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Elder Futhark Rune Meanings
Heimdall's 2nd Aett
Nauthiz Rune card with symbol


Nauthiz Galdr (Runic chant)


Naudhiz naudhiz naudhiz


Nu na ni ne no

Nudg nadh nidh nedh nodh

Un an in an on


(Galdr source: “A Handbook of Rune Magic” by Edred Thorsson)


Old Germanic name: Nauthiz, Naudis, Noicz

Old Norwegian name: Nau

Anglo-Saxon name: Nied, Nyd

Old Celtic name: Nauths

Old Icelandic name: Nau, Nauð

rune nauthiz symbol

Rune Nauthiz Overall Meaning: Nauthiz is quite a complicated Rune and for a good reason. You see, this Rune is connected to our destiny and what can be more complicated than that? When this Rune shows up it signifies and warns for the upcoming life challenges. But the kye is not to fall into a despair. This Rune predicts the time of the "need" but also offers a chance for liberation and if a person realizes it, they can overcome any challenges.

rune nauthiz elder futhark meaning



​Nauthiz often seems to be connected to “fate” but it does not actually mean that destiny is at play. It means that the “need” to do something (quite urgently) exists and through this Rune, you can achieve an action plan and necessary wisdom to face fate.


Nauthiz brings forth both the sense of need AND liberation from the powers of necessity and struggles associated with it. This can be seen in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem:


(Need) constricts the heart,

Tho to the bairns of men it often becomes

Help and health nevertheless,

If they heed it in time.

This helps us to see this Rune more positively. As when a person feels a dire need to do something, they will find a solution much faster and become stronger than ever. Nauthiz is the symbol of a powerful energy and ability hidden within that will show itself in a critical and desperate moment.

Nauthiz has the ability to help you find the right path and a solution to your problem (need). But it may be difficult to see it at first. For this reason, Nauthiz is one of the "darkest" Runes of the Elder Futhark. It is connected to the Norns, Skuld in particular, one who cuts the thread of our destiny/life, thereby ending it.

Nauthiz symbol resembles a cross which can be seen as a burden a person carries and feels a need to be freed of.


Nauthiz will support you during difficult times but it is asking to show patience, perseverance and control over your emotions and actions.


With regards to the Elements, some attribute Water qualities to Nauthiz but mostly, Nauthiz refers to a self-created Fire (two sticks rubbed together to create Fire are illustrated in the Rune). The so much needed Fire was to help the World of Men to grow and become.

Rune Nauthiz Meaning Reversed


Reversed Nauthiz speaks of problems, life struggles and complications. It may seem like it isn't much different from its upright position but with the reversed position it is much more difficult to break through and very important to control yourself.

Aside from that, the Rune warns that you may find yourself stuck in a difficult and draining emotional situation and this period can last a long time. In this case, you may need to seek support and resources to help you.

Rune Advice: Pull yourself together! Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Release the past and look into the future. Start acting now, show your strength and power!

rune nauthiz in meditation and rituals


Nauthiz often signifies the issues and unresolved questions or actions from the past that resulted in the need you are facing today. Use it in meditation to tap into your intuitive part and understand what brought you to the position you are in today.

In all other Ritual matters, Nauthiz is still used to bind.


 It can be used in protection Rituals and to strengthen the Bind Rune. I would say to be mindful when adding it to the Bind Rune because it IS the Rune of CONSEQUENCES, so really mind your intentions here.

Nauthiz has long been used in Icelandic Love Rituals due to the sexual elements present in the stave. It can be used in Rituals when one is looking for love or a lover. It can also be used to force someone into a relationship, by creating a need and dependence. 

Some attribute Nauthiz's protective qualities and state that it fills you up with a strength that guards a person from negativity and misfortunes. I personally do not use this Rune in my protection Bindrunes. 


But understand that there is no such thing as a "bad Rune". Each Rune serves its purpose. You can use Nauthiz in meditation to understand your current needs and set up priorities.   

Amulet or Talisman with Rune Nauthiz

In general, it is not recommended to wear an amulet with Nauthiz on a daily basis. The Rune is used during the times of need to get through struggles or break some bonds. You may even draw it on your body for a time being to really work through its energy.

Some say that the Nauthiz amulet can help people struggling with addictions. It is said to help one gain control over themselves and not give up.

rune nauthiz in health questions


As I’ve mentioned above, if you are asking about health issues or want to simply ask the Runes “What areas of my health require attention?” Nauthiz will point out the following areas: Arthritis, Joint Pain and Viral Infections. If everything is good and it is a general Rune draw, Nauthiz shows up when your health is vulnerable. It is a good time to supply it with the necessary resources and boost your immune system. 

If you have ongoing health issues, Nauthiz says that for now your situation may not be improving but it's not the reason to fall into despair. 


