What is FUTHARK?
What is the FUTHARK? The FUTHARK is the first six characters of an
alphabet-like system found in the North lands and Germany. Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz,
Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz. The Elder, Younger, and others were used to both
understand the seen and unseen as well as communicate with each other. Many
other books have been dedicated to showing where they have come from. We will be
focusing on a new way to use the Elder FUTHARK.
Why bother with learning it? What is there to learn from the runes? What is the cost of this knowledge? By learning how to use the runes by seeing the patterns and using them for your own purposes, you will get a new mind set as well as a new way of looking at the world around you. It will cost you the freedom of being lazy, the joy of being irresponsible, and the luxury of blaming others for where you are in your life. What you will gain is self-empowerment, and with that comes self-responsibility.
Each rune is like a word more than a letter. Symbols and meanings lay behind them and are very powerful. Much like the words STOP or GO. Learning the runes by themselves is quite an accomplishment indeed. However, to learn them, then combine them in various "sentences" grants the ability to create POWER PHRASES. Such as GO NOW! If nothing else, we hope you learn how to do that.
We recommend you keep a notebook for Rune working and as a log of your thoughts and feelings as you go on this journey. You will see the difference in yourself when you are done.
A NOTE ON MAGICKAL USE...
Many people have either read the sagas and seen the magickal use of runes or have read in modern age books about the use of runes in magickal work. It is the opinion of the author that what is needed is a definition of magick as it relates to runes.
Consider this: Modern man sits down and makes blue prints of what it is he will be building or writes out his speech he will be giving. Now go back 1500 years. Asa-man has a version of this too - the rune stave. Remember, runes are more than a letter. They are each a concept.
Commitment and Desire are not only needed but are REQUIRED to learn the runes as it is not just learning an alphabet but a way of thinking, a way of life.
The First Aett Runes
The first rune is Fehu. Often referred to as the rune of fertility, this rune is so much more than that. It's historical background refers to cattle. When a man had cattle, it gave him potential for so much more. He could ensure there would be meat for his own family and could sell or trade it for other necessities and desires. Also, with large number of cattle, a man was empowered by the community due to his ability to maintain them. Thus, it gave him a stronger voice at a community meeting. Later, in Germany, the importance placed upon cattle was transferred to gold. So Fehu becomes fee or, "the amount of money." This solidified the notion of mobile wealth for the Fehu rune.
For our ancestor, as with us today, the accumulation of wealth - gained honourably - was and is a positive thing. Wealth in its rawest form (that of a steady food source) is one way of insuring survival. Measurements of wealth in the world of today includes the best medicines and medical treatment as well as other health and social benefits. PROSPERITY IS A BOON, NOT A SIN.
Now let us discuss the true aspect of Fehu. It is the Rune of potential, fertility, stored and moveable wealth. So Fehu is by this definition the rune of CAN DO. With Fehu being the rune of CAN DO this doesn't make the rune of "doing." It is more of the seeds that haven't been planted, the willing student that hasn't applied what he has learned. Fehu is the money in the bank that will buy the house or car. Fehu is ABILITY, but not the action. In the Havamal, Fehu is referred to in this way:
The first charm I know is unknown to rulers
Or any of human kind;
Help it is named,
for help it can give in hours of sorrow and anguish.
Let us consider what this stanza is saying. Why does it say that Fehu is unknown to rulers and all human kind? Perhaps it refers to the actual potential of stored wealth. Look around you and take a count of how many people are very successful in life in at saving money and managing it thoughtfully. So why follow this up with referring to as help? Again, we see potential, for it is not the actual act of helping, but the ability that is there. This makes Fehu "Stored energy."
The second rune is Uruz. Uruz is a rune to which many different properties are given. Let us examine its historical background first. This rune represents the auroch beast. It was a huge bovine creature that resembled a bull on steroids. Uruz is its horns. Although in society today we do not use a beasts horns, our ancestors saw the horn as a symbol of strength. It was used to swear oaths upon and make friendships. So as you can see, Uruz is a rune of strength and will enforcement.
