Algiz – Rune Meaning Analysis

ALGIZ (also called Elhaz) is a powerful rune, because it represents the divine might of the universe. The white elk was a symbol to the Norse of divine blessing and protection to those it graced with sight of itself.

Algiz is the rune of higher vibrations, the divine plan and higher spiritual awareness. The energy of Algiz is what makes something feel sacred as opposed to mundane. It represents the worlds of Asgard (gods of the Aesir), Ljusalfheim (The Light Elves) and Vanaheim (gods of the Vanir), all connecting and sharing energies with our world, Midgard.

Image by H. Koppdelaney

The Symbolism of Algiz

The symbol itself could represent the upper branches of Yggdrasil, a flower opening to receive the sun (SOWILO is the next rune in the futhark after all,) the antlers of the elk, the Valkyrie and her wings, or the invoker stance common to many of the world’s priests and shamans. In a very contemporary context, the symbol could be powerfully equated to a satellite dish reaching toward the heavens and communicating with the gods and other entities throughout this and other worlds. I find this metaphor particularly useful, due to my embrace of technology, but if it doesn’t work for you, use the older interpretations.

Aligning with the Divine Plan

As a part of the second Aett, whose inimical nature is primary to the interpretations of the symbols, Algiz represents the divine plan as set apart from individual affairs, even in spite of human concerns entirely. Understanding the divine plan is ultimately beyond us while we live as human beings, save that it is for the greater good.

Algiz requires faith to work with. Like DAGAZ, it can be seen as the continual unfoldment of universal intelligence, particularly consciousness in all its forms. This puts the denizens of Midgard in a central role.

Activating the Higher Self

When Odin sacrifices himself to Himself to receive the runes, it can be interpreted that Odin was setting an example for us: to sacrifice the things that make us small or petty, to give up our fetters, addictions and vice to seek something much greater within ourselves. Algiz lifts us away from the limiting egocentricity which comes part and parcel with ISA‘s rune vibrations.

Alignment with the divine plan activates our Higher Self, pushes us from within toward the self-actualization of MANNAZ. In doing so, Odin invites us to seek godhood, just as he once did, and give ourselves over the the pursuit of wisdom, higher awareness and service to the heavens.

In exchange for such a sacrifice (which you may eventually see as no ‘real’ sacrifice at all as you explore TIWAZ and GEBO), a number of specific magical and psychological benefits are bestowed upon us.


The first of these is protection, as is to be expected because of the rune’s esoteric meaning. Alignment with the divine makes a person sacred — set apart from the mundane and therefor blessed by divine protection. The courageous garner favor with the gods. This can be in the form of increased luck, stronger Hamingja, and this protection is renewed by passing certain ‘tests’ of one’s courage and honor, often administered by Odin in one of his various forms.

Communication with Divine Entities

The second is the ability to communicate with gods and entities of the Higher Realms, particularly Heimdall and the Valkyries, who are the guardians of Valhalla and watch over their favored warriors. The symbol, reversed, might be used to access the realm of the dead, giants, and the unconscious. Tread carefully!

The Protective Teaching Force

Thirdly, Algiz is a channel for the protective teaching force, that power which great teachers and mentors transfer to students or seekers, a relationship also touching on KENAZ. Its intensity ranges from divine guidance to sitting in a classroom during a lecture from a favorite teacher, but it is the same energy, and can manifest in countless ways.

Teachers and mentors come in many forms and often test our humility and our readiness, requiring our attention, our service and our unique ability to think for ourselves and integrate knowledge into the mix of our own associations and life experience.

Beware the so-called ‘guru’ who acts in order to convert you to his views, opinions and thoughts. How to think, and why to think for yourself, should always be more important than what to think. Avoid accepting as mentors those who do not truly wish to assist in awakening you to your own, unique powers — they’d rather an ornament to their own ego.

Facing Fear with Courage

Finally, Algiz is the rune of Fear, and the proper use of fear.

Where PERTHRO represents the unknown, ALGIZ represents the courage we must exercise in order to face our fear of the unknown. Algiz gives us the counter-phobic urge to move toward our fears and conquer them rather than be ruled by them.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to right action in spite of it. It is important to move toward fear rather than avoid it, because it is in the dark areas obscured by your fears that you can truly grow and learn to live fully.

Wisdom and courage are the two things you can take to the very doors of death, and up into Valhalla, accumulating Hamingja which will carry on into your next life. Therefor, they are both divine pursuits and invaluable qualities.

Important Psychiatric Warning on the Dangers of Algiz

The divine power of Algiz is intoxicating and dangerous to the untrained.

Communication with other worlds can be intense and hazardous to the unprepared, resulting in psychiatric conditions like mania or schizophrenia — in other times such patience may have been shamen, sorcerers or oracles, but our culture has largely lost the knowledge and methods by which a person is prepared for these roles.

If you are experiencing an overload of Algiz, you may be hearing voices, feeling paranoid and ‘receiving’ new ideas and awareness that is not normal for you. You may feel invulnerable or filled with energy. Some of these experiences are quite authentic. However, it is extremely important that you are able to cope with the necessities of your life and care for yourself in the mundane world!

If you cannot eat or sleep, and are experiencing symptoms of psychosis, or uncontrollable emotional outbursts, seek help from a psychiatric expert. They are here to help you. I speak from experience, and I promise that coping with your powers and attaining self-mastery are much more essential to the right path.

