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Interpreting the Runes ~ Wunjo ~ Joy ~ Light

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  — Adapted from the words of Reinhold Niebuhr

Wunjo is considered to be a positive rune and when drawn in the upright position will always represent joy and happiness coming into life. It is an excellent omen in a reading. A shift, that was due, has occurred and the blessings associated with Wunjo may freely be received and accepted. These blessings may relate to material gain, emotional life, or in a heightened sense of one’s own well-being. Be happy!

In combination with other runes, it indicates success in whatever areas they rule. For example, with travel runes such as Raidho or Ehwaz, it can show a fortunate and generally pleasing journey; with message runes such as Ansuz, it can mean good news; when Wunjo is drawn with love related runes, in can show deep affection and long-lasting emotional happiness.

Often, Wunjo will signify the object of one’s affections. In this case, it usually shows some activity undertaken with this person will end with a happy result.

Wunjo can also represent joy in one’s work, especially if that work is artistic or creative . Like the rune Kenaz, Wunjo appears in readings for people who are artists or craftsmen and shows that this creative element is very important to their personal happiness and wellbeing.

Reversed The meaning of Wunjo reversed is exactly the opposite of everything stated about its meaning in the upright position. Things are slow in coming and the person for whom the runes are being consulted may be undergoing a difficult, if not crisis time, filled with misery and unhappiness.

The runes drawn in addition to Wunjo should show the specific problem areas. Drawn with Raidho or Ehwaz, an unsafe or unsuccessful trip with breakdowns and delays are indicated and are likely.

If the question being asked relates to one’s employment, Wunjo reversed warns of dissatisfaction, either with the job itself or with one’s job performance.

In matters of love, this rune shows disappointment or a delay of some type in a present relationship, the intensity of which can be discerned from the other runes drawn.

In all questions about business, travel or love, Wunjo reversed shows a need for caution, perhaps even putting off an important decision until a seemingly better time.

The rune of Wunjo can also show trouble caused by a third-party in the form of friction and delays. One should be on the lookout for any possible double-dealing on the part of acquaintances, friends, business associates or opponents.


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Interpreting the Runes ~ Ehwaz ~ Movement ~ Progress ~ The Horse

Ehwaz is a rune of transit, transition and movement; of physical shifts, new dwelling places, new attitudes or new life. It also signifies movement in the sense of improving or bettering any situation.

With this rune, there is a sense of gradual development and steady progress, with the belief in slow growth through many shifts and changes.  This could apply to the growth of a business or to the development of a new idea. A relationship may need to undergo changes if it is to live and grow. Moral effort and steadfastness are called for when this rune of movement, another of the cycle runes is drawn. Let it be said with this affirmation, “As I cultivate my nature, all else follows.”

This rune Ehwaz is symbolized by the horse, and it signifies the bond between horse and rider. Bronze Age artifacts show a horse drawing the sun across the sky. Here, Ehwaz is saying, you have progressed far enough to fee a measure of safety in your place.

Now is the time to turn again and face the future reassured, ready to share the good fortune that comes your way. The sharing is significant since it relates to the sun’s power to foster life and illuminate all things with its light.

Ehwaz Reversed

Movement that appears to block. Be certain that what you are doing – or not doing – is timely. There are no missed opportunities. You have simply to recognize that not all possibilities are open to you, that not all opportunities are appropriate. The opportunity at hand may be precisely to avoid action. If you are feeling at a loss, unclear about the need to act, consider what is timely to your nature and remember this affirmation, “What is yours will come to you.”

Interpreting the Runes ~ Berkana ~ Beorch ~ Birch Tree

“The Birch, though fruitless sends out countless shoots; leafy branches, high-crowned, reach to the sky.” — Old English Rune Poem

This rune is a fertility symbol, drawn to resemble a woman’s breasts.  In ancient Viking times, the birch was regarded as the tree of fertility and the act of being lightly whipped with birch twigs was supposed to promulgate vigor and vitality!  The people of Scandinavia still hold this belief; after a sauna people are encouraged to roll around in the snow and then made to endure a lashing with a bundle of birch twigs. The Phallic maypole that was traditionally danced around, heralding in Spring and new life, was usually made from birch. The appearance of Berkana in a reading clearly points toward inception; whether of a child, a project or perhaps a new idea.

Berkana is rather auspicious. Yet  because it represents the mother, and by implication the child, there is an element of “nourishment” associated with it.  Even if the rune is essentially beneficial the new project will need the same kind of feeding or succour as an infant would. Success will not come on its own without some nurturing; effort and attention will be required.  This may explain the duality associated with the birch tree, the “fruitless tree,” implying that all is not as it seems and that success will be achieved only through authentic and genuine application.

