With My Wolves By My Side


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Lessons from the Runes, Lessons on the Runes

Monday night I went into New York City and met up with NYC Heathens for a lore chat on the Runes. I’ve been a student of the Runes since shortly after Odin found me…so roughly 7 years now? Though I went through a spiritual drought where I didn’t do anything for about two years, so I’m going to say around 5 years. I’m still a total beginner I feel like. The Runes have so much to teach that I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself a master or to know all there is know about them. There’s just too much. Saying you KNOW each Rune after only working with them for a handful of years is like saying you know everything there is to know about Odin after working with Him for a week. Sorry, but no. There’s just too much to ever learn in that short amount of time. And this Rune chat proved my point. In all honesty I wish I had taken more notes than I did, but I was trying to pay attention to what all was being said and also trying to participate in conversation as opposed to just being my normal quiet self. Regardless, I wanted to type up everything that was mentioned that hadn’t occurred to me yet so that I could look back, research, and/or meditate upon these different interpretations.

I didn’t take notes on all 24 Runes, just the ones that gave me a different interpretation than what I’d previously known. In no particular order:

Raidho – I’d never heard of this as “ride though”, but that was definitely something talked about Monday night. Typically I associate Raidho with communication, not necessarily of movement, but I can’t unhear “ride though” and all of it’s implications.

Ansuz – during the chat it was mentioned that this was the Rune most associated with Odin. That’s not necessarily the case for me (I more strongly associate Eiwaz with Odin), but this is definitely thought provoking. I can see how that would be as Ansuz does have close ties with words and the ways they can effect people, and Odin is a god of poetry after all.

Perthro – this is a Rune that has actually been coming up a lot for me recently, and that I personally feel has some sort of message for me. Though I’ve been mistakenly referring to it as Othala. Normally I think of things being revealed, or truths and mysteries coming to light when this Rune comes up. But a few other people in the group mentioned that if you have the opening of Perthro facing down it represents a woman’s womb and vagina. Which I thought was a very interesting way to see this Rune. It brings to mind childbirth, time to gestate in the dark, and other such things like that. More work is most definitely needed with this Rune on my part. Oh, an association with Urd’s Well was also mentioned.

Berkano – have the points pointing down and it looks like a woman’s breasts. This is not a thing I’d ever thought about, but once pointed out I can’t unsee it. It with Perthro could be a depiction of a mother goddess type figure, and I may use them together in that context in my own journals and writings.

Inguz – I can’t say anything “new” really came to light for me when it comes to this Rune, but I did find it interesting to note that I am more familiar with the Anglo-Saxon depiction of this Rune than the typical Elder Futhark depiction.

Isa – the overwhelming association with this Rune seems to be “ice”, as in glacial ice. But when discussing it another meaning came to my own mind. That of go forward on the path you are on, don’t deviate. Go slow, don’t rush, but keep moving down the path you are. This is another Rune that I could stand to work with more and learn more about.

Hagalaz – I don’t usually think of the Runes in terms of tarot associations, but it was mentioned that Hagalaz was probably most closely related to the Tower in the tarot. When I stop and think about the meaning of Hagalaz I can totally see that association.

I had stepped out for a bathroom break when Laguz was discussed, and I really wish I hadn’t missed that one as it’s the one Rune I struggle with a bit. Flow and water come to mind when I think of Laguz, but that’s about it. So I have my work cut out with it, but that’s okay. A little bit of work never hurt me.

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Thurisaz: Rune of Thor, Strength, and Jotuns

Thurisaz is a rune that comes up from time to time, but that I found I’ve never written about. I always associate it with a thorn just from the looks of it, and therefore with things that may not feel the best, things that may poke and sting. Turns out my research on this Rune tells me I’m not the only one who associates it with a thorn. But there are many more things to associate with this rune.


For example, Thor. Thurisaz is apparently the rune of Thor. According to Thorsson, this rune “represents pure action, potency, raw power, and strength on the physical plane” (from Taking Up The Runes by Diana L Paxson). All of those are things also associated with Thor. However, my personal associations with “prickly things” isn’t off base. This is in fact a rune that can signal conflict, especially those involving aggression. It warns you not charge head first into anything, and instead to procede with caution.

