Runes : Video 44 – 12 Ways to Interpret the Nauthiz ᚾ Rune

In this video, I will demonstrate a quick exercise for those who are beginning their intermediate training with the runes. This practice should be undertaken once a person has learned the correct names, translations, and order of their chosen runes of study. This will help you quickly broaden the scope of each rune, leaving endless room for further philosophical development and growth. May all beings benefit from the power of the runes.

Further Analysis of the Nauthiz Rune


ᚾ / N

The Nauthiz rune symbolizes friction, resistance, and the great metaphysical “need” that looms over mans’ existence; that which must be done if we wish to survive and rise above hardships. This word is where we get our modern English word need, meaning “a requirement for something.” Nauthiz is a force that puts pressure on us, a force that allows us to either conquer or fail, the “hard” choice that must be made if one is to “spark the fire” within oneself. This also pertains to the sacred creation of the new fire, the German notfeuer or “need-fire”. In Grimm’s “Teutonic Mythology”, he states:

“But for the most part there was a formal kindling of flame by the rubbing of wood, for which the name known from the oldest times was notfeuer (need-fire), and it’s ritual can with scarce doubt be traced back to Heathen times.”

Generally, this would be done as a type of “reset” when things in the village went wrong, reestablishing order, health, and prosperity. We can look at Nauthiz and clearly see the two friction sticks used in kindling fire, creating tension until flame is born of them. Formally, nauthiz means “need, distress, force, compulsion, difficulty,” leaving us with a concept of “pressure” or tension being applied to something. This is seen more potently in the Old Norse neyða meaning “to force” and the Old English nied which means the same, although, adding another layer with the meaning of “emergency.” I found it amusing to find this word still in use in the Norwegian nødtelefon meaning “emergency telephone.”

In the “Old English Rune Poem” in states:

“Need is tight in the chest,

though oft it will be,

for the bairns of men,

of help and of hale if ere they heed it.”

This poem gives us a good description of Nauthiz in Anglo-Saxon times; drawing a picture of lingering anxiety but also one of a choice that will need to be made by the “bairns” or children of men. This anxiety will help or “heed” them if closely analyzed and brought to awareness. With Nauthiz we return to the concept of Odin’s 9 once again, meaning this rune theoretically does not “reverse” or have alternative meaning based on its’ position in a reading. This rune symbolizes a key component of Odin in his form as Haptsǫnirî (fetter loosener) and Hrami (fetterer). This rune is the fetter, that which Odin controls, blessing or cursing those who he pleases by use of this power to “constrict.” This is reflected in the Gothic word naudibandi meaning “shackle, chain” and, “fetter.”

The “Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme” has a slightly different tone and reflects a different conceptual framework associated with the rune. In two line it states:

“Need makes for a narrow choice;

A naked man freezes in frost.”

This is the only Nauthiz poem that refers to death, reinforcing connection to words like the proto-Germanic nawiz or Gothic naus, both meaning “corpse.” We see this further connection to the dead in words like the Tocharian B naut- which means “to disappear, be destroyed,” an early form of what would later develop into the English word necromancer, generally referring to someone who practices sorcery involving the dead. Nauthiz can be associated with an initiatory death as well, representing a “nail in the coffin” of the old self. This is reflected in the Norwegian word nod which is a word associated with a bent nail. With Nauthiz, we see a path forking in two directions. One towards the Path of Fire, and the other toward the Path of Death.

The “Old Icelandic Rune Poem” takes a more apathetic and dreary approach to the rune, sounding more like a “drag” than a choice. It states:

“Need is a slave-girls sorrow,

And a cramped choice,

And wearisome work.”

