by Francis Tokarski

[!!!NOTE: The views and interpretations expressed here are in no way intended to be authoritative. They come from the author's mind - or maybe some other place... but that is all a matter of OPINION.]

The Third AEtt is “bracketed off” by the sky (TEIWAZ) and the land (OTHALA). In that way the first and last of the Third AEtt’s runes are complimentarily connected. Also complimentary are its first and second runes: “Sky Father” deity of the Indo-Europeans (TEIWAZ) and “Mother Earth” deity of the Old Europeans (BERKANO). Thus, the same Sky vs. Earth duality is presented in the first and last runes, as is presented in the first and second runes.

Incidentally, the first and second runes of the First AEtt are also complimentarily connected, and in the same way of the first being of the Indo-Europeans (these nomads’ domesticated cattle/FEHU) and the next being of the Old Europeans (the wild bovines/URUZ of ancient Europe). Furthermore, the fist and last runes of EACH AEtt - NOT just the Third Eight - are complimentary: First AEtt’s first rune’s FEHU/cattle dwell in its last rune’s WUNJO/pasturelands; Second AEtt’s first rune’s HAGALAZ/chunk of ice (hailstone) melts under the last rune’s SOWILO/sunshine.

So... As we have said, the Third AEtt is “bracketed off” - or CAPPED and GROUNDED - by TEIWAZ and OTHALA. The TEIWAZ stave is a line holding up the sky; the OTHALA stave is a two-legged stand (bipod instead of tripod) propping up a patch of land (the askew box). OTHALA’s bipod is an arrow shape; TEIWAZ’s sky/heaven is the same arrow shape - and the second rune BERKANO has this arrow shape, but it is pointing not up but to the right… Indeed, there are two such right-pointing arrows, like a bosom; and this fertility beckons us to go further (and grow further) into the next of the series…

EHWAZ comes next - that is, the animal the Indo-Europeans domesticated and rode (RAIDHO is related to Old English ‘rad’ [journey on horseback]). In contrast, the Old Europeans, like the Native Americans originally, did not ride horses. Then comes MANNAZ - which is a name for the god also known as Mannus or Heimdall or Rig in the Rigsthula of the Elder/Poetic Edda - the “Progenitor of Humankind”, i.e, that deity who taught the Old Europeans to structure their society in accordance with the ways of the Indo-Europeans: a tripartite caste system, like in India (see “Gods of the Ancient Northmen” by Dumezil, as well as Rigsthula, and “The Laws of Manu”).

But with LAGUZ we return to the feminine (i.e, non-Indo-European), which pairs nicely with the fourth rune of the First Eight - in this sense of Genesis: “The spirit/ANSUZ of God hovered/moved over the waters/LAGUZ..” ANSUZ (the fourth rune) and LAGUZ (the fourth to last rune) are in opposed sequential ordering. Also in opposed sequential ordering are the third rune THURISAZ and the third to last INGUZ. INGUZ is the scrotum or sack in which the testes are brewing their seed; THURISAZ is that actual phallus to deliver that seed. INGUZ (male, but passive, unlike THURISAZ being male but active) comes after LAGUZ (also passive, as a swamp or wet and worm hidden/occult area with things grow and fester unto livingness…

DAGAZ is second to last - and like the second to last of the FIRST AEtt, presents us again with the X shape. But DAGAZ’s X is bracketed off by two columns. The giving is contained, for it is a process, a cycle, like night and day… Day is the container of the giving of light to the cold. This X can also be viewed in the last rune stave, OTHALA. In addition to our previous interpretation of it as a bipod holding up a patch of land, we can load this rune with yet more meaning by simultaneously seeing in it an X with TEIWAZ’s sky-arrow. TEIWAZ holds up the sky in stasis, i.e, with ISA; but OTHALA holds up the sky through the power of give and take (GEBO). Thus, one difference between TEIWAZ ad OTHALA is that TEIWAZ represents heaven (sky) as a stabile thing, whereas OTHALA represent heaven (sky) as a process. The heaven of OTHALA is land, though - and not sky. For their to be heaven on earth, we all must be involved in a sharing/caring process of givetake. And so, in the end, OTHALA can be re-named GENEROSITY.  This is how to carry out the duty of Tyr/TEIWAZ duty on Earth. Tyr, after all, sacrificed/gave/GEBO his sword hand in exchange/GEBO for peace...

