Nauthiz – Rune Meaning

“Consciousness is the Necessity.”
“That which does not destroy me makes me stronger.” – Nietzsche

Nauthiz – “Not-this” – Literally: “Need-fire” or “Necessity” – Esoteric: Constraint, Friction

Key Concepts: Need, resistance, constraint, conflict, drama, effort, necessity, urgency, hard work, need-fire, life lessons, creative friction, distress, force of growth, the consequence of past action, short term pain for long term gain

Psi: resistance, need, effort

Energy: necessity, coming forth into being, urgency

Mundane: doing what must be done, chores, hard work

Divinations: Resistance (leading to strength), recognition of örlög (ultimate law, primal truth), innovation, need-fire (self-reliance), personal development and life lessons, achievement through effort; or constraint of freedom, distress, toil, drudgery, laxity, warnings, worry, guilt, moral cowardice, unfulfilled or unrecognized needs.


Overcoming distress or negative örlög
Acceptance of the unchangeable
Development of magical will, the manipulation of wyrd
Understanding the dynamic force of “resistance” in the process of creating
The generation of creative energy for problem solving
Protection of one’s own needs
Recognition of personal need
Love magic; especially to obtain a lover

My Notes:

Without resistance, form would fall apart. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It is the basic resistance of unconscious forces against newly evolved consciousness, but also the overwhelming need for evolution of consciousness, and that unconscious resistance to it.

The mysteries of necessity are at the core of Nauthiz. It is central to manipulating Wyrd so that desired outcomes can be attained through negotiating with the energies of the Norns. Invoking need is more powerful than wishing, but what we need and what we desire are not always the same. In this sense, Nauthiz can protect us from ourselves, but its lessons are often harsh. The force of the past exerts its effect on us in the present. Previous action catches up with us and attempts to restrain and restrict future action, which is the counter-movement of the cyclical processions of JERA. However, armed with humility we can learn our lessons from not only our own errors, but the mistakes and successes of others.

Action governed by Nauthiz is rooted in common sense. The magic of common sense is that it is not so common, because our desires and ideals eclipse our true need and perception of real circumstances. As a war rune, Nauthiz empowers the invoker to have the courage and wisdom to recognize what must be done in an otherwise complex situation. Necessity is the mother of invention. No pain, no gain. It is connected with the harshness of reality, like Hagalaz.

We have a painful fear of necessity and a love hate relationship with our needs. This is illustrated most excellently in the symbol of Nauthiz as two sticks rubbing together to create the ‘Need-Fire’. Our need for fire as a species is balanced with our fear of the power of fire. Consider this well and you will develop a profound understanding of this rune.

German Linguist Guido Von List writes in the early 1900s writes:

“Whoever is able to grasp the primal cause of phenomenon, and whoever gains knowledge of organic lawful evolution and the phenomena arising from it, is also able to judge their consequences just as they are beginning to ferment. Therefore, this person commands knowledge of the future and also understands how to settle all strife through …. the way of fate. Therefore: ‘Use your fate, do not strive against it.’”

Further Reading:

Nauthiz Rune Meaning Analysis

43 thoughts on “Nauthiz – Rune Meaning”

  1. Laura:
    Hopefully you won’t abandon this blog, although I’m sure you will enjoy the Rune Community too!
    I don’t think you should be afraid of this rune in your situation – it seems rather appropriate from what you say. To quote Tyriels write up on it: “Nauthiz empowers the invoker to have the courage and wisdom to recognize what must be done in an otherwise complex situation. Necessity is the mother of invention. No pain, no gain. It is connected with the harshness of reality, like Hagalaz.”

    The “need-fire’ gives us the strength to burn through the rubbish in our lives and the will to move ahead against the odds. take heart and call up the strength of this rune.

    1. Thanks for your response Mahryan!

      I want to share a bit about my situation in hopes you can share more with me. I will TRY to keep this brief.

      A little over a year ago, I lost my job. I have been desperately looking for work ever since (although I am receiving unemployment). I have reduced my job requirements both monetarily, and professionally, and am willing to take anything that will be enough to pay my bills, put gas in my car, and eat — nothing extra.

      Due to some circumstances in my past (drug/alcohol addiction – 12 yrs sober now), it has taken me a long time to get myself somewhat stable; steady job, car, nice apartment, able to pay my bills on time, etc. I worked very hard. I have a drug conviction from 15 years ago which is keeping me from getting jobs/interviews. And, most places won’t rent to me because of it, as well.

      Last September, I was forced to give up my apartment because I couldn’t afford it anymore. A friend of mine invited me to share his home in order to help with his mortgage – seemed like a great idea! A couple of months ago, he met a girl and they are getting married. He informed me a few weeks ago that I needed to move out by the end of this month. He changed dramatically and our friendship is falling apart. I am ignored and spend ALL of my time in my bedroom except when I can get out for a reason.

      I have nowhere to go. Friends are unable (oddly enough) to assist me – I’m really shocked – due to their own situations. I am now going to a women’s shelter at the end of this month. I have a cat that is like my child and I will have to give her up. I cannot afford storage for all of my things – large 2br apt worth of furnishings. I have obviously become attached to “things” and am fighting tooth and nail not to lose it all.