Let us now look at the magickal side. Uruz is a rune that is drawn from the bottom up. It therefore comes to represent the physical movement of things on our world as well as ideas.
On the physical side, we see this rune as rain, gravity, and age. Rain because it starts on earth goes into the sky and returns to the earth. It is the drawn formula for gravity: What goes up must come down. As for age, Uruz is a road map of life, we are born, we live, then we die. Like the auroch, we are the beasts in charge of our life. Therefore we have the ability to physically control what happens in the material world around us.
On the mental side, we see Uruz as a fine example of thought. An idea starts within our subconscious and then comes up out of it into our active mind, then into our physical world.
The Havamal has this to say about the second rune:
I know a second that the sons of men
Must learn who wish to be leeches.
So, what is being said here? First of all, a "leech" is a term for a doctor referring back to when the use of leeches were common practice. Why would this rune be important to a doctor? When you look at Uruz, understand it nature is to works its will upon the world around it. Does a doctor do any less then change the very nature of our bodies? So for a doctor to be successful in his "magick" he must understand the essence of Uruz. This makes Uruz "Energy released."
The next rune is Thurisaz. Historically, you will find Thurisaz is the rune of Giants, Thor, Thor's hammer, Thorn, Protection, Attack, and several other seemingly paradoxical interests. So, a question to be asked here is: "How can it be both the lion and the lion tamer?"
First, lets look at the Giant/Thor relationship that this rune represents. Giants were powerful, strong, and formidable. It would take someone their equal to keep them in check. So let us suppose at this moment that the giants and Thor are equal. What would be needed to shift the balance of power would be something of awesome energy. That energy is Thurisaz. And Thor's Thurisaz is the results he receives with Mjollnir, his mighty hammer.
So, it is not the "ability" as in Fehu, or the "action" as in Uruz, but it is the ENERGY released by the action. Mjollnir itself is but a tool, but the energy released by it is what is important. Another example could be: a bullet is Fehu, pulling the trigger is Uruz, and the movement of the bullet is Thurisaz. One more example of the relationship of runes thus far: You get an idea to build a house(Fehu). So you draw out the plans for building the house (Uruz). Then you begin building the house (Thurisaz). This makes Thurisaz "Energy in motion."
Now let us look at what the Havamal has to say about this rune:
"I know a third: in the thick of battle,
If my need be great enough,
It will blunt the edges of enemy swords,
Their weapons will make no wounds."
When you have motivation you make things happen. What we see here is what the power of motion can do. Moving fast enough can allow you to "blunt" your enemies weapons by stopping them, thus disallowing them the opportunity of wounding you.
Think of a time when you were meeting an equal on any "battlefield." It was the person who could release more of the right kind of energy who won. Thus making the challenge not that of "how bad will you beat a person" but an internal challenge of "what will it take to win."
In the forth position is Ansuz. This rune is referred to as the Rune of Odin, the Rune of the Ash tree, and the Rune of Release. In traditional references it is the "god rune." Looking at the concept of a god rune we must first define what "god" is.
Being a god is representative of the effect your changes have made on the world. Spent money is god; it makes many things happen. Parents are gods thru action and inaction; they rule a child's life thru the very early stages. So, too, are all of us gods in our world. By either our action or lack of it we are responsible for what happens around us.
Ansuz is the rune representing our responsibility to ourselves and our world around us. It is not the action itself (as in Thurisaz), but the result of that action ansuz is the Effect of Energy.
The Havamal has this to say about Ansuz:
I know a forth:
It will free me quickly
If foes should bind me fast
With strong chains, a chant that makes Fetters spring from the feet,
Bonds burst from the hands.
Effect of energy on the world. Ansuz will quickly bring release when used. Many people see themselves trapped or tied down in a situation that they feel they cannot escape from. Most of the time, escape is never tried. When it is, however, the effect of the energy released is Freedom. Physically, mentally, or spiritually, freedom can be achieved with a strong will and desire for escape.
