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.

Thurisaz 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.

There is also an interesting connection between 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.

Traditional meaning: Thorn, giant

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

Thurs causes the sickness of women;
few are cheerful from misfortune.
Translated by Thorsson, Rune Lore

Present significance: The subconscious, anger, passion, violence, attack, aggression.  When reversed, this rune tends to mean defensiveness 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.

Key terms:  Power, impulse, anger, subconscious urges, vital force

Pronunciation: thur-ee-sarz

Number: 3

Gods: Thor, Loki

Colour: Purple, red

Elements: Destructive fire is most commonly associated with Thurisaz; this includes the lightning flashing from Thor’s mighty hammer and the uncontrollable wild fire of Loki.  In the northern tradition the corrosive, desctuctive power of venom also resonates with Thurisaz.

Hour: 14:30-15:30

Half month: July 29th-August 13th

Plants: Blackthorn, hawthorn, bramble

 Body: Genitals, libido, heart

Animal: Snake

Mineral: Sapphire

Aroma: Frankincense, angelica

Object of power: Dagger

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)

 Thurisaz meditation

This meditation is designed to balance the energies of Thurisaz that build up around us in response to stressful and emotional events.  The energy of Thurisaz manifests in the fight or flight response, which isn’t always the way we deal with stressful events in the modern world.

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Journeys with the Elder Futhark – The First Aett

Thrisaz is the third rune in the First Aett (first family) of the Elder Futhark.  A Journey with Thurisaz will be published at the end of July.