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< Runes Main Section < "Book of Runes" Rune Reference

The Meaning of the Rune "Algiz"

Interpreting this rune

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Literal Meanings of "Algiz"

Defense, Protection, Sanctuary

Description

The rune of Algiz depicts a person with arms upraised, elk's antlers, or a representation of the Norse God Heimdall who holds his sword in one hand and his horn in the other -- guarding the divine realm of Asgard. In the old Germanic languages, Algiz means "defense" or "protection". "Elhaz", yet another name for this rune, means "elk" and refers to the four elks that feed off of the World Tree of Norse legend, or Yggdrasil. The rune Algiz was commonly carved into the shields, swords and spears of warriors as a mark of protection and sanctuary from harm.

How to Interpret "Algiz"

As the best defense is often a good offense, this rune symbolizes protection in all of its forms; both offense and defense, proactive and reactive. The appearance of this rune indicates the presence of a threat, and a need to guard against something. Algiz signals that this protection may be expected from an outside source in a conflict that is either forthcoming or is already ongoing. Algiz also refers to spiritual defenses and the act of drawing upon inner strength to actively protect our emotional well-being and our immediate surroundings. Referenced here is our own internal system of checks and balances that makes up our conscience: The soul reaching to the realm of the divine as an act of spiritual and physical protection. The more esoteric meanings of this complex rune aside, at its most basic level it symbolizes protection and helpful "brawn". A threat is indicated, but the individual will come to no harm.

Inverted Meaning

When inverted this rune is called "Ihwar", meaning "yew tree" or "yew bow". The reversed position indicates that the situation may call for more of a defense than originally thought -- one's guard is down, the sword and horn are being held downwards rather than being held up to the sky. Attacks must be anticipated and defenses are down.

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