Rune 4 - ANSUZ

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Mouth is the origin of speech / And the support of wisdom / And for everyone a blessing II

The towering Ash we love / its stout trunk steady too / amid a crowd of enemies I

Signals, messenger rune, the God Loki
The key element is receiving - not material gifts but messages, signals or timely warnings are beneficial gifts and blessings. Be aware of new meetings, visits and chance encounters, particularly with persons older than you are. The rune of signals is associated with Loki the trickster of the Norse Gods. He brought benefits to mankind against Odin's wishes. Especially scoundrels and arch - thieves can bring messages of worth. Expect the unexpected - information can be hidden in unlikely places. III

The answer is often hidden in plain sight, this rune signals an answer but not perhaps the one you expect.

Use this moment to bring quiet to whatever sense of confusion or sadness you may be feeling. There is nothing you can do to change what has already happened. You can only accept it. Guilt feeds on conflict. Now is the time to bring order, clarity and peace to the chaos of the past. Learning how to let go of the things we cannot change is a crucial part of the healing now underway in our world. No guilt need be attached to our mistakes, for this is how we learn. Endless self blame has no place in healing. Guilt shakes our trust, distracts our judgement and clouds our perceptions. To live in guilt is sabotage to the self.

Name: Os
Number: 4
Sound: A to O
Colour: Purple
The word 'Os' means 'God' or 'Deity' and derives from the Indo-Iranian root 'dayus'. This rune can refer to any deity but normally applies to Odin as chief god of the runes. The rune refers to the divine power and the invocation of that power. The power is neutral but is generally considered beneficial. This is the rune of luck and religious impulse. It is a pictograph of a pine tree, which is a symbol of immortality. This rune is a useful defence against obsession and accident. It is divine power invoked by or in human beings. In this role, the rune is useful for creative work. It can be used to stimulate inspiration in poetry, speaking and divination. V

The Germanic tribes had a strong oral tradition, all their wisdom and knowledge was passed down by word of mouth. The image of the mouth becomes very powerful. The Bible places great emphasis on the mouth, 'In the beginning was the word and the word was God' (John 1,1) This can show the questioner is about to undergo an enlightening experience. It implies a state of reception rather than giving to others. It often appears when an interview or test is imminent. It is associated with apprenticeship or meeting with someone who can shed light on a situation. The essence of this rune is advice and deliberation. It is also regarded as being close to Mercury - this shows there is a chance of a journey of some kind. II

Germanic Name: Ansuz
4 of 1
Anglo-Saxon: Os
Norse: Ass
Phonetic value: A
Traditional meaning: A God
Represents the order and defenders of law. Consciousness, intelligence, communication and reason. The element most associated with this is air - being nessascary to help sound travel. Odin is the wind God; speech, poetry and magical sound are his attributes concerning this rune. "The mouth is origin of every speech / The support of wisdom and comfort of councillors / And to every man blessing and confidence" (Trans: Kemble) The Northern tradition maintains we are descended from the Gods, so with this rune. This rune represents life energy that is called 'prana' in the east and 'od' or 'odic' energy by German magicians. VI

Letter: A
Name: Ansur
Meaning: A mouth
Planetary rulership: Mercury (passive)
The rune literally means mouth, and by association the spoken word. Mercury was the God of intelligence and eloquence. The Teutonic shaman passed his knowledge on through word of mouth. Thus the spoken word may be seen as the repository of wisdom and knowledge, the medium by which education is imported. Up to and as late as the Edwardians, the English education system relied heavily on learning by repetition. Indicates the gaining of wisdom, knowledge and the seeking and taking of advice, rather than the dispensing of these to others. This is noted by Mercury, as in Aryan astrology is always called a 'boy' or one who is not yet out of tutelage. In the sphere of education this can be interpreted as a test, written, spoken or practical. It indicates this will be passed with flying colours. All the attributes of passive Mercury suggest apprenticeship or to seek instruction from someone more experienced in that particular field. It is indicative of truthful or unbiased advice from someone who has been trained in that area.

