Elder Futhark: Thurisaz
Anglo-Saxon Futhorc: Thorn
Younger Futhark: Thurs
Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem:
The thorn is exceedingly sharp, an evil thing for any knight to touch, uncommonly severe on all who sit among them.
Old Icelandic Rune Poem:
Thurs is the torment of women, and the sweller in the rocks, and the husband of Vardh-rúna
Norwegian Rune Poem:
Giant causes anguish to women; misfortune makes few men cheerful.
The Havamal – The Sayings of the High One
A third I know, which is good to me, as a fetter for my enemies, I dull the swords of my opponents; neither weapon nor defense will help them.
My Runic Insights:
Thurisaz is the Rune that should come with sign that says: “Handle with Care”. It is a very negative rune that if used without having learned the other runes in any system can be harmful to you. It is a very destructive rune and protective rune in some ways. It is what some Rune Masters have called a “murk-stave”.
Thurisaz represents the destructive powers of the pre-conscious forces behind the forces of nature. It is the thorn bush that hedges out predators. It is the thorn that pierces you when grasping for a beautiful rose. It is a lightning bolt in the forest. If you do not know how to handle roses or how to overcome that thorn bush or, you will get pierced and feel pain. This Rune is a painful rune that is on par with the anguish of childbirth. That is why it’s the torment of women as described in the Rune Poems.
However, I like to think that it’s like a thorn bush that rabbits and birds use to hide from their enemies. These animals have to learn from experience how to navigate through the thorns to survive so that they don’t get hurt but at the same time that bush is hurting the predators that want to eat them.
The Thurisaz Rune is the rune of challenge and contrast. Thurisaz provides the negative contrast to our lives so that we may know what victory is, what happiness is or what glory can be. Giants or Thurs are represented in this rune. They are the pre-conscious forces of inertia that are holding us back or hedging us out. We must learn how to navigate these challenges to know what the next runes, Ansuz is telling us. Also the Thurs or Giants also represent those destructive forces of nature like that of a thunderstorm that starts a forest fire. These forces exist and they must do what they do to provide for opportunities for new growth. Even though a forest fire destroys the trees, animals and sometimes people, it burns away the old growth that is choking the newer plants. The fire provides a fertile soil with which new seeds and new growth can become and grow. Thurisaz is the destructive fire that consumes a phoenix so that it can come back anew and be reborn. That old growth in the forest is what I like to think about as that inertia of Thurisaz hedging you out or away from new growth or change. We must learn to understand the energy behind what a challenge is and what it means to be challenged in order to know victory. It’s knowing that negativity can provide context for that contrast. Sometimes, negative energy was used to affect change like in the saga of Egil Skallagrimsson. He and his people constructed a cursing pole (Nithing pole) and carved runes on it because they were faced with an invasion from across the sea. So they carved runes and blooded them and set this pole into the ground with a horse head inwards towards the land. They were cursing the land wights or spirits to never find rest or reprieve until they repelled the invaders from the land. And it worked!
Thurisaz is a rune of death that leads to an eventual rebirth but this death must be experienced first. The Runes are very honest and they don’t lie. They are not going to sugar coat things for you. They are representing the creative and destructive forces of the multi-verse. They are forces behind what nature is. However, the forces represented by the Thurs Rune can be yielded to you once you have learned how to connect with your soul and various forces of the multi-verse as you go through the other runes. For now, let this sleeping giant lie where he is until then.
With the previous rune, Uruz, we must be the charging bull of cosmic energy with its tail lit by the spark of Fehu. As that bull, we must push through the thorns of inertia to get to the other side or perhaps be consumed by the destructive fire to be reborn into next step. But we must experience the thorns or the consuming fire or the challenge first.
Experience challenge! Be cautious around the Thorn! Know how to handle it before you use it! It can be yielded to you once you have that control and confidence to do so! You can get through it and know that it can be hurtful. But there is freedom and excitement on the other side waiting for you! Good Journey!!