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The rune of Challenge to the Self Nauthiz

nauthizbNauthiz is a rune of challenge to the self. We each have our own dark little places, doors in our minds that we have closed and not allowed the contents of the mental room the benefit of fresh air and sunshine. Nauthiz shines a bright light into those rooms, granting the opportunity to dispense with that which binds us to our lesser self. Through Nauthiz we learn the realization that many times when we shut those doors there are issues left untended. When Nauthiz appears in your runes it is sure that you are going to be challenged on
an intimate level.

Nauthiz gives the same challenge of the Oracle of Delphi: “Know Thyself.” Nauthiz cautions you to rethink your current plan. Nauthiz cautions you to look within yourself and to be honest about your capabilities before you set yourself up for a situation to allow failure to occur. It is difficult to accept the blessings of Nauthiz at times; but it truly is a blessing come to light.

Nauthiz warns that restraint is the best course of action. Charging in where angels fear to tread just might get your feathers singed! Nauthiz cautions you to think before acting. Do the research yourself. Don’t rely on the work of others because you truly are not in control or mayhap even aware of the depth or breadth of the situation at hand. Look inside yourself. Are you fooling yourself into a corner because you refuse to see the truth of a situation? Are your rose colored glasses getting in the way of reality – which is so much better when viewed with clarity and discernment.

Nauthiz – Constraint

Nauthiz is a member of Hagal’s Aett.
(Sometimes seen as Nauthis.)

Key Word(s)

Constraint, need, necessity, pain, lessons, hardship and learning.


The receptive polarity of female energy is the challenge of Nauthiz. Be receptive to that which you need to accept, let go of, or change.

Planetary Line

Nauthiz is aligned with the Planet Saturn who hides secrets within its many rings.

Tarot Link

Nauthiz is linked with the Tarot card of The Devil. One of the more prominent symbolisms of this card is that one is chained by one’s feelings or belief. In the traditional depiction of the card there is a couple depicted as being chained to the devil, but the chains are loose enough to be removed. The couple remain “chained” because they do not see (or are unwilling) that they have the ability to unchain themselves.


Black is the color most normally associated with Nauthiz. We have to enter into the blackness, into the deep well of the inner self to answer the challenge represented by this Rune and its association with the color black.


Feminine energy is at work here. Nauthiz is asking you to be receptive to the knocking of the doors within your mind so that you will open them and set yourself free.

Healing Property

Nauthiz is considered to carry healing properties for issues relating to the arms.

Modern Letter Counterpart

Nauthiz, not surprising, is most closely associated with the modern letter N.

Special Runic Associations

Whenever Nauthiz appears in a casting it is wise to look at the surrounding runes in the cast for help in identifying the matter Nauthiz addresses. Nauthiz is the fifth rune in the Cycle of Initiation. Nauthiz is the lesson that without hurt we would not truly understand the importance of joy. Nauthiz speaks of personal constraint. Nauthiz tells us we cannot advance further in our cycle without accepting the pain of growth and change to provide the foundation for future joys to grow within our lives and minds.

This Rune is sometimes referred to as “the great teacher.” Nauthiz allows us the opportunity to truly look deep within, open up all those doors in the hallways of our minds, and let the healing light of sun, the freshness of the breezes of the air, and the honesty to our own self allow us to open the door wide to a better understanding of whom we truly are. Caution of over estimation of your abilities cannot be overstated. If Nauthiz has shown up in your spread, it may be telling you to wait until the complete lesson is learned before acting!

rune-block-NauthizOn the physical plane, Nauthiz reminds us to keep our word – to pay off old debts and restore our personal harmony with the universe. If complete healing cannot take place, at least steps in that direction are a long way on the road to happiness. If we can’t completely pay things off, make arrangements, focus on removing the debt from your life so you are open to receive the bounties the universe provides.

Are you trying to push forward a project without doing the appropriate background work? Are you relying too heavily upon the efforts of others and not enough on yourself? Are you allowing the terrors of your past and of your mind to restrain you from achieving the heights you desire? All these questions point to how Nauthiz tells us to go within and “Know Thyself.”