Berkana Reversed

Reversed, Berkana becomes a symbol of sterility, implying difficulties and miscommunication, especially on the domestic front. Perhaps a desired pregnancy will prove impossible, or a current pregnancy be terminated. Alternatively, Berkana can point to worries over children, especially in terms of health. The surrounding runes always point to a clearer picture. A reversed Berkana is not particularly malign of itself and requires more ruthless runes to imply any real trouble, while helpful runes definitely reduce the situation.

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Interpreting the Runes ~ Tiwaz ~ Tir ~ Creator

 

The god Tir is the original creator god who became replaced by Odin in Norse mythology. Tir, or Tiw (in Anglo-Saxon, hence Tiw’s day) was not the benevolent creator of the Christian church, but a warrior god akin to Mars. The appearance of Tiwaz in any reading points to battles, competition and dynamic energy. In ancient times, the appearance of this rune would almost certainly have signified actual physical battle and the preparation associated with it – sharpening of swords and axes, making bows and arrows, stocking up on food and seeing to the animals. This is unlikely today, but the analogy can be stretched.

Tiwaz shows that the person being read is about to embark on an enterprise that with need a great deal of energy – moral, physical or both. The enterprise will be competitive in some way, whether in business, the courts of law, or in the form of moral argument one needs to win. If the person is involved in business dealings then Tiwaz implies that there are likely boardroom battles ahead and that it will be necessary to be well prepared. “Winning” is the clue to understanding this rune: blood may have to be spilled but victory must be assured.

Tiwaz Reversed

When Tiwaz is drawn reversed, it signifies that the person is in a rather weak frame of mind, lacking any real will power or motivation. It implies a certain expectant laziness, as if the world owed them a living and everything would simply turn up through no effort of their own. If the question concerns business, then things will not get better until the person gets a grip on themselves. In affairs of love it indicates difficulties ahead and a possible breakdown of communications, while in health it shows that the person may be in a poor physical state.

 

Interpreting the Runes ~ Sowelu ~ Sigel ~ Sun

 

This rune represents the sun which rules the astrological sign, Leo. Leo is a sign that likes to enjoy life and have fun. Leo is also a very proud sign and one that likes to be the center of attention. Sowelu is a supremely positive rune.

When this rune appears in a reading, it can imply that one has been overstretched lately and is in need of a rest, to take time away from the everyday pressures associated with life and needs to enjoy him/herself.  The appearance of Sowelu also may warn that one is in the midst of a situation in which control must be taken. If feeling “off” or out of sorts, this rune may be a sign that the person receiving the reading may be worrying about something and feeling unable to make any positive move to change the situation. The advice from this rune is to return to the center of affairs and seize control.

The sun has been associated with energy and strength, so the surrounding runes in a cast hint to one’s state of health. On the other hand, if Sowelu is close to very positive runes this means one may be at the peak of his/her powers. Sowelu can be seen as the “guiding light” that shows the way. On a material level, its appearance may imply one’s need for help, or a need for someone or something to show the way forward. On a spiritual level, Sowelu may signify that one should seek, or will soon find a spiritual guide.

Interpreting the Runes ~ Algiz ~ Elk ~ Protection

Interpreting the Runes XV ~ Algiz ~ Elk ~ Protection

Elk sedge grows in the fen, waxing in the water, grimly wounding; it burns the blood of those who would lay hands on it.”  — Old English Rune Poem

Algiz literally means, “elk sedge,” which is a grass widely regarded as having properties of magical protection. This rune is like a protective charm and when Algiz appears in a reading the message is optimistic.  Some say Algiz means “elk” while others insist on its meaning being “amber.” This symbol is not free from dispute; some note its outstretched arms, while others see an antler, and still others a staff.  It is agreed however that this is a most favorable and beneficial rune, no matter what place it holds in the reading.

Algiz signifies that one is shielded from danger or difficulty during the time span to which any questions apply.  Algiz also signifies a new and beneficial influence is about to enter one’s life. This could take the form of a new career, interest, or even a forthcoming union. It is likely that this new influence will not arrive as a result of conscious reasoning or determination.  This is most definitely a rune of friendship and protection but it is through ones inner self that this friendly influence is manifested; it is what is needed and deserved.

Algiz Reversed

When this rune appears reversed, it is expected that one will be duped. People in business or personal relationships have their own agenda’s and their goals will oppose those of the person for whom the runes are being consulted.  Algiz reversed indicates that one needs to take great care and caution because others have only their own best interests in mind. One can expect others to do their best to make sure there will be unjust blame.