      Needless to say, I never saw this coming. I am in dismay that I am going (seemingly) backwards – I lived on the streets at one time – and am having a hard time understanding WHY the Universe is allowing this to happen, and I have no idea which direction I’m supposed to go. I know that I am ultimately responsible for most of what I am experiencing – thoughts become things, etc. Selfishly, I am confused and think that I am “owed” something.

      The job I had was something I truly LOVED, and was very good at it (working with others, worklife balance training, etc). However, the environment was toxic and it had been a long time coming that I should have left long before I was laid off. It was killing me spiritually.

      I’m 51 years old. I’m freaked out. I can’t get my emotions and stress levels under control, and I find myself wanting more and more to just go “home” (not suicidal). I’ve been in this realm MANY times, and I feel as though my soul is just weary.

      Sorry. It sounds like I’m trying to have a mini-therapy session!

      Anyhow .. does any of this info do you good to help me further to figure out some things I need to be seeing/doing?

      I appreciate your patience, and I hope you are able to give me some guidance. Thank you!

  2. Not sure if this blog is still active. I did a search and this is where it took me.

    I have a question: I asked which rune best represents me today and this is the one that was drawn.

    What I have read basically scares me because my intuition tells me that my entire life is in chaos/conflict, etc (which, by the way it is).

    So, with regard to my query about which represents me today, can anyone interpret this for me in a way that I can understand?

    Thank you!

  3. My mother tongue is Spanish, so you must forgive my mistakes.
    The ways of the runes are unpredictable, certainly! Four years ago they kept showing themselves in different ways, until I was convinced that they were calling me. So I started to study, but I found practically no reliable books in my country (Argentina), except for one by Edred Thorsson and another by Lisa Peschel. I run away from those including the blank rune or a different order in the Futhark, but I read that Peschel is good in spite of her inclusion of the blank rune. Next, I searched the Internet and found lots of sites, one in particular, sunny’s site which opened my eyes. I made my own set of runes out of wood and started.
    But as a truly Geminian, in a year something else kept my attention and forgot about them. Now, all of a sudden, they again entered my life. And started wondering again about the question of merk or not merk, and found Mahryan’s clarifying article and a comment by Kat about Nauthiz merk which was one of my serious doubts.
    Well, I’ve been too wordy. Just wanted to start contact with you all. I’m out for holidays next week, but when I come back I’ll try to buy The Book of Rune Secrets and others, like Cooper’s – through the Internet.
    See – or better – Read you soon!!!

  4. What would you say about my having awake visions with Runes in them? I am awakened from a deep sleep and in my neurological vision, with my eyes open or closed, ancient script appears before my eyes, sometimes as a wall of letters and crypt/script, other times the symbols just float around. I get deep chills and tears pour out of my eyes. Nauthiz is one that has recurred along with several others. I have seen many forms of ancient script in my awake visions: the Phoenician alphabet scratched in stone, ancient syllabic alphabets, futuristic/alien-like script, Chinese, Japanese, Asian languages and the Runes! The visions have been recurring for the past 3 years. I believe I know why, but was wondering what you might think…Help!

  5. The more I work with the runes, the better I understand how they communicate with me, personally.

    I get this rune often, but seldom only pull a single rune for a single “thing”… nauthiz always offers to me an opportunity to take a closer look at my “needs” (and those of others who are close to me)… to examine them more closely and see if I can better understand them by looking at things from a different perspective. Sometimes others are a catalyst to finding the answers, but the answers, the real potent ones, always come from self-inquiry. Good luck with your search, Tess. :)

    1. Thanks Adriane, I had elaborated my situation more above and nauthiz was what I drew to seek paid spiritual help for my situation.

      1. One of the most important things to realize about Nauthiz may be that there is a difference between our “Wants” or desires and our “Needs”. It can be very difficult for us to see that what we wish was so is different from what is.

        Nauthiz is also a rune of causation. What causes you to want the things you want and what has caused you to need the things you need.

        When dealing with abuses, you are suffering a very real psychological wound.

        If you had accidentally cut your hand very deeply while cooking, would you consult the runes, or trust a psychic to tell you what kind of attention you needed, or would you bandage it the best you could and go get stitches?

        You have suffered abuse, you realize you need some help, and you have intuition enough to see that if you trust in a psychic in your situation you may get ‘swindled or worse’. That is your responsible self cautioning you to treat your wound seriously.

        A lot of us are afraid or ashamed of psychoanalysis or therapy from trained medical professionals, but you shouldn’t be… no more than you should be worried about getting stitches or physiotherapy if you have a bad back.

        Another idea is that help from a psychologist is somehow not ‘spiritual’ enough. This is a misconception. Psychological work is extremely spiritual and very fulfilling.

        I realize this isn’t the most popular answer, but the runes, particularly runes like Nauthiz, are about facing realities that we sometimes would rather colour. Our feelings, our desires, our loneliness may make us wish and desire things to be different. Nauthiz says: “It’s time for a reality check, deal with it.”

        And persons who have been abused need to treat that abuse seriously and get the wounds tended to by someone qualified.

        1. Thanks Tyriel for replying. The right thing to do is to get psychologist help. It has been an interesting journey discovering myself and I do hope to understand more about the runes usage.

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