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. I have drawn Nauthiz and find like now, its creepy how it is always applicable to my situation in life. Today I have decided that i will tell the universe ” enough is enough, i will no longer put up with any more of your rubbish so don’t bother sending it ” and bolt that door.

    Could it be that the more we put up with the more we put up with? like when you are stuck in that dreadful draining relationship for years on end ? its never gonna end until YOU get up the strength to end it !

    so, if you want something different, do different things ?
    Its my musings on this rune, i’m only a newbie but hey, I’m gonna follow my own advice for a change..

    I might end up in the gutter but at least i’ll be looking at the stars.

    Sandy x

  2. I intuit this rune to mean that obstacles showing up or needs not met is a sign from the universe that you’re living a life that’s too small! It means you are being asked to grow and become more of your true self! Life is meant to be good and there is nothing meant to hold us back except if we have it in our mind that something is out to get us then that is what we will experience. Nautiz is just telling us that we are being challenged in a way that cuts to our core and survival is at hand but we also get to know what is most im.portant to us. I have gone through this and it is really like a game…get your head into “the zone” and keep saying “yes” and then see what shows up.

  3. Laura:
    I have re-read your description of your life situation at this time. Your question to the runes was “which rune best represents me today?” and Nauthiz does indeed seem to be an appropriate response. As Tyriel writes in the “Book of Rune Secrets,” Nauthiz is often bleak and universally indifferent to our desires … Nauthiz reveals to us how to look at things through the lens of our needs rather than our desires.” Harsh indeed when you have worked so hard to create a stable life for yourself. He says it can be a rune that represents being stuck between a rock and a hard place. But as I said before, it is also about the energy to focus on what must be done.
    Only you are in a position to fully analyse your situation – although trained counsellors can often help with that. I have a few tentative suggestions I am going to offer.
    1. You asked the runes to represent your situation – maybe now ask what runic energies you need to manifest to meet the necessities you face. For example, some years ago when I needed a tremendous amount of energy to manage my life on all levels I drew some runes and created a bind rune symbol for myself. Its left stave was Nauthiz – what is necessary. At the top of that stave I drew the head of Tiwaz – for the warrior strength I needed to keep going. From the Nauthiz cross line I drew Uruz for the raw energy of health and strength and on the right side of Uruz I added the Wunjo – for the ‘joy’ of just being and the ability to embrace that which is ‘good enough’ In the corners of the wood on which I carved this I put Fehu for material need and Jera for the ability to harvest my opportunities and meet my needs. I have kept that rune with me and it has served me well.
    2. Can you make what seems against you work for you? You have a criminal record, but you have overcome this and achieved a lot. Can you make that an up front part of job applications – present it as a strength you have to bring to any job – a determination to win through?
    3. Friends can’t help you in a material way – but could they help with supportive testimonials?
    4. If you have to go to a shelter – and let us hope you don’t – then look around on line and ask at shelters and agencies to see if you can find volunteers who will foster your cat. Such groups do exist, for exactly people in your situation. Sometimes, even, a local shelter will take an animal temporarily – depends on their programs.
    Nauthiz is about identifying the bottom line and focussing on the absolute minimum we need t survive. You say you feel tired and think about going home – of course you do in this situation. Nauthiz, however, is about past debts and failures. Perhaps this is a parallel point – a place you gave up before, when you should have warriored on.
    I don’t know if any of this is any help at all – I hope it may serve to give you courage and that you can summon runic energies to your aid as you struggle into the sun – Sowilo (our wholeness)

  4. Laura:
    You have every reason to wonder why you find yourself facing so many obstacles and why the universe should view this as ‘necessary” for you to face when you have worked so hard to grow in strength during this lifetime.
    I have to think a little about what you have said before saying more. Meanwhile do read the description of Nauthiz on here and ponder the energies that it represents and how you might call on them to give you the strength you need. Also ask what runic energies you can call upon to help you find your way out of the current impass.
    If you haven’t already gone ahead and joined the runic community, do try it. There are many runsters on there exploring the energies of the runes and how they can assist us every day.
    I will try to add a little more tomorrow.

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