The Elder Futhark: Gebo

The Elder Futhark: Gebo

The seventh rune of Freyr’s ætt is Gebo, which corresponds to the “G” sound in the Latin alphabet (the alphabet we use).  Gebo is a positive rune in most cases, suggesting gifts and partnerships that are usually beneficial. When I see Gebo in a casting, it usually influences the casting in a positive way, where even so-called negative runes may lead up to something good, especially if Gebo is in the future or outcome spot.

Gebo‘s Meaning

In Anglo-Saxon Gebo is Gyfu and in Old Norse it is Gar.  Gebo is the rune of generosity and giving. Our ancestors often gave gifts in exchange for partnerships, so Gebo is also the rune of beneficial partnerships. Gebo represents a gift for a gift–whether the gifts are aid, work, or an actual gift. When gifts are exchanged, the gifts create a relationship between the two parties.

Divination with Gebo

When you get this rune in a casting, it suggests two things. First, it suggests you’ll receive a gift. Gebo is, after all, the rune of generosity. But along with Gebo is a partnership of some variety: whether business, friendship, or relationship. In other words, the person who is giving the gift seeks to make a partnership with you. That partnership may be a simple platonic friendship. It may be a gift from a relative who simply wants to reaffirm their family ties with you. It may be a business relationship. Or it might be a romantic interest.

Gebo doesn’t necessarily mean that the gift comes with strings attached. Or the strings may be of the expected variety, such as a birthday present, a holiday present, or some other giving time, like a wedding shower or baby shower. Sometimes the gift does have strings attached, but it’s up to you to determine if it’s an opportunity you wish to take advantage of. Gebo can also mean a gift from the gods, but it also suggests a partnership between you and the god or goddess who is offering the gift.

The meaning of Gebo can depend on the runes surrounding it. The runes feed off of each other, creating a broader picture for the caster. Gebo definitely means gift and/or partnership, but the other runes around it may dictate how that gift or partnership fits in context with everything else.

Some Final Thoughts on Gebo

Gebo is usually a positive rune that means something good in the ways of gifts and partnerships. It suggests an equal partnership rather than something where one is dominant and the other subservient. So, it’s a rune that suggests the partnership of equals. In Old Norse, Gar also meant spear, so it might be the gift between two warriors. Regardless, Gebo is a rune that I like seeing because it tells me that I may be getting something I want–and a beneficial partnership as well.

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5 thoughts on “The Elder Futhark: Gebo

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. This rune showed up for me tonight and I was curious about it’s meaning. Thank you.

    1. Gebo suggests either a gift or a partnership. It was not uncommon for our ancestors to exchange gifts as a way to acknowledge a new partnership. This could be a partnership in business or a relationship (friendship or romantic relationship), or it might simply be a gift. But gifts are often given with expectations, so there you go.

      The runes around the rune gebo are just as important to its meaning. Take that into consideration.

  2. So I am trying to learn the runes since they came in the mail insanely quickly from India to Canada….much faster then the somewhat plain tarot cards I have bought 2 to 3 months ago now…

    II have used them twice so far, both times a rune was left on my bed even if I could have swore the last time that I had put in the bag since I have a 1 year old and you know that would just ended up in diaper poop.

    This time it was Gebo and you have written a lovely explanation of it! It was a hopeful little present considering the negative, rough journey runes showed up for me 😅😄

    1. Gebo is a nice little rune. Just got it myself. I have to get the rest of the runes done, but have no fear, I shall!
      Thanks for the comment!

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