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Updated on October 28, 2012



Elderfuthark Rune THURISAZ


Alternative Names

Thorn; Thurith, Thurs.

Key Phrase

‘You have the power within you

to face anything that may cross your path.’


Thorn, The Strong Ones, Giants, Thor’s Hammer,

Viking Rune Equivalent and


Gateway, Giant; a thorn; the Norse god Thor;



Tarot Card Equivalent

Justice - 11 - XI

Divinatory Meaning

Spiritual authority,hardship, a painful event, discipline, knowledge, introspection, focus.

Corresponding Letter

TH (th)

Associated Colour

Bright Red

Associated Herb

House Leek

Associated Gemstone


Associated Tree

Thorn, Oak

Associated Myths and Deities

Loki - trickster and shape-changer; The Frost Giants.

Manifestation Uses

Use as an aid in study and meditation, self-discipline, clearing out a bad situation or bad energy.

It may be used in meditation as a potent tool to understand Thor and what he embodies.

Relationship Interpretation

General conflict area; a battle of the wills.

The Thurisaz rune may indicate upheaval and/or a power shift within the dynamics of the relationship.

Healing Colour and Qualities


Used to strengthen a healthful aura; aids insomnia and sleep disorders.


As a talisman, Thurisaz can be used for study and meditation or for the resolution of an unfortunate situation.

Thurisaz Drawn Upright


Thorn or Giant, thorn on a branch, elements of nature, the primal force, directions of energy, applied power, protection, defence, reactive forces, directed force of destruction and defence, conflict, instinctual will, vital eroticism, regenerative catalyst, challenge, a tendency toward change, catharsis, purging, cleansing, fire, male sexuality, fertilisation.

THURISAZ is ‘Energy in Motion.’

The third rune of the first aett is Thurisaz. This rune is the first of the ‘obstacle’ runes. These obstacles are not necessarily destructive, but are placed in our path to strengthen and teach us. They are there for us to overcome.

Thurisaz is a force of defence and destruction. In ancient times, as well as in some places today, bramble or thorny bushes were used to fence and protect boundaries. One form of Norse execution was to throw criminals into thorns. Thor is the god that protects sacred enclosures in much the same way that the thorny hawthorn, blackberry or rose bush does.

No matter how beautiful the rose, one should always be watchful of the thorns.

The message of this rune is ‘to learn you must suffer’ – meaning not only literal suffering, but also in the biblical sense of ‘allowing’ – allowing one’s destiny to unfold as it should, and allowing one’s self to experience all that life has to offer us. What may at first appear to be negative, possibly even destructive, may well turn out to contain an important lesson.

With Thurisaz, you are being confronted with a clear reflection of what is hidden in yourself, and what must be exposed and examined before right action can be undertaken. This rune strengthens your ability to wait. You have no option but to learn patience.

The Thurisaz rune may indicate conflict or protection; as in protection from conflict. On some levels, it represents the subconscious. The energy of conflict is neutral in, and of itself. It is important to the Norse worldview to accept the dynamics involved here. With Thurisaz in play, the strength of the individual’s will and the opposing will from the environment will be at odds.

Thurisaz is the tool by which action is released. For example, if the Fehu rune represent ‘ability’, Uruz represents ‘action’, then Thurisaz shows the ‘energy released’ by the action. Alternatively, if Fehu is the bullet, then pulling the trigger is Uruz and the movement of the bullet is Thurisaz.

Another example is; you get an idea to build a house, which is Fehu. Then you draw the building plans for the house, this is Uruz. Thurisaz is the actual building of the house.

When you have motivation you make things happen. Thurisaz is the power of that motion.

Thurisaz is the rune of tests and challenges. Within the context of a reading, if Thurisaz is drawn it is showing you that you have the power within you to face anything that might cross your path. Fear nothing.

You have the authority to claim your destiny. Let no one deter you from your search for the truth – your truth. Hold fast to your birthright. Be a spiritual being, but always remember to keep your feet firmly on the ground.

Spiritual authority brings power. It is up to you to use that power in an unselfish and loving way. Power can corrupt if you do not have a true and honest heart. Like strength, spiritual authority is a power that is designed to help you keep on your path. It is not a power to exert over others for selfish ends.

Thurisaz tell you to listen to your instincts, always.

Thurisaz Drawn Reversed


Danger, defencelessness, compulsion, betrayal, dullness, evil, envy, malice, hatred, torment, spite, lies, attack, troll, demon, instability, a change for the worse, a bad energy.

With the Thurisaz rune drawn reversed shows that a quickening of your development is indicated. Yet even in times of accelerated growth, you will have reason to halt along the way to consider and reconsider the old and to integrate the new. Take advantage of these halts.

If you are undergoing difficulties, remember, the nature of your passage depends upon the quality of your attitude, the clarity of your intention and the steadfastness of your will.

Be certain that you are not suffering over your suffering.

Drawing the Thurisaz rune merkstave demands contemplation on your part. Hasty decisions made at this time may cause regret as you will be coming from a place of weakness. You may deceive yourself about your motives and create new problems, which may be more severe than the ones you are attempting to resolve.

Reversed, Thurisaz warns of naivety and vulnerability in a situation that may prove to be negative. It tells of betrayal and the approach of a malicious and deceitful person.

Thurisaz reversed tells of betrayal and the approach of a malicious and deceitful person.

Thurisaz drawn reversed tells you to beware that you keep your personal power in check. Never use it to manipulate others or for your own personal gain, particularly at the expense of others.

Strength is only power when it is used constructively and positively.


Sacred Scribes


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