Today is the first day of the fortnight (January 28-February 11) governed by the rune Elhaz.
Its form represents the horns of an elk or the defensive gesture of a splayed hand. It has also been associated with a flying swan, whose feathers adorn the magical flying cloaks of the protective Valkyries. Its phonetic value is “Z” as in “buzz.”
Elhaz also has the meaning of elk sedge, a double-edged plant with fibers that can cut like razors. According to the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem: Elk-sedge grows mainly in the fenland, / Flourishing in the water, it gives grievous wounds, / Staining with the blood every man / Who tries to grip it.
In the Norwegian Rune Poem, Elhaz is likened to the claw of a hawk, an image most pictorially close to the runestave itself. Whatever the rune may have originally stood for, it is considered the most powerful rune of protection against anyone or thing in conflict with us.
Unlike its opposite on the circular Runic Compass, Thorn (which provides passive protection in the same way as a barbed wire fence does), Elhaz is a rune which provides protection in an active way as a firearm does. Its symbolic meaning is clear: stay away or suffer unpleasant consequences.
This rune is outlawed in some European countries today because it is used by white supremacists who use it to symbolize the survival of the Aryan race. To be sure, Elhaz saw widespread use in the Third Reich. Here it is seen as a sleeve patch denoting the wearer as a field medic of the Hitlerjugend. It was also used as a symbol of the Lebensborn, a program through which the SS encouraged unwed girls to bear ‘racially pure’ children for Germany. In its regular form, Elhaz was called the “Lebenrune,” or life-rune, and denoted birth on many tombstones. Inverted, it was called the “Totenrune,” or death-rune, and denoted the date of death.
Life and death are two aspects of the same thing. The other night I saw a TV program in which a Norwegian athlete named Eskil Ronningsbakken performed an insane balancing stunt with stacked chairs just inches from a 1,000-foot mountain drop. His heartbeat rate was unaffected. He had completely turned off his fear. “When you reach a point in life where you’re not afraid of dying any longer, you really start living,” he said.
Elhaz can be magically used as shield of protection on all levels: physical, emotional, intellectual. Esoterically, Elhaz denotes human aspiration towards divine qualities and light.
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