A figure stands alone in the wilderness, arms upraised to the Heavens; overhead a rainbow appears – the Bifrost bridge leading to the heavens. The Algiz/ Elhaz rune is a rune of great blessing, it symbolises protection and defence. As Elhaz it symbolises the elk, or the serrated edges of the elk sedge plant; both of these relate to its qualities of defence. As Algiz it refers to the swan or swan maiden, the fierce and beautiful Valkyrie who chooses the best and bravest from amongst the slain to carry to a place of honour at Odin’s table.
When Algiz is on your side it offers great comfort. The wing of a swan is incredibly strong and can beat danger away as well as enfold. To the unwary the sharp cut of the elk-sedge, the treachery of the marshlands and the lights of the willo-the-wisp spell only danger. To those who live within the marshlands, however, they offer total protection from incursion. Algiz reminds us that when we live in harmony with the land it protects and harbours us.
Algiz connects us to the Gods. It is an excellent rune for journeying and can guide us safely both up and down the World Tree to the many worlds and places housed within its roots and branches. Algiz is strongly associated with the rainbow bridge Bifrost that links Midgard (the realm which includes Earth) with Asgard (the realm of the Aesir, the ruling tribe of Gods).
Heimdall, the watcher of the Gods, guards the bridge and the protective aspect of Algiz is perhaps just as much about guarding Asgard from incursion by the un-ready as it is about guiding us to it. Before we are ready to cross Algiz can connect us to patrons from within the tribes of the Aesir, as well as other spirits, who will guide and support us on our life journey.
Literal meaning: elk, elk-sedge, swan
Rich meaning: Protection, guidance, rainbow bridge, connection to the divine
Deepening your connection to Algiz
My Elder Futhark journeys are based on the traditional meanings of the runes. To get the most from the journey follow these steps:
- Make sure the room in which you are working will be free from disturbance. Do a simple warding if you want to.
- Have a look at the basic correspondences for Algiz. Make a note of any that stand out for you.
- Make sure you know the shape of Algiz; if you have a rune set, select the Algiz rune and hold it for a short while.
- Listen to the recording.
- If you feel a bit light headed or not fully back from your journey, have something to eat.