Views: 486

Comment by Loclynn on February 22, 2012 at 9:16pm

This is exquisite in its elegance very very cool. . 

Comment by Francis on February 22, 2012 at 10:35pm

Thank you Kristian and Loclynn! I did not realize this blog would be received well.

Comment by Brynte Westlund on March 6, 2012 at 9:54am

Hey Francis - Glad to see you are cutting your own path through to the last AEttr! Though, I have some questions and critiques after reading your blog post yesterday. 

First, with Tiwaz & Berkano, I like the direction you where going with father and mother but why Sky and Earth? Sky makes sense because Tiwaz points to Tyr and as I'm sure you are aware Tyr was most likely, I've heard it said, the Chieftain before Odin became more popular with in regards to followers. What I don't understand is how Berkano is an 'Earth' mother - perhaps you could explain. 

I like your imagery with regards to Tiwaz and Othala! The characteristics they both share, pointing with a Kenaz upward, seems spot on and I rather like it. Though, I'm one who sees Dagaz as the last rune and Othala as the second to last - so I don't think I'll be personally using the insight for readings. 

When you say, "RAIDHO comes from Old English ‘rad’ ..." do you mean that Raidho as a Proto-Germanic word was reconstructed from the OE word and name for this rune Rad?

While I can see Ansuz and Laguz as pictographically related - even in concept, Ansuz being two rivers that come to a single mouth in the OE rune poem and Laguz as the force and flow of water - I think you'll find that you are wrong about the two being opposites in the round. That would be Ansuz <-> Sowilo & Hagalaz <-> Laguz. Also I think you'll find that Laguz is the fifth rune in the third AEttr.

Take care and I hope that helps - Ent

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 2:44pm

@BRYNTE: As for me saying - very erroneously - that RIADHO comes from Old English "rad," I should never have said such a thing, and that was a blatant silly mistake of mine. Thank you for pointing it out, and I changed it just now. Again: thanks! I am good enough, hahaha, to not make such a disgusting mistake...! :)

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 3:06pm

As for me interpreting BERKANO as a mother and an EARTH Mother at that, my reasons for doing so were 1) the birch tree grows up from the earth, with its roots deep in it, and this eathiness is womb-like to me, the birch tree in its growth being a symbol of that womb's power; and 2) I am IMPOSING a cetain mythstory onto the Elder Futhark - or, if not "imposing" it, then at least using it as a guide (perhaps, or perhaps not, as a KEY to some inner occult meaning in the Elder Futhark???) This mythstory (or "metaphoric history") is basically that of Marija Gimbutas' Kurgan Hypothesis, and that of the Vanir/AEsir war spoken of in Voluspa, and the ideas among Indo-European philologists or linguistic paleontologists of a mounted Indo-European invasion into an ancient Europe that did not know how to ride horses - analogous to the "cowboys and Indians" invasion-type in later times; and you can think of Iroquois Nation with its matriarchy and democracy as the same TYPE of entity as this Old Europe... This is a mythstory that I think is a metaphor for something re-occuring in history, as well as in certain ways within our own hearts... That is why I FEEL this "mythstory," as I call it, to be a sort of KEY.

With this mythstory - at least as how I FEEL it to be - there is the whole dichtomy of the matrilinear and egalitarian on the one hand, and the patrilinear and classist ("Dumezilian") on the other; and I look for areas of the Elder Futhark where I can plug in the components of this mythstory. On the one hand, me doing this can of course be interpreted as confirmation bias; and to counter this, I will openly admit that I am not claiming BERKANO as Mother Earth has to have any objective basis - just that it FEELS right to me, and is a meaningful symbolism to me...

Furthermore, I find the symmetry between a Sky Father on the one hand and an Earth Mother on the other meaningful. TEIWAZ is up - just as it points up; and BERKANO is down, although it does not point down. But if BERKANO as a pictograph is interpreted as a bosom, and if BERKANO as a name means "birch tree," then whose bosom could this be other than that of the Earth itself? Gaia, Mother Earth, Mother Nature?