Using our gun example:
Ansuz is when the bullet hits its target. It is the hole created, the damage done. It is not, however, the response the damage will have to its surroundings.
Using the house example:
It is the house built, but not the effect the house will have on the neighborhood. That is our next rune.
In the fifth place is Raido. In most books Raido is assigned the properties of movement, law and order, spiritial development, and counciling. In what can be seen in the runes offered before this one, we can add in these properities and make show cause and effect.
Issac Newton said that for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction. This statement is Raido incarnate. The movement between actions is Raido. When you act as Ansuz, you caused an action to happen. Raido is the effect of your action.
Sixth in the first Aett is Kenaz. Historically, this rune can be seen as a representation of fire and disease. The fire aspect comes from an item known as a Cyn, in which a piece of pine was burned. It also represents the funeral pyre. The other reference to disease comes from literal translation of "boil" and represents a burial mound.
Other areas Kenaz seems to represent are sexual matters and that which is learned. This last part is one of importance. If you look to the basis of each of the above examples, you see that each is knowledge of an effect. It is the "Wyrdic" outcome – that which is learned. Death, of course, is the ultimate outcome of life. Sexual concepts are those things that signify the end of childhood.
It has been said that experience what we get when we do not get what we wanted. This is a true statement, but it is also true that experience is gained by getting what we want. Kenaz is that experience.
In our gun example:
If you are shot, you may die. That would be Kenaz. If you lived, you would probably have a scar, and know what being shot felt like. This would also be Kenaz.
In our house example:
You would know what it cost to build a house and how much time it would take to build it.
Here is what the Havamal says about Kenaz:
I know a sixth. If some thane attacks me
with the wood of a young root,
he who says he hates me will get hurt,
but I will be unharmed.
In this stanza, we have a thane (bad guy) trying to use a sapling tree as a weapon and hurling insults at the author, but he says he will not be harmed. The knowledge gained by battle allows the person about to be attacked to know how to, not only stop the aggressor, but insure that the aggressor will gain knowledge via pain. Showing directly: "What comes around, goes around."
The next rune it Gebo. Here we will show how this rune comes to be the wisdom of an action. Traditionally this rune is known as the "gift" or "gift giving" rune. To some, it is the rune of Odin. The Havamal places much importance on gifts, gift giving and the returning of gifts.
The root concept in Gebo is not the gift, or the giving of gifts, but the fruits of the giving. As this is the rune of Odin, thinking of it in the receiving of fruits of our labor context is not a long stretch. Just as he received the runes after his labor, so do we receive the product of our doing.
In our gun example:
The outcome of a shooting a gun is the food we receive from it or the enemy that we have over come.
In our house example:
The gift of having built a house is lies in the comfort of being protected from the elements and things that would be a threat in the world.
Therefore, as we see in our examples, planting a seed of any kind give you some kind plant to harvest. From this we able to eat or receive money for our labor. This is Gebo.
The last of the first Aett is Wunjo. This rune is known to represent joy. In defining "joy" in the case of Wunjo, we find a point of balance, a sense of fulfillment and transformation. It is to remain in harmony with the flow of events. The Anglo-Saxon word is Wynn, which we know as winning in Modern English. Wynn meant "peaceful" in the Anglo-Saxon definition.
You cannot know joy or winning without knowing sorrow or losing. So to understand the value of good things your experience must be as great in both directions.
Wunjo is the wisdom learned by the gift of Gebo. This rune is the goal in life that most people in the world miss. They see the obtaining of the product (Gebo) as the end of the process. It is sad to think so many people see winning a lottery as a way of bettering their life. The winning is only the beginning. So many winners end up back at the job after a few years or even sooner because they did not understand that winning was the not what they needed.
The wisdom of the gift, the food it could put on the table, the clothes it could put on your back, the power of controlling one's life more than ever, is overlooked in our world today. It is not money that we receive (Gebo) but how we use it that should be our goal.
Putting it all together…
The First Aett: The Life Cycle
In Fehu, we see potential; ideas, a seed or bullet.
In Uruz, we see ability; education, planting or a loaded gun.
