I have this practice of kicking off my mornings by drawing a single Rune so as to give me some idea as to what the day ahead might hold for me. That’s the general concept, anyway — some people use other systems for this kind of daily prognostication instead, such as Tarot or the I Ching. For me, it’s endlessly fascinating, and it also makes for fantastic reinforcement if you’re trying to learn all of the symbols that make up an overall system.
Anyway, today, I drew the Rune called Ansuz:
Ansuz is the Elder Futhark Rune that corresponds to our own letter “A.” Like all the Runes, it covers a fairly broad range of meanings, most of them arguably related to each other. Probably the most widely held such meaning would be the notion that Ansuz represents the Norse God, Odin, and by extension, Odin’s attributes. One primary, Odin-esque meaning of Ansuz, then, would be representation of the concept of “communication.” This starts to make sense when you consider the fact that among his many fabled exploits, Odin was the one who originally obtained the Runes, thus bringing the means for writing into existence; he risked much to drink the Mead of Poetry, enabling him to add new layers of beauty to the basic functionality of the communication process; and he even willingly sacrificed one of his own eyes as the price to be paid for drinking from Mimir’s Well of Wisdom…wisdom being a quality we might all ideally hope would inform our various communications.
So as I was staring at my own wooden chip carved with the Ansuz Rune this morning, it occurred to me that each major system of Divination that I enjoy devotes a very significant part — or even multiple parts — of itself to embodying the concept of communication, as well…
For example, the field of Astrology is comprised of three major subsets of symbols: Planets, Signs, and Houses. Well, among the Planets, Mercury is almost universally held to signify the realm of communication. Among the Signs, while the element of Air is generally viewed as being symbolic of communication, the Sign of Gemini is probably even more specifically on point in this context. And in terms of the Houses, the Third House is where our communications reside, and the House itself is even referred to with some frequency as the “House of Communication.” In fact, you might be hard-pressed to find summaries of Mercury, Gemini, and/or the Third House that don’t feature the word “communication” in their details.
Over in Tarot, you have the Suit of Swords, which is the realm of the mental, of thought, of writing and speech, of language and symbols, of ideas, of…communication. Swords equate to the Element of Air (as used in both Tarot and Astrology). A card such as the Major Arcana’s Magician Card also would seem to capture the essence of communication, as well, as it touches on the process of transforming will into manifested phenomena — that is, naming things, or putting them into words, is often the basis for actual magic in the eyes of the occultist (the Magician, by the way, is also associated very commonly with the Planet Mercury, and also the Roman God, Mercury, the equivalent to the Greek’s Olympian Deity, Hermes…who shares a whole lot of attributes and patronage with our good friend, the aforementioned Odin!).
The overall point is this: communication is one of the essential underpinnings of our collective being. It’s probably no wonder that so many Occult systems make use of it as such a vital, core concept in describing our world. Communication has been a building block of our existence ever since life cast itself into seemingly separate incarnations, probably even as far back as when we became a community of single-celled organisms, and surely since cells began throwing their lots in together to build themselves up into the multi-celled assemblages we know ourselves and our surrounding flora and fauna as today. One of the greatest innovations in my own lifetime that’s served to visibly evolve our civilization, and even the planet upon which we live, is the internet…which is all about communication. Our various failures, from the individual scale to the societal, often come about due to some breakdown in the communication process, and one of the traits we most prize and reward is the ability to communicate in ways that are effective, beautiful, or both at the same time.
So I believe that maybe today’s draw of Ansuz was meant simply to highlight the importance of that realm. We might all do well to take stock of our current crops of ongoing communication, to see where we might be slipping, where we’re succeeding, and to try to lever ourselves up onto that next higher plateau of beneficial communication. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always fun, but it’s virtually always essential, and when approached with positivity, communication can bring about untold examples of growth and joy…so maybe get a bit Ansuz with your weekends out there, as I communicate the sentiment of “Happy Friday!” to you all!!