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The Elder Futhark: Kenaz

The Elder Futhark: Kenaz

The sixth rune of Freyr’s ætt is Kenaz, which corresponds to “K” or hard “C” in the Latin alphabet (the alphabet we use). When I mean “hard C,” I mean the “C” as in “cat” and not in the word “certain.” I’ve seen at least three different meanings for Kenaz; the one that is the most popular is fire (ember) or torch. I’ve also seen the rune mean “opening” and also “disease.” Such a variety of meanings can be attributed to the different spellings. I’ve seen Kenaz, Kaunaz, and Kaunan.

Kenaz‘s Meaning


In Anglo-Saxon Kenaz is Cen and in Old Norse it is Kaun.  Kenaz is the rune of fire. It means to kindle, to light, and to bring into the light. If you use the word, Kaunan, it means disease or malady. Given how ambiguous most runes are, especially how they can be interpreted, I tend to go with the meaning to kindle or light. Sure, if you feel particularly masochistic, you can add another negative rune to the pile, but I’m not so inclined to do so. More on this later.

Divination with Kenaz

When you get this rune in a casting, you’re looking at enlightenment in the form of education or knowledge that is revealed. It is the rune of learning, which means you may classes or education in the future. It may also mean that through study, you may learn something important. This is usually a positive rune with positive meanings, except when it isn’t.

Yeah, I’m talking that disease interpretation. It exists, but honestly I’m not sure that’s the right interpretation. My UPG tells me it’s not. I would only consider the alternate meaning if the casting pertains to health or disease. Again, it depends on the surrounding runes which way to interpret it.

Kenaz often means you get the answer you are looking for, shedding light in the darkness, revealing, or opening. It can also mean a kindling of will–opening yourself to new experiences and new situations to gain more knowledge. This knowledge is something for you to act on. Knowledge is simply knowledge; it is up to you to respond to it in the best way possible. The knowledge may be good or bad to you, but in it is an opportunity for growth.

You may notice I caveat a lot of rune readings by saying the meaning depends a lot on the runes surrounding the rune in question. The runes feed off of each other, creating a broader picture for the caster. Kenaz is no different in that regard. You may find that Kenaz foretells of education– or it could be the revealing of a secret that was better kept under wraps–depending on the runes surrounding it and the circumstance.

Some Final Thoughts on Kenaz

Kenaz is a useful rune that I don’t mind seeing because it means that I’ll find the information I’ve been looking for. It may be in the form of education or it might be something as simple as reading a webpage or talking with someone. I don’t use the disease interpretation because it’s a weird thing to pair with a torch or light. (You can tell me in the comments if you’re using Kenaz in that way in your divination and how your predictions have been.) Anyway, I hope you find the power of Kenaz to be helpful in your castings.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links, I get a small stipend which helps support The Rational Heathen. I would encourage you to support my site.  Thanks.

The Elder Futhark: Ansuz

The Elder Futhark: Ansuz

Alas! Family visits plus work has put me behind on writing about the runes. So, without further ado, I’m covering the next Elder Futhark rune. The next rune in the Elder Futhark is Ansuz, the fourth rune in Freyr’s ætt.

Ansuz‘s Meaning

Ansuz carried several different spellings in Anglo-Saxon. It could be written as Os, Aesc, or Ac. In Old Norse, it was Oss. I’ve seen several different meanings for it, but the closest meaning as I understand it is “message from the gods (Aesir).” Others have described it as “Signals,” “Mouth,” or “Communication.” It represents the “a” sound. This rune is tied to Odin as it often suggests the message comes directly from the All-Father. Naturally, this makes it a very important rune in your casting.

