The Tale of Runes: The Thorn Rune

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Read Part Three of A Tale of Runes

Read Part Four of A Tale of Runes


thorn rune

Alternatives        ‑

Letter ‑ TH

Name ‑ THORN

Meaning ‑ A THORN

Planetary Rulership ‑ JUPITER ACTIVE

Gemstone ‑ SAPPHIRE

Flower ‑ HONESTY

Number ‑ 5



Association words: Advisers, good fortune, protection

thorn rune

Magical Meanings

Protection from one’s own folly. Luck to be used in situations where you are unable to influence results yourself in any way.

Divinatory Additions

Good luck but don’t rely upon luck alone, take stock and consolidate your situation. Wrong headedness. Advises doing nothing new or innovative, but if something must be done, get professional advice. Beware taking on battles you can’t win. Also, don’t let time go to waste, use it positively.


Advises that one gather more information and not make hasty decisions. The querent will be reluctant to accept your advice, but they really should because their luck is running out. Caution and circumspection should be their watchwords. Also, it may indicate some difficulty coming from an underling or protégé, for example, a protege is about to overtake the querent professionally, or a subordinate will fail in a test that will reflect badly on the querent.

Story Upright:

Sweyn sat on the floor platform that extended in from the walls of the great hall bordering a rectangular dirt floor with a fire pit in its centre. A cauldron bubbled on a tripod over the firepit releasing steam that smelt of pork and vegetables. The tools of life occupied the wooden floor area, nets being mended, looms with half-finished pieces of cloth, quern for grinding flour and the like. His host’s people went about the chores of everyday life. There was the distant sound of thunder.

“Tides just about up. You ready to go?” Tuborg took a seat on the platform and quaffed mead from a horn.

“I’ll wait for tomorrow. Sounds like Thor is having it out with some Jotun. Could be the storm will sweep out to sea.”


“You’re an old woman. My father wants these goods fast. And I want to get back to Sigyn. She’s going to love this bobble I’ve picked up for her.” Tuborg held up an amethyst and gold neckless that must have cost half his captain’s portion for the voyage.

Sweyn thought of the modest gift he was bringing home for Ingrid. A rose with lovely flowers, but thorns enough to discourage the pigs from rooting in the garden once it was trained about the fence. Beautiful and practical with a bite when needed. Just like his Ingrid. He knew she’d like it more than some bobble around her neck. “We’ve been lucky with the weather this trip. No one is going to expect us back for another week or more. I’ll not abuse the favour the gods have shown us by leaning on it too heavily.”

“Old woman. Your loss, father has promised to reward the first ship in.” Tuborg came to his feet and strode from the great hall.         

Sweyn shook his head. It would be so easy to follow Tuborg. He was the senior captain and the ship owner’s son. Sweyn sighed. He had to consider the safety of his crew, and life had taught him the Gods favoured those who didn’t lean on them too heavily. He could only hope that he’d be back in time to be with Ingrid for the birth of their firstborn.

Standing he moved towards the Karl of the hall, a man of middle years; still hail, dressed in a tunic and leggings wearing a silver torque symbolizing his station.

The sound of Mjolnir splitting the sky sounded as a distant rumble.

“Karl Baleygr,” Sweyn greeted.

“Sweyn, I thought you and your men were leaving with the tide.”

“Tuborg has left. I would beg your leave to stay another night in case Thor’s battle swings out to sea.”

The Karl smiled and slapped Sweyn on the arm. “At least one of you has sense.”

“Is there anything my men and I can do to help prepare you for the storm?”

The older man nodded. “And manners. You can help secure the livestock. During the last storm, the heard took shelter in a hawthorn thicket and scratched themselves to pieces.  When you are done, we can talk about that extra load of the purple stone over a horn of mead while Thor gets his exercise. You, I can trade with.”

Story Reversed:

Tuborg listened to the mutterings of his men, but after making such a show, he couldn’t turn back. Thunder echoed down the valley behind the village. The gods had been with him thus far this trip, they would not fail him now.

The sky before him was clear and blue in the mid-distance behind him a rolling mass of clouds.

“Cast off.” He gave the order. Forty oars dipped into the water driving the cargo-heavy skeid into the channel that led to the sea. In minutes they hoisted the large, square sail and caught the growing wind.


Tuborg stood at the bow behind the dragon head stempost watching the waters ahead, refusing to see the storm coming up behind.

Before sunset, the skies closed in, and rain lashed the deck. The sail was dropped, and all hands manned the oars as the skeid was tossed about like a child toy.

Thor’s hammer split the skies as the jotun slung pellets of ice as big as a man’s eye onto the deck. Tuborg cursed the luck that had failed him as he struggled to keep his longship afloat.

The next morning, he stared dismally at his ship. Half the spices he was transporting were washed overboard, and a half dozen of the oars snapped. The bolts of fine silk were soaked and worse, they were more than a day’s hard sailing further from home than when they’d left harbour. “Oh Gods, why have you failed me?” Tuborg screamed to the uncaring winds.

Stephen Pearl

Stephen B. Pearl has studied metaphysics for over thirty years focusing on Pagan beliefs, primarily the Egyptian Path though he is eclectic in his views and practice. He considers himself an Egyptian path Pagan Wizard-priest. Which is all to say, he’s tried to make sense out of the craziness that is the universe and has probably made an even worse muck of it. He has read Tarot and Runes professionally on and off for about twenty years. In addition, he created and ran the You the Psychic and Divination the Mystic Eye courses at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. As part of Divination the Mystic Eye, he instructed people on the use of Runes as a divinatory medium. Stephen is also a fiction writer with many works that dip into the paranormal and draw on his personal experience for inspiration. For more on this aspect of his life please visit:

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