Ansuz

ansuzbAnsuz is referred to as “The Messenger Rune.” When this Rune is cast, whether right side up or upside-down, be prepared for messages of great import or that bring change into your life. Signals, signs, messages and omens are all things you need to be extra aware of when Ansuz is around you. Messages and signals come in many different ways, so be open and receptive to the flow of bounty from the Universe. Ansuz is most closely associated with the Norse God Loki, nicknamed the Trickster. Loki is an embodiment of the capriciousness of life. Loki is named the Trickster for a reason. Loki is the breath of change and unexpectedness. Many of us fear change, and Loki makes us uncomfortable. He reaches into our comfortable lives and shakes everything up so we have to truly look within to answer the questions coming at us from without.

The confusion associated with Ansuz is seen in the difficulty to put this rune down to a certain association or affiliation. Whether it’s the Tarot, Numerology, Color, or Element, Ansuz has several associations given to it. There are many of the older faiths who call this rune “The God Rune.” (The Christian affiliation to Gebo has more to do with it’s shape than anything else…Gebo is what the Christians call the Saint Andrews Cross.) Here the association to the God Rune is more apropos.

Ansuz signifies the changes that can happen in our lives and is the messenger of their coming. Many of the ancient mythologies (Norse, Roman, Greek, etc.) talk much of how the Gods would play in the lives of men. Whether seducing women or fooling men, the Gods showed their capricious nature. Homer’s Illiad is a perfect example of how the Gods would use the lives of men as their pawns and playthings.

In some of the older belief systems, the winds of change and chance were very much a part of their comprehension of the world. Ansuz represented the holy power and cleansing aspects of change. The change may not be comfortable, but it is coming and accepting receptive behavior is called for. Ansuz calls us to go deep within and examine honestly what it is we hold important. Change is upon us and as we react and interact with that change we change ourselves, growing and moving forward on our path to our futures.

Without Ansuz the rivers would not overflow and bring new life to the land. Without Ansuz the unpredictability of reading the rumanal would be impossible. Ansuz brings the breath of fresh air. Ansuz allows light into areas of our lives and beliefs or emotions that may not be appropriate for us anymore. Change is an essential part of life and Ansuz guarantees that change is on its way. Ansuz also speaks of the change that comes from completion. As the first of the thirteen runes in the Cycle of Initiation, Ansuz speaks of both endings and beginnings. It is when it is viewed in this aspect that the true power of Ansuz can be understood.

Ansuz- Signals

Ansuz belongs to Freyr’s Aett.

Key Word(s): The duplicity of this Rune is seen in the many keywords assigned to it. God, Odin, Holy Pow, Messenger, and the mouth. That’s a lot for a
little rune, isn’t it?

Element: Ansuz’s capacity for change and incorporation is evidenced by it’s association with the elements of air (higher thought), fire (active energy), and water (emotional energy). Depending on the mood or the situation, Ansuz’s meaning could be aligned with any of these three elements. Part of Ansuz’s challenge to you is to keep these three aspects of life in appropriate balance, for it is when they are out of balance that Loki will walk into your life.

Tarot Link: Ansuz’s confusion is evidenced by the variety of Tarot cards to which it is aligned. The Death Card, The Emperor, The Hierophant, and even The Tower are cards that exemplify phases of Ansuz’s energy. The Death Card is indicative of tying ourselves in knots; the Emperor is the reflective controlled man; the Heirophant on his constant quest for learning and enlightenment; and the Tower which speaks of sudden and unexpected change – four phases or faces of Ansuz.

Color: Primarily associated with the color of dark blue, Ansuz has also been aligned with red.

Polarity: Ansuz, with the way he reaches in and gives your life a good shake, is positive masculine energy.

Healing Property: Ansuz is said to have special healing effect on the mouth, teeth, throat and matters of voice, specifically those who suffer from stuttering.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Appropriate to it’s nature, Ansuz is actually aligned with vowels (remember that vowels, because there are less of them, are considered letters that carry more power than their consonant counterparts) A and/or O in the modern alphabet.

Special Runic Associations: Ansuz is the Initiating Rune in the Cycle of Initiation. As such it tells us to consolidate and apply the cycle we have completed to create a new and appropriate foundation for the new future we are set to create. Ansuz is used in emotional healing runic groupings.