In Thurisaz, we see movement; application, a seedling or a bullet fired.
In Ansuz, we see connection; a finished product, grown plants and a target hit.
In Raidho, we see reaction; changes caused by a product, processing of plants and the movement of the target when hit by a bullet.
In Kenaz, we see knowledge; seeing results from the changes of product, knowing what the processed plant looks like and knowing the quality of the shot.
In Gebo, we see outcome; benefits of the changes by product, money of sold plant, food from the animal shot.
In Wunjo, we see wisdom; using the benefits to better the product, putting part of the money back for more seed, and understanding the animal gave of itself so you may live.
Alternatively, we could say:
Fehu: idea of life
Uruz: can bring life
Gebo: life lived
Wunjo: legacy of life
With that, we come to the end of the first Aett runes.
The Second Aett
Here in the Second group of eight runes we will see external forces that put themselves upon us. In most cases these are not ruled by intelligence, rather they are forces of nature.
Hagalaz is the ninth rune. It is seen as potential energy of neutral power. Very similar to Fehu in concept of potential energy, Hagalaz differs in its nature by being an external force. It is seen as hail.
A rune poem reads:
(Hail) is cold grain,
and a shower of sleet
and a sickness of snakes
Therefore, it has potential of being harmful as sleet and helpful as a snake killer. This rune, above all others, truly represents the concept of balance – of yen/yang. Truly nature in a raw form, Hagalaz represents external influences outside of our control.
You can see this as a hailstone, water in a hard static form, moving toward us from the sky. It has been associated with Urd (that which was) the elder Norn, and rightly so. The past appears to be frozen but is forever moving into the present.
Nauthiz is number ten and second of the second aett. It is need in all its forms. We find that need creates invention. Therefore, when life says you "need" to eat, you find a way to do it.
Another rune poem reads:
(Need) constricts the heart, but often serves
as help and salvation to the sons of man,
if they attend to it in time.
It is a hard place to be when you are in need. If you understand your needs, you can work to fulfill them. If your need is great and you do not fulfill it, that need may kill you. Needs such as hunger and shelter are good examples of the dangerous kind.
In this way, Nauthiz is an agent of your wyrd or orlog, depending on the severity of the need. It can be represented as Skuld (that which will be) the third Norn. In this way, we see that Nauthiz is a signpost of the future, letting us know what will happen based upon our ignoring or acting upon our need.
Isa, third of the second aett, and eleventh over all, is ice. Our ancestors
say much of this frozen element. Its ability to give what appeared to be
permanence to all things was very powerful. Isa is a signature of a perfect
order. It is a complete lack of chaotic elements.
How you view what is external and how the external views you is found in this rune. Think back on someone you have not seen in 15 years. Now let us say you see them tomorrow. Suddenly, this person is not that kid you knew in high school, they look differently and act differently. Up to this point, your view of this person, and they of you, was frozen from 15 years ago. This is Isa, and in this way can be associated with Verandi ( that which is) the Norn of the present.
Isa is suggested by Thorsson and Gundarsson to be representative of ego. This appears to come from the symbol of "I." Even if this "I" was the same as modern man perceives it (there is no proof to this claim), the "I" of the self is not simply ego. Indeed, the "I" of the self encompasses the body, the emotions, the mind, and the ego. Therefore, without more proof of the concept, to view Isa simply as ego is inappropriate.
Number five of the second Aett is Jera. Here is the symbolism of the spiral pattern of time. Although it is cyclical in its concept, and appears to drum on and on in the same way year after year, it is not a circle that meets end to end.
Jera is the movement of time. This is both the movements forward and backward in time. Forward through our hopes and fears and backwards through our memories. The length and width of our lives in this movement is represented in the next two runes.
On the concept of "yen/yang" presented by Gundarsson, only the shape of this rune gives way to the comparison. The spiral movement of Jera and the changes of the seasons bear very little resemblance of the concept of the duality of the universe put forth by the teaching of Tao. As said earlier, Hagalaz in its duality would be the closest rune to yen/yang. Taoism is an alien philosophy in comparison to the runes. Therefore, to say that any of the runes embodies the concepts of yen/yang would be a trap of generalization.
