The Runes & The Elemental Links
Most people with even a smattering of knowledge of astrology will be aware of the elements of earth,
air, fire and water, and that three zodiac signs fit into each element. It should come as no surprise,
therefore, to learn that a rune also corresponds to each element.
What follows here are the most widely accepted linkages between the elements and four of the runes.
Also given are other runes which are said to link in with the element being discussed.
The element of earth is concerned with solid foundations, and with keeping in touch with reality. It
may be interesting to learn that Eihwaz, an earth rune, is sometimes called ‘the Rune of Death’ because
of the poisonous qualities of the yew tree with which it is associated.
Also associated with the earth element are Uruz, Wunjo, Berkana, Othila, Isa (which can also link
with the water element, ice being frozen water) and Jera. Isa, Eihwaz and Jera are also said to link
with the New Moon.
Kaunaz is, surprisingly, a water rune. It relates to bonfires, but does not equate to the element of fire.
To the Vikings, bonfires were a physical light in the darkness, as well as symbolising inner knowledge
or enlightenment. It relates to emotions and intuition, and therefore its element is water. Some
runemasters will disagree here, preferring to keep Kaunaz with its symbol of fire.
Also associated with the water element are Perth, Lagu, Ing, Raido and Gebo. Hagalaz has
connections with ice, and so also correctly belongs with this element. Kaunaz, Raido and Gebo are
said to link with the waning of the moon. Gebo and Raido also link with the element of air.
Ansuz, an air rune has a strong connection with Odin, who was considered to have discovered the
runes in the root of the Tree of the World, and as such has a link with the ash tree. He was also
considered to be the source of knowledge and inspiration and it therefore follows that Odin should be
described as the source of language, and the runes as a form of communication.
Ansuz relates to the element of air, to divine breath, to thought and to the power of the intellect.
Also associated with the element of air are Teiwaz, Berkana (which also links to earth having a
duality in element) and Ehwaz, which also link with the waxing of the moon. Algiz is also said to link
with the air element, as do Sowelu and Mannaz.
It should be noted that some runemasters suggest that Ansuz is more correctly linked with fire and
water rather than air.
Dagaz is a fire rune, and represents day, breakthrough. It is associated, too, with the dawn of the
world, since the earth was born in flames. Dagaz is considered to be the illuminator, the light, and as
such cannot be destroyed. It is the guardian by the doorway, a protective force against anything
harmful. Dagaz is another case of elemental duality, associated both with fire and air.
Also associated with the element of fire are Othila and Fehu, which also link with the full moon, and
with the element of earth – again, being dual in elemental nature. Thurisaz, Nauthiz and Eihwaz are
also said to link with fire, but it is worth noting that many runemasters consider Eihwaz as belonging
to all elements.