The Rune Algiz

algiz Algiz carries the message of the benefits of protection found in emotional control. Although you can anticipate your path and you can see the progress you have achieved, now the wisdom of emotional control and deliberate determination is your ally.

Algiz is aligned with the mighty Elk, considered by many to be ruler of the northern climes. The old elk stands quietly, proud and noble. Rarely does he resort to actually fighting with the young bucks, knowing that most will run as soon as he snorts and stomps a hoof. The Elk knows where the best food within his range is. He knows the does in his harem. The Elk is noble. He wisely waits to see what has spooked the less stout-hearted does. But when his delicate sense of smell picks up the scent of a big cat or the mighty grizzly the Elk knows it is time to retreat and consolidate. The Elk knows that by giving ground one can actually be gaining.

Algiz is considered to be an excellent rune to contemplate for meditative purposes. When Algiz appears in your casting it is sure to be telling you to think about things! Are you missing an opportunity because it isn’t exactly what you hoped for? Considered to be the Protection Rune, and a rune of healing, when used correctly in meditation and self-introspection it can help achieve a state of enlightenment.

Algiz reminds us to be mindful of the physical house of our spiritual essence. Simply put, what that means is – take care of your body. For those of the Mormon faith (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and many other belief systems, the body is a temple of God. True believers of these systems are not allowed to eat or drink anything harmful to the body including such common substances as caffeine. This is a modern example of Algiz’s energy. By taking care of your body, treating it as a temple, a housing of your spiritual self that is connected to all you create a stronger self to move forward on your life path.

Algiz speaks of the more mature aspects of temperance and wisdom. Algiz may be attempting to get you to understand that there are others who are using your energies because you are allowing it to happen. Many followers of the Runes wear Algiz as a protection from the negative forces of the outer world.

Algiz carries a warning – if you find yourself experiencing a period of difficulty which is painful, be honest and stick with the experience. As you work through the issue, look around and evaluate what your part in creating the discomfort truly is. Are you shooting yourself in the foot without realizing it? Watch for new interests, but use your good judgment when pursuing them. Allow yourself to experience the lesson Algiz offers – your future beckons!

Algiz – Protection

Algiz is one of Hagal’s Aett.

Key Word(s): Keywords associated with Algiz are, of course, protection, reed, and guardianship. (Remember it is the reeds that protect the delicate creatures and plants of the swamps and marsh by providing a small barrier. It is upon the reeds that new land grows out of the wet areas).

Element: Algiz is aligned with the element of Air, signifying that you should not get yourself bogged down in things that truly have no value.

Zodiac Sign: Algiz is aligned with the sign of the Fish. The Piscean energy works in conjuction with Algiz’s creative force.

Tarot Link: Algiz is linked with the Tarot card The Moon. While the Moon represents things unknown or hidden, it can also talk about intuition, the imagination, and the unfolding of latent intuitions.

Color: The color gold is associated with Algiz. When you see gold, whether the muted tones of harvest gold, or the bright sheen of the metal itself, think to Algiz!

Polarity: Algiz is a rune of true polarity, carrying both male and female energy.

Healing Property: As a protective rune Algiz is directly related to physical healing. It specifically helps with issues relating to headaches and issues of the brain including psychological disorders.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Modern Rune masters can’t seem to make up their mind on the Letter Counterpart of Algiz. Some say it is X or Z, while others give it a higher connection to the vowel E and the transitory letter Y.

Special Runic Associations: Algiz is one of the Runes in the Physical Healing group.

A Walk Through the Runes, Part I

Here we begin our exploration of this ancient alphabet with the Runes Uruz, Othila, Ansuz, Gebo, and Mannaz.

A Walk Through the Runes, Video Series Intro.

The first in a series of videos from Love Dr Nikki at Oranum.com, sharing her knowledge of the Rune system of divination! Enjoy!

