Category Archives: Correspondences

Thorn/Thurisaz

Original Meaning: Thor’s Hammer
Protection, defence. Patience is recommended. Fortunes may be changing. Re-evaluate your thinking – you may not be looking at a situation objectively.

In Old Norse this rune’s name is thurs or giant. The thurses were known for their brute strength and often were in opposition to the Norse gods, though sometimes they were helpful. The Anglo-Saxon name refers to the thorn of the rose or any other plant. However, it must be remembered that while the thorn may draw blood, it often defends something of great beauty like the rose. The Old Norse and Old Icelandic rune poems portray this rune as harmful to women, and it is also the rune with which Skirnir threatens Gerdhr when seeking her hand in marriage on behalf of the god Freyr. This is probably the dark side of the rune. Its ability to draw blood and do harm. It has for this reason been seen as a phallic symbol, the phallus that takes away the maiden’s virginity.

It is also linked to the god Thor however, a god who is linked to many plants that have thorns or thorn like structures like nettle and thistle. This is the good side of thorn, its ability to use its power to defend man and beast. Thor with his hammer and powerful arms protected both god and man from the giants. He was also responsible for sending the thunderstorms that brought water to the crops. Thorn in either aspect is a rune of silent strength waiting to be unleashed. Thorn is similar to Eolh-secg in its defensive aspects.

In divination, thorn can mean “look before you leap,” or proceed with caution. It is a dangerous rune to be used in magic but can be used for defensive spells although it is commonly seen used in mythology and folklore in curses.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Nied

Original meaning: Patience
Be patient , protect yourself first , meet your basic needs. Delays or resistance may plague you for a while, but results will ultimately be positive. Look after your health.

Nied is the rune of necessity and constraint. It is representative of the stresses of everyday life. However, stress, as the rune poem verse says need not be a bad thing. Often, it can signal a need for change, and if this signal is heeded, the changes to be made can lead to healing of mind, body, and soul. It is the rune of the overcoming of all odds. Whereas Wynn is a rune of joy and happiness, Nied is its nearly its opposite. Nied is the “school of hard knocks” where lessons are learned by necessity. It is therefore a rune of struggle, sometimes of the ordeal. Nonetheless it can be used to help fight hardships one endures. In the Sigdrifumal Sigdrifa advises Sigurdh to carve Nied on his finger nails and any drinking vessel to avoid enchantment. Nied can be used to avoid those situations that cause hardship by constraining those very causes. It is also the rune of the need fire, the fire created from a fire drill and used by the ancient Northern Europeans to drive away pestilence and disease and other forms of evil. For this reason, Nied also represents not only the stresses of everyday life, but the ability to overcome them.

In divination, Nied indicates a need that may have to be met or overcome. In spellwork it can be used to overcome such obstacles.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Eoh/Eihwaz

Original meaning: Yew
Flexibility is indicated. Don’t borrow trouble. Some events are outside your control at the present time, however delays may be beneficial.

??oh reflects the quality of the European Yew, a tree that grows to great heights, is nearly indestructible, and has deep meaning for the peoples of Northern Europe. The wood of the yew was used in staves fashioned for protection against all forms of evil, and also in bows, a weapon that commonly was used to protect against the onslaught of an enemy charge. Beyond this however, the yew had deeper meanings, for many believe that the World Tree of ancient belief was a yew (though some said it was an ash). This would explain the use of yew trees in ancient European cemeteries and its connection in folklore to death. In order to reach the gods’ realms, the worthy dead would have to journey up the World Tree from our plane here on Earth. Eoh therefore can represent death, or the spiritual death and rebirth of the shaman who makes a similar journey while alive.

??oh also represents the ability to be hard and fast and ever on our guard against the “fire” that may damage us. By doing so we build strength deep within us so we appear rooted in any stand we make. ??oh gives us the ability to ward and defend ourselves just as the yew tree does.

The verse of the “Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem” for ??oh also contains the names of two other runes, Wynn and ????el. Usually when this occurs it indicates that the rune contains qualities of the runes mentioned in its verse. Eoh then, drawing on its own symbols and those of Wynn and ????el; could indicate the joy or ecstasy of death and rebirth in the estates of the gods.

In divination, Eoh can be a difficult rune to interpret. Nonetheless, it can indicate that a spiritual journey is about to be made or that psychic death may be in the making. In spellwork, it can be used as a rune of defense.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Os/Ansuz

Original meaning: Mouth
Seek advice from one in authority, or with the wisdom of experience. An examination or test is indicated, which should not present you with difficulties.

Os is the rune of the god Woden (Odin), god of magic, death, and speech. It was Woden (Odin) who first won the runes for mankind when he hung on the World Tree for nine nights and nine days. It is therefore the rune of wisdom and esoteric secrets. It is the rune of knowledge and the power that knowledge can bring. It can been seen as the rune of the psychic death and the spiritual rebirth of the shaman or spell caster. This makes it the rune of “shamanic” ecstasy. In order to win the runes, (Woden) Odin hung on the World Tree for nine nights and nine days without food or drink. From the “Hávamál” stanzas 138 and 139 of the Elder Edda.