It can also be a great source of protection, wrapping the runecaster up in a thicket of thorns that tear enemies to shreds when they try to barrel through.

Not only is Thurisaz associated with Thor, but also with the Jotuns that He battled. Jotuns, like Thurisaz, are raw power ready to rend and tear into anything in their path…save for those they deem worthy of their friendship and aid. If you’ve been reading runes for more than five minutes, then you’ve probably heard about “blooding the runes”–basically offering the runes a few drops of your blood. Most of the runes you can get away with not doing this, but Thurisaz is one that will demand it of you if you want it to respond best.

Don’t invoke Thurisaz likely, especially if you’re asking it to tell someone (or something) to “back off”. It will do it’s job, and if you change your mind you will find yourself not having much luck taking it off the trail. It is a fierce rune, one of great force and dedication. It is not a rune to be played with or toyed with. In a way “proceed with caution” is a good phrase for working with this rune as well, though it does prefer when you aren’t weak and instead gather your own strength and focus it, just as Thurisaz does with it’s strength.


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The End


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Into Battle


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A Toast To Good Friends


This past Winter holiday season I received many amazing gifts. One of which was this drinking horn (gifted by a friend~ <3) and another of which is the book Taking Up The Runes (gifted by my partner) that I’d been wanting for months, but I just hadn’t been able to justify spending money on yet another book when I had so many unread ones on my shelf.

Drinking horns are typically used in rituals, holding a cool liquid (mead) and passed around while each person shares a toast or a memory or honors someone in their life (living or dead, though I think dead is more appropriate). I have yet to use this one in ritual, but plan to in this new year.

The Rune book sort of speaks for itself. One of the goals I have set for myself this year is to gain an even deeper understanding of the Runes, to work with them more. This will likely result in more posts about individual Runes, vlogs about Runes, and perhaps other essay type things as I continue my work with them.

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The Fertility of New Beginnings

It’s been awhile since I made a Rune post, but one of the goals I’d set for myself this month was to draw a Rune every day. This year I really want to deepen my practice of Rune reading and get to know them and understand them better. One way to do that is to write up posts about them when I haven’t done so before. Like today, for example. My rune for today is Inguz, and when I checked I saw I’d only written about it once before and a long time ago. Since then I’ve learned more about it.

Inguz is particularly concerned with the health, fertility, and well-being of men. It often denotes fertility of mind, or the motivation and energy needed to start new projects. A new job is often indicated when this rune is drawn, but even if this does not occur, the potential remains for considerable change for the better.
Of course, for a new phase in life to begin, it is necessary to finish old business and turn away from situations that are leading nowhere.

When I decided to write this post I googled Inguz and this was on one of the first websites that came up. I find it incredibly fitting for me right now. I’ve had a bad sinus infection since last Thursday, so paying attention to my health and taking care of myself is something I really need to pay attention to. I’ve determined this year will be the Year of the (get) Kraken because I wish to leave behind the procrastination that I’ve allowed to basically rule my life. And in recent days I’ve been thinking about a certain project that would be a massive undertaking, but would make me happy. So when I saw this message come up my first thought was “oh how fitting”. My gods seem to be pointing me the exact direction my mind and heart are going which is always a nice thing.

But those things aren’t all there is to Inguz.

This Rune is depicted in two different ways. One is as a basic diamond. According to Taking Up The Runes, when it is depicted this way it indicates male fertility. But the other way it is depicted is as two X’s on top of each other (which also form the diamond in the center)–two Gebo’s stacked one on top of the other. Gebo is a Rune that speaks of gifts, so it would be easy to say that Inguz also carries such messages as well. And indeed when you consider the “new beginnings” and “potential new job” and other things mentioned at the beginning of this post that falls right in line with the “gift” theme.

runic_letter_ingwazIn it’s diamond form it is two Kano’s mirroring each other. Kano is a Rune of fire and creativity. When you consider it as mirroring each other it can be a clue to “look in the mirror” so to speak and see what seeds are inside you that you can nourish and grow.

Indeed Inguz (also spelled Ingwaz) is a complex Rune that I’m sure I’ll be writing about in the future again. It’s not one that comes up very much for me, but when it does I wind up learning a lot about it and seeing new sides to it.

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