Correspondence between the Runes and Astrology


Aries - Mars

The Norse god associated with Aries and Mars is the god of war Tyr, and the Rune is Teiwaz, Tyr's rune.

When I think of Tyr the image that I get is a red-haired and red-bearded Viking warrior attacking Lindisfarne and fiercely screaming "Valhalla, here I come!".

The symbol of Teiwaz is a spear point or an arrow (partly identical with the astrological symbol of Mars), but it is said to symbolize also the World Tree Yggdrasil, the sacred ash tree.

Tyr was the bravest of all the gods. In the mythology, Fenris, a monstrous wolf bites off Tyr's right hand. It's a complex myth, but shortly the story goes like this:

The gods had decided to bind the wolf so that he could not threaten them anymore. Fenris had broken his chains and he agreed to be tied up only if one of the gods would put a hand in Fenris' mouth as a guarantee that no magic was involved. Tyr then puts his hand in the wolf's mouth and loses thus his hand, but he saves the gods.

Strength, courage, bravery, heroism, physical action, blood, war and sharp weapons are things that can be associated with both Tyr and the sign of Aries. But then on the other hand Tyr's sacrifice associates him with Neptune and the sign of Pisces. This is also supported by the fact that the name of the rune "Teiwaz" comes from the Sanskrit word "dayus", and according to Runic Astrology by Nigel Pennick "from which comes the name of the Greek deity Zeus, the Roman Jupiter, and the Latin 'deus', god". And Jupiter is the other ruler of the sign of Pisces. Tyr is not only the god of war, he is the lord of justice. So I suppose that's why some sources associate Tyr also with the sign of Libra.

Because of the wound and the symbol of a hand and justice I see also a connection with Chiron.

Odin was a god of battle and dead, and he certainly mastered his own energy (by hanging in the tree and gaining the knowledge of the Runes), but his domains included also wisdom, art, culture, inspiration... Ansuz is Odin's rune and it is associated with communication, a message, an advise. It advises you to look within. I think Teiwaz is a better representative for the sign of Aries.


Aries - Mars

There is in the Freya's Aett a rune named "Uruz" or "Ur" which I would also connect with Aries and Mars, although several sources connect it with Taurus.

Keywords like energy, vitality, passion, sexuality and fertility describe Uruz.

Nigel Pennick says in Runic Astrology: "Ur signifies the primal power, an irrepressible combination of vital stamina and perseverance united as a fearsome embodiment of creative potential. Because of this, Ur can never be a personal power owned or controlled by a single individual. When it applies to human power, it is collective power, 'our' power."

The Finnish rune book Riimut - Viikinkien oraakkeli by Harri Paasio says that Uruz represents masculinity and masculine rites and competition. It's a rune of primal creativity and male fertility. The power of this rune contains always a risk or danger. Because of this I think it cannot be associated with Taurus.

The energy of this rune is said to be raw, powerful, and masculine. More like Aries, I think.

Lunations, New Moon in Aries -- March 26, 2009, 16:06 UT


Taurus - Venus

It is very obvious that Fehu correlates with the astrological sign of Taurus.

Fehu means cattle, and you can even see the horns of a cow in the symbol, just like in the symbol of Taurus. To ancient people owning cattle meant wealth. They could sell their cattle, trade it, or the wealth increased because cattle breeded. Fehu means specifically material wealth (though not only that), so the connection with Taurus, Venus and the 2. house is clear.

Nigel Pennick writes in Runic Astrology: "On a material level, Feoh symbolizes the accretion of power and control, both directly over the herd itself and through its possession and manipulation." Fehu symbolizes money, a fee, a payment, a reward, generosity, ownership, nourishment, etc.

But there are also other than material values connected. Fehu also suggests that one should share his/hers property and wealth with those who are not as fortunate, it cautions not to be greedy or envious. Wealthy people were expected to be generous in those days.

Fehu is both Frey's and Freya's rune (the twin brother and sister divinities). It can symbolize sexual love, fertility and children. There is also a link to creativity. The Norse creation myth tells about Audhumla, the primal cow. Four streams of milk poured from her udder. Audhumla licked salty ice and from the ice block appeared the first human being. Fehu represents the primal power from which we all originate.


