Ansuz is primarily Odin’s rune and represents communication, creativity, controlled and divine power. Spiritually, it is the rune of prophecy and revelation. It also encompasses the ideas of wisdom, knowledge, reason, and therefore of instruction and good advice. It might also refer to a test, examination, or perhaps an interview. It can mean a letter, book, paper, message or other information. Because Loki was a renowned trickster, Ansuz reversed may also portend a surprise, trick or subterfuge.
Ansuz – “Anne – suhz” – Literally: “Woden” – Esoteric: “Breath” or “Ancestral Sovereign God”
Key Concepts: order, gods, Odin, transmission of intelligence, communication, reason, inspiration, language, breath, sound, origins of language, the Voice of the Universe, spellsong, casting, chanting, ancestors, passing of the breath along the ancestral line, evolution of gods, speech, poetry, discussion of runes, memetics, semiotics, etymology, linguistics.
Psi: mental stability, communion, inspiration, listening
Energy: sovereign ancestral god, animating spirit, breath, communication, exploration, order, answers
Mundane: words, conversation, symbols, elders, music
Divinations: Divine inspiration, word-power, synthesis, transformation, intellect, open paths of communication; or misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom, bad advice
All powers of naming and conceptualization
Convincing and magnetic speech and writing, and the power of suggestion and hypnosis
Acquisition of creative wisdom, inspiration, ecstasy and divine communication
Reason, analysis and good advice
Connecting and networking
Listening to oneself and one’s own particular inner-voice
Odin’s gifts to the first humans is said to be the breath of life and inspired mental activity, along with form, speech and the cognitive senses. The root energy of this rune triggers inspiration and ecstatic mental states. The ability of our minds to work with patterns (which computers for the most part completely lack) is inherent in the energies of Ansuz. Thorsson aptly states that Ansuz is the “rune of ancestral sovereign power of the mind consciousness, inspiration, enthusiasm and the power of the use of symbols for transformation of consciousness.”
The spirit takes up its residence in the human body when the babe breathes its first breath. It leaves the body with the last breath. Breath is the actual point of osmosis between the physical world of the human being, and the transpersonal energy that animates the universe. Emphasis on the breath is seen in meditation practices in all traditions. Inspiration means to breathe in the exalting or quickening influence of cosmic awareness. The breath is also connected to ancestry, as even the word spirit comes from the same root as breath. Our ancestral lines are unbroken with those of the gods still to this day, in blood and in breath.
Ansuz governs our mental capacities to name all things. Whereas THURISAZ deals with chaotic forces, Ansuz is a rune of ordering. Naming a thing properly can give power over that thing, and in ancient traditions, naming has often been used to dispel mischievous spirits, bind demons or break psychological fetters. The relationship also is indicative chaotic events can be used to shape ordered circumstances and one’s own thoughts, or the thoughts of others. Ansuz is suggestive of the relentless patterns that modern chaos theory declares are universal in every system. The newest theories of language are also found in the mysterious order and ‘strange attractors’ of chaos linguistics.
It is here that all speech can be deciphered and understood as well, so Ansuz is a rune connected with listening and speech: communication and meaning in general. Use such skills wisely for manipulation can, through temptation, become an end in and of itself, and corrupt the power of the rune. The problems with propaganda and misdirection are that the mind will follow its own words into confusion and create hypocrisy, which will damage the hamingja. Thought and action are most powerful when aligned and honesty is the best policy.
The rune of secrets, silence and true listening is BERKANO, but there is a type of listening that will allow one to hear the Voice of the universe, and this power lay within the power of Ansuz. The rune of higher reasoning and mental abilities particular to human is MANNAZ. These three runes, used in conjunction are extremely powerful.