Bibliography for runes
Torch to all living is pale and bright / It burns brightest / Where noble folk rest II
By it's flame the living know the torch / its brightness illuminating / life inside where we rest I
Opening, fire, torch,
This rune is opening and renewed clarity, dispelling the darkness that shrouded some part of your life. You are now free to receive the joy of non - attached giving. This rune signifies all the abilities needed at the beginning of a project. Seriousness, clear intent and concentration. The problem offered by this rune is a directional torch, which you can direct at your project and see it more clearly than before. The more light you have, the better you can see what is not needed and outmoded in your planning. Any work you do, you have enough light to see that it directly affects yourself. III
An answer may be somewhere you had not though of. Imagine yourself in a dead end maze in poor light. This rune is a torch, which you can shine into the corners and discover a tunnel where you had previously seem a dark wall.
The rune of major blessings, blessing received and bestowed. Acceptance forms the foundation for peace and understanding yourself. The time has come to accept what you cannot change. Especially if it has caused you confusion, sorrow or pain. To do so restores to you the power to change what you can. Receiving this rune calls for gladly giving up the old and being prepared to live, for a while, empty, while you wait for the new to become illuminated in its proper time. IV
Symbol of magical power and initiation. In this remembering that pagans used torchlight parades and bonfires to celebrate the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. In myths animals speak, have a sense of history and often wear clothes and use tools. In no case do they use fire. The harnessed power of the light which emerges from the darkness. The other two runes representing light are 'day' and 'sun'. This is the only one where the light is harnessed by man. V
The outer meaning concerns gifts. Associated with Mars and the Spring Equinox - when the arrival of new life was traditionally celebrated. This symbol of fertility can denote the arrival of a child. It is a masculine rune - relating to the dominant person. The word 'Ken' is still used in Scotland to mean knowledge and understanding. The symbol of a torch denotes enlightenment. 'The torch lights the way' II
Germanic Name: Kenaz
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Anglo - Saxon: Cen
Phonetic value: K or hard C
Traditional Meaning: torch, light
The torch familiar / to the living, a flame / is blinding and brilliant / it burns most often / where royal folk / are at rest within - (Trans. Osbourne)
The torch is the symbol of knowledge. The Dutch and German 'Kennen' means to know and to be familiar with. It also indicates the ability to seek, gain, apply and recognise. The torch being passed tot he next generation of kin or 'cyn' (both words being Anglo - Saxon in origin) The basic meaning of the word 'kin' indicates members of the same family or blood relatives. 'Kin' may also be interpreted in a wider concept as like-minded people of the same tribal origins. The old English word 'cyning', meaning 'king', the royal folk mentioned in the poem translation. In other old mystery traditions, e.g. Ancient Egypt, we often find evidence that the king was also the high priest of mysteries being descended from the Gods. The gaining of knowledge, the light within, the unknown territories illuminated. In 'Sign and Design', Alfred Kallir wrote ". The rune Cen, its basic sense comes to the fore in the Old English 'cennan', with its two meanings, 'to beget' and ' to bring forth from the mind'." In the same book this rune is described as having a shape similar to the female genitalia. VI
Meaning: A torch
Planetary Rulerships: Mars and the Sun
The Romans festival to Mars was on the Vernal equinox, often called the first day of spring. Represents energy, strength, power and positivity. The heat given off by the body by association. By temperature we can ascertain the vitality and natural stamina of a person. Significator of good health and recuperation. Represents positivity on every level. Ancient cultures believed that the year began on the Vernal equinox. The start of the tax year in April is a remnant of this. Will usually indicate the positive or active partner in a relationship. May represent an offer or gift, given from the male partner. Being a fire rune, it is also seen as a protective influence. A lucky sign, indicates being protected from difficulties or not being tried beyond your strength. The concept of primal fire is also representative of this rune. In Teutonic mythology the cosmos began when fire began to melt ice. Strongly creative rune. VIII
Kenaz. The element fire. The torch or hearth fire. Strengths, energy and power. An upcoming respite from worries and a time of manageable trials. A period of opening up and new starts. Will always signify the male in a relationship, perhaps proffering a gift, material or verbal. Rune of creativity, important to artists and craftsmen. VIII
- Spring equinox, bonfires and torches for fertility rites
