden within the runes of the Elder Futhark. Through various avenues of mythology, language, and history, we will expand the scope and meanings present in each rune as it moves through time and culture. We will explore well known runic theories, as well as delve into uncharted and obscure territory that is meant to leave the reader with the sense of “vastness” present in each individual rune.

Throughout the project, we will examine common themes, philosophical musings, and an overall expansion of the deeper connotations that each rune encompasses. We will examine direct connections to the god Freyr and discuss many other deities present in this specific row of runes. Although the basics of rune theory are covered here as well, I don’t necessarily recommend this book to beginners or people new to Germanic Paganism. The reason being, is that this book may offer “too much information” and overwhelm someone without prior foundation in this esoteric system.

For beginners, I would recommend picking up my first rune book “Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination”. That book will give you a good introduction to the runes while offering glimpses into cryptic aspects inherent in each one. It gives multiple angles one can view each rune from based on one’s experience and how one identifies with the initial word, shape, and sound of each rune. However, if dedicated and willing, this book can be approached first and may open many doors for your future research and practice.

Focus, Compassion, Development

How many cataclysms happen within the seed before it sprouts, how many obstacles before the flower blooms?

Keep your head up, focus on your goals.

Be kind to your fellow man.

We all struggle, we all experience suffering.

There’s no need to add to this Karmic weight.

The war is against ourselves, not the world.

Hailaz / Namaste

Custom Runes and Bindrunes

I make runes nearly everyday. It keeps them fresh in my mind and allows me to express divine concepts through simple symbology.

With runes (and bindrunes) one can essentially deliver ideas to a fellow initiate without words; a language of its own based on the culture of those using them. This is the premise of all symbolism; the transfer of immense amounts of knowledge through very simple forms.

Here, we have a bindrune symbolizing Odin’s sacrifice on the Great Tree, where after 9 nights, he falls “screaming,” receiving the secrets of the runes. A gift for a gift (sacrifice).

Broken down we have :

ᛇ – Eihwaz (Yggdrasil, Axis Mundi, World Tree)

ᚬ – Oss (The hanging god, Odin)

ᚼ – Hagal (Hail, transformation, change)

ᚷ – Gebo (Gift, sacrifice, exchange)

If you want this, contact me. It’s made on Norway Spruce harvested from our land. If you want something custom of your own design, I would be honored to make it a physical reality. I have access to many kinds of wood, many of which are already processed and cured.

I have many runesets available as well. These include Elder Futhark, Younger and Anglo-Saxon Futhorcs. Adalruna sets are available as well, all on various wood types.

Hailaz

Family, Tribe, Skill

A lot of people these days are hungry for community, camaraderie, freedom, tribe, etc…

These are all good things to want and to ultimately strive for; especially when paired with a regular sacrificing of everything that doesn’t align itself with this vision.

However, for those who are seeking for this “group,” it is wise to not only find the correct group or collective to engage with, but when we do, the most important thing is not to ask “what this group can do for me,” but rather, “why does the particular group need me to become a part of it?”

If you can answer the second part easily, you will have no issue in your ascension within any group. If you can’t, you will have to acquire this sense on your own if you wish to gain importance within said group.

Shagbark Hickory

The tree we chose to represent our Irminsul/Yggdrasil is located in the dead center of our property and is one of the oldest trees still remaining after the years of logging, oil drilling, and neglect the land has experienced.

The Shagbark Hickory tree, as someone who came from the West coast, was one of the first trees I noticed around my new home in the East, being highly mysterious and eerie looking, especially in the fall and winter. It’s many knots, “shaggy” bark, holes and twists make it look like something out of a Halloween movie, it just needs an owl and some bats…

These trees can live around 350 years and grow up to 100 feet tall. They produce delicious edible fruit (nuts) that resemble the pecan in texture and flavor. The native tribes who had access to this tree used it for a variety of food products, including milk, flavorings, and bread. It is also a choice wood for smoking meat.

Just like the Germanic tribes favored Ash for weapons and tools, some Native Americans used these trees for weapons, tools, arrows, bows and drumsticks. The bark was also used to flavor a maple syrup alternative.

The Seneca Indians associate these trees with the dead and bringing the dead back to life. It’s said that one could leave the bones of the dead beneath the tree and essentially threaten them to become resurrected lest they be crushed by the limbs of the hickory tree.

Once you see one of these interesting trees it’s hard to not recognize them everywhere. The Shagbark Hickory, in particular, because of its flowing, shaggy, disheveled bark that is signature to their character. This trait, however, is only found amongst mature trees, usually over 20 years old. Until then, the bark remains very smooth, similar to beech.

If you live in the Eastern United States, from Texas to Maine, it is likely you have one of these trees around. I recommend to everyone who has access to one of these awesome trees to sit with one, observe it, experiment with one of its related products, and enjoy its unique character amongst the other trees of the woods.

Subscriptions and Further Reading

For anyone looking for further information, I have started a Substack account where you can sign up for free or for $5 a month. Paid subscribers will have access to exclusive material that is unavailable publicly and will receive new articles weekly.

You can also purchase my book “Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination” via amazon. Personal copies are sold out at this time.

All free articles will continue to be posted here as well.

https://hrukjan.substack.com/

Loss, Attachment, and Fairness

When one loses a child, they sometimes fall victim to negative thought patterns. Usually, this would be associated with the attachment one has to “fairness” in life, or what one believes they deserve or have earned.

These laws and concerns are not present in nature, fairness is not to be determined by man. Nature has its own goals, the gods we’ve named in it have their own motives.

When death takes the ones we love, the ones we cherish, it is for its own reasons. When one understands this, life’s “tragedies” seem less so, as beauty resides in all of existence.

Every experience is a conscious validation of existence, a root from us into the very being of the Earth; a link between ground and sky. Whether we believe it or not, the things that are presented to us in life are the things we are meant to have; the lessons we must learn, the wisdom we must gain.

When things that are “unfair” beset us, it is a balancing within natures framework; cause and effect, the chains of karma. Life will ebb and flow like the tides, eternally returning, eternally disappearing.

“Fairness” only resides in the minds of men, and it’s wise to detach oneself from its fetters.

That which is fair, is what is. 

Nothing more, nothing less.

Happy birthday little one.

ᛉ 7/8 ᛣ

ᚲ : ᛋ : ᛃ

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.