The Runes of the Elder Futhark

fotolia_199755-337x213 Runes are an old and long recognized writing system, far more than most people believe. While most people think Viking or, thanks to Tolkein, Elf, or Hobbit when they hear the word “Rune,” the history is actually older and far more involved than that. Now
lost to the pages of history, the origin of the rune is still unknown. Believed to have begun before the Christian era and having been a transmutation from the Iron Age pictographs to a phonetic representation. Those who follow the Viking Mythology believe that Odin was given the gift of the Runes after hanging suspended upside down from the World Tree Yggdrasil for a period of nine days. It was after receiving the Runes that he was finally able to come down from the tree. In the 13th Century Saga of Eric The Red there is an indication of the status and value of the Rune casters held in the Teuton and Viking cultures. The description from the saga of a contemporary Rune Mistress (yes, women could and did hold the power of the Runes):

“She wore a cloak set with stones along the hem. Around her neck and covering her head she wore a hood lined with white cat skins. In one hand, she carried a staff with a knob on the end and at her belt, holding together her long dress, hung a charm pouch.”

The unique clothing description shows the level of honor and prestige the Rune Mistress or Master held in the culture. In many of the older religious belief systems everything is alive. From the twigs and smallest pebbles to the mountains and the skies above, they were from and of the earth and thus sacred.This relationship to the sacredness of earth energy is still seen in the modern use of Rune Stones as an oracle device. The Runes as an oracle goes back to pre-historic times. Runes were always carved into something that was “of the earth” such as stone, hardwood, leather, or metal. The runes were either carved or painted onto the items. Some runes have been colored with paint in which one of the components was human blood. These runes were considered to hold an even higher power and the words they represented were even more important because they were bound by blood to the stone. Called runemal, the Runemaster (or mistress) would shake their pouch and scatter the runes (made from whatever media, normally made by the Runemaster themselves to grant the personal power to the runes). Those which landed right side up were read as auguries of the future. In 98A.D, the Roman historian Tacitus gives us the best description of the prevalence of casting in Chapter X of his Germanica:

“To divination and casting of lots they pay attention beyond any other people. Their method of casting lots is a simple one: they cut a branch from a fruit-bearing tree and divide it into small pieces which they mark with certain distinctive signs (notae) and scatter at random onto a white cloth. Then, the priest of the community, if the lots are consulted publicly, or the father of the family, if it is done privately, after invoking the gods and with eyes raised to heaven, picks up three pieces, one at a time, and interprets them according to the signs previously marked upon them.”

The Runes by this time were already developing a consistency on the European Continent. They were carried from place to place on the ancient trade routes, many warriors had them as part of their packs as they carried their weapons to the wars of the dark age. It is believed that by the time of Tacitus’ quote that the Runes were more than just squiggles on a stick. They were a recognized written language understood by those who had been educated in it.

Through the centuries the Futhark (the name for the runic alphabet…this is based on the first six runes) has evolved. The Anglo-Saxon alphabets expanded on the Runes and had as many as 33 letters in Britain. However, it is the ancient Futhark, the elder stones, that are used for divinatory purposes. These were more common among the Germanic tribes. The twenty-four runes are broken down into three groups of eight and are named for gods from the Norse Pantheon. The first eight futhark are attributed to Freyr, the second eight to Hagal, and the third eight to Tyr.

Somewhere through the history of time, probably much later, the final Rune was added. This Rune is called the Blank Rune. Many represent this rune as being indicative of the emptiness or that the Runes are declining to answer. The Blank Rune is called “Odin’s Rune” and is emblematic of the endless possibilities of the Universe.

What are called “Rune Stones” today are actually a misnomer. Rune Stones truly do exist. There are standing stones which still contain their markings across the paths of the northern explorers. Rune stones were larger stones (some weighing multiple tons, some twenty pounds) which were inscribed with runes to mark boundaries, commemorate that “on this battlefield Sven of the long axe went berserk and killed twenty of the enemy – Hail Sven, sword arm of Lungar,” or to put the magic of the runes to work to bind a contract or treaty.

Today Runes are used by many for simple self-introspection, to look ahead, or just as a way to learn how to read an ancient language! Many of the sagas of the ancient tribes exist today, but only in their original languages. Many scholars and history buffs are learning to read the runes to enable them to peer into the depths of history. There are those, however, who take the time to truly go within and learn the information about themselves and the world around them, reconnect with the energies and can become true practitioners of runemal. Dr. Nikki is just such a person as she has been using the Runes for nearly twenty
years.