Ansuz – Initial Rune Study

Six months ago I started a thorough initial study of the Elder Futhark. Each week I would focus on a new rune, reading the rune poems and a number of published interpretations. While these posts are old (originally posted to my Tumblr), I want to move them over here for easy reference.

Week 4: Ansuz

Basic meanings: The As, Ancestral God (Odin), Ancestors

Further meanings: Communication, wisdom, ancestral ties, teaching, learning, consciousness, intelligence, higher mental abilities. Highest source of consciousness and awareness. Rune of words, song, and poetry.

Divinatory meanings: A revealing message or insight, communication. Signals, inspired mental activity or inspiration, enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming.  Blessings, the taking of advice.  Good health, harmony, truth, wisdom.  Receiving ancestral knowledge.

Reverse meanings: Misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom.  Vanity and grandiloquence.  Compulsive lying, neurosis.

Magical uses: Opening hidden doorways to knowledge of ancestors and a reservoir of ancestral knowledge. Can help develop channeling abilities.  Can grant knowledge and skill with words, song, poetry, and magical incantation as expression of magical force.  Magical ancestral power.  Increase of both active and passive magical powers and clairvoyance.  Development of convincing and magnetic speech, the power of suggestion and hypnosis.  Acquisition of creative wisdom, inspiration, ecstasy, and divine communication.  Banishing of death and terror.  Release of psychological fetters, such as anxieties and phobias in the unconscious mind which hinder further personal growth and spiritual progress.

Personal Thoughts On and Associations with Ansuz

To me, chanting Ansuz feels like a whisper or an echo (or both).  It starts between my heart and my throat and ascends.  With a focused effort, it can go other “directions,” like into deeper or darker paths in your mind or heart.

I’ve noticed with each rune I’ve studied, the week I begin to learn about it something extremely relevant to the current rune happens.  This week it kind of hit me from all sides.  (Except unfortunately in my ability to use words, so apologies as always for my inability to get thoughts across as eloquently as I would like…  I will do my best to make my points.)

I’ve been very fortunate in my life not to have lost many friends and relatives to death.  When that has happened, however, I have had a significant interaction with them in dreams within one year of their passing.  Each time they had a very important message for me and usually brought comfort as well.  Ansuz’s communication with ancestors brought these past dreams into focus along with current happenings.

A recent rune reading from a trusted source (wyrdvinr is awesome, y’all)  pointed to something rather painful associated with my family, and said it’s something I need to work through to make progress on my spiritual path.  I imagine it’s largely due to the fact that I have to keep all THIS – *gestures to entire blog and all the altars throughout the house* – a secret.

Keeping secrets sucks.  I hate it.  But more than that I hate hurting people, and it would hurt them.  They handled me coming out as a lesbian fine (though still do the disappointed sigh from time to time due to the fact that we’re not having kids), but this is something that they’d never understand.

And as tends to happen during this rune study, Ansuz gave me a lot to think about because it just so happened my mother and my aunt were visiting me this week.

It made me see how communication, even regular day to day communication, with them is broken and difficult.  My mother is a bit hard of hearing and very set in her ways, and while she wants to be able to listen and understand I don’t think she’d be able to take it emotionally.  On the flip side of that, she isn’t one to start going on about her own thoughts and feelings, either, so our communications are very surface-based most of the time.  My aunt on the other hand doesn’t understand what it means to be still and quiet.  She will be talking words words words while texting on her iPhone, will throw out a random question, and before you’ve even had a chance to draw breath to reply with she’s moved on to something else.

I love them both as well as the rest of my family so much that this lack and scattering of communication becomes very stressful for me to where it very literally makes me sick and exhausted.  And that of course makes me feel guilty.

What does this whole story have to do with Ansuz?  Well!

In normal human interactions like this, Ansuz helps me focus communication either given or received.  When all the extra “stuff” starts stressing me out (which happens easily as I’m by no means a social person), it helps me not dwell on the parts that just don’t matter as much.  I can sense that in a longer term setting, Ansuz will also help me strengthen the pieces of that communication and relationship which do matter.

While all of that is happening with surface communications, Ansuz also helps in deeper matters.  It can help you identify and release fears and anxieties you hold inside of you.  I found this particular characteristic extremely relavent due to the reading I had from Sae.  While I had some idea of what the reading could be referring to, I know there’s probably more to it, and certainly more I’m going to have to figure out.  Ansuz can help with that.

The last tie of this story into Ansuz is the fact that Ansuz has also helped me with deity communication.  In this particular case He’s helping me get out of the rut I’m in and confront these fears.  While I do not have a godphone, I’m getting a better feel for imagery and thoughts associated with Him.  And, oddly, about coming to peace with my family situation.  We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s much less terrifying this way.

If you stuck with me through this long rambling post, you are awesome. I hope you got something out of it!

Sources for meanings:

  • Runelore by Edred Thorsson
  • Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
  • Principles of Runes by Freya Aswynn
  • Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn



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