Here we see an energy that resembles lethargy and annoyance; one of tiresome work and lack of choices. Nauthiz takes on the aspect here of a more “real” and immediate obstacle that must be met, otherwise, death will surely follow. This is seen in the Swedish word nöd which has an added meaning of “famine”. We can see how this rune, in its’ “darkest” or most harsh aspect, directly relates to our basic needs; those being food/water and fire. The Icelanders attached a more menacing or “dark” aspect to this rune, seen further in the word nauða which means “howling wind, whining, animal barking” denoting a general “unease” among life and landscape; a sense of unrest and ominous presence. This brings up an early runic inscription from the Hogganvik Runestone in Norway, a 4-line inscription with one referring to a Naudigastiz, a name meaning “need-guest”, which we can now see was probably a metaphor meaning “the guest of hardship” or “guest of obstacle/friction/resitence/”. I have added the original runic inscription here for anyone wanting to investigate it further.





With all of this information in current light, I believe we are seeing evidence of the ancient “Rune Cult” Stephen Flowers has eluded to, as the runes, for the “initiated”, were used on the surface for writing but esoterically were used for the process of Self-development, as one must literally be “friend” or “guest” to “need” in order to ascend the ladder of obstacles preventing you from being your absolute best self; in line with the High One and personal dharma or purpose.

In conclusion, it is clear that Nauthiz must be approached very carefully and considerately, requiring one to cultivate a certain awareness in order to be conscious of its’ presence and beneficial “need”. We must recognize its potential for growth and generation of fire. The shortest of the traditional poems on this rune is the most clear and potent example of the power held within it. The “Early Modern Swedish Rune Poem” states in one simple and powerful sentence:

“Need is the only choice.”

Indeed, this is the case. As stated earlier, we must choose the Path of Fire, or we will inevitably fall victim to the frozen Path of Death. The choice, the “need”, is always ours to command, if approached with awareness and wisdom.

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,


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,


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.

Suffering, Fire, and Wellbeing

The avoidance of suffering shouldn’t be the end goal, contrary to what many Buddhists would argue. 

Times of suffering are opportunities that give us what we need; chances to break cycles, change habits, grow stronger, etc. while also giving us the (unfortunate) opportunity to completely give up, stall out and/or fail. Suffering is the great catalyst for change, the instigator of wisdom. Without suffering, mankind would not grow or change. 

To attach yourself to an end goal which jades you or completely removes you from suffering is to imply that growth comes to an end and suffering has a limit. This is a pipe dream mentality, because just as with knowledge, the more you learn, the less you know. This is the case with suffering, as the more you conquer it, the more you see it’s lingering presence in other people and the more you will strive to assist in the destruction of its grasp upon humanity.

The only way we could righteously practice an “avoidance” of suffering is if every single human being took it upon themselves to destroy, or rather, actively overcome their own suffering(s). By rooting out the cause of one’s own suffering, then one can consciously choose whether or not to participate in that which makes them suffer. Only then could the notion possibly be eradicated, as we would slowly and consciously move away from the negative connotations surrounding the concept. Suffering should be viewed as a “friction’ in one’s life, the same friction that births fire from sticks. Friction generates heat and heat creates fire/energy. This is a metaphysical fuel-source to the conscious individual, who can channel this in any direction he/she wishes.

Likewise, it opens the door to find new and more profound approaches to raise one’s sense of well-being. This well being must be found and cultivated internally, not produced by external means. If one wishes to feel a long-term sense of satisfaction in life, then one must spend their energy internally and renounce the addicting pleasures of material dependence. This is the road to achieving greater heights of the spirit.

Short-term pleasure must be sacrificed for the long-term gain; the short term being materialistic tendencies like consuming, hoarding, or anything solely connected to one’s externally gained sense of comfort. Well-being and comfort are to be found within oneself. If you create a sense of comfort and well-being within yourself, then it is untouchable, grasped and stored in the most secure way and form; an internal armor against external chaos.

Like the Nauthiz rune teaches, we are to instead channel this phenomenon into a certain metaphysical fire, a drive to conquer. We are, in a way, meant to seek out hardship for our own benefit; to cultivate, build, and reach the supreme Self within.

Become addicted to challenges if you want to reach the heights of the Immortals.

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.