Deity Affiliation: Odin
Chakra Affiliation: Throat
English Alphabetical Representation: A
Basic Meanings: Ancestors and communication
Runic of the Day: 7-1-21 is Eihwaz
Welcome to the first of twenty-four in a weekly article series about the Runic Alphabet. My name is Raven Ebonywing, and I am honored to be your guide through this discovery. Before we start this series, it is important to say that these are my interpretations as a runecaster. These interpretations are based not only off extensive research, but my connection to my sacred set of Futhark stones and my life experiences. So, you may find some journaling and vulnerability in my writings. Everyone connects to their runic set in a unique way, so please see this as a guide to help aid you in finding your own connection and your own individualized interpretations, rather than seeing it as an absolute definition. Your power in divination comes from within your soul and your own unique gifts you bring into Midgard. You have your own ability as a divination artist to flourish and succeed. I am speaking to the Aesir tonight in gratitude that you are here on your specialized journey.
The story of the Futhark is a lore of sacrifice and intriguing determination set forth by the All-Father. Lord Odin watched the Norn, fates in the Wyrd (fibers of existence in which all life is made) work their mystical abilities with the use of symbols that were unknown to him. The Norn sisters being the deities of Fate in Asatru and Yggdrasil kept their work secretive as they knew the Futhark held great power and only those who proved their worth were able to wield such divination knowledge of the past, present, and future.
Lord Odin is a king who sits on a well-deserved throne, he is a projective, divine masculine energy balance to his Queen of the Aesir, Lady Frigg. Whom she is the nurturer and lover of the Aesir. He is protection, the provider and he is drive, his position in Yggdrasil is to be able to know all so that he may best protect existence itself. Lord Odin knew the knowledge of the Norn would not be an easy thing to obtain as the Futhark is a sacred tool, not a rite he knew he had to respect the ladies of fate and their guidelines. Lord Odin, being respectful to the wishes of others and not a controlling deity, set out on his shamanic journey.
He was known to sacrifice parts of himself to receive universal knowledge. Much like the major arcana “The Fool”, number 0 in the Tarot. Lord Odin is a curious spirit always looking to find new opportunities, discoveries, epiphanies, and paths in life. He gave his eye, which I imagine to be painful, to learn the knowledge and magicks of time. However, in this present moment we are talking about his shamanic growth. Shamans go through prolonged periods of meditation and Shadow Work so they can experience a form of death to be reborn, grow spiritually and find their gifts. This is my reasoning in calling Lord Odin a shaman, in my opinion as a priestess, he deserves this title alongside “All-Father.”
Now, when we speak of death, it is not to be feared as death has many forms. This specific form of death is letting go of what does not serve our greater good, letting go of ego and anything that may be holding one’s divine self-back from one’s highest potential. Lord Odin hung himself upside down from the branches of Yggdrasil so that he may look deep down into the well of Wyrd to the space where the roots of Yggdrasil formed into her trunk. In this space is where the Norn carve Futhark Runes into existence to work their intentions in the past, present and future. For hours, days, nights he went without food and water. More importantly on occasion by his thoughts, mead. He really wished and had a craving for a nice horn full of cold, honey mead in the halls of Valhalla. He stared intently at these glowing Futhark runes non-stop in hopes they would gift him their infinite knowledge. After all, he is the “All-Father” and deserves to know “All things” as he wields the crown, right? Wrong, he soon understood that it was ego holding him back from being rewarded this knowledge. In that important moment of realization, Lord Odin had put to death a negative aspect of himself, accepting the fact that not all things in life are intitled even if you hold a high-ranking position in the cosmos. At this point, Lord Odin had been hanging for far too long, his body gave in just as he lost his desire for the infinite knowledge of the Norn. But extraordinarily this is not where it ends for Lord Odin, in the moment just before complete physical death, he was reborn like a phoenix rising from its own ashes. His rebirth was such a prominent form of facing the shadow self, the Norn and the Futhark felt him worthy of their mysteries. Lord Odin had finally gained the knowledge he wanted by letting go. Through his unpleasant sacrifice, he gifted and granted us the ability to learn Futhark divination in our own individualized way.