Divination with Ansuz

Ansuz is an important rune as it suggests where you’re getting your information. If you get Ansuz in a spread, pay close attention to where it shows up in your reading and what runes are around it. For example, if you do a three-rune casting where it deals with the matter under consideration, influencing factors/impediments, and future developments/outcomes and you get Ansuz in the second spot, the runes might be warning you that the gods’ messages might not be what you hoped for. But then again, if you get the rune with positive runes, it might suggest the message is favorable, but pay attention. Negative runes surrounding it may implicate that you need to pay closer attention to what the gods are telling you about your situation.
Like any rune, you need to consider this rune in the context of others. In most cases, it’s a benign and positive rune. Paired with negative runes like Hagalaz or Nauthiz, it can prove to be a trying rune at times. But again, it’s all in the context.

Some Final Thoughts on Ansuz

Ansuz is one of those runes which will tell you to pay close attention to what the gods are telling you. Sort of a wake-up call that may be telling you to spring into action or wait, depending on the other runes. Sometimes it’s an unwelcome rune because it tells you things you don’t want to hear. Pay attention to the message when you get Ansuz. The gods are listening and have given you a direction.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links, I get a small stipend which helps support The Rational Heathen. I would encourage you to support my site.  Thanks.

The Elder Futhark: Uruz

The Elder Futhark: Uruz

I’m running a bit behind on posting the next rune in the Elder Futhark, so let’s get into it. This week, I’m writing about Uruz, being the second in Freyr’s ætt. Uruz is an interest rune with both positives and negatives. So, let’s look at it.

Uruz’s Meaning

Uruz is the rune of the auroch or wild cattle. The auroch was the ancestor to our modern day domesticated cattle. It is now extinct, albeit fairly recently. The last auroch died in Poland in 1627 from natural causes. These suckers were huge — some being nearly 6 feet at the shoulder. Our ancestors were certainly familiar with them seeing as they existed two million years ago until 1627. A shame really that they went extinct due to disease, reduction in habitat, and unrestricted hunting. I could go into their history and the attempts at recreating them, but that’s not really the subject of this post.

Uruz is Ur or Yr in Anglo-Saxon and Ur in Old Norse. It is akin to the “U” sound in English. Because Uruz is the auroch, it is the symbol of wild, untamed power and untamed potential. It means strength, wildness, masculinity, freedom, courage, and even change, often in a sudden and unexpected way. It can mean male sexuality, although that’s usually reserved for Ingwaz.

Divination with Uruz

Uruz is an interesting rune to have in a cast because it is the symbol of vitality and strength. In many ways, it’s a positive rune to have, depending on where it is in the layout and what runes are surrounding it. If Uruz is in a place in the cast which is what obstacles you might face, then it can be an unwanted rune, because it may be saying that the forces against you achieving your goal are powerful and may be difficult, if not insurmountable, to overcome. But in many casts, it suggests a strong force helping you. But be careful, Uruz can bring about some pretty powerful changes that you might not foresee, and your life can become chaotic with such a rune at the helm.

Of course, reading Uruz in a casting depends on the other runes and its placement, as well as the skill of the interpreter. Usually I am quite glad to see Uruz in my casts, but you may have a different experience.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links, I get a small stipend which helps support The Rational Heathen. I would encourage you to support my site.  Thanks.

Runecasting for Recons (not really)

Runecasting for Recons (not really)

Gods, I love alliteration.  So, I couldn’t help myself with the title.  But who knows?  Maybe the recons will learn something when they read this.

Or probably just talk smack on Reddit.  Just saying…

Anyway, I’ve decided to talk about how I do runecastings.  They’re not the only way.  In some heathen circles, they may not even be right.  But it works for me, and if it works for me, I go with it.  So, let’s go through the basic rune cast.

Equipment for Runecasters 101

I’m pretty simple when it comes to runecasting.  So, when it comes to your runecasting stuff, you need the following:

  • Runes (duh!) — I use Elder Futhark runes.  You can use whatever runes suit you, but I know the Elder Futhark best and I know the meanings (mostly).
  • A rune pouch to keep the runes in.  —  It can be something special or not.  Most people will probably go with special.  Most rune sets come with pouches anyway.  If you make your own, you’re going to want to sew your own rune pouch. Or have someone who sews make it for you.
  • A cloth to do your runecasting on. — It doesn’t have to be fancy.  Hel, I don’t think you need it.  But it is nice to have.  I use a wolf bandana that is a custom design by a woman in this area.  

