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 20: Mannaz
Basic meaning: Man, Mankind
Further meanings: The Self; the individual or the human race. Your attitude towards others and their attitudes towards you. Friends and enemies, social order. Intelligence, forethought, creation, skill, ability. Divine structure, intelligence, awareness. The stave of the perfection human being.
Divinatory meanings: References a person or group of people (family, organization, city, etc). May indicate some kind of aid or cooperation coming your way.
Reversed/Merkstave meanings: Depression, mortality, blindness, self-delusion. Cunning, slyness, manipulation, craftiness, calculation. Intellectual arrogance, bigotry. Expect no help.
Magical uses: This is the rune of the rational mind, of the perfected intellect melding reason with intuition. Can be used to attract support in one’s peer group. Combines well with Ansuz to win intellectual arguments or to pass an exam. Use to understand the divine structure within humans. Increases in intelligence, memory, and mental powers generally. Balancing the poles of personality. Unlocks the mind’s eye.
Personal thoughts on and associations with Mannaz
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve really been losing steam on this study. I guess that’s to be expected after five months of it.
It’s coinciding this time with yet another spiritual crossroads. They happen to me more often than I’d like, but still to be expected considering my path is still in the very early phases of development.
This rune has helped me face my own humanity again and acknowledge, even embrace, the limitations which go along with that. I struggle with depression, so sometimes small faults or failings become extremely big in my mind and trigger a downward spiral of social anxiety and eventually deep anger and self-loathing.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to be a part of the Tumblr pagan community, especially starting a path and trying to find your own way. Besides the daily drama of people regularly pissing other people off, there’s also the constant reminder that there are so many people out there who have much greater abilities. I’m headblind and earthbound and filled with more than a healthy dose of skepticism in all things, so you can imagine what a perfectionist like me goes through when browsing pagan-related tags and blogs.
But Mannaz reminds you that all of these aspects are a part of being human. The same people who will put you down one day will often lift you up the next. It’s like that in any group where you have intelligent strong-willed people, whether it’s work, a club, school, your own circle of friends… you name it. Mannaz helps me see through my own emotions which will flare up very often in social situations and help me see the useful parts of human relationships.
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