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Updated on October 28, 2012



Elderfurthark Rune KENAZ


Alternative Names

Ken; Kano; Kaunaz; Kanaz, Kaon, Cen.

Key Phrase

Enlightenment needs to be tempered with wisdom

before its true worth and power can be known’.


Wisdom, insight, a solution to a problem, creativity, inspiration, knowledge, guidance, intuition, a beacon or torch, light, regeneration, fire.

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning

Opening. A torch.



Tarot Equivalent

The World

Divinatory Meaning


Corresponding Letter


Associated Colour

Light Red

Associated Herb


Associated Gemstone


Associated Tree


Associated Myths and Deities

Mimir; the Dwarfs; Muspellheim; the goddess Nerthus and sacred to Heimdall – the underworld watcher.

Manifestation Uses

For creative inspiration; aid in study; fertility; dispelling fear; anxiety, fear of the dark and darkness in general; gives inspiration and intuition in the same instance; raises knowledge and brings the mind, body and spirit into a higher power.

Relationship Interpretation

Learning from each other; recognising and understanding one another; opening up with pure truth and honesty.

Healing Colour and Qualities


Helps with anxiety attacks; regenerates and heals.


Worn as a talisman, Kenaz dispels anxiety and fear and can be used for inspiration and creativity.

Kenaz Drawn Upright


Vision, revelation, knowledge, creativity, inspiration, renewed clarity, guidance, concentration, technical ability, physical ability, ‘fire of life’, harnessed power, illumination, light in the darkness, torch, regeneration and transformation, inner wisdom, inner voice, inner strength and energy, passion and sexual love.

Kenaz Drawn Reversed


Disease, dis-ease, danger to health, fever, ulcer, abscess, mental and/or physical discomfort, burning, break-up or break-down, instability, lack of creativity or inspiration, stagnation, exposure, illusion, lack of focus, false hope.

KENAZ is the ‘effect of your experience’.

The Kenaz rune is the sixth rune of the first aett. Unlike the wisdom gained in Thurisaz, Kenaz allows us to take pieces of this knowledge with us, as we need it. This knowledge often comes to us in the form of a sudden idea or inspiration, and we are able to see clearly, or figure out, the answer that was once hidden from us.

At times, a simple answer may come when you least expect it. This is Kenaz.

In today’s English, Scottish and German languages, ‘ken’ and ‘kennan’ means to ‘know’ or ‘understand’, and it is in this sense that the Kenaz rune can be interpreted. Light, inspiration and knowledge are often associated with this rune, as in ‘shedding light on a problem’, or ‘ gaining enlightenment’. It is also associated with ‘kin’, as in ‘kith and kin’, who gather around the hearth.

The Kenaz rune is often associated with ‘femininity’, or the ‘female intuition.’ This form of wisdom is often associated with right brain function rather than left brain function, since it does not come through conscious effort, but intuitively, or passively, by opening one’s self to it. For this reason, the Kenaz rune often represents the feminine aspect or the part of the senses that is open to ‘messages’ and unprovoked visions and answers. This is often referred to as ‘a woman’s intuition’ although men have the same abilities, but are more centred in left-brain mentality.

Drawing the Kenaz rune in a reading indicates that you are coming into a new understanding of life and it’s meaning. New insights await you, but it is not a time for complacency. This new understanding must be used constructively; otherwise it will be worthless to you.

Kenaz tells you to always look for ways in which you can use you insights for the good of others.

The Kenaz rune when drawn in a reading, can also indicate the coming together of the strands of the Web of Wyrd, showing new beginnings via the letting go of the old.

The Kenaz rune also comes to represent the sacred fires of sexual generation. Consider the image of a person carrying a torch, representing the masculine elements of fire and air, entering the cave and penetrating the feminine realm of earth and water. This joining of masculine and feminine elements results in the creation of the new; new ideas, new beginnings, new concepts etc.

In physical terms, this can be correlated to the application of fire to mould and shape matter. The Kenaz rune is directed synthesis brought about by fire energy, tempered with thought. This is symbolic of the forging of steel, being shaped, moulded, then tempered with water to create form.

Kenaz is the flame of transformation and regeneration. It is the flame of the forge, the volcano and deep earth energies. It is the controlled flame of the artist and craftsman. It holds the power to create or destroy. It is the primal force of creation. In Norse and other mythologies, it is the fire and ice that produce the life force.

The act of bringing ‘light’ into ‘darkness’ is a creative one. It indicates knowledge passed on and can also ‘light the way’ for others or for personal, inner explorations.

Kenaz promises that light will be cast into the dark places, bringing regeneration in its glow. It promises the ability to create new realities that bring with them hope and invigorating strength.

The biggest and loudest message of Kenaz is ‘What goes around, comes around.’

Remember, experience is what we get when we don’t get what we want.

Experience is also gained by getting what we want. Kenaz is that experience.

Kenaz Reversed

Kenaz, reversed, stifles creativity and says that illness and negative influences – disillusion, hopelessness, mendacity and despair – will cloud life in the immediate future.

Drawing the Kenaz rune merkstave indicates that you can expect a darkening of the light in some situations or relationships. Friendships may fall apart and die off, marriages may suffer upset or break-up or some aspects of the issues or personalities are no longer appropriate.

This rune tells you to notice your actions, learn from them, then step forward to new opportunities.

Listen and learn from what is going on around you at the moment. Take stock of where everything in your life stands. Do not miss out on learning because you are too busy with mundane life issues. Look within and you will find new opportunities. Do not allow yourself to wallow in your woes.


RUNES – The Elderfuthark

RUNE Readings


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