Gebo – Rune Meaning

“For every gift a curse.”

Gebo
– “Gay-boo” – Literally: “Gift” – Esoteric: Fair Exchange, Sacrifice, Sacred Marriage

Key Concepts: gifts, giving, taking, trade, sacrifice, process of exchange, balance, compensation, equilibrium, law of reciprocation, altruism, the gravity of equals and opposites, generosity, hospitality, honor

Psi:
gratitude, forgiveness, appreciation

Energy:
Exchanged powers, sacrifice, dissolution of barriers through gifting

Divinations: Generosity, gift, magical exchange, honor, sacrifice, divine vision; or influence buying, greed, loneliness, dependence, over-sacrifice, unbalanced behavior, dishonesty

Mundane:
material gifts, thankfulness, trade

Governs:
Sex magic
Mystical union and ‘Sacred Marriage’ between partners
Understanding of the true meaning of gifting and binding
Giving of oneself from within
Harmony between brothers and sisters and lovers
Favours, contracts, obligations, debt and oath-taking

My Notes:

Gebo is perhaps one of the runes which has the most lore. When we say X-mas, the X is unconsciously representative of this rune. In the Havamal, the Cosmic Law of Compensation is written as ‘Better not to over-pledge as a gift demands a gift’, and ‘No man is so generous he will jib at accepting a gift in return for a gift’.

The exchange of gifts, whether physical or otherwise, is a highly meaningful act, as is the idea of trade. It is associated with magical rings, which give kings the ability to share powers with their followers, as is expected of leaders. The need for exchanged energies and powers to remain equal in amounts is at the heart of the rune Gebo. In the Havamal it also says ‘A man should be loyal through life to friends, and return gift for gift; Laugh when they laugh, but with lies repay a flase foe who lies.’ Though this might conflict with the New Age morality, it was the ancient way of expressing ‘what goes around, comes around’.

Elsewhere in Northern lore we find, that there is always a price to pay. Every decision you make requires the acceptance of one thing and simultaneous sacrifice or release of another. For more on that sacrifice, see INGUZ. Self-sacrifice (for honor in battle or for the greater good) is a common theme with the death of warriors. Odin on the tree sacrifices ‘himself to Himself’ in his shamanic initiation to discover the knowledge and wisdom of the runes.

Gebo is also tied deeply to the exchange of sexual energies between male and female, and so it deeply governs mystical union, sacred oaths of marriage and sex magic. For more on sacred marriage, one must uncover the mysteries of EHWAZ.

14 thoughts on “Gebo – Rune Meaning”

  1. This was one of the Runes ( along with Hagalaz to the left and Kenaz to the right )I pulled for some one inquiring if it was possible they are a psychic vampire. It’s extraordinary how well the Runes embody the human experience.

  2. When I drew my 6 Rune Destiny Path, Gebo was the rune to the question, what is my nature. My deepest feeling about this rune is that I am in Partnership with the God of my understanding…Partnership with God is my nature.

    I am a weaver. Recently I wove a basket that could be used as a strewing vessel. It felt so absolutely apparent that God planted a seed in my creativity and I did the action…the weaving. Ergo, partnership.

    At any rate, it works for me and gives me the opportunity of gratitude in action for the many blessings I’ve been given.

  3. Our ancestors’ ancestors knew that Gift maens obligation. If you give me a Gift, I should give you one. Gebo raises the biggest question what as humans should we give back to the All_Father for the threefold gift of thought/life/hue?

    My answer is that we owe Him an extraoridnary Life!

    Reyn Til Runa!

    DW

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