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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rune - Thurisaz

   This months rune is Thurisaz, also called Thurs or Thorn which equates in English to the sound “th”. It is the third rune of the first aett and when looking at it’s shape you will see that it resembles a thorn, which can be a good way to remember it’s meaning as well as it’s name. The energy of Thurisaz is very intense, much like last month's rune Uruz, and working with it tends to bring a similarly intense energy into our lives.
   In the three rune poems Thurisaz is given a dark meaning, although we will see that modern runesters have found a positive side to it.
     In the Anglo-Saxon poem it is compared to thorns in a briar parch which cut those who touch it and cruelly entangles those who stumble into it.
                     "The thorn is exceedingly sharp,
            an evil thing for any knight to touch,
            uncommonly severe on all who sit among them." ( 
     In the Norwegian and Icelandic it is compared to a certain type of evil giant, bad luck, and illness or suffering of women.
   Norwegian: "Giant causes anguish to women;
                       misfortune makes few men cheerful." (
  And the Icelandic: "Giant
             torture of women
             and cliff-dweller
             and husband of a giantess" (
    Thurisaz certainly has these energies within it, and is strongly masculine and aggressive, causing destruction, chaos, conflict and complications. It is indeed the tangling brambles which ensnare and cause delay in our lives as well as complicating our plans, however all things have two sides - the briars which tangle and trap the fox offer shelter and protection to the mouse hiding within them. This aspect of Thurisaz is an ideal protection for the helpless, a powerful defense for the weak. Like the briar it is a neutral natural force which can cause harm or help depending on how we choose to interact with it. In modern times it is often associated with the god Thor, defender of mankind, although it also symbolizes the enemies he fights. It represents power, strength, natural forces, male potency, aggression, conflict, protection, defense, and entanglement.
    In divination when Thurisaz appears it often represents a warning about the need for strong defenses, as well as the possibility that you have become entangled in a situation which could be harmful to you. It presages delays and complications to plans and tells to carefully assess and think through your position before proceeding. In some cases it can indicate feeling trapped or feeling overwhelmed by other more aggressive people. It is a call for strong protection and can mean a level of unexpected chaos or conflict coming your way.
   In magic Thurisaz is a strong defensive rune which can be drawn in a protective circle around you <points facing out!> to ward off harm or ill intent. When drawn or carved on a sharp object, such as a knife, it can be used to draw evil beings out of a person or place, and carved <again point out> at the corner of your property it can be an effective warding. Because it is a potent energy it can be traced on the forehead to increase energy or mental clarity. When you feel threatened or as if you are under attack it can be visualized being “thrown” at the negative energy to break it up and disperse it. It is also used in cursing, being carved on the Nidstang, and referenced in the Galdrabok as a spoken curse combined with other runes.
   Because it is such a strong aggressive energy it can be intense to work with so be prepared. I recommend doing the same visualization I suggested with Fehu - meditating on the rune's shape and letting images come to you from it’s energy, then recording what you see in a journal. Thurisaz is not a rune to play around with for fun, but it’s energy can be the best defense in some situations, especially when you feel helpless or overwhelmed.
  Next month : Ansuz

Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson
Galdrabok by Stephen Flowers

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