This is the first day of the fortnight (July 29 – August 12) governed by the rune Thorn or Thurisaz. Its phonetic value is “Th” and it has two meanings. The first and oldest meaning is “devil,” possibly relating to the sharp horns and pitchfork so often shown in the devil’s images. Thorn is the late Anglo-Saxon name for the rune, and was probably called this because the shape of the rune so obviously looks like a thorn on a stem.
Thorn is named after the god Thor, who ruled the weather upon which farmers, fishermen and hunters depended and who, armed with his crushing hammer Mjöllnir, was the great defender against physical and spiritual dangers and preserver of cosmic order. Thor was said to have battled and defeated the Frost Giant Thurs.
In the narrowest sense, Thorn has the meaning of a demon, troll, or giant, all of which are beings endowed with immeasurable fierceness and danger to humans. Thorn is also the root of the name of an evil Frost Giant named Thurs, the figure of which survives today in the children’s fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
All cultures have their anti-gods, and many have frost or ice beings representing cold, chaos, and danger.
But the Frost Giants occupy a more prominent position in the Germanic lore which arose at the end of the last Ice Age than in other mythologies.
Thorn literally denotes the resistant and protective qualities of the thorn tree. Thorn hedges are a practical means of preventing access to a piece of ground. Sacred enclosures in northern Europe were customarily surrounded by hedges of hawthorn or blackthorn. The thorn is a protective structure which passively operates as a deterrent against attack. The shape of the rune is sharp and cutting like a tooth or claw. The Old English Rune Poem tells us: The thorn is very sharp, an evil thing to grip, very grim for anybody who falls among them.
Thorn is, like Elhaz, first and foremost a protective rune. (Thorn is, in fact, located directly opposite Elhaz on the Runic Compass.) While Elhaz is an energy of active projection, Thorn is an energy of passive protection. Thorn is an energy that resists everything that threatens the natural cosmic order with chaos. It is an energy that subdues those forces detrimental to mankind’s instinctual life-urge.
I could never understand any of the runes and how they operate in the Universe until I was able to visualize these detrimental forces relative to Thorn. Thinking about Thorn, I came to the realization that we live in a world of chaotic energy waves. Chances are, wherever you are sitting now is being bombarded with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vibration frequencies. Radio and TV stations, cell phone towers, power transmission lines, computers, cell phones, microwave ovens, etc.—all of these sources are creating subtle vibrations that are passing through the walls and through you. Many are harmful to your physical health, your mental well-being, and your spiritual growth. Some of these vibrations are even mentally generated by people who are jealous, fearful, and vindictive of you and wish for harm and reversals to be inflicted upon you.
There is not much you can physically do to stop all these detrimental energies. It is possible to install metal mesh shielding in the walls of buildings to reduce the EMF that radiates from nearby power lines. But energy waves from thousands of nearby sources are so endemic to the built environment, to escape them you would have to move into a wilderness and throw away all electrical and electronic devices. I have moved to the wilderness, but even here, this latter thing is something I cannot do. Yet it is not hopeless.
We human beings are ourselves individual “receivers” and “transmitters” of energy waves. If we can reach out and access the power of a particular rune—Thorn in this instance—we can become like old time crystal radio sets that drew their power from the air through antennas (they had no batteries and didn’t plug into an outlet) and generate desired outputs. By drawing the energy of Thorn through us, the rune provides the “programming” we need to bend, stretch, and deflect away from us detrimental, dangerous, and negative energies.
Whatever works to help one focus the mind on Thorn’s “program” is something to be considered and undertaken. This can be meditation, creating art, performing a ritual, etc. We will be experimenting with various techniques in the wilderness of West Texas.
Many people wear protective amulets in the form of Mjöllnir, Thor’s hammer, to remind them of Thorn’s lessons. Its form is evocative of the rune’s shape. Owing to the sudden phenomenon of lightning which accompanies the sound of Thor’s hammer, this amulet reminds people to that it is possible to cause an immediate alteration in the way things are going. As such, Thorn can influence a change of fortune, good news, or an important and far-reaching decision to be taken.
Magically, this rune is evil when directly applied against another person. It can be used to call upon them confusion and destruction, to literally inflict the demon upon them. Used simply to embody evil, it can be fenced around by other protective runes and can play a part in removing evil from an afflicted individual or place.
Groove of the Day
98° and Clear