- Energy, strength, power and positivity
- 'Ken' used in Scotland to mean understanding or knowledge
- Light harnessed by Man
- The torch lights the way
New understanding of life and its meaning. Use the new understanding or it will be useless to you. Use you insights for the good of others. Enlightenment is a starting point not a goal. There is nothing new; you are just seeing it for the first time. Enlightenment needs to be tempered with wisdom before its true worth is known. XI
This rune seems to pertain exclusively to the warm internal world inside the halls. The flame of the torch is identified with ' Athelings', royal folk or princes. In this the pleasure of withdrawing after strenuous activity and relaxing in an atmosphere of warmth and light is seen as being equally nessascary as riding outside. Taken with the verse for riding, these two evoke the contrasting states of living that rune using people experienced. This verse contains subtle ambiguities. Both 'torch' and 'living' are aflame in the first line. In the final line the 'torch' burns where people are ' at rest within', implying not only within the hall but within themselves. In modern German, the word 'Kein' means 'resinous pine wood' and it has been suggested that this was the wood used for funeral pyres. In this case the 'torch' takes on another menaing. The funeral pyre is familiar to those left alive and the royal folk 'who rest within' are dead. IX
The Scottish word 'ken', to understand, is the general meaning of this rune. Rune of teaching and learning. The upright form is known as an ancient means of lighting in Germany. Known as the Keinspanhalter, a floor standing holder of flaming pine wood. The name 'ken' describes a firey chip of resinous pine wood, burnt for lighting. According to the Anglo - Saxon rune poem it brings light in the outer darkness, symbolically the inner light of knowledge. As the fire of the hearth it represents the power of the forge in which material is transmuted by the smiths will and skill in to something new. In the younger Futhark, Kaun can be a sore or wound. This relates it to the Gothic letter Chosma which means illness/illumination. Wounds and illness are sometimes gateways to personal change. A rune connected with the mystery of transformation. XII
Acceptance forms the foundation for loving yourself. To come to terms with the past. Rune of major blessings received and bestowed. While you may be unable to alter your present situation, you can change your response to that situation. Where you are now is exactly where you need to be and you have a perfect right to be there. Gladly give up the old and be content to live knowing that what is yours will come to you. XV
Meanings given include torch, light, boil, abcess and ulcer. Anglo - Saxon gives torch as the meaning but reads just as easily if the meaning where fever. Icelandic and Norweigan both translate as an interpretation with some discomfort or disease. Both of these take ulcer as the most probable meaning. Latin Gloss of ' Flagella' Possible interpretations include an association with cremation as well as correspondence with 'Kano' skiff the sacred vehicle of the cult of Nerthus. Some form of burning pain or fever seem the most likely interpretation. XIV
The brightly burning torch which lights up the hall in the evening. The tempered fire in the hearth. New fire shapes new creations. The ability to propagate ideas in a creative way. Some type of opening, birth or change. This creativity will be illuminated by far - sighted knowledge and cunning. In the old pagan rituals and religions it was a symbol of royalty, aristocracy and mystery. Spirit powers are the dwarven smith spirits, also female spirits of lynx and tiger appearance.XVII
The rune of knowledge. Denotes a flaming brand or a lit branch of resinous pine wood. Light in the surrounding darkness, equates to inspiration, teaching and learning. Can also represent a hearth fire or smiths forge. Represents personal illumination. XVI
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
Warmth and light. Mental illumination and creativity. Possibly celebration around a fire. The centre of attention, events bring social activity. Males give their love, female receive love (from a male) May be the kindling of a relationship. Status, Success, good health and healing. XVIII
The 18th Rune
Associated with the pine tree and the colour yellow.
Symbolised a flaming torch bringing light and comfort to Norse living halls.
Both light and the shedding of light into dark places. Under the light of the torch, hidden things will be rediscovered and come to light.
A sudden or blinding flash of inspiration XX
So, another rune with a dual meaning: perhaps there is a pattern to the ones without a single meaning...Perhaps the original meaning has something to do with painful lessons and flashes of inspiration. Try researching the 6th century hermit 'holy men' of the early Christian world. They sought to understand the divine through self denial and macenation practices. They tried to 'take themselves out' of the material world and disengage with the physical, in order to engage with the mental. Not the easiest of paths to take, but I guess that that was the point.