Words, and being mindful of them, seems to be the main message that Ansuz carries with it. It’s very easy to say something on a whim, or when you’re not really thinking, but those words have an impact. There’s a little rhyme that elementary aged children like to say: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. They mean well. And those kids are trying to drive away bullies. But the truth is that words do hurt. Sometimes more than we realize. I’d argue that words hurt more than a punch or any other physical blow a person might sustain. Mainly because words can linger in your mind for years and years while a wound or bruise will eventually heal and fade away. Anyone who grew up being bullied can attest to this.
I’ve been down that path. When I was a child I had an overbite and an underdeveloped lower jaw. I was mocked for something I had no control over and the words that kids chanted still have an effect on me today. Oh, I’ve had braces and my overbite is no significantly less–and even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t believe the cruel words kids used to say. But that isn’t the point. It’s the message those kids sent with those words that I have trouble shaking. The message of not being good enough, or pretty enough, or…just enough. No matter what actual words those kids said (and admittedly it wasn’t just other kids–my dad wasn’t the most cautious with his words either) the message was clear to me.
And the thing is, once those words are said, they can’t be unsaid. No matter how much someone tells me I’m smart or good enough, I can’t shake the echo of my dad telling me otherwise from my mind.
Given all of that, Ansuz also counsels you to forge bonds of communication. Not just with others, but also with your Higher Self, your Gods and Ancestors as well. It’s also a personal belief of mine that Ansuz warns you to mind your thoughts, as well. Thoughts effect not only what your own personal opinion of yourself, but also your outlook on life and how you treat and talk to others. If you have a lot negative thoughts occurring in your mind, then you’re going to project those onto others, and that takes us back to the original message of Ansuz–that words do hurt.
I believe it’s Odin’s association with poetry that connects this Rune so much to Him. Poetry is written with words, and though a limerick may be harmless enough, satire can actually damage a person’s reputation if it’s taken seriously or reveals things that can be proven.