Ansuz – Rune Meaning

“Find your ears before you search for words.”

Ansuz – “Anne – suhz” – Literally: “Woden” – Esoteric: “Breath” or “Ancestral Sovereign God”

Key Concepts: order, gods, Odin, transmission of intelligence, communication, reason, inspiration, language, breath, sound, origins of language, the Voice of the Universe, spellsong, casting, chanting, ancestors, passing of the breath along the ancestral line, evolution of gods, speech, poetry, discussion of runes, memetics, semiotics, etymology, linguistics.

Psi: mental stability, communion, inspiration, listening

Energy:
sovereign ancestral god, animating spirit, breath, communication, exploration, order, answers

Mundane: words, conversation, symbols, elders, music

Divinations: Divine inspiration, word-power, synthesis, transformation, intellect, open paths of communication; or misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom, bad advice

Governs:
All powers of naming and conceptualization
Convincing and magnetic speech and writing, and the power of suggestion and hypnosis
Acquisition of creative wisdom, inspiration, ecstasy and divine communication
Reason, analysis and good advice
Connecting and networking
Listening to oneself and one’s own particular inner-voice

My Notes:

Odin’s gifts to the first humans is said to be the breath of life and inspired mental activity, along with form, speech and the cognitive senses. The root energy of this rune triggers inspiration and ecstatic mental states. The ability of our minds to work with patterns (which computers for the most part completely lack) is inherent in the energies of Ansuz. Thorsson aptly states that Ansuz is the “rune of ancestral sovereign power of the mind consciousness, inspiration, enthusiasm and the power of the use of symbols for transformation of consciousness.”

The spirit takes up its residence in the human body when the babe breathes its first breath. It leaves the body with the last breath. Breath is the actual point of osmosis between the physical world of the human being, and the transpersonal energy that animates the universe. Emphasis on the breath is seen in meditation practices in all traditions. Inspiration means to breathe in the exalting or quickening influence of cosmic awareness. The breath is also connected to ancestry, as even the word spirit comes from the same root as breath. Our ancestral lines are unbroken with those of the gods still to this day, in blood and in breath.

Ansuz governs our mental capacities to name all things. Whereas THURISAZ deals with chaotic forces, Ansuz is a rune of ordering. Naming a thing properly can give power over that thing, and in ancient traditions, naming has often been used to dispel mischievous spirits, bind demons or break psychological fetters. The relationship also is indicative chaotic events can be used to shape ordered circumstances and one’s own thoughts, or the thoughts of others. Ansuz is suggestive of the relentless patterns that modern chaos theory declares are universal in every system. The newest theories of language are also found in the mysterious order and ‘strange attractors’ of chaos linguistics.

It is here that all speech can be deciphered and understood as well, so Ansuz is a rune connected with listening and speech: communication and meaning in general. Use such skills wisely for manipulation can, through temptation, become an end in and of itself, and corrupt the power of the rune. The problems with propaganda and misdirection are that the mind will follow its own words into confusion and create hypocrisy, which will damage the hamingja. Thought and action are most powerful when aligned and honesty is the best policy.

The rune of secrets, silence and true listening is BERKANO, but there is a type of listening that will allow one to hear the Voice of the universe, and this power lay within the power of Ansuz. The rune of higher reasoning and mental abilities particular to human is MANNAZ. These three runes, used in conjunction are extremely powerful.

Further Reading:

Ansuz – Rune Meaning Analysis

37 thoughts on “Ansuz – Rune Meaning”

  1. @ Mahryan

    Thanks. The first part of the poem hit me like a bolt of lightning yesterday, and is inspired by my recent trip to Iceland, which caused the runes to re-emerge in my life after a long time being dormant. After studying Icelandic today, I asked the runes “Am I on the right path?” and received Ansuz upright. Then I visited here to investigate its deeper meaning. I wasn’t expecting to find connections to Berkana and Mannaz, but combined with Ansuz, they appear (based on Tyriel’s comments) to be a very good combination for studying a foreign language. Icelandic is challenging. I need all the help I can get! :) I think “Find your ears before you search for words” is good advice. Poetic too. Another description of Ansuz (from another site) I really like: “It is the truth heard in the wind.”

    1. [Manas] There is Narrative of Manas, sure, …you can go to Wikipedia (to find out about this legendary NAME), but only for the sake of the picture of mausoleum there… Déjà vu feeling is granted (about Аrabian ligature and Celtic tracery).