It is much more powerful and courageous to find a stable center within yourself, be in control of your emotions and mind, and be able to eat, sleep and speak clearly in a way others can understand, even relate to.  If you need the help of medication while you learn to cope, it may sting your pride at first, but in the long run, it will help!

If you cannot cope with the day to day mundane aspects of your life, you cannot cope with the divine — their seeming duality is an illusion! At the level of the Higher Self, they are one and the same. You will find this paradox at the root of the DAGAZ rune meaning.

Good luck, and be wary.

Related Material:

Algiz – Basic Rune Meaning

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42 thoughts on “Algiz – Rune Meaning Analysis”

  1. I had just come home from visiting a family member who does not really respect me and can at times be verbally abusive, i was feeling very low and on returning home put my hand in my rune bag to get advice from one rune, i pulled algiz (eolh. ) Clearly the simple advice given was that although this person is difficult to get along with they can only go so far because i am being protected. This rune was carved into weapons for victory and safety when going into battle. I can now surround my self with this on my imaginary shield and even add a bit sedge grass the next time i have to visit. This family member is my adult son and i his mother..

  2. Today I had a dream one that i was reading a magazine on the paranormal. And i was flipping through the pages and their was an article on fate rings and the ring had this symbol of Algiz. When I woke up I researched it online and I came here. oh and the ring was made of silver and it was upright. but the dream had a blue haze to it as i was seeing the symbol.

  3. That is interesting ! share your experience with us of runes :) Antony Thorsons weather system : exsample August 7 start of autumn was from 26th august 2011 ? in fact ?
    The Eolh-sedge is mostly to be found in a marsh;
    it grows in the water and makes a ghastly wound,
    covering with blood every warrior who touches it.
    12 Sep 09:27 20 Sep 13:39
    150° August 23 dwell in heat.
    Peorth is a source of recreation and amusement to the great,
    where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall.
    11herb harvest fog =
    1098 27 Sep 11:09 4 Oct 03:15
    165° September 8 white dew condensed moisture makes dew white; a sign of autumn = actualy 27th sep 2011
    The yew is a tree with rough bark,
    hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots,
    a guardian of flame and a joy upon an estate.
    12 Oct 02:06 20 Oct 03:30
    180° September 23 autumnal equinox
    Summer is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,
    suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits
    for rich and poor alike.
    26 Oct 19:56 2 Nov 16:38
    12 befor yule frost /wolf holy
    195° October 8 cold dew dew starts turning into frost
    Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
    it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
    it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.
    10 Nov 20:16 18 Nov 15:09
    210° October 23 descent of frost appearance of frost and descent of temperature
    (Constraint gives scant choice;
    a naked man is chilled by the frost.)
    November 7 start of winter stillness of church vatsu wind
    Hail is the whitest of grain;
    it is whirled from the vault of heaven
    and is tossed about by gusts of wind
    and then it melts into water
    10 Dec 14:36 18 Dec 00:48 not november 22
    240° November 22 snow starts falling ? will be interested to see if it is true !

  4. I feel as if the runes chose me and especially the symbol of algiz I dropped my phone something I have done before but the odd thing about it was the last time I did the screen of my phone cracked slightly at first I was upset but then I noticed that the way that it cracked made the shape of algiz perfectly I found it interesting. I had seen the symbol before once or twice but when I saw it now etched on my phone I have decided that it seems as though I was bieng told something. As of lately I have been going back to spirituality that is more open. I tried a more conventional way of spirituality but I still felt things in a different way and I was told within the church that I used to attend that I was cursed and that basically what I felt or was sensitive to was evil I know this was not true so I left. but anyway this rune chose me and I am begining to understand why now

  5. After just coming into contact with the rune Algiz at the beggining of the year, I felt a strange presence. It felt negative (Though it really felt like that because it was too much and I was not ready), from the small amount of information I read about Algiz, I thought it meant protection, so I tried protecting myself with it, only to have the forein entity increase in precence. It was too much fear for me to handle, due to lack of courage at that early stage of development. I ended up envoloped in fear and paranoia, (That feeling you get when you feel like somethings following you, and you feel helpless. You just want to run from the unkowen. I know now that it was my own fear of the foreign energy that caused such a negative effect. Algiz teaches in a moving way that courage is essential in ‘seeing’ what is really there, instead of instinctively fearing it which craetes negativity and misconception. By no means should this deter the novice from Algiz, I just want to express that you should fill your heart with courage when invoking Algiz, and know that the energies both Protect you, and push you forward, granting the wonderful gift of enlightened communication with entities.

    1. Heath! Thank you for making this observation.

      I quickly found that when coming into contact with the supernatural that fear skewed the perception. Some aspects of fear are useful: it heightens awareness. But at a certain point one must reign it in and bring courage to the fore so that what is can be seen clearly and confronted. The _instinct_ of fear has to be overcome. When we begin to talk about murk staves, I would very readily say that reversed Algiz = fear. I’d like to congratulate you on working through this and bringing your finding to my website :)


      1. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
        And I’d like to congratulate you on creating a website for me to post it on :) Information on the runes should be shared, as they once where. This website grants us a place to share and learn from each others experiences. An Invaluable resource, many thanks and blessings to you Tyriel.

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