Elder Futhark: Gebo
Anglo-Saxon Futhorc: Gyfu
Younger Futhark: ***
Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem:
Generosity brings credit and honour, which support one’s dignity; it furnishes help and subsistence to all broken men who are devoid of aught else.
Old Icelandic Rune Poem:
Norwegian Rune Poem:
The Havamal – The Sayings of the High One:
The eighteenth I will never eternally never tell to a woman or maid; it forms the best end to the lays which only one is all knows except for the lady that embraces me in marriage or who is also a sister to me.
My Runic Insights:
Gebo is the rune of exchange. It is the rune of sacrifice. Gebo is the very essence of the universal principle of a “Gift for a gift”. Gebo is the key rune to the entire process of the runic energies. However, Gebo speaks to us about the responsibility of giving a gift back in exchange for the gifts that were given to us. In the Havamal, it states that a gift always demands a gain. It is a truth that there must be a balance with the exchanging of energies: from the runes and us and the gods and us and the very multi-verse and us.
When talking about sacrifice, we have to be serious in what we are willing to give in exchange for the gifts of that are given. It can’t be some trivial or second hand gift given. The gifts that we are giving back have to mean something to us. It has to have a significant value to you. When it comes to the Runes, we sacrifice a bit of our blood to inlay a part of ourselves upon them. When we are blotting to the Gods, we are sacrificing gifts that mean a lot to us in order to receive gifts intangible & tangible from the divine. It would be a disservice to the Gods if you offered up a bottle a Budweiser that’s been sitting in the fridge for years when you’re in blot. It has to be something meaningful. The gifts that we give are very trivial and small things to the Runic Energies and the Gods but the gifts that the runes teach us and the gifts the Gods give us are far more powerful, meaningful and lasting to us.
When we look to the Lore, we see example after example of sacrifice and the exchange of energies (gifts). Tyr and Fenris wolf is story where the gods needed to contain the forces of chaos as represented by the Fenris wolf. Tyr gave up his sword hand in exchange for binding the wolf with the fetter designed by the dwarves. The pledge given by Tyr was the gift of order for chaos (Fenris) to be bound. The sacrifice was Tyr’s hand. Tyr was honoring his gift given with a sacrifice that was meaningful to him.
Another sacrifice in the Lore is the classic tale of how Odin won the Runes. Odin hung on the world tree, Yggdrasil for nine days and nights. Odin pierced himself with his spear sacrificing himself to himself. He was then able to peer into the Void, and take up the runes screaming. Here we see the an exchange energies between conscious and subconscious. Odin had sacrificed his lower self (body/conscious) to his higher self (subconscious/fetch) in exchange for the knowledge of the runes.
A third example is the humorous tale of how Thor lost Mjollnir and had to go get it back. Here a giant had stolen the hammer and did not want to give it back. He would only give it back if Freyja would marry him. So the Gods divised a way to get it back and keep Freyja by dressing Thor up in women’s clothes to pose as Freyja. Thor objected to the plan but he went with it anyway to get Mjollnir back. Here we see Thor sacrificing his pride in his manliness in order to win back his hammer. It was exchange of male persona with a female persona to win back the symbol of his power or manhood. With each tale/saga, we see examples of reciprocity and sacrifice in order for expansion of knowledge, wisdom, and growth to occur. Gebo is the rune that shows us the way we are to communicate and conduct ourselves with the Runes, the Gods and the multi-verse itself.
Gebo is a rune of polarity exchange. Gebo represents the sexual exchange of energies between the male and female principles that manifest something greater in that exchange. When we look at the creation of myth of Northern Europe, we see Muspelheim, the realm of eternal fire, and Niflheim, the realm of eternal ice. As these realms grow and expand within the Gunningap, the glittering void, they come into contact with each other and exchange energies and the realm of Midgard is born. Our very existence is a result in that exchange of energies between the male aspect of fire impregnating the female aspect of ice and the result is our world, our universe as we know it. The exchange of the energy is the cause of the Big Bang. However, we must also learn that the exchange has to be in constant balance for it to work because if one or the other participant in the exchange is unbalanced then there is no result.
Gebo is the rune of exchange within one’s soul. If you look at our soul complex, there are two parts called the Hugh and Myne or Thought and Emotion. As we have talked about in previous entries, that we must start with connecting with the wordless side of our soul, the emotional side and receive messages that the runes, the Gods and the multi-verse are trying to convey to us. And then we engage the Intellectual side of our souls to interpret what we experienced. The constant exchange between emotion and thought will have a result on us by building up our magical self, our Wode which in turn will help us get in contact with the fetch or the high genius. The fetch is that part of our soul that is a part of us and part of the very multi-verse itself. It is the part of ourselves that touches on the divine. Gebo is teaching us that the balanced exchange within our soul complex is what will help us to work with the runic energies and the Gods themselves.
Gebo is the key to the Runes. It is the way we are to approach each of the runes in any of the systems. Gebo teaches us the way we should communicate with the Runes and that it must be a balanced exchange. The rewards are far greater than the sacrifices we make. The “Gebo exchange” is a continual process. It began in the creation of the universe from Muspelheim and Niflheim coming together and it continues into the next cycle after Ragnarok. The Gods that survive the cataclysm began talking about Fimbultyr’s Runes. After the Ultimate sacrifice given by the Gods at Ragnarok, the Runes survive and thrive into the next cycle teaching the lesson of Gebo, the lesson of exchange & sacrifice. The Runes are eternal.
Gebo’s Shape , X, is powerfully simplistic and yet speaks volumes. We use an X to symbolize a kiss between lovers. A kiss, in and of itself, is an exchange of affection which results in increase happiness and added comfort. You can even see that the rune looks like two lips kissing. It also looks like two kenaz runes coming together. Imagine two torches coming together lighting one another other and the result is a greater light or perhaps a greater understanding. The increased light widens the area with which we have to view the runes, the Gods, our soul complex, and the multi-verse itself. Christmas is often shorten to X-Mas. Christ was said to be a Gift to mankind so the X in X-mas comes from a deeper and older understanding in Europe of what Gebo represents.
We exploded on the scene with Fehu energy. We charged through the barriers of inertia with Uruz. We destroyed our old thought forms with Thurisaz. Ansuz woke us up. Raidho showed us the path or the journey itself. Kenaz is lighting our way. Gebo is the key to unlock all the doors from Fehu going forward.
Unlock the doors to the Runes with Gebo! Give good gifts! Welcome the gifts that are given!