The sixteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. Sowilo ends the second Aett on a high note. It brings us out of the dark night of the soul which Hagalaz invited us into; Sowilo is the light at the end of the tunnel, the culmination of our efforts. Sowilo represents the sun, its clarity and its blessings for us. Sowilo brings success, the victory we win for ourselves and what we care about. Sowilo empowers and rejuvenates, releases stagnation, and brings us into our healing wholeness. After this Aett’s journey, it is hard won and well-earned.
The fifteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. Algiz speaks of that which has the ability to harm, but doesn’t inflict harm unless it is harmed first. It is linked with dangerous plants as well as sacred deer and the Valkyrie swans. It is the rune of protection. It may ask us to get ready; to listen and gain awareness for a better sense of where we stand and how to act as a result. It asks us for bravery in the face of fear and faith in whatever higher power guides us—be that divine or intuitive. Algiz reminds us that we are on the right path, but that the act of being present on the path is different than just seeing it.
The fourteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. When people speak of the invented “blank rune” from Blum, I always laugh: why is such a thing needed in a cast when we have Perthro? Perthro represents the unknown and unknowable, that piece that’s left up to fate or chance when we roll a die (or cast the runes). Whether it’s for a game or in life, Perthro is luck and risk and mystery. The things that make us wonder why it goes the way it will or went the way it did. It is unpredictable factors, but it is also our intuition and our willingness to roll the dice and play.
The thirteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. Similar and yet different from the 13th Major Arcana card, Death, Eihwaz steps out from Jera’s yearly cycles and asks us to ponder cosmic eternity, rebirth, and transformation. It makes us the axis, with our feet in mortality and our heads in forever. Some use this rune for ancestor work or to connect with divinity (or our higher self) for insight and guidance. It is the rune that pierces the veil. Scholars debate whether the world tree was an ash tree or a yew tree etymologically, but regardless, this rune is attested as representing the yew tree: an important tree in old times that grew evergreen through winter and was often planted at gravesites as a symbol of eternal life. Though not attested, I associate this rune with Hel.
The twelfth rune of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of harvest; of reaping what you have sown, of long term goals coming to fruition, of patterns and breaking stagnation and returns. It’s a positive rune attested as being linked with thriving and plenty. It is linked with the god Freyr, a god of prosperity, peace, and agriculture.
The eleventh rune of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of stillness. After the stress of Nauthiz, Isa asks us to pause and consider. We have a lake of ice in front of us. Take precautions to cross it well to prevent drowning. Or wait and have patience and the lake will thaw. It’s a rune of reflection, meditation, solitude; it’s a rune for temperance, preservation, and preparation. It shows itself when we must not rush, but instead align ourselves with what is within and without and adjust accordingly so that when the right time arises, we are ready. It is culturally linked (though not attested) with the goddess Skadi of the winter mountains and the mindful hunt.
The tenth rune of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of need. After change (Hagalaz) comes, you need to figure out how to move forward. Nauthiz is need over want. It asks us to work with our limitations and rely on ourselves to persevere and overcome—or innovate a clever way around. It is the need that must be met, one way or another, to move through confusion and into acceptance. It is culturally linked (though not attested) with the goddess Sigyn, victory woman, lady of endurance and fidelity. She shows us how doing what must be done, through love and loyalty, brings us into right action with ourselves and others.
The ninth rune—and the leader of the second aett—of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of change. Those familiar with tarot cards will find Tower energy here: Hagalaz is the necessary change. It breaks patterns and helps learn unlearned lessons. It is self-reflective and as healing as it is deeply uncomfortable. It represents the divine spark within devastation; the difficult storm to weather before clearer journeys. It is the first rebellion. Hagalaz is powerful for self-growth and shadow work. It is culturally linked (though not attested) with the goddess Hel.
The eighth and final rune of the first aett of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of bliss and one of the Victory Runes, rounding off our first aett on a high note. It is harmony and contentment, it is the feeling of having enough, of feeling joyful and satisfied. It can also help with emotional healing to align with that sought state of joy, including being present in the moment and being grateful for what you find there. If you let it, it can direct you to new potentials and prevent stagnation. I have also found it useful in unlearning codependence habits.
The seventh rune of the first aett of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of gifts; both giving and receiving. It’s generosity and hospitality — but also reciprocity and equality. It tells us to give our money to raise our dignity; to give our gifts to be connected. It’s the rune of connection and integration, yes, but also of boundaries, of making sure all parties benefit separately or together. It’s for contracts, the agreements between two parties. It’s interaction and balance. For these reasons, though unrelated to the rune poem, some people also use this rune for sex and relationship work. I have also found it useful in unlearning codependence habits.