Where Jera represents time, the sixth rune of this Aett, Eihwaz, is the physical manifestation within time. Traditionally, Eihwaz is the yew tree. Staying green all year long, useful for burning, bow making, and achieving shamanic-like visions, it is no mystery why this tree represents "Nature's Immortality." In its evergreen qualities, and longevity the yew is a perfect example of the living things that exists in space/time. It lives a very long time and yet does die, as do all things. This is also known as being alive but not necessarily living, that is Perthro, our next rune. In its shape, we see a "measuring tape" of life, from Midgard to Asgard, from conception to death.
Perthro is the seventh rune of the second Aett. Traditionally, it is either a lot cup or a game piece. In its essence, this rune represents mandatory changes brought about by external forces. Whereas Eihwaz is the "length" measurement of life, Perthro is the "width" measurement. Simply not how long you lived, but how well you lived it. In the rune poem referring to the Warriors in the Beerhall, or the Women in the Birthhall (depending on how you read it), we see happiness of being alive and a joy of living.
In the games we play in life, be they dangerous high stakes games or just for fun games, we experience and learn. Therefore, Perthro is the rune of experience. To know life is to know pain, and to know pain there is wisdom. Perthro is a rune of wisdom. An example of this would be the joy of birth, which is very painful. Perthro is the experiences dealt in the game of life.
Our next rune is Elhaz. Its traditional meaning is protection, stemming from Elk-Sedge. Elk-Sedge is a water plant that cuts a person who is entangled in it. The poem for this rune is: “Elk-Sedge grows mainly in the fenlands. Flourishing in the water, it grimly wounds, running with the blood of any who try to grasp it.”
It is also found in the peace symbol of our time. This, when examined, does make sense in that “peace” is the absence of threat or harm. Elhaz can also be seen as an open hand, as if saying: “Stay back!” Therefore, this rune is that which comes between us and harms way, in both the physical world as well as the spiritual.
In the physical world, we see Elhaz as possibly a sword, protecting with a sharp edge. In the spiritual world, Elhaz is our beliefs in the gods (or a god) and that which is beyond our five senses. This rune holds importance in our world today. We can see people reaching for it (by wearing the peace symbol) even though they truly only understand that it is a call for peace. What is really being displayed is the subconscious desire to put SOMETHING between them and harms way. Elhaz is the rune for this purpose.
Sowilo is the final rune of the second Aett. It is the power of the sun. To the Norse, the sun was known as Sunna, and it was considered feminine. This was due to the warm and nurturing nature of the sun. As a representation of power, nothing in the world compared to the sun. Seamen hoped it shine every day they were sailing. Its presence was considered protection from the dark, and all the things that might come from it. The sun also helped guide them to their destination.
Therefore, we can see that Sowilo comes to represent someone or something that is a “guiding light.” This can be seen as a mentor or person who teaches. It can also be seen as road map.
Now let us recap the Second Aett of the runes.
In Hagalaz, we have hail, an external force outside of our control. It is a neutral power.
In Nauthiz, we have “needs,” external forces that drive us forward. Like hunger, lust and fear.
In Isa, we have ice. It is how the world sees us. Its view static and unchanged until exerted upon.
In Jera, we have the cycle of time: External force of entropy and its effect upon the world.
In Eihwaz, we have the yew tree and its apparent immortality representing that of nature’s own.
In Perthro, we have the lot cup. It is the force of luck.
In Elhaz, we have protection by an external force.
In Sowilo, we have a mentor or guide that encourages a feeling of safety.
With that, we come to the end of the Second Aett.
The Third Aett
In the Third Aett we will see that the last set of runes are internal forces that help us deal with the external forces of the Second Aett as we travel the path outlined in the First Aett.
Tiwaz is at the head of the final aett. It is the rune of the god Tyr. Like him, this rune represents inner strength and morality. It is a rune of order, self sacrifice, stability, lawfulness and courage. To be like Tyr is to be ‘Straight as an arrow.” We see this example appears to have been based on the design of the arrow or spear shape of this rune.