Taurus - Venus

Berkana means birch or birch twigs. It is said to be the rune of mystery. It is related to Mother Earth, spring, birth and renewal, bringing new ideas to life. It also means purification, healing and reconciliation, so there is a strong Virgo connection, too. But when I think about a birch tree, it is always a fresh, green birch in spring-time or in early summer, definitely Taurus time. It is a custom here in Finland to whip yourself with a bundle of birch twigs in sauna (well, I do it very rarely, but it is a "must" thing to do on Midsummer Eve), and you really are refreshed and like a new born after that!

Frigga and Freya are associated with birch. Goddess Nerthus, the wife of Njord (the sea god), is parallel to Frigga and Freya. According to the medieval herbalist Culpepper the birch is ruled over by Venus, both the planet and the goddess. And Rex E. Bills' Rulership book lists birch trees (as well as brooms) under rulership of Venus.

Lunations, New Moon in Taurus -- April 25, 2009, 03:23 UT


Gemini - Mercury

"From the standpoint of the universal laws Gemini is the most important of the twelve signs for our earth. Everyone on earth comes under the influence of Gemini. It represents the dual forces; the opposition of the human and the divine in all of us. In mythology this sign is represented by the two brothers, Castor and Pollux. One is the heavenly twin and the other is his earthly brother. Until the two are harmonized the law of opposites will continue to operate." writes Isabel M. Hickey in Astrology - A Cosmic Science.

This describes also very well the concept of Ansuz, the rune of Odin, the Norse equivalent for the Roman god Mercury.

Edred Thorsson says about Odin in Runelore: "Ódhinn is a god like no other. He is the Alfadhir - the All-Father. He is called this because he is the source of consciousness among the gods and mankind. His gift is the expanded human consciousness that allows the synthesizing self-concept to arise. - - - By his very nature Ódhinn synthesizes everything around him."

Odin is god of wisdom, words, communication, inspiration and poetry. He is the god of the Runes. He was a shapeshifter, a wandering shaman and a truth-seeker, who gained the knowledge of runes by voluntarily hunging from the World Tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nights. Also Mercury/Hermes is said to have invented the alphabet.

Another myth that demonstrates Odin's curiosity and thirst for knowledge is about Mimir's well. Mimir was a giant and his well of ancestral wisdom was under a root of Yggdrasil. Odin sacrifices one of his eyes in order to get a permission to drink from the well.

Mercury was the god of merchants, moving over land and sea carried by his winged sandals. He was a psychopompos, a guide who conducted souls to the Underworld. All these aspects can also be found in Odin's character. H. R. Ellis Davidson mentions in Gods and Myths of Northern Europe that among Scandinavian names given to Odin was "Farmantýr", which means "god of cargoes". Odin's magical eight-legged horse Sleipnir was able to ride across the land and sea and fly through the air. The Valkyries, deities who served Odin, chose the most heroic of those who had died in battle and escorted them to Valhalla, Odin's hall.

On Odin's shoulders sat two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory. They flew between the worlds every day and then reported - gossiped - the happenings of the worlds to Odin.

Ansuz is associated with intelligence, inspiration, poetry, storytelling, communication, sound, speech, breath, wind, wisdom, knowledge, insight, interpretive ability, consciousness, integrating the right and left sides of the brain, a message, a blessing, an advisor, a shaman. It represents ancestral wisdom transmitted from generation to generation.

Ansuz advises you to look within and pay attention to sensitive messages of your subconscious and thus gain the inspiration which leads to creative acts.


Gemini - Mercury

Ehwaz represents one’s ability to adjust to various situations and it has both polarities, feminine and masculine, so it correlates well with the mutable sign Gemini, ruled by androgynous Mercury.

Ehwaz is associated with a horse, a pair of two horses, a horse and rider, a horse and chariot, or a relationship between any two harmoniously working beings. It is associated with Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged magical horse. The oldest image of Odin was a centaur who was half-man and half-horse.

Ehwaz is a symbol of communication, energy and motion, forward progress, vehicles, a car or a motorbike, a journey, transportation, relocation or a psychic journey, a change. Ehwaz advices you to get going.

Ehwaz is associated with twins, twin gods, a brother and sister, partnership and cooperation, two people who are striving towards a mutual goal, a strong cooperative relationship, marriage or a business partnership, inseparable bond between two beings, absolute trust and loyalty.

These lines by Van Morrison came into my mind:

"Then we sat on our own star and dreamed of the way that we were
and the way that we were meant to be
Then we sat on our own star and dreamed of the way that I was for you
and you were for me
And then we danced the night away
And turned to each other, say, 'I love you, I love you'
The way that young lovers do "