Wit I that I hung–on that wind swept tree,

Nights all nine–wounded by a spear,

And given to Odin–myself to myself,

On that tree which no man knows–from whence its roots rise.

Given no bread–nor horn,

I looked down–I took up the runes

Screaming I took them up–I fell back from there.

It is linked to all powers of speech and the written word such as poetry, song, and prose. It also governs the words of the magic charm. It is the word well spoken, the ability to sway others, the rune of poetic inspiration. Being the rune of speech it is also connected to the word of power, the secret word spoken only in arcane circles. It is the rune of runes, esoteric secrets known only to the enlightened. Os is therefore linked to divine inspiration, the flash of enlightenment that comes out of the blue. It is also the `them or breath of life, as Odin was god of the winds was giver of divine breath to mankind.

In divination, Os can mean divine inspiration, enlightenment, or a time when words will flow easily and freely. In magic workings it can be used to draw up magic energy or to receive enlightenment on some issue.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Gear/Jera

Original meaning: Harvest
Ending and renewal. A change bringing future growth. Events will unfurl at their own pace.


The rune gear is the rune of the harvest, the reaping of one’s labors. It is also a rune of divine aid or the cooperation from the forces of nature. It is the marriage of the sky and the earth, the rains and the soil that along with Man’s labors brings about fruits from the soil. This line of thought goes beyond mere agriculture however, and can be applied to nearly any undertaking in life, a project at work, a relationship leading to marriage, the birth of a child. On an esoteric level, Gear represents the completion of a project and the labor that went into it. It also represents the cycles of nature, and reflects the cycles we go through to accomplish great deeds. Gear can reflect gradual growth or change, development of something from beginning to end in a slow process.


G??ar also reflects the natural cycles of Wyrd, the laws of Wyrd that governs the growth of plant life, the endless cycle of death in the fall and rebirth in the spring. The lesson of Gear is that no state is eternal, the world is ever changing, and there is no set uniform universe, only the uniform laws of cyclical change that govern it.


In divination,Gear can indicate a project is about to come to fruition, or that it may take a cycle to complete. In spellwork it can be used to reap the benefits of hard labor.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Giefu/Gebo

Original meaning: Gift
A gift – either physical, or an opportunity offered to you. A partnership or other positive commitment is indicated.


Giefu is the rune of gifts and giving. Giving was seen not only as a duty in early Germanic culture, but a necessity, and this verse reflects that. Gifts and giving was for the average man, happiness, praise, support, and a sense of self respect. To those in exile, gifts restored honor, for to receive a gift intimated a bond like that between knight and king, which was very important to the lordless outlaw. Of course, for those with less, slaves and such, gifts were their only means of survival. Giefu governs the law of giving, which states there must be an equal exchange of all things exchanged. Every gift calls for something in return. This gift in return need not a physical one, it can be in the form of acts of kindness or other good deeds or gifts of knowledge. Giefu also governs the exchange of energies, the exchange of m??en.


Gifts were exchanged between lord and vassal, husband and wife, and those making peace.It represented the exchange of m??gen and created a bond between two people or groups of people. Giving also governs the hospitality of the home and sacrifices made either to the divine or in one’s own life. It is the giving up of something in order to receive something else. Giefu is the rune of the ultimate exchange, that of love between two people in marriage for which no sacrifice is too great, it therefore represents the state of marriage.


Giefu governs the law of giving, that is it governs the exchange of spiritual energy. Failure to return gift for gift or the deliberate theft of something, be it a piece of jewelry or human life results in a scyld, the obligation to repay a debt owed. Failure to repay this debt can result in a loss of main.


In divination, Giefu represents any sort of exchange, while in spell work it can be used to bring about such an exchange.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Hagol/Hagalaz

Original meaning: Hail

Sudden changes and disruption are indicated. Forces beyond your control are interacting with you. There may be delays – patience is indicated.


Hagol is the rune of creation. The lines of the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem speaks of the creation of a hail stone and its final transformation into water. Hagol therefore symbolizes not only creation but the process of transformation in life. It is the rune of life change and the shaping energies that brings about that change. It is somewhat symbolic of Wyrd also as what the poem does not say is that the water will again evaporate into the clouds to be sent back down again as rain, hail, sleet, or snow. It is therefore ever going through changes based on laws laid down at the beginning of time. Much as the water in the well of Wyrd goes through its cycles condensing as dew on the World Tree only to fall back into the Well, Hagol goes through its cycles. Many runesters see this rune as symbolic of the “cosmic egg” or a set pattern as in a crystal, but this does not agree with the Northern European view of an ever changing universe.


Hagol can also be seen as a rune of fertility as it falls to the ground to water growing crops. But here it has its destructive tendencies too, leveling crops, and injuring cattle; change is often not without destruction.