In the phallic shape of this rune, we find the embodiment of “masculine energy” which resides within both men and women. However, we see the qualities of Tiwaz exerted and looked for in men as a way of measuring them much more than women. Tiwaz is the rune of fatherhood.
The second of the last aett is Berkano. This is the rune of the birch tree. Like the young birch tree, Berkano is the power to be flexible without breaking. It was branches also represent being fertile.
There is much speculation that this rune represents various goddesses at the same time, to include Freya, Frigg, Hel, Nerthus, Holda, and Berchta. Certainly, this rune shape lends itself to the concept of being womanly. It represents the ability to give birth, to be motherly, and the sexuality of breasts. Berkano also comes to represent the burial mounds in which we return to after we die. It is the rune for “Mother Earth.”
Berkano is the rune in which we find the embodiment of “feminine energy.” It can reside within both the male and female, but the qualities of it are generally looked for in women.
The third rune of the Third Aett is Ehwaz. This is the rune of the horse, or more specifically, horses. The rune has a double meaning. The first represents “horse power,” the ability to carry the load. This is the inner strength from which we draw from. A great example of this is found in a Smithsonian artifact of a horse’s hoof. The hoof belonged to fire horse remembered only has No. 9. On a way to fight a fire, No. 9 got his hoof stuck in a railroad track. When he pulled up, the whole hoof was torn from the leg. This was not noticed until after the fire was put out and several lives saved. Unfortunately, the horse had to be shot there at the scene. No. 9 was given a firefighter funeral and was remembered for a very long time. One of the human firefighters retrieved the hoof. It was kept around the station for nine years. The Smithsonian Museum then came into possession of it. It is the power of No. 9, and the strength of will to perform ones duty, that Ehwaz represents.
In FUTHARK: A Handbook of RUNE MAGIC, Thorsson makes reference to Ehwaz meaning Stallion and Horse, where Aswynn says in Leaves of Yggdrassil it could mean Stallion and Mare. Contemplation of this leads us to the second meaning of Ehwaz: Duality. More directly, Ehwaz comes to represent the duality of man in his ability to deal with his world. On one hand, we have the Stallion aspect - headstrong and virile, looking to face the world head on and on our own terms. On the other hand, we have the Horse or Mare aspect. Here we see a creature that works with others, often time’s looks for guidance before acting. Sometimes, we must lead. However, to be a good leader, we must know how and when to follow.
Forth of the last aett is Mannaz. This is the rune of Man, but “Man” as in Human kind, not male gender. It is said to represent the “perfect human.” This appears to be based on the thought that we are genetically linked to the gods. There was a Germanic god named Mannus that fathered the three classes of mankind. In the Eddas, the Lay of Rig tells us Heimdall does this same thing. He comes to Midgard under the name “Rig,” which means King, and creates the Thralls, Freeman and Earls. The creation of social classes in one thing, but the rune Mannaz represents much more than a person’s social standing.
Mannaz also represents the intelligence, memory, rationality and traditions of humankind. In a word, it represents our Humanity. This rune exposes both the strength and weakness of being human. It is the essence of what we look to pass down and teach our children: Be smart, remember your ancestors, act fairly and honor the gods. Mannaz is apart of the soul of the human race, the part that says, “we are man.”
Laguz is the next rune. It represents water in all forms and the leek plant. First, let us look at the water representation. Without water, for drinking and for fishing, many people would have died. However, when set out across, many people did indeed find a watery tomb as their final resting-place. In the Eddas, Hel is said to have water all about it.
In addition, the universe is said to have been created by the melting of frozen waters of Nifleheim. Therefore, water was, and still is, very important to all living creatures. Within the waters, however, often times lay very dangerous and sometimes deadly things.
With the leek, we see a plant that also has hidden parts. Its shoots grow green above ground but a bulb of great potency fuels it. The power of hidden things is seen in both the water and leek aspect. Within humans, this is our subconsciousness.
In Beowulf, we find Grendel, a symptom of sickness, coming out of the waters. He attacks the hall called the Heart. Upon further inspection, we find the cause of the sickness: his mother. What we have here is a representation of guilt and anger (Grendel) coming out of our subconscious (water) to attack a happy hall (our heart). However, the guilt is a symptom of a bigger problem (Grendel’s mom) that must be faced.
Therefore, what we see here, in a classic Germanic story, is Laguz – water of the subconscious. This rune represents not only the subconscious but also that which is within it. All things that have been created or thought of initially starts within our dark recesses of subconsciousness.
Laguz also represents the waters within the well of Mimir. When we are strong, enough to face the sacrifice asked for wisdom, we find the well is within us, its waters dark and its secrets hidden.
The twenty-second rune is the Ing. This is forth rune within the Third Aett that represents a deity directly. Ing is a god who has also came to be known as Frey. He, as well as the rune, are the embodiments of fertility that is drawn from in order to create. The rune is shaped similarly to the DNA helix. Although this was not done knowingly, it is interesting to note how Ing represents the very essence of creating.
In the Ing-Nerthus cult, the god aspect was sacrificed to the goddess aspect. This represents the relationship of the plants, which grow in the fields. They must be cut and the seeds replanted in the next cycle. Within us, we nurture ideas and plans. This is the Ing aspect working within us. We can also see the pattern in the wedding of Frey and Gerd. Frey gives up his symbols of manhood, that being his sword and horse, in order to win over the earth incarnate, Gerd.
The energy of Ing is cultivated and built up slowly. It can then be released at one time in a burst of activity. This is seen within the actions of a seed, which suddenly sprouts, as well as the sexual energy of any male. Therefore, the aspect of Ing is both in the storing of such energy and the releasing of the same.
In the oldest set of runes known to exist, the next rune is Dagaz, followed by Othala. This is on the Gotland stone found in Sweden (423C.E.). Some modern rune masters have Dagaz last, based on other sets found, while others (this author included) follow the Gotland stone example.
Dagaz means Day. The question is, what does day mean? Is it, as some say, the time that divides the darkness, or is it the twenty four-hour periods that must be dealt with every twenty-four hours? Is it the spiritual light shining from a cosmic consciousness? Modern rune masters have brought up all of these points. Why is day important enough to warrant a rune? Perhaps it is all of these reasons.
Logically, day is the time you get things done. It is the time you give yourself to accomplish your daily goals. It is more than just a date, such as setting a goal. It is an allotted amount of minutes or hours you allow for your work. The Norse and Germanic peoples were primarily hunters, farmers, and fishermen. These crafts were really only able to be accomplished during the part of the day when there was sunshine.
Therefore, the Dagaz rune is representative of the personal time you give to accomplishing goals and work schedules – no matter what the actual time of day.
The final rune is Othala. This rune represents ancestral property, innate personal quality or a person’s homeland. Because this rune was used to mark off a personal homestead, it is also seen as a rune of boundaries.
Othala, found internally, is the areas of life in which we feel most comfortable. To say you feel at home in a particular endeavor is a good example of this. Conversely, to know where our boundaries are in life is extremely important. This is not to say that we should not, at times, push those boundaries for the sake of growth. However, it does allow us the ability to make good judgement.
Othala is our home turf, whether this is physically, emotionally, of spiritually. The areas are clearly marked and defended with extreme vigor.
Now to recap the Third Aett:
Tiwaz- is a rune of order, self sacrifice, stability, lawfulness and courage.
Berkano- is the rune of “feminine energy.”
Ehwaz- is the rune that shows the duality of man in his ability to deal with his world.
Mannaz- represents the intelligence, memory, rationality and traditions of humankind.
Laguz- represents not only the subconscious but also that which is within it.
Ing- represents the very essence of creativity and the act of creating.
Dagaz- is representative of the personal time you give to accomplishing goals.
Othala- is our home turf, whether this is physically, emotionally, of spiritually.