Nauthiz can point to self-esteem issues and personal shadows. It comes with a warning that a change needs to happen and those unrecognized needs must become conscious. Nauthiz often comes up to people who are unable to battle their inner demons.

Reversed Nauthiz Meaning:

Reversed Nauthiz says that you might have chosen the wrong course of treatment if you are going through an illness. It can also point to personal bad habits and deliberately doing things that harm your body (such as smoking, drinking or using drugs).


Treat your body like a temple not a dumpster. 

rune nauthiz in love and relationship


The appearance of Nauthiz in a relationship reading points to a time when the relationship reaches a dead end. It can be that a passion between the partners is over, there are no common interests to share and in general, the relationship becomes rather draining. You may need a fresh start, do something together that will bring that spark back.


Nauthiz can signify a love and relationship that is very binding due to the dependence between partners. You can theoretically use it in love rituals to bind the lovers but understand that it will not be an easy bond to break, if needed in the future. 

Nauthiz + Kenaz is a challenging combination for both an existing and a potential relationship. A partner is not interested in this relationship.


Nauthiz + Isa, the Rune of Ice, a combination usually puts an end to the relationship. 

*For the use of Nauthiz in Love Rituals see the “Meditation & Rituals” section of this page.

Reversed Nauthiz in Love & Relationship:

Once again, reversed Nauthiz is an exacerbation of an already difficult situation. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a state in the relationship when we ask a question: "Is this all really worth trying so hard?"

rune nauthiz in money and career



Nauthiz brings losses and a sense of dissatisfaction. You may have issues and misunderstandings with your boss or colleagues. 

Often the reason you are stuck or are experiencing setbacks is because you are not developing and growing yourself. You are using the same old way and techniques hoping for a different result. But the work is constantly changing and you need to learn to adapt quickly. This was really seen in the last two years. Those who were unable to switch gears were quickly crushed within a few months.


You need to find strength inside and not fall into despair. Otherwise, you will find yourself upset and depressed which in turn will only make the situation worse. Find other ways, and make more connections. Pursue your goals and career aspirations no matter what.

Nauthiz + Hagalaz signify big material losses.

Reversed Nauthiz in Money & Career:

When Nauthiz shows up reversed, it is often because the situation you are in right now is the result of external events and you are unlikely able to change things. It is better to consolidate your resources and wait it out. It is not a good time for risky investments and large purchases.

rune nauthiz in a tattoo



If you've read all the above information, you notice that I don’t even recommend wearing this Rune as an amulet for a long time.

You see, Nauthiz is the Rune you would work with during the time of struggles and need. You can even put it on your body but for a time being until you resolve your problems.

To live your entire life under the influence of this Rune can be difficult and truly is not the best idea. The Rune will be constantly putting you through new struggles, tests and times of "need".

If you already have this Rune tattooed, you may want to add some positive Runes around it to soften the meaning. 

Read more: Viking Rune Tattoos: All You Need Know Before Getting One. Norse Runes & Icelandic Staves in Tattoos

Rune Nauthiz in Divination & Rune Cast

If Nauthiz comes up in your Rune cast, it is time to brace yourself and have some patience.


In a general Rune Reading, Nauthiz will often talk about the actions from the past that shape a person’s future needs. Out of all the Runes, Nauthiz is the most closely related to the word “Karma” although it gives one an opportunity to take action and learn the lessons.


From Tarot, Nauthiz is often compared to the Fool due to the reckless nature of the Fool that can bring dangerous consequences, however, I would NOT personally draw this parallel as the Fool does not think about the future and does not do anything “bad” or tries to cause harm to anyone. This is not in the characteristics of the Fool. He will therefore hardly bear any consequences for his actions and luck is always with him.

nauthiz elder futhark rune meaning

My personal parallel from Tarot Deck would be the Justice Card as, just as Nauthiz, it is the most “Karmic” card of the Deck. What you have done in the past has really brought you to where you are today. It is time now to get what you deserve.


Once again, if you are doing a Love or Relationship Rune reading, Nauthiz will signify the dependence on one partner over the other which in some cases can create a toxic environment. This, in turn, can make one partner experience a sense of guilt and feel stuck in a relationship they don’t want to be in any longer.

In a Rune cast, Nauthiz asks you to pause and reflect on some major life situations taking place right now. It is not the time for changes and drastic decisions if you are not ready to deal with the consequences. 

Sometimes, you are your worst enemy and Nauthiz asks you to take a look at your own inner demons before you search for them in others.

On a sidenote, a good book to check out is "Feeding Your Demons".

Take some time to work on yourself. 

Nauthiz as Rune of the Day: today is the time to be cautious of your words and actions.

Check out "Runes" page for other Elder Futhark Rune meanings

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