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 6: Kenaz
Basic meanings: Beacon, Torch – also Sore or Ulcer
Further meanings: Vision, knowledge, consciousness, intellect, creativity, inspiration, technical ability. Ability and will to create. Clarity of thought, insight, consciousness of the self, inborn or hereditary knowledge, confidence and trust in own intuition, and concentration and determined effort. Vital fire of life, controlled fire, harnessed power, fire of transformation & regeneration. Fire of creation, sacrifice, hearth, and forge. Power to create your own reality, power of light. Passion, sexual love.
Divinatory meanings: Revelation. Opening to new strength, energy, and power. Shedding light on a path or situation. Inspiration. Exposes, enlightens, and informs. Light within, divine bloodline or connection. Knowledge from within, intuition, enlightenment. Self-knowledge, self-awareness. Regeneration through death or sacrifice.
Reverse/Merkstave meanings: Disease, breakup, instability, lack of creativity. Nakedness, exposure, loss of illusion and false hope. Ignorance, arrogance.
Magical uses: Invoking Heimdall, transmission of knowledge from one generation to next (based on Rigsthula). Dispelling darkness and ignorance. Understanding others’ hidden or ulterior motives. Identifying reoccurring patterns in life and relationships. Strengthening of abilities in all realities. Creative inspiration. Higher polarizations as a tool of operation. Operations of regeneration and healing. Love, especially sexual. Can expel unwanted influences and attract right kind of influences. Can be used as astral doorway and be bound with other runes to assist in traveling to other realms.
Personal Thoughts On and Associations with Kenaz
This is the rune of of artists and craftsmen, as well as the technical aspects of magic. It’s the human rune – the controlled energy of nature, results in a crafted object. To me, this makes it an extremely good rune when learning how to use your own magical power. It can help bring focus to the raw energy.
The visualization and creative aspect of this rune enhances the magical abilities. When I was working with this rune during meditation, I got one of the most solid sensations of energy manipulation I’d ever had. It was almost tangible, like forging something in a fire. (And believe me, this is coming from someone with really untrained energy abilities.)
I also found it helpful to bring this torch in my own explorations of self that I’m trying to heal. It helped me see where real problems were, and where imagined faults were. It was the first of many needed steps to reconcile some long-standing issues.
My partner and I went on vacation this week and stayed at a cabin for a couple of nights. Outside of the cabin was a fire pit. Neither of us had built a fire since we were much much younger in group camping scenarios. We’d brought a torch and smores stuff, though, so clearly we had to figure this out.
We went about collecting pine needles for starting the fire and thicker dry wood for sustaining it. All the while I’m going through all the runes associated with fire in my head, obviously Kenaz being at the forefront of my thoughts for the week.
It’s hard for me to describe what it felt like actually getting that fire going. Sure, I burn candles and incense pretty much daily, but I hadn’t felt such a connection to that particular element until that night. Taking pieces of nature and turning it into something firsthand also brought me to connect more with Kenaz.
That same night I tried to light the incense for my daily devotions with our regular lighter to burn outside, but the sticks didn’t want to take it with the wind. After the fire had gotten started, I tried again to light them from the fire we had created. Worked out much better.
Your reward for sticking with me through this whole post – a picture of our fire:
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