Part of me, in my years of study feels like this is where the major arcana “The Hanged Man” derives from. As, well, The Hanged Man is a masculine card, he hangs upside down from a tree and learns to pause, he takes the time let go of what is no longer serving him to move forwards in life. Lord Odin also being compared to “The Fool” in this story connects many dots to deity in the world of divination.
Your Futhark set is special to you and only you. They chose you to guide others in their life path for a unique reason. That reason is not for me or anyone else to tell you, because you are the creator of your own life path. You are the only person who can say what your divine purpose is. If you allow others to assume, you are holding yourself back from your divine purpose in Midgard. Lord Odin and the Norn encourage you to choose your set in a way that calls out to you. You will know the Futhark chose you as it will feel like you have fallen in love with them in a sense that they are part of you. They become part of your soul when you see them, and that feeling is known right away just as any other magical tool, you will have no doubts. The more you stare at a rune, the more you connect to it in a way Lord Odin did. This is also a reason why it is a bit difficult to find thorough definitions of a rune and its meaning. Before and after each reading, cleanse your Futhark set. You can do this with smudging or any other cleansing method that calls out to you and your sacred witchcraft practice. For example, charging in the moon, smudging with sage, reiki and many other ways. There is no right or wrong in cleansing your set, just as long as it’s before and after each reading. This is so any lingering energy of a situation or other person does not interfere with the next reading.
Now that you know the story as to how the Futhark runes are a gift and a privilege that we must respect, Lord Odin’s runic affiliation is Ansuz. One of the first gifts given to us by the All-Father is our very first breath of life This first breath deeply connects us to our ancestors as when we are born, we carry on their legacy. It is said that the first cry is the voices of our ancestors greeting us, calling out to our parents letting them know that they had created a new generation, forever combining two root systems into one life-force. A new, living breath blessed by Lord Odin. This is the reason Ansuz is such a powerful rune of the Throat Chakra. The first exhale of a baby is the most prominent voice resting in the memories of our birth mothers.
I can personally testify to this in being a mother to two young boys. My first child had a rather smooth pregnancy and birth, but he made me a mother. I still hear that cry which welcomed me from maiden to mother. I still remember his tone and newfound emotion stepping into Midgard from the safety of my womb. My second child was an extremely rough pregnancy, I went into preterm labor after a medically necessary surgery in my twenty-sixth week of gestation. I was on bed rest most of the remainder of my pregnancy and his birth was traumatic for him, his father and I. My epidural did not work after having a needle dug around in my spine for a good hour in teaching interns. I felt every ounce of pain and my bedside nurse lacking any empathy. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around my son’s neck and tied, he was not breathing when he was born, and the silence filled the room for what seemed like forever, no nurse made a sound, the doctor patting his back, tapping on his little feet was all anyone heard. My husband was tending to me not really knowing what was going on in the delay of our new baby’s cry. I can imagine he felt the same way I did in that moment of fear. However, once we heard that gasp of our baby’s first breath and his echoing wail, I was filled with warmth. The pain was gone, my fears were lifted. In that moment I felt like I was surrounded by entities telling me everything was okay. I now know these were my ancestors in the room with me that day and I am in gratitude.
Ansuz encourages you to dig deep into your ancestral roots from all lineages. The first step into finding ourselves is to know where we came from. Learn the Lore and magickal practices of those who walked Midgard before us. In doing so, you may just discover a plethora of gifts passed down to you from many generations.
As far as communication goes, depending on the question asked in a reading. Ansuz may suggest opening a line of clear communication to mend a family relationship or broken ancestral ties. You can break generational conflict using your throat chakra, because you are the tie between two different root systems. Alternatively, Communication is also important in creating healthy boundaries and defining your own safe space. Regardless on if this boundary you need to create is being set for family, friendships or coworkers, your voice is valid. You have the right to say “enough” to end the effect family conflict has on your mental health, especially if you are in the middle for a long time. It is okay to step away from drama if necessary and you do not have to be put in the middleman position if you are negatively affected by it.
May your days be fulfilled and your chalice always overflow. Hail Odin.
See you next week,