The mountain, forbidding, implacable.  Thrust up from the belly of the Earth.  Shrouded in cloud and snow, a land impenetrable to all but the bravest, strongest and most single-minded.  Its reflection in the waters is still and alluring, the dangers of the subconscious, of dreams.  Difficult to separate truth from illusion – a path demanding a different sort of strength.  Desire for truth, spiritual fearlessness.

Old Norse Rune Poem: Þurs. A giant, demon, or wizard.

Thurs causes the sickness of women;
few are cheerful from misfortune.

Translated by Thorsson, Runelore


Thurisaz rune stoneThurisaz is a rune that is often shunned by runesters, it represents the forces of chaos – that which we fear, the powerful emotions and drivers lurking beneath the surface.  A giant, a thorn, a powerful, uncontrollable force.  Interestingly, it is Thor (part giant himself) who wields Mjollnir, the hammer that controls the force of Thurisaz.  Turned on its back, Thurisaz resembles an anvil – when the hammer and anvil come together the Smith creates his magick.

Thorn displayed in front of a red rose

Thurisaz and the concept of the thorn hedge which the witch or shaman is able to cross.  Juniper’s ‘Walking the Hedge’ blog gives a very intesting account of what ‘walking the hedge’ entails – note the importance of habit breaking and forming.

The lore about plants with thorns, from the blackthorn to the rose is rich in magic and meaning.  Thorns protect their delicate flowers and fruits and are well known for their connections with faery.

The hagzissa or witch, is a ‘hedgesitter’ who has learned to pass through the barrier and to connect the needs of the village (conscious mind) with the unknown world beyond (the collective sub-consciousness).  That the passage can be dangerous and painful needs hardly be mentioned.

Helrunar: A Manual of Rune Magick, Jan Fries

Correspondence for Thurisaz

Thurisaz power encompasses the subconscious, anger, passion, violence, attack and aggression.  When reversed, this rune tends to refer to defensive energy rather than aggression.  Although it is not mentioned in the rune poems, the Hammer of Thor, Mjolnir is often considered as a balancing aspect of Thurisaz – the positive manifestation of this troublesome rune, which, once mastered is unmatched in power and might.

Thurisaz can make people nervous, and perhaps rightly so given its strength.  I would highly recommend working with the Hammer of Thor to support your work with this rune.

Literal meaning: Giant, thorn

Rich meaning: Power, impulse, anger, subconscious urges, vital force

Deepening your connection with Thurisaz

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Articles about Thurisaz

hammer and anvil1

The 3 modes of power #2 Power With

This is the second article in our series exploring modes of power.  We’re digging in, in particular, to Thurisaz the 3-angled rune of Power and…
When runes go bad

When rune magic goes wrong

How do you safely destroy runes when they have been incorrectly made, tainted or have ended their time of use? I share lessons from a personal incident where a confrontational…

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