Thurisaz: The Third Gate

The Black Gate (a la Mordor in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings)

Since I took them up in December 2008, the runes have been a powerful, transformative force in my life. Over the years I have come to understand them as gates and crucibles capable of initiating a seeker into their mysteries and drawing the seeker closer to Odhinn as Runatyr the wise winner of their secrets. In the wake of a number of personal trials I’d naively thought I was through all 24 gates. Ha!! Just no! Not so much. I am still struggling through the lessons and mysteries of the first half of the first aett. Currently Thurisaz (the “thorn” or “thurs” rune) has me in its biting grip and won’t let go. Learning from Thurisaz has been so difficult that I mistook its trials for the entire runic gauntlet!

Thurisaz embodies the chaotic thermal dynamic among (often primal) forces. It’s might can be seen in conflict and opposition at the micro- and macro-cosmic levels, in the storm of a psyche’s growing pains, in anger and violence, and in other destructive currents. But Thurisaz also contains the power to overcome obstacles, to strive toward a worthy end, and to persevere despite epic difficulties. Metaphysically I think of Thurisaz, in part, as the fuel fire of becoming. The soul forge. It tests the mettle manifested through Uruz.

Over the last year social, emotional, spiritual/magical, and physical issues have arisen and have tested me. During my time with Thurisaz (about six months!) I have had to decide if I am going to push forward with all of my might, or stand still. Standing still doesn’t sound so bad on the surface but refusing to move in any direction for a protracted period can result in stagnation which brings its own challenges. So I have decided to move. But to what? Well, evolution is cyclical and ongoing, so as my will and courage grow, I seek to increase my soul-might and raise my consciousness (the primary concern of Ansuz, the fourth gate).

This rune-guided transformation process is not linear by any means. I continue to work with the lessons of Fehu and Uruz even as I struggle now within these Thurisaz-spaces. And the lessons of the three I’ve worked with thus far at once build upon and depend upon one another. So as I pass through the third gate, today and everyday I choose to strive and to dare, despite the trouble at my door. And I thrust ahead seeking the clearer perspective, expanded consciousness, and experiential wisdom that Ansuz promises.

Hail Odhinn! May the Rune Master bless and guide me through this journey of becoming, wherever it may lead.