The meaning of this rune is mouth of the spoken word and so indicates the taking of advice and the gaining of wisdom. An exam or test is indicated. May be advice from an elder person. Heed it, for it will be open, unbiased and free of guile. May suggest an apprenticeship in a new trade or career. VIII

- The spoken word
- Repository of wisdom, gaining of advice
- A test, exam, interview or challenge
- Word passed from one to you, messages or chance encounters

Meaning: Mouth
Divinatory: A message
The answers and confirmation you are seeking are already here, you just cannot see then yet. Check you are not ignoring the message because you do not like it's contents. Everything that comes to you comes to teach you. The mouth is symbolic of communication; problems arise from the inability to decipher their messages correctly.

The sense of the verse leads some editors to suppose that the name 'Os' must be an interpolation of the Latin word 'Os' meaning mouth. The Germanic word postulated as the original name is ' ansuz' which means ' a godling'. The rune is known to have changed in pronunciation from a long 'a' in early Germanic, to long 'o' in Anglo - Saxon. The resulting Anglo - Saxon word 'Os' was uncommon, so a substitute meaning was found. A substitute, which would not totally destroy the original sense of the word, was found in the Latin word 'Os'. This meant 'mouth' was more suited to a Christian society and moved away from a belief in a hierarchy of Gods. Whatever the exact meaning, the verse asserts the importance of speech in revealing the wisdom of the speaker and improving the quality of those who cultivate it. Before the written word took over, oratory was the medium of persuasion in a social group. Those who could speak well became powerful members of society. The occurrence of this shows the runes where used in a society which still valued the spoken word. IX

Also known as Aesc, Asa, Ansuz and variant forms, e.g., Os. This rune sound originated long before runes. In the Hindu tradition, it is the Sanskrit primal sound, which created the present universe. A powerful controller of all things intellectual and conscious. The rune symbolises the ash tree, a symbol of stability.XII

God or deity, usually Odin. The Hanged where sacred to him and sacrifice to Odin by hanging was occasionally practised. In the Anglo - Saxon rune poem, means Ash, the worldly counterpart to the world tree Yggdrasil reinforcing the connection between A - rune and god/Odin. Yggdrasil = Odin's horse or Gallows. According to one authority, venomous animals wouldn't shelter under ash. Carriages with ash axles went faster and tools with ash handles performed better. Witches rode upon ash branches; it is also the ideal handle for a besom. Those who ate red ash buds on St John's eve, would be invulnerable to bewitchment. Odin = sorcerer of the Gods, his magic was more powerful. Among his worshippers was Egil Skallagrimsson, runemaster. Spear was Odin's weapon, Ash was most favoured for spear - shafts. The casket in which Idun kept the apples, which prevented the gods from ageing, was made of ash wood. XIV

Divine inspiration, especially poetry. Intellectual activity and the pursuit of knowledge or inspiration. A period of study and learning could be ahead - matters of the mind are important. The direct use of persuasive speech to gain advantage. The quest for inner knowledge. Inspiration is working through your life, perhaps in the seeking of a poetic or spiritual mind - status. Could stand for taking time to think or taking counsel of an older person. Take time to listen as well as communication. Spirit powers are the woodwoses, these are wild men in green moss and vegetation. XVII

The rune of divine force. Symbolises the divine breath that powers existence. The divine source within all human beings. A controller of all intellectual activities. Linked with the ash tree (Fraxinus Excelsior) as a representative of the World Tree, Yggdrassil. Represents stability no matter what the difficult conditions in life. XVI

This rune is sacred to Odin and therefore can be used in any invocation to him. It represents authority, superiors, elders and ancestors. Translates directly as 'a god'. Parents and inheritance are indicated as is any father figure or God believed in. Also represents spiritual progress, beliefs and philosophy. XVIII

Bit of conflict here, between meanings, seems to be either Ash tree,or 'godling'. Again, it's a personal matter, the best interpretation is to work from both meanings, choosing the best meaning for each individual reading. So on to rune 5! Keep going - almost through the first aett now!