a völva lighting a needfire and the nauthiz elder futhark rune

Nauthiz Elder Futhark Rune

a völva lighting a needfire and the nauthiz elder futhark rune

Nauthiz – Rune of Necessity

‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’ and ‘without the distress caused to the clam by the grain of sand there would be no pearl’. These two statements sum up the meaning of this rune, which I associate with the time-space limitations imposed on us here on Earth for our good so that we may grow. Without crisis and challenge there can be no growth as we all know, though we may not like to admit it.

Stripped back meaning based on the actual word and shape

The shape of this rune is the shape of the two rubbing sticks (one large and one smaller) used to start a fire by rubbing the smaller stick rapidly on the bigger stick until a fire ignites from the sheer heat built up by the friction.

The word ‘needfire’ is associated with this rune. The practice of starting a needfire is an old superstition used in farming communities to heal outbreaks of disease among cattle. The practice lived on in the Scottish Highlands until quite recently. For the needfire to serve its magical purpose, all other fires had to be extinguished. Once the cattle had been herded through the two lots of fire lit from the needfire implements, embers were carried to the households of everyone in the community so that the hearth could be rekindled.

The word nauthiz (NOW-this) corresponds with the modern-day Swedish word ‘nöd’ which means distress. A needfire was a distress signal to the gods. The Nauthiz rune can certainly be used to send a distress signal to the Powers-That-Be since lighting needfires is beyond the means of most of us these days.


  • Polarity: Feminine
  • Zodiac correspondences: Saturn
  • Colours: Brown, red, orange, gold
  • Tarot card correspondences: The World, The Devil and all the 5s in the Minor Arcana
  • Archangel correspondences: Cassiel, Camael
  • Deity: Loki
  • Chakra correspondences: Root Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Health: bone density, skin disorders, hair, anger issues

Divinatory Meanings

General: distress, friction, resistance, need, challenges, adaptability, the need to rapidly find a solution to a problem – Reversed: N/A (this rune is the same reversed and needs to be interpreted in the light of surrounding runes for nuance)

Love & relationships: a relationship that is full of friction, challenging relationships, relationships that make us grow, soul mate relationships – Reversed: N/A

Health/wellbeing: restlessness, resentment, anger, osteoporosis, friction wounds, hair loss, broken teeth – Reversed: N/A

Business: patent issues, oppressive work  environment, a need for re-branding and renewal to keep going – Reversed: N/A

Holistic Healing Tips for Nauthiz

You know the feeling you get when you are at the end of your rope and can’t think what next to try in an untenable situation. That’s when you get this rune out to call in help from your spirit guides. But you need to play your part… It would be best to relieve your agitation long enough to listen and receive inspiration. The solution to your problem can also appear in Dreamtime.

To use the rune as a distress signal, draw it on a piece of paper and set it on fire (using a fire-proof container, of course) while visualising benevolent forces/beings gathering around to help you. You will find a way of resolving the situation for the Highest Good within three days. This doesn’t mean all challenges will be cleared for you by miraculous means but it does mean that you can see your way forward.

You can use Nauthiz to call a soul mate to you but be careful what you wish for. Soulmate relationships bring more challenges than peace and harmony.

Meditate with this rune if you find it difficult to accept your current circumstances. This will expand your mind. You will see how your actions have created the situation you are in. And you will realise how you can create a different set of circumstances by making the necessary changes.


  • My need is met.
  • I don’t always get what I want but I always get what I need for my soul to grow and prosper.
  • Help from my guides and guardian angel is always available to me.
  • The challenges and limitations I meet in this lifetime are for my highest good.
  • There is always a solution.

Nauthiz Prayer

Dear Mother-Father God, Thank you that I don’t have to cope with life’s challenges on my own and that I have a host of angels at my command. Help to stay receptive to receive an inspired solution to my dilemma. Amen and so it is!

Nauthiz and Hyperborean Water Magic

In Hyperborea, we used the runes for water magic.

How to Charge the Water

  • Draw the rune over your glass or another glass vessel with the pointer and middle finger on your dominant hand.
  • Chant the name of the rune three times.
  • Visualise the rune glimmering in the colour of your choice as you chant (see colour correspondences above).
  • Visualise the light from the rune charging every molecule in the water until the light expands beyond the glass. When the light has formed an aura around the glass that you can see or feel with your hands, it is ready to drink/use.

Nauthiz Water Magic

  • Make a Nauthiz essence any time you urgently need a solution
  • Nauthiz water magic is ideal to use daily for people who regularly need to come up with innovative solutions and creative ideas
  • Use the Nauthiz essence in your bath water whenever you wish your spirit team to draw close with assistance, to remind yourself that there is always a way out and help is already on the way
  • Mix Nauthiz-charged water into the water you feed your pets/animals to keep them safe if there is any form of pestilence in circulation
  • Add to any body of water that needs cleaning from infectious disease (please note that this does not necessarily make it safe to drink but will go some way toward stopping the spread)
  • Drink Nauthiz-charged water to rid yourself of excess needs and desires to free up energy to focus on what is necessary for you to prosper
  • Use Nauthiz essence to prevent stubborn mistakes from being on repeat as well as prevent unwanted pregnancy (though never without taking necessary precautions too, of course)

Take me back to the Elder Futhark Rune Index!

Try the Nauthiz Troubled Times Rune Tarot spread!


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