A torch, a blacksmith, a fever, the warm body of a lover, the inspiration of the artist. Kenaz is the rune of both light and heat.  With light comes clarity and insight, but with heat comes transformation.  Fire provides warmth, food, the gifts of the forge, the passion to create, the electical impulses of the nervous system, the touch of a loved one; but it can also run out of control – the volcano erupting, the child burning his fingers on the cooking pot, a fever raging through the body.

Kenaz speaks to me of enthusiasm and curiousity, it is a rune of risk taking, appearing in the Futhark after Raidho which promotes a steady course and responsibility.  In terms of risk taking, think Indiana Jones: self-starting, adventurous, autonomous, curious, intelligent but not a great team player.  Kenaz is the rune of the artist who is unafraid to pursue their inspiration.

Work with Kenaz through baking, smithing, pottery, carpentry, painting and the development of any technical or creative skill.  Chemistry and, indeed, alchemy are disciplines particularly attuned to the mysteries of Kenaz.  Kenaz is also associated with healing as its powers include the transformation of the physical body.  


Torch is to every living person
known by its fire,
it is clear and bright
it usually burns
when the athlings [nobles]
rest inside the hall. Old English Rune Poem (Translated by Thorsson)

In its positive aspect Kenaz signifies enlightenment or directed creativity (The Rune Primer: A Down to Earth Guide to the Runes).  With the exception of the Old English Rune Poem quoted above the rune poems focus on the more negative aspects of the rune as a harbinger of discomfort and disease.  Reversed Kenaz can, indeed, signify illness that maims and weakens.  A potential link between the Old English Cēn and the other poems may be the heat of fire – or the heat of fever that needs to be fought and leaves the person weakened and needing to recuperate.   A common theme is the impact of this rune upon the physical body (known as the lyke in northern soul-lore).  Light and colour are strongly associated with Kenaz.  The hues of sunset, the artist’s pallete and the discolouration of the body through wounding, sickness or emotion  are worth meditating on if you wan to connect strongly with Kenaz.

Literal meanings:  Torch, sore, ulcer, lamp, firebrand

Rich meanings: Enlightenment, creativity, learning, knowledge, technical ability, children (as the result of creation)

Deepening your connection with Kenaz

This journey is based on the traditional meanings of the Kenaz rune.  Take on the mantle of a Smith’s apprentice in this journey to ncounter the rune’s energies.e

A meditation to draw out negativity, pain, frustation and illness using the chant and mudra for the rune Kenaz. Use this rune’s powers of alchemy and transformation, change, healing and growth.

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Articles about Kenaz

Kenaz: half month, birth runes, maker of heroes

So it’s Friday 13th and the moon is almost full meaning Manni is smiling down on us.  It is also the first day of the…

Learn about the mysteries of Kenaz with the sixth of my journeys with the Elder Futhark

Kenaz is the sixth rune in the First Aett (first family) of the Elder Futhark.  Take on the mantle of a Smith’s apprentice in this…

Kenaz horoscope: 15th September – 1st October

Sunna’s Chariot moves into Kenaz at 17.51 GMT Saturday 15th September 2018; it peaks at the  Autumn Equinox.  Where Berkano is a rune of quantity…

I share this because the pictures are beautiful, as is the writing.  The book speaks of the true ingenuity of Nordic cooking.  Utterly fascinating and totally Kenaz.

I bought this book for my Dad and I just love it.  He has chopped and stored wood for our hearth fire for as long as I can remember.  Technical artistry and connection to nature? Perfection.

Currently on my wish list to replace a volume which is now out of print.  Gorges is a metal shaper which is totally appropriate to Kenaz.  The book has been hailed as helping all to rediscover the craftsman within.

Never forgot that magic itself is a craft: learned, practiced, perfected.  This book is abundant with magical techniques which either use, or can be applied to, magical work with the runes.

Click on the books to buy them on Amazon.  If you use my links directly I may receive a small commission for your referral.

Discover all 24 runes of the Elder Futhark

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- Contact and connect -

The intention behind my rune pages is to help you develop connect with each rune creatively and with confidence.  The pages are by no means comprehensive but I hope they inspire you to journey deeper into their mysteries both through further research and personal gnosis.

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