Algiz – 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 15: Algiz

Basic meaning:  Elk, Protection

Further meanings:  A shield.  Protective urge to shelter oneself or others.  Defense, warding off of evil, guardian.

Divinatory meanings:  Protective force, a guardian.  Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life.  Follow your instincts.Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned.

Merkstave meanings:  Hidden danger, consuption by divine forces, loss of divine link.  Taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels.

Magical uses:  Can be used to channel energies appropriately.  Most prominent rune for devotional worship as it protects/defends while also acting as a channel or conduit.  It is the rune of hallowing, warding, adn access to higher spiritual awareness.  Can also aid in communication with other worlds (upright, Asgard, Vanaheim, Alfheim and similar realms; reversed, Helheim and similar realms).  Can help strengthen magical power and luck (hamingja) as well as life force.

Personal thoughts on and associations with Algiz

Before studying Algiz, I’ve had multiple needs of its protective power.  Thus far it has served me well in any magical working needing additional protection or defense.

Early on in my pagan studies (like, when I knew next to nothing instead of random handfuls of things which is what I know now), Algiz turned up in a kind of intuitive pastel art piece I was doing.  The surface thought was that it was supposed to be a representation of a crossroads. Of all the different crossroads designs that I could come up with (the “Y” shape being the most common for the particular purpose) I made it look similarly to the Algiz rune instead.


This wasn’t intentional as, at the time, I didn’t know a damn thing about the runes.  I’m sure I’ve seen the shape before, but beyond that, there was no conscious meaning behind the shape.

On retrospect, I believe it to be an illustration of my own spiritual growth.  I seem to constantly find myself at a metaphysical crossroads.  But as I’ve gone farther down the different roads, my understanding of and even communication with various deities has grown stronger.

My next goal is to put this into its traditional upright meaning.  Instead of constantly wandering, stay awhile and climb.

As a side note, I was unaware that this rune was often associated with Heimdall and Bïfrost.  This makes me happy.

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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