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 3:13pm

As for LAGUZ, when I said it was the fourth rune of the Third AEtt, I made a type-o - and I thank you so much for catching me on this so that this embarrassing mistake will not just stay there for all to see and either get confused by or snicker at, hahaha. I meant to say that LAGUZ is the fourth to last rune - just like ANSUZ is the fourth rune from the beginning. If you count four runes from FEHU (the beginning), then you get ANSUZ; and if you count backwards from the last rune (whether that be DAGAZ or OTHALA), then you get LAGUZ. That is what I meant to say.

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 3:19pm

Yikes, I just accidentally deleted my last comment? Did it come to you in email? Could you post it here?

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 3:26pm

Anyway, I was saying that, as for LAGUZ and ANSUZ being opposites, I am not claiming there is objective reasons for this pairing, or that this pairing is necessarily exists in some spirit inherent to the Elder Futhark. I am merely saying that I FEEL this pairing makes sense, and so that, for me, this pairing is right (for now, at least). But I do not want to accept such pairing if it truly does fly in the face of the spirit of the Elder Futhark. Perhaps the pairings you mentioned of ANSUZ <=> SOWILO and HAGALAZ <=> LAGUZ are more in the spirit of the Elder Futhark?  Is that so? Could you explain, please?

Comment by Francis on March 6, 2012 at 3:27pm

a lot of fumbling on the keyboard today... ugh!... clutzy fingers today...

Comment by Loclynn on March 6, 2012 at 5:06pm

I think the shear utility of the birch and the fact that it is the first to leaf in spring are good pointers to the mother iconography of Berkano. The English Wikipedia is lacking in information but if you use Google translator you can search other pages such is this Russian wiki which has a much richer tome of information. As a matter of interest you can use this method of search on all kinds of topics. One thing that you will see is that the Russians spend more energy talking about utility while the German is more focused on taxonomy and so on. Each culture brings a slightly different value to the conversation. 


You need to be a member of Rune Secrets Community to add comments!

Join Rune Secrets Community

Study Rune Meanings


Connect with Tyriel



Introduction and Greetings

Started by Jay Mc in Community Mar 4.

Shut Down & New Music and Adventures 5 Replies

Started by Tyriel [Rune Secrets Admin] in Announcements. Last reply by Ben McInnis Feb 22.

Casting cloth

Started by Ethan Hall in Community Feb 11.

Help to translate a phrase for a tatoo 1 Reply

Started by Matheus Victor in Community. Last reply by SeekerOfSummons Jan 26.

The Combination of runes 1 Reply

Started by SeekerOfSummons in Community. Last reply by SeekerOfSummons Jan 26.

Blog Posts

2017 Personal Runecasts

Posted by Kelley on November 30, 2016 at 7:56am 0 Comments


Posted by Eric Matthew Bennett on August 27, 2016 at 5:58am 4 Comments


Posted by Wilo on July 23, 2016 at 10:15pm 1 Comment

Get the Book of Rune Secrets!

The Rune Secrets Blog

Rune Books and Curriculum

The Curriculum of Rune Magick I highly encourage you to build your library starting from these sources. A lot of good stuff is out of print, but these books have stood the test of time and/or popularity. All links go to Amazon, where you’ll find more reviews, similar books and pricing information. Enjoy! The Book … Continue reading Rune Books and Curriculum

Tyriel Requests Your Patronage!

Hail, friend! You may know me as Tyriel, author of “The Book of Rune Secrets”, but in every day life, I am simply James. I come to you today seeking support and patronage to bring my recent work on the runes to fruition, using Patreon, at  I have been a quiet observer of the … Continue reading Tyriel Requests Your Patronage!

Free Rune Course Beginning March 1st 2012

Welcome to Rune Secrets! Many of you know me as Tyriel, the admin of Rune Secrets and the author of The Book of Rune Secrets. The Rune Secrets Study Community at started Beta in March of last year, and has since grown a vibrant and active membership base. Now, I am going to conduct a … Continue reading Free Rune Course Beginning March 1st 2012

© 2017   Created by Tyriel [Rune Secrets Admin].   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service