Algiz in the Moss

I agree with Jamie of sophiaschildren: “This is such a beautiful, verdant, lush setting for the Algiz (Elhaz) runic symbol!” I’ve studied and used several different systems of Runes, and this Rune always evokes a sense of protection, especially spiritual protection that manifests in the material world.

In the Armanen Rune system, it’s called “MAN” and this yang treetop acts as a companion Rune to the opposite yin roots of YR. MAN calls for inspiration from above, while YR summons the Earthlight Wisdom.

I particularly love the story included in Brian Froud’s and Ari Berk’s “The Runes of Elfland,” in which “fair hands” not of this world forged a sword “to embody defense in all aspects. History tells of far too many times when swords were wielded as weapons, the war songs sung, and blood flowed freely on the land. But within this Rune lies a rare and secret irony: defense may come not from raising the sword but by leaving it still. A battle cannot be without two sides willing to fight. As an emblem of ancestral support and faery solidarity, the Rune rises from the waters every time a war may be won by not waging war.”

Fittingly, though associated with an ancient king, this sword now follows a matrilinial heritage — through the “Woman of the Marsh,” and her daughters and granddaughters. Perhaps better known as the Lady of the Lake or the Lady of Avalon, she reveals the secret of the sword rather than lending it to unworthy hands. In order to possess the secret of this sword, we must seek the Woman of the Marsh — “and promise not to use it.”

For me, this Rune of many names suggests the powerful use of the sword of mind, wisdom and spiritual protection as more effective than violence or brute force. May we draw upon the magic and power available to each of us and watch the wars recede.

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