      But the word/cjmbination of so-unds [manas]…
      “It is often translated as “mind”, as it is its literal meaning. Manas is also the value of a higher sentient reincarnating ego or principle in man. Manas makes a person as a reasonable and moral being. (See, a man…)

      (Sanskrit) Mind. The internal device, a tool of thinking, the functional complex, perceiving, evaluating, summarizing, and it converts the information from the senses. On this basis, it creates a higher level of information. Manas is able to distinguish internal and external, subject and object, material and ideal. Using logic, it creates a concept. Created by logic information, manas can pass it to lower levels of consciousness, fulfilling a feedback mechanism. It determines the ability of consciousness to distinguish and it is included in total internal organ (antahkarana), which is responsible for the mental functions of humans. In the Vedas, Manas serves as a thought, spontaneously arising from Brahman at his waking moment. According to the “Rig Veda”, manas located in the heart. It feels pain, disgust, happiness, etc. Sankhya believes it’s a form of three modes associated with karma and it represents a separate category (tattva). Yoga suggests that it is linked to the spirit, soul (purusha), with “I” and the higher mind (buddhi). In the Nyaya-Vaisheshika Manas is called substance. In traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) Manas and Buddhi determine psychophysiological personality type. Jainism recognizes its materiality. Buddhist Madhyamika school asserts that it is VOID, like the whole world. … Manas is in contact with the outer aspect of higher consciousness. It is interpreted as self-consciousness or unenlightened, waking consciousness. … It’s one of the nineteen mouths, gates, through which we percept the world . It is believed that transformation of consciousness during spiritual practice occurs with participation of Manas. In Buddhism, it is associated with person’s ability to actualize dharmas and to project them into the world, creating mental designs. The term “Manas” (mano) forms a phrase like “manoratha” (Dream), “manogata” (innermost thoughts), “manodzhata” (generated by the mind, thought).”

  2. Berkana, Ansuz, and Mannaz. In a word, “BAM!” Here’s a poem I wrote yesterday:

    the fire
    in my heart
    is at war
    with the ice
    in my veins

    love
    the great destroyer

    creates
    a hostile earth
    and seeds it
    with my fury

    1. I love it when people share poems they feel have runic connections. I especially liked the first stanzas William as It’s something I often feel as my emotions and intellect struggle for control! I would like to know more about why you feel the connection with these teo runes ( Anzus for intellect?) but why Mannaz?

  3. I had a powerful realization with Ansuz recently.  I have just moved to a new city, and have been struggling to create a balance between getting financially stable, and meeting new people, and had been feeling isolated as of late. Something quite odd for me, as I frequently meditate on interconnectedness of reality. I asked the runes for advice and Ansuz was my answer. I then felt compelled to analyze all my thoughts and feelings in the form of a journal, and low and behold, once I had all the thoughts in my head converted and expressed, and analyzed as symbols, all my negative feelings just sort of evaporated. I was aware the entire time, that any experience of isolation only existed inside my own mind, as the universe is a rich and beautiful place, but it took conscious identification and analysis of specifically what I was feeling, not just a philosophical belief, to get past what was holding me back. It really impressed upon me not only the extent of which our unconscious mind can sneak things into our mentality, but also the vigilance required to continuously analyze our unconscious  minds and though conscious organization, gain control over the direction of our thoughts. 

    PS, I have been working with runes for almost 2 years now, and this site has been one of the best resources for runic analysis I could have hoped for, keep up the good work!

    1. Hey Kjolig! Thanks for sharing this, it’s interesting that this came from the analysis of Ansuz for you. There are a few other runes that also heavily oriented around our interconnectedness, but I really, really like Ansuz for this realization as well. I’ll be certain to mention what you’re talking about in my book.

      P.S. This site is based on my notes from about 3.5 years ago. The book I’m writing, due out very soon now, is going to be much better, so stay in touch and look for it in a couple months :)

  4. I’ve come across this rune this past week out of inspiration, syncronisity, and fun. I am actually quitting smoking and after not having a cigarette for a night the next day I noticed that my lungs and breath flow were more healthy and open. So when I was outside breathing in muc more oxygen then I did for a while I noticed that my senses were sharper and a crow seemed to flying right around a power spot of mine. Crow being associated with Odin I immediately ahd a flash of Ansuz and could feel better connection with the universe through my breath! So for fun, this rune is good for helping with breath flow and overcomming smoking addicition :)

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