Ar-Kan Rune-Lag

Ar-Kan Rune-Lag

Monday 12 March 2018

The Thorn Rune

This rune-stave is called Thorn in the Old English Rune Row and Thuraz or Thurisaz in the Common Germanic Futhark and Elder Futhark. There are thus four distinct meanings we can get from this rune -

1. It is a Thorn of Protection. 

2. It is the Sleep-Thorn and the Thorn of Awakening. The 'Sleep-Thorn' concept we find in 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Dornrose" (Thorn-Rose). 

3. It is the Thurs-Rune which is the rune of the Thurs, the 'Giants', the Agents of Chaos.

4. This is the Hammer of Thunor which can be seen if the 'point' is placed downwards and an upright stave placed on the top of it. 

There are more meanings than this but these will be the subject of this post; they are enough to give an idea of the meaning of the rune-stave. We shall now go through the above meanings -

1. Thorn of Protection. The thorn, whether of the rose, the briar, the hawthorn, the blackthorn or whatever is a protective device for the plant or tree. The symbol is thus one of protection, especially passive protection although this is a rune used for active protection too. The hawthorn is especially used to protect the boundary of a home or hamlet - a tribal boundary. Invariably, a Solar Hero has to get through a hedge of roses or thorns in able to get to the 'maiden in distress' - his Higher Self in mystical terms. 

2. The Sleep-Thorn and the Thorn of Awakening. "Sleeping Beauty" is put to sleep by being pricked with a thorn or a spindle; she is pricked with the Sleep-Thorn. Sigdrifa or Brunhild are put to sleep by Woden pricking her with the Sleep-Thorn. This is the basis of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale anyway, and she is the 'Higher Self' of Sigurd the Wolsung. This seems clear when Sigurd betrays her (even if the fault was not his own) by marrying another 'earthly' queen. His luck ends there and from then on he is doomed to die. They are united after death though. The Thorn of Awakening is that which awakens the individual or the Folk; sometimes it takes suffering to awaken people and this is perhaps the meaning of the rune. No pain - no gain! A people sometimes need pain and suffering to wake them from their slumber and apathy. There is another, hidden, meaning in this concept because Sigdrifa is 'pricked' by the Sleep-Thorn to be awoken only by the Sun-Hero who has to pass through the Vafer-Flames to get to her. There they are 'united' as one, and the hidden code may be that she gives birth to Aslog ("Law of the Asen") through their union - through being 'pricked' by the Thorn. 

3. The Thurs are something like the Joten and sometimes the names seem to be interchangeable. In Christian times these were seen as 'demons' or 'evil beings' and we find the same with the Joten, though sometimes some of them (especially the Giantesses) aid the Gods. In both the Icelandic Rune Poem and the Norwegian Rune-Poem the Thurs are deemed a curse to women. No reason is given for this idea. In the Icelandic Rune-Poem Thurs is linked to Saturn; this is interesting in that the Germanic Tribes did not name a day of the week after Saturn, they called this day 'Sun's Eve'. There is also a strange thing about our 'Thursday' which is named 'Thurs-Day'; originally this was 'Thunor's Day', named after Thunor-Thor. I am not sure whether the modern 'Thursday' is a simple corruption of the original, or whether the day was deliberately altered, as was our 'Saturday". The Aryans were always the Sons of the Sun, whilst only the Judaic Religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - appear to have symbols dedicated to Saturn. 

4. The Hammer of Thunor is the Hammer of Creation, the Hammer of Destruction, and the Hammer of Protection. Thunor is an offspring of the Thurs-Joten and the strongest of the Gods; his role is the destruction of the 'Giants' in order to uphold Cosmic Order and World Order. Or rather, we could say Thunor upholds Cosmic Order by keeping at bay the Forces of Chaos (Giants), whilst the role of the Arya is to uphold World Order here in Midgard, their role to keep these Forces of Chaos at bay on Earth - or rather to counter the Servants of Darkness as we shall call them. Thunor's destructive powers are there to destroy the enemies of the Gods in order to uphold Cosmic Order. The Fylfot-Swastika is the Hammer of Thunor in flight. After the Ragnarok the Hammer of Thunor will change direction to become the Hammer of Creation. 

Someone once wrote that the Thurs-Rune has the power of the Atomic Bomb, as such being a very powerful symbol of destruction. As the 'Cursing Rune' this could have a ring of truth in it, since it has been used to curse. Whether this is so or not the symbolism of the stave shows it to be very, very powerful since both the Powers Above (Heavens) and the Powers Below (Earth-Underworld) are fused into one powerful force sent out from the centre - from the 'thorn'. 

I have shown before how the AEgisjalmr ("Helm of the Terrible One") can be seen to be made up of eight Thurs-Runes pointing towards the eight directions - the staves each with three cross-staves, the three being a code for the Third Rune - Thurs. There are also eight Tridents, a trident being made up of three points; this again emphasises the Number 3. This rune, as I showed, is a rune of active protection, throwing its force outwards in all directions to counter a 'curse' or 'spell' or any other force that threatens. The Trident is the Symbol of Rudra-Shiva and of Woden-Odin. 

'Third' is also a name used of the "Triple-Godhead' and also of Trita whose name means 'Third'. Trita is the 'Dragon-Slayer' of Aryan Mythology, he takes the role of Thunor in the Hindu Lore. The power of the Thorn-Rune is also associated with the Dragon-Slayer or Serpent-Slayer - the 'Serpent of Evil'. We can see from these various meanings how this rune contains its 'meaning' and its 'polar opposite meaning'. As do all of the runes. We see in our Northern Mythology how like can only counter like since opposites conflict and are fused as one to create something new. 


  1. "Sometimes it takes suffering to awaken people and this is perhaps the meaning of the rune" - Could this then tie in with the idea that the Jotun forces exist to be a catalyst for the evolution of man?! The famous proclamation which the man against time made regarding the importance of 'struggle' would also tie into this, and Thunor - as wielder of the Thorn/Hammer, and primary opponent of the Jotun - would represent the importance of struggle and hardship in spiritual growth.

    1. Late reply Steed in January 2021, but we are now full-on into the greatest struggle our Folk have had at the end of this evolutionary cycle.