The Poem of the Runes

 

Meditating on the Runes

The main source of information on the Runes is the Anglo-Saxon poem which was translated by the monks from Old English into Latin. It would appear that this translation was not completely unbiased and that many Christian-style references found their way into the translation. However, the core essence of the message is still quite clear. The poem included in this blog was translated by Thomas Howard.

To understand the runes, all one needs to do is look at each rune in turn and read the correct verse of the poem. Then, meditate on the symbol and words. In time the meaning will come to you. This may sound too simplistic to you, but understanding the symbols and words is a process of meditation which requires deep concentration, considerable effort and consistent practice.

Included with the translated poem is the symbol along any associated translation of the symbols’ name and meaning.

Feoh ~ Fehu ~ Cattle

Wealth is a comfort to everyone,

Yet each must give freely,

If he will glory in Heaven.

Ur ~ Uruz ~ Auroch ~The Wild OxUr ~ Uruz ~Auroch

The wild ox is fierce,

With horns above,

A bold fighter who steps the moor,

A mighty creature.

Th ~ Thurisaz ~ Thorn

Thorn is very sharp to everyone,

Bad to take hold of;

Severe to those who rest among them.

Ansur ~ Ansuz ~ Mouth

Mouth is the origin or speech,

The support of wisdom;

And for everyone a blessing.

Rad ~ Raidho ~ Raido ~ Cartwheel

Riding in the hall is very pleasant,

It is more strenuous.

Sitting on a strong horse covering

The mile paths.

Ken ~ Kenaz ~Torch

Torch to all living is pale and bright.

It burns brightest

Where noble folk rest.

Geofu ~ Gebo ~ Gift

Gift is for everyone;

Glory and exaltation, and for the needy;

A help and sustenance.

Wynn ~ Wunjo ~ Joy

Joy is needed not

By those that hath

Little want and sorrow

And hath increase and bliss.

Hagall ~ Hagalaz ~ Hail

Hail is the whitest of grains,

It sweeps from the sky,

Is whirled by the wind,

and turns to water.

Nied ~ Naudhiz ~ Nauthiz ~ Necessity

Need is narrow in the breast,

But can often be a help,

If attended to early.

Is ~ Isa ~ Ice

Ice is cold and slippery,

It glistens like glass,

Is as bright as gems,

The field wrought with frost,

is fair to the sight.

Jara ~ Jera ~ Harvest

Year of fruitfulness,

Is the hope of everyone,

When the Gods allow the earth,

To give her bright increase

to rich and poor.

Yr ~ Eihwaz ~ Yew

Yew is outwardly

A smooth tree,

Hard and fast in the earth,

The Shepherd of fire,

twisted beneath with roots,

a pleasure on the land.

Peorth ~ Pertho ~ Perth

Chess is ever play and laughter

To the proud,

Where the warriors sit

In the beer hall,

Cheerful together.

Eolh ~ Algiz ~ Protection

Sedge grows in the fen,

Flourishing in water,

Burning the blood

Of anyone who touches it.

Sigel ~ Sowilo ~ Sowhelu~ Sun

Sun to the seafarer,

Is always confidence of nobles,

It is ever-moving

And in the darkness

Of night never rests.

Tir ~ Tiwaz ~ Creator

Tir is a token

Which has a confidence

Of nobles,

It is ever-moving

And in the darkness

of night never rests.

Beorch ~ Berana ~ Birch

Birch is fruitless

But bears twigs without increase,

It is beautiful in its branches,

Is laden with leaves,

Heavy in the air.

Eoh ~ Ehwasz ~ Horse

Horse is the joy of nobles,

Where heroes wealthy on

Their horses exchange words,

To be restless is a comfort.

 

Mann ~ Manaz ~ Man

Folk in their happiness

And dear to their kindred,

Yet all must depart

From each other,

Because the gods commit

The body to the earth.

Lagu ~ Laguz ~ Water

Water to the landfolk,

Seems tedious,

If they venture forth in an unsteady boat,

The sea waves will foam,

And the seahorse heeds

Not the bridle.

Ing ~ Ingwaz ~ Fertility

Ing was first seen among

The eastern Danes,

Departing over the waves,

His wagon ran behind,

Thus the warriors named him.

Daeg ~ Dagaz ~ Day

Day is the gods’ messenger,

The light of the gods,

Is happiness and consolidation

To rich and poor.

Othel ~ Othala ~ Othello ~ Home

Home is beloved of everyone,

If they can enjoy their

Rights and labor

And prosper in peace.