That’s it, essentially.  You can have candles, incense, offerings, whatever, if you feel it is appropriate.  I don’t worry about such things.

Basic Runecasting

I don’t have a particular casting method, though others may.  Other people may shake runes out of the bag, or even dump the bag and pull out the runes that are face up, or select from those that are face down.  I’ve heard of gythias and godhis using sticks and tossing them down.  The rune patterns that they saw in the crossed sticks were the ones they read.

I don’t do that. I pull each rune from the pouch and place it in its spot where the cast will go. Other runecasters do that too.  If I accidentally pull out extra stones or some other stones come out, I read them as well.  I figure if the stone wants to be read, who am I to put it back?  It might be an extra message.  Or it might be garbage.  Whatever.

I’ve had my cat suddenly take an interest in my reading occasionally and move the pieces.  Apparently I had the runes in the wrong spots, or so she thought.  I don’t argue. When you have a cat name Freyja, you listen to her.

I read my runes right to left, not left to right. I’ve heard that others do it that way, but I’ve seen it done left to right too.  I don’t use blank runes, nor do I read reverse or merkstave.  Those are obvious later inventions, one by Ralph Blum (or someone he knew) and one is too close to tarot.  Runes are not tarot.  Thank you.

The Patterns

There are plenty of patterns to cast and read your stones. I tend to stick with the simpler casts.  The reason is straightforward.  I don’t have to worry or pay attention to complex readings.

The pattern I tend to rely on is the three stone pattern.  It’s a good pattern and on and you can decide which one works for you.

  • Single Rune — This is the easiest cast of all.  Basically it’s the response to the matter under consideration.  Good or bad. It just is.
  • Three Rune Spread — This is a cast that is flexible enough to gain insight while still simple enough to not have a lot of convoluted mumbo-jumbo.  You can cast it the way I do as 1. matter under consideration 2. Problems or situations that may arise 3. Possible outcome. Or you can do the 1. Past 2. Present 3. Future
  •  Five Rune Layout, Seven Rune Layout, etc.  This webpage seems to have the basics of these larger layouts.
  • Tiwaz Shoat — There’s a pattern called the Tiwaz shoat that is in the form of an arrow.  For the life of me, I can’t remember the reading directly and I need to dig out my books on it.  Let’s just say it’s out there and if I find my books, I’ll try to tell you about it.
  • Extra Runestones — Occasionally you’ll have some runes spill out.  If this happens, look at the stones and see if they have some bearing on the situation at hand.  You may find that they do.

Sample Runecast 

Okay, you have your runes, your bag, your rune casting cloth, and whatever else you feel is necessary to get yourself in the right frame of mind to do a cast. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re doing a Three Rune Spread.  In this case, start by pulling the first runestone out of the bag and look at it.

I pulled: ᚠ ᛒ  ᚱ

Now, don’t forget I read right to left (I pulled the ᚱ first).  So I start with ᚱ which is Raidho, which generally means travel, but can mean movement, journey, or a change. The matter under consideration is travel, for the sake of argument.  Okay. 

The problem or situation that may arise: Berkana or ᛒ.  This is the rune of growth, nurturing, fertility, etc.  Not necessarily a problem, unless it is growth due to pain or loss.  I’m not seeing that in the runes just yet, because

Fehu or ᚠ means wealth or cattle. This rune is associated with fortune and positive outcomes. Usually requires work to achieve them, but what doesn’t?

What the Runecast Might Mean

Here comes the million dollar question: What does the runecast mean?  I wasn’t really asking any questions, I just did a general cast.  What it suggests is that the travel I take in the future gives me an opportunity for growth and a chance at achieving good fortune or wealth, if I choose to take advantage of it.  Overall, it’s a positive spread and I’d be glad to have such outcomes.

I hope this gives you some ideas as to how you can do runecasting for yourself.  Let me know about your own castings.  I’d be curious to hear about them.