Galdr-sound: nnnnnn
Letter: N

"Need is constricting on the heart / Although to the children of men it often becomes / help and salvation nevertheless / if they heed it in time"
(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)

"Need makes for difficult situation / the naked freeze in the frost"
(Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme)

"I know an eight. It is useful for all who know it. / Whenever hatred flares up among warriors´ sons, / I am able to quell it"
(Havamal 153)


The stave-shaped of the rune nauthiz shows the bow-drill used in kindling hte need-fire from wood without the use of flint or steel. The ritual need-fire was generally used when a sickness had fallen upon the cattle of a clan or village. The need-fire would be kindled by the leader of the folk (who was also the godhi or priest in pagan times) and the cattle driven through the smoke. The magickal meaning of this act is that the extra energy needed to kindle the fire by means of the bow-drill would also supply the additional power needed to force out the sickness and cleanse the cattle.

Nauthiz is the testing and suffering which brings the hidden magickal force of fehu forth. It is the self-generated fire kindled in thetime of greatest need. Nauthiz represents the unloosing of potential energy on all levels.
This rune is the force of friction and resistance which builds up the individual strength and will. Its being is best written out in the sayings " Every battle that does not kill you, makes you stronger" and "No pain, no gain". You may mark that the stave shape resembles that of a gebo-rune with one line straight up and the other canted. This rune, like gebo, embodies the need of sacrifice for results; however, unlike gebo, it is not a rune of mutual interaction, but fo the type of sacrifice to self in which all the energy is guided in one path - the power of imbalance, as set against the balance of gebo.
In the earthly body, nauthiz shows forth as the phenomenon of hysterical strength, the sudden burst of adrenaline which makes ordinary people capable of seemingly impossible feats of strength in desperate circumstances and which is one of the components of the berserker-power. Magickally, it is the rune which gives you the strength not only to meet trials but to overcome them. It is most effective when you are working to counter owr write around that which has already been written in the Well of Urdhr, as may be seen clearly in Odin´s many workings to overcome the doom of Ragnarok by ensuring that a new and even better world shall emerge after the downfall. The word Wyrd or Urdhr comes from a root meaning to turn; the bow-drill is the counter-turning which works around the turnings of Wyrd at need.

Nauthiz rules the ability to guide the great power of deliberate sexual frustration, as opposed to the guided sexual expression of kenaz.Nauthiz is essentially a rune of overcoming in all ways. In its ability to deal with the woe-workings of Wyrd, it is also a rune of counter-spelling. Nauthiz can write arund both that which has been written by the Norns and that which has been written by other wights, if you know how to use it. It represtns the power to deal with all factors of stress as described in the Havamal.

In the personal sphere, Nauthiz should be called upon to strengthen yourself at need and turn woe into weal. As well as sudden bursts of great bodily might, nauthiz brings sudden bursts of creative inspiration, or the cliche "necessity is the mother of invention" writes it froth well. It is the rune that brings forth the full range of your inner might when it is most needed. It also aids in the growth of your self-discipline.
Nauthiz is the stave of inner stress which drives you to either greatness or an early grave, sometimes both. It can cause compulsiveness and obsession.The owe and weal of nauthiz´s working are so mingled that you can hardly use the one without the other. When it is used on another person, it may give him/her the strength to endure suffering or it may bring about hardships which teach that person an important lesson and ultimately strengthens her/him. However, whether the stress caused by nauthiz ends in destroying or empowering its object is entirely dependent on that person´s inner, hidden strength.

Ritually, nauthiz is the rune of banishings and cleansing by fire, especially the need-fire and the smoke of recels. When blended with other runes, nauthiz can be called upon in its being as the rune of counterspells and writing around written orlog, particularly in the writing of the many rune-readings which are done before and after each runic working. Nauthiz develops both the will and the self-sufficiency of the vitki. Its hardships must be faced with only your own might and only the self-generated fire can overcome them. Nauthiz is the rune of trial and testing.
The stone of nauthiz is obsidian - glass hardened by intense fire until it can be shaped into weapons which can take the sharp and painful edge of need. Obsidian is said to be a psychological tester which shows you the faults in yourself and the suffering you must undergo to overcome them



You crouch in thin, dead grass on a mountainside at night, hungry, cold and alone. A chilling wind sweeps down from the peak, cutting through your wool tunic and coat, as if you were naked. The waning moon glitters off patches of frost on the scraggly grass around you and shows your breath as little white clouds of ice in the air. Your cows huddle together near you. They are thin, with scruffy coats and most of them have the cloudy eyes and running sores of sickness. Spreading your cloak to block the wind, you pick up a block of beech wood with a small hollow cut into it, a small bow and a stick of wood. Putting the end of the stick against the hollow, you turn it rapidly back and forth with the bow. Your hands grow tired soon, but you keep at it doggedly, shivering as you turn the bow-drill faster and faster. Slowly the exercise begins to warm you. Your panting rasps hotly through your throat, breathing out great puffs of mist, but your hunger and fear keep you going. You know that if you cannot kindle the need-fire now, before too many of your cattle have died, you will starve this winter. You are beginning to sweat now, your muscles shaking with tiredness. You close your eyes and keep drilling, grimly forcing your trembling arms to move faster, move faster. You do not stop until you feel the sudden rush of warmth from beneath your hands and see the little coal burning. You feed the fire slowly with kindling, putting a few leaves of dead grass on it, the frost hissing away as they catch alight and then a few little sticks. Slowly you build your fire up until you no longer need to protect it from the wind with your cloak.

Next, you encourage your cows to move slowly through the smoke, one by one. They are still thin, but you pray that the cleansing smoke will restore the animals back to full health once again.
When the last of the cows go through the smoke, you close your eyes and take deep breaths. It is time for you to proceed to your own cleansing by fire, and this is no easy task. Nevertheless, you feel there is no other way for you but to dive into the essence of your own being, to face your innermost needs and wants. For healing and growth in all levels and spheres, you keep repeating to yourself in a silent mantra. Difficult moments these were, for to look into well of one´s wants and needs is disturbing. For some of the things you truly want seem to be impossible to grasp or reach out for because deep down you realise with a start that you had doubts or second thoughts about them in the first place! Others stem from the desires you´ve always had rooted within your being, yet somehow they seem to elude your efforts to make them come to your ways. And some of the needs, gods be blessed, you realise are not that important any longer, because somehow your values have changed and you changed with them.

You open your eyes and wipe the trail tears left on your face. With the discipline conquered by strength of will and truthfulness to the Mysteries, you realise that Need can be a blessing and a way-shower for the strong at heart. Because firstly to know one´s limits is not to feel limited by what one finds, and secondly "through fire to light" is a great metaphor for the might of nauthiz you want to make your own to share in all spheres and worlds from this moment on.

I have the ability to heal myself when need be
The knowledge of my needs make stronger my desire to succeeed in all levels and spheres



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