Bibliography for runes
Need is narrow in the breast / but often can be a help / if attended to early II
Need pierces the heart / thought hope whispers here / if we can hear to listen I
Constraint, Necessity, Pain
Don't take the world personally. epresents the constraints we and others place on ourselves. The role of this is to identify our shadow side or the side we pay little attention to. Not necessarily our bad side but a part of us which has been stunded or repressed by someone else.
To do something necessary but not necessarily something you like or want to do.
The need for restraint is not questioned here. Drawing this indicates that there will be holdups and erasons to reconsider your plans carefully.
This is time to work within not without.
Consider yourself a fisherman in a time of stormy weather. Instead of going out to fish, use the time to mend you nets and put everything in order.
The pain is something necessary before you can move on. III
For a warrior to have to kill his favourite horse wounded in battle would be something he would not want to do but he would know it to be necessary even though he woudn't like doing it
Drawing this rune signals a time when the shame you have lived with for so long can be understood and healed.
Many of us still carry the feelings of chaos and uncertainty from a home where no one listened and boundaries where seldom or never honoured. it is our feelings of shame that damage trust and sabotage self acceptance. For thisreason facing your fears is an essential part of healing the shame that binds you to your past.
When the time is right you will find the courage to tell one person what happened - just one. This rune teaches that a new life is possible.
Imagine a day when you are free from all feelings of shame. A day when you are no longer suffering from the painful experience of your childhood or feeling wounded by the betrayal of those to whom you looked for guidance that never came.
Realise you have survived your pain. Make a journey into the light. IV
Origin hallristingor carving, the latin letters N or H
This rune represents the power that makes someone do things that are impossible. It refers to the sudden rush of power that lets a person succeed in a crisis or a rush of destiny that lets all things fall into place. V
Denotes restriction on a material level. Associated with Saturn, the slowest moving planet the ancient German would have been able to observe. Saturn corresponds to our image of 'Old Father Time' and 'the Grim Reaper' representing authority and structure.
Shows a situation which cannot be rushed by hasty action. Does not imply failure - rather forces that are too strong to hurry.
Growth through hardship II
Germanic Name Naithuz
2 of 2
Anglo Saxon Need
Phonetic value N
Traditional Meaning Need
This is closely associated with the Norn Skuld who rules the future. The word Skuld relates to the Dutch and german word 'schuld' meaning 'debt'. It can mean in traditional Nordic terms 'werguild' meaning literally 'man guilt'.
Skuld is the youngest of the Norns, she cuts the thread of life when it comes to an end. Skuld wears a veil, which indicates that the future is covered.
Need constricts the heart / but it often serves as a help and salvation to the sons of man / if the attend to it in time. (Trans. RI Page)
This may be interpreted as the past, constricting the present and placing restrictions on the future.
Indicates something is needed or required.
The rune rules 'Nifehel' or 'fogworld', the realm of the dragon Nidhog, who gnaws at the roots of Ygdrasil (the world tree).
This realm is where all fears reside.
These fears are part of the survival instinct which warns us about iminent dangers. Thus there is a protective warning about this rune which teaches us the skill of self preservation.
An old Germanic association links this rune with the element of fire, the need fire. This was originally a ritual kindling of fire whic seems to point to a religion older than that of Aesir (worship of the Norse Gods)
Fire rituals where used for a variety of purposes - sacrifices, healing and blessings of fertility and health.
The custom of engaged couples leaping over a bonfire is an extension of this rite.
Fire which is associated with the sun, was regarded as a source of life.
The custom of crossing fingers for good luck is possible connected with this rune, as the right hand forms this rune when the fingers are crossed. VI
Planetary rulership: Saturn (active)
Saturn as Old Father Time - this rune counsels patience, endurance and caution. Events will work themselves out in slow time. Thus this rune preceeds delay, constraint, limitation, oppression and affliction.
Warning against making changes. Even though all the right answers may be there, time may be the only factor needed.
Often this indicates a long standing problem or chronic illness (Chronic comes from the Greek work for time)
A period of shortage or ill health a warning not to stretch further or take extra duties as it is unlikely that they will eb able to be carried out.
This rune indicates stability and the need to maintain status quo. Passing through a learning situation, to have patience, to stick at a job, to fulfill promises and obligations. Lack of success. VII
Neid - one of the three great delay runes. Have patience through trying times. Meeting this head on and facing the fear will help you overcome similar problems later.
Will imply failure in any new project through lack of energy. Indicates you needs as opposed to your wants. Examine your problem, is it a minor inconvenience or a true problem? VIII
- What you need, not what you want
- Delay rune
- Forces which are too strong to hurry
- Need + fire
You are getting exactly want you need at the moment. It may be the opposite of what you want but the state is not permanent, rather a series of lessons to be learnt.
Trust that everybody in the present is meant to be there. The past is a memory, the future a dream, the present is the only place where you have influence, where you exist. To achieve your wants, experience it opposite to appreciate it fully. XI
This and the previous verse in the traditional sequence (H) both have their own special metre unique in the poem. This metre consists of 5 stressed beats instead of the usual 4. These five beat lines are called 'hypermetric', or beyond the metre. Both verses also contain the phrase 'to turn'. IX
This is called Nyd or Not. The form of the rune represents the two ticks of wood used for making the 'need fire'. Two pieces of wood are rubbed together to cause friction and finally heat. Skuld, the Norn of the future is associated with this rune. XII
Some authorities read this as a fate rune and equate it with the fates of Norse myth. It had the power of providing help when scratched on a fingernail. XIV
Represents needs in life. 'Crossing the abyss', meeting this challenge= long lasting success.
Hardship and painful toil may be needful as a part of life.
Represents the fire bow and drill. The need for fire or inspiration = creates it. XVII
Represents the two balks of wood once used for kindling the need fire, a powerful ritual fire that was only kindled at times of disaster such as famine or an outbreak of plague in cattle. The name literally means need, which is both scarcity and absence of a thing as well as the principle of necessity.
All things aer constraints and this rune restricts possibilities. This rune also holds the power to be released from need if it is recognised for what it is.
A rune of change, to use our fate constructively. XVI
Self preservation, instinctive requirements. The need to eat, have shelter, protect your children and save ones own skin. Also other needs, creativity, or basic requirements from a job or relationship.
The motivation force, need to achieve, to function etc. A warning to be cautious. XVIII
The 19th Rune
Associations with the beech tree and the colour blue. Symbolises need or want. Something lacking or likely to lack in the near future.
Possibly a warning to be prudent - with wealth or emotions. XX
There are many examples in the literature of the North, both in Edda poems and prose Sagas which mention runes carved on wood. A good example occurs in 'Skirnirs Ride'. Skrinir is trying to terrify the beautiful Gern into accepting Freyr as her husband. When all his attempts at bribery and gifts have been rejected he says:-
Odin is angry with you
Asabringr (Thor) is angry with you
Freyr will despise you
You foul wench
But you've earned
The cursing anger of the Gods
P I carve for you
And three staves
Lewdness and madness
So I will carve it off
Just as I carved it on
If need of that arise.
Needless to say under this unpleasant threat Gurd immediately gives in. XI