Nauthiz, the need-fire, is a rune with a dual nature.  In one sense it is the hard hollow of lack, it is the cold earth, the dark days, the emptiness of loss, of starvation, the dark night of the soul.  But it is also the hands that kindle the fire in that darkness and it is the spark of hope that won’t let you role over and die.  That spark is the tenacity of human nature that keeps on trying – even when you are at your lowest ebb.  The shape of the rune suggests two twigs being rubbed together; they are dry and brittle, lacking in life, but ideal for creating that spark you need.

Nauthiz connects with the trickster, the one who cheats death and finds the way out of every hopeless situation (however questionable the method).  This rune is about survival, not just of the body but of the soul.  There is a school of thought that says ‘value’ is determined by context – if you are starving the only thing of value is survival.  I am not convinced.  The child who has everything does not understand need, they cannot empathise with the suffering of others or kindle the need-fire, for they do not know what they need to become.   

The dark night of the soul brings an experience of suffering and need which is essential for an understanding of value.  In this sense Nauthiz is a liberator that frees you from valuing things because you should and teaches you what is actually essential to you. 

Drawing Nauthiz can feel like heartless laughter on the part of the universe “You are suffering” the rune says – no kidding, tell me something I didn’t know!  But experience has taught me that the Nauthiz rune has a hidden message for you:  “Somewhere inside you there is faith, the light will come.”

There is a sweet spot where desire and need overlap. Nauthiz locates a big part of its power centre in the ‘desire’ spectrum.  People with Nauthiz in their Hero Makers are often very sensual beings who experience fulfilment through physical intimacy and sensual pleasure.     You know when you meet someone and you feel that physical aching when they touch you? That’s Nauthiz.  If you watch a candle, or a naked flame for a while you will feel the seductive quality of fire.  The ‘need’ fire in this sense is enticing, thrilling, restless.  As a rune, Nauthiz often shows up during the teenage years and let us not forget that these are the years when our bodies and minds are changing.  The desiring self is sometimes feared, sometimes misunderstood and sometimes celebrated.  Embracing the power of Nauthiz is an essential component of coming in to adulthood.

Read the full article this is extracted from here.  

Literal meanings:  Need, distress

Rich meanings: Necessity, that which must be, desire, the dark night of the soul, a trial of self-discovery

Deepening your connection with Nauthiz

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 Nauthiz.  Make a note of any that stand out for you. 
  • Make sure you know the shape of Nauthiz; if you have a rune set, select the Nauthiz 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. 

This video talks about the role Nauthiz can take in helping you meet your true needs.  It opens with a discussion of need and desire at both an individual and collective level.  It then provides some practical tips for accessing Nauthiz energy including its hand mudra.  In the last few minutes you can relax into the rune chanting for Nauthiz – it’s much more powerful if you join in… 

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