In divination, Hagol can be taken that a period of change may be about to take place, or that a new creation in one’s life is coming about. In magic it can be used to bring about such change.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Feoh/Fehu

Original meaning: Cattle.
Material Gain. Wealth, prosperity, security. New career opportunities, overcoming opposition.


Feoh is the power of domesticated cattle. The ancient Northern Europeans likemany peoples used cattle as a form of money in bartering. This power was later transferred to raw gold and jewelry and finally to coins. Today it can be seen in checking accounts and cash.


Feoh symbolizes all that money does; power, wealth, position. It is as many writers havestated symbolic of mobile power. This power has a good and a bad side. As stated in the “Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem,” it must be given out freely. Otherwise its power can lead to the greed and envy which lie behind the warnings in the Icelandic Rune Poem, “Fee is strife amongst kinsmen…” Thus feh is a two edged sword bringing favor from greater powers for those that give it away, strife and warfare for those that do not. It is no different today. feh is therefore linked to Giefu, the rune of giving in its good qualities and to thorn in its bad. It is also related to Mann which is also a two edged sword. All of these runes have exceptionally good qualities and bad ones, the difference being how we use them.


Feoh, because it is linked to gold, also symbolizes fire. In the poetic imagery of the ancient Northern Europeans, gold and fire are symbolically linked, fire being bright like gold, and the earliest form of mobile energy. Fire in the mythology of the ancient Northern Europeans is seen both as creative and destructive. It is the fire that the blacksmith uses to beat out farming implements, and the fire that destroys forests. Even in its destructive aspects, fire brings forth new birth, as many plants on the American prairie have been found to need fire to germinate their seeds. It can also been seen as a person’s spiritual strength. The final line of the poem refers specifically to the casting of rune lots, and how in order to cast runes one must first win the favor of the dryhten or “lord.” In ancient times this would have been Woden whose title in Old Norse was Drottin, cognate to Old English dryhten.


In divination, feoh can mean that money is going to be received or it can be a warning against greed. Often it indicates one will be in a position to generate wealth. Usually, feoh carries its good and bad sides with it, where wealth is received some of it must be given away. In the ancient lore only dragons hoarded wealth. Good kings were called “ring givers” or “givers of gold.” In spellwork it can be used to generate wealth or mobile power.


To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Ethel/Othala

Original meaning: Possessions
An inheritance. Money matters are favored. You may receive assistance from older relatives or long time friends.


Ethel (Ethel) is the rune of the household and the estate, its sentiment is summed up in the phrase “A man’s home is his castle.” It is the rune of the home life and the safety of the home. However, to keep this estate one must uphold what is right and keep the moral codes of the community. Ethel symbolizes the customs and morals of the tribe, its laws. It is also the rune of inheritance and of nobility. It is therefore linked to one’s hereditary traits as well as one’s personality traits brought about by their up bringing. This can be seen as part of one’s personal wyrd or that of the family or clan.


Ethel can also be seen as that type of m??gen which is linked to one place or group of people. Whereas other runes symbolize m??gen in general, the m??gen Ethel represents is tied to specific families. It is the might of ancestral homelands, of ancient clans. Whereas f??h represents mobile power, Ethel represents that power which is fixed, stable, and far more powerful in the long run.


It is the rune of the enclosure known as the tribe, a group of people banded together for mutual protection from the wilds outside. Ancient Northern Europe was sometimes a difficult place to survive, in many ways like the American frontier. Warfare with Celts and Romans and even with other Germanic tribes was often the case. Yet, one’s homeland was safe, a place where one was surrounded by a loving caring community. Yet this safety can only be kept as long as ancient customs and laws are observed, as long as what is right is done.


In divination, Ethel can indicate an inheritance either of a physical or spiritual nature. In spellwork, it can be used to enforce customary law or to protect one’s estate.


To learn more about other runes, select from the list below:

Daeg/Dagaz

Original meaning: Growth
Clarity is realized. The situation improves. Success is indicated. Expect an extended period of prosperity. Growth is not rapid, but it is constant.

Daeg is the rune of daylight and the happiness associated with it. It has much in common with Jera, in that it reflects a cycle of nature, but this one is much shorter. Day can be seen as symbolic of a short though happy process of change. It can also be associated with the feeling of elation felt on warm sunny spring days. Many associate it with the principle of shamanic ecstasy, though it is probably more indicative of the burst of enthusiasm, of true joy, than it is any spiritual awakening. No doubt this sudden burst of enthusiasm may be due to a sudden realization, one that may be linked to the divine. In this sense, D??g may be related to the Christian principle of agape, the love for the divine sometimes felt when divine revelation is recieved.

Daeg however is only the last part of a process. The ancient Northern Europeans started the “day” with nightfall, so that by the time daybreak had come, half the cycle of light and darkness had passed. Daeg therefore represents something that must be achieved only by surviving the dark of the night. To see the light of day, one must first survive the darkness before dawn.

In divination, Daeg sometimes means a change for the better is about to take place. In magic it can be used to achieve happiness and intuitive thoughts.

To learn more about other runes, select from the list below: