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Ancient Runes Lesson 6



Lesson 6 Second Years








Meaning of the Runes: Third Aett

teiwaz: Tyr
Phonetic equivalent: t
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
duty, discipline, responsibility, self-sacrifice, conflict, strength, a wound, physicality, the warrior path
MAGICAL USES:
protection, victory, strength, strengthening the will, healing a wound
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Tyr and the Fenris Wolf, Odin's ordeals
ANALYSIS:
Just as the second aett began with the cleansing destruction of hagalaz, so too does the third aett begin with a loss. However, hail is imposed by the Gods to force the sacrifice of those things which aren't really vital to our development. Teiwaz, on the other hand, represents a voluntary sacrifice, made by someone who understands exactly what they are giving up and why.
Tyr's sacrifice of his hand to allow the binding of the Fenris Wolf was a noble one, and notable in a pantheon of deities not known for their sense of duty and ethical responsibility. He is believed to be one of the oldest of the Norse Gods - a Bronze-age rock carving was found in Scandinavia depicting a one-handed warrior - and his position may well have originally superseded that of Odin. Tyr's rune is also one of the oldest in the fužark, having survived virtually unchanged from the earliest Bronze-age carvings. It represents all those qualities associated with the God: strength, heroism, duty and responsibility. But it also represents a deeper mystery - that of the wounded God. Like žurisaz, the pain of teiwaz focuses the attention and forces discipline. However, in this case the effect is more conscious and the wound carries a greater significance. Uruz has been confronted and bound, and the lessons of teiwaz and hagalaz have been learned. This is the path of the warrior.

berkana: birch
Phonetic equivalent: b
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
fertility, health, new beginnings, growth, conception, plenty, clearance
MAGICAL USES:
healing (especially infections), achieving conception, making a fresh start
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Frigg, Idunna
ANALYSIS:
The birch is fundamentally a symbol of fertility. There are numerous instances in European folk tradition where birch twigs are used to bring prosperity and encourage conception. They were fixed above a sweetheart's door on May Day in Cheshire, England, and were placed in stables and houses to promote fertility. On the continent, young men, women and cattle were struck with birch twigs for this same purpose, and young boys would be sent out to "beat the bounds of the parish" with branches of birch to ensure prosperity in the coming year. Witches were said to ride broomsticks made from birch, an image which probably originated with fertility rituals where dancers would 'ride' brooms through the fields, the height of their jumping indicating how high the grain should grow.
If teiwaz is the fundamental male mystery, then berkana certainly belongs to the women, for it represents the path of the mother, the healer and the midwife, bringing new life after death just as the birch puts out the first leaves after winter. While Tyr's wound is acquired through his encounter with death, berkana's wound is that of menstruation, and her ordeal is that of childbirth. The birch is abundant and all providing, and heals through nourishment, cleansing and empathy.

ehwaz: horse
Phonetic equivalent: e (as in 'egg')
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
transportation, motion, assistance, energy, power, communication, will, recklessness
MAGICAL USES:
power, aiding in communication, transportation; to 'send' a spell
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Sleipnir, Freya's feathered cloak
ANALYSIS:
The horse has been a powerful symbol in nearly every culture and every age. They were often believed to draw the sun about the heavens. Strong, swift and loyal, their relationship with humankind is unique. They allow us to perform tasks that would normally be beyond our strength, and to travel distances that would normally be beyond our reach. The mare symbolizes fertility and fecundity, and the stallion is the epitome of virility and raw energy. It is an animal that never lost its power by being domesticated.
Like the sun which is its counterpart, ehwaz represents energy and motion. In this case, however, there is also respect for the source of the power to be considered. This is not merely an impersonal energy source - it is a living, breathing thing whose needs and desires must be taken into consideration, rather than be simply used as a slave. This is the power that was given by the God at algiz, and this rune reminds us of our oath to only use it to help, never to harm. Like the two-edged sword, the horse is a powerful tool, but must be carefully controlled to avoid harming yourself or other. It is tempting to just go barrelling along recklessly, but to do so is to risk loosing that power forever. This is the balance that must be achieved on the path of pure magic.

mannaz: man, humankind
Phonetic equivalent: m
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
significator, self, family, community, relationships, social concerns
MAGICAL USES:
to represent a specific person or group of people; to establish social relationships
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Ask and Embla, Midgard
ANALYSIS:
In its broadest sense, mannaz represents all of humanity, and therefore the entire realm of Midgard. In more practical terms, though, it is those with whom we have personal connections, from our immediate circle of family and friends to the wider community around us, reminding us of our nature as social animals. It also represents our connection with the Gods and with nature, through the two Norse myths of the creation of humans; the first where they sprang from Ymir's body, and the second in which they were created from two logs by a river. It takes the raw energy of ehwaz and controls it through our social conscience, reminding us of those we affect with our deeds both magical and mundane.
The rune itself resembles gebo with its joining of masculine and feminine elements, but is much more complete. It is the entire web of human relationships, with the self at the centre, which mirrors the web of fate explored through raišo. But while that web was more or less fixed, this one is mutable and alive. Past and present, male and female, self and other - all opposites are joined here and made whole. Mannaz is our home, and speaks for all those whose lives we touch when we use the gifts we have been given through the runes.

laguz: water
Phonetic equivalent: l
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
emotions, fears, unconscious mind, things hidden, revelation, intuition, counselling
MAGICAL USES:
enhancing psychic abilities, confronting fears, stabilizing mental or emotional disorders, uncovering hidden things
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Njord, Midgard Serpent
ANALYSIS:
When most people think of water, they generally think of its more pleasant associations - peacefulness, love, compassion, intuition, and the emotions in general. However, we must remember that, to the Norse, water most often meant the sea, and the sea was a terrifying, unpredictable place, home of the Midgard serpent and the grave of many sailors. Laguz, then, should be thought of in terms of the lighter and the darker sides of the element of water. It speaks to our primal fears of the dark, the cold, and all those terrifying things hidden deep within our subconscious minds.
Like eihwaz, which forced the journeyer to confront his or her mortality, laguz makes us examine the underlying roots of our personality and behavior, and allows us to modify those aspects which are hindering our spiritual development. The understanding and wisdom gained through eihwaz and the runes which followed have prepared the journeyer to face this darker side (represented by laguz) and accept it as an integral part of their selves. Laguz also prepares the person to take on the task of helping others through this self-examination process, allowing them to empathize more strongly and share their own experiences, making it (among other things) the rune of the spiritual counsellor.

inguz: Ing
Phonetic equivalent: ng
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
work, productivity, bounty, groundedness, balance, connection with the land
MAGICAL USES:
fertility, farming, growth, general health, balance
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Freyr / Ing, Nerthus, Thor, the Vanir
ANALYSIS:
Ing is a Danish / Anglo-Saxon name for Freyr, the God of agriculture and fertility. Agriculture represents one of the first attempts by mankind to control the environment, and the fertility of crops, animals and people has always been the primary concern and religious focus of most Pagan agrarian societies. From the earliest Sumerian accounts to modern-day British folk custom, people throughout history have sought to ensure the success of their crops.
The vast majority of people in Western society have lost all contact and connection with the land and the process of growing things. The spiritual consequences of this segregation from the earth have been disastrous, since most people find it difficult to relate to deity in a purely man-made environment. The shape of this rune can be likened to that of a field, but its real significance may lie in its balance, representing the harmonious relationship between ourselves and the four elements / four directions. Inguz reminds us of that ancient connection between the Gods and the land, and re-links (the real meaning of the word 'religion') us with our spiritual natures through the realm of the physical. It is quite literally a grounding rune, and by reintroducing us to the earth, it reconnects our bodies, our minds and our spirits.

šagaz: day
Phonetic equivalent: d (pronounced as 'th', as in 'this')
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
happiness, success, activity, a fulfilling lifestyle, satisfaction
MAGICAL USES:
to bring a positive outcome
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
Sunna, Baldr, Nerthus, Yggdrasil
ANALYSIS:
This rune effectively marks the end of the third aett, leaving only ožila to complete the cycle. As in the previous two aetts, šagaz concludes the third with light and hope. However, while wunjo represented earthly glories and the sun, heavenly power, the day brings these two realms together, bringing the more abstract light and power of sowulo 'down to earth' and applying it to our everyday lives.
The shape of the rune itself denotes this kind of interconnection. It is reminiscent of gebo, with its balance of masculine, feminine and the four elements, but šagaz makes further connections to the celestial and the realm of nature. Like inguz, it symbolizes harmony with one's environment. but again takes it a step further, implying a harmonious relationship with the spiritual environment as well. It is a bringing together of all six cardinal points - the four compass directions, the celestial realm above us where the Gods are thought to dwell; and that which is below - all the spirits of the earth and of nature. All of these things are balanced and integrated through šagaz and brought into our daily lives.

ožila: property
Phonetic equivalent: o
DIVINATORY MEANINGS:
property, land, inheritance, home, permenance, legacy, synthesis, sense of belonging
MAGICAL USES:
for aquiring land or property, to complete a project, to strengthen family ties
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES:
the nine worlds of Yggdrasil
ANALYSIS:
In ožila, we find ourselves back in the seemingly mundane realm of wealth and property, just like the first rune, fehu. However, while cattle represented a more movable, transitory form of wealth, the land (as Mr. O'Hara said) is the only thing that lasts. It can be passed on as a legacy, but more importantly, it defines who we are by defining where we are. It is, ultimately, our home.
This rune brings us to the seventh cardinal point, which is the centre. It is the meeting place between Midgard and Asgard; between ourselves and our Gods. It is the axis around which our lives revolve. The idea of land or property is only a symbol - we must all find our own "centre" (or, as Joseph Campbell termed it, our "bliss") to give our lives meaning, and this is really the ultimate goal of the runic journey. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we discover that after all our travels and adventures, we all eventually end up going home. But this doesn't mean that the travels and adventures are pointless. On the contrary, it is only through those explorations that our 'home' or spiritual centre can have any real meaning for us. "There's no place like home" will have no power to send us there unless we come to truly understand what and where our home is to us. Conversely, none of the lessons learned along the way can be of any real use to us unless we actively integrate them into our 'mundane' lives and find that centre point to anchor them to. Ožila not only completes the smaller cycle of the third aett, but also brings us back to the beginning of the fužark itself, only on a higher level. We may now begin the grand cycle of the runic journey again.

Questions:

1. Name four of the 8 runes, their meaning and Phonetic equivalent.

A.

B.

C.

D.

2. Name the other 4 of the 8 runes and their Divinatory meanings.

A.

B.

C.

D.

3. Name the magical uses of 4 of the 8 runes.

A.

B.

C.

D.

4. Name the associated Myths and Dieties of the other 4 of the 8 runes.

A.

B.

C.

D.

5. Match the rune with the correct analysis:

a. a grounding rune

b. Represents energy and motion

c. The rune of the spiritual counsellor

d. path of the warrior

e. connection with the gods

f. marks the end of the third Aett

g. abundant and all providing

h. “There’s no place like home”

Don't forget, the first student to send me the correct answer to the Trivia question will receive an extra 10pts. for their house.
"Name the four founders of Hogwarts and where, according to the sorting hat did they come from"?(Hint: The Lexicon)

Assignments will be due on: Dec. 3rd

Please send your assignments to Professor Parson at the link below. Please click on Flying Harry