Category Archives: qweorth

May 19, 2010 – Cweorth


Cweorth/Qweorth is the letter (or sound) Q

There is no rune poem for Cweorth. It is a Northumbrian rune.

Cweorth is the sacred flame, burning brightly in holy places, the fire of the Holy Ones. It is also the primal flame, the fire responsible for creation, the spark of Muspell, which balances the frozen ice of Nifelheim.

It shows the powers of fire in it’s totality, as both a creative and destructive force. In a reading, it can be either, depending upon the question and runes surrounding it. When it is creative, it is warm and quickening, bringing action, passionate intensity, and some inspiration with it. When it is destructive, Cweorth is burning and consuming, removing obstacles, useless constructions (either physical or metaphysical) and terrible purification, that is terrible because of how swiftly and sometimes painfully it comes, but purifying because once it is over, what is left is clean and open to come into fullness once again.

I have noticed the Cweorth seems to be coming up a lot lately, and it makes me wonder what the source of all this fire is, and what is trying to do. I can’t say that I notice any significant actions occurring, or a burning and consuming, but then it maybe because I take actions and purification in advance. It often seems to be a greatly overlooked practice to me, that spiritual and magical practitioners don’t regularly purify themselves or their spaces, either metaphysically and/or physically. Weekly, Monthly, daily purification can be a great help when things are feeling difficult or there is confusion, lack of clarity or just a string of misfortune. Sometimes, it can all be easily cleared away, and that allows for desired things to enter into you life.
The simplest purification I do is sitting in a bathtub with a cup of table salt mixed in. Bless the water and the salt, and mix them together, and bless them again. You might take a book you are reading or a spiritual text, or you might just sit in silence and relax. The water can be hot or cold (I generally go for hot myself) and I give that space as time to release, reflect and prepare. You could create a more complex bath with your own bath salts, with essential oils and a pinch of ground herbs, or a strong tea made from a combination of herbs. One of my favorites is Hyssop or Eucalyptus

May 5, 2010 – Cweorth / Qweorth

Cweorth (or Qweorth)

Cweorth is the letter and sound Q

There is no rune poem for Cweorth. It is a Northumbrian Rune.

Cweorth is the embodiment of Fire, the Primal and Cosmic Fire that in the Northern Tradition is based in Muspel, the land of fire Giants. This land was one of the primordial worlds, the others being Nifelheim and Ginnugagap. This is the fire that burns endlessly, consuming everything, but it is the same fire that brought about the beginning of creation, as the heat of Muspel melted the ice of Nifelheim. The resulting flow of water (and the purification of the poison from it) began the process of creation, filling the void of Ginnugagap.
It is these forces which Cweorth brings when it appears in a reading, it initiates things, melting away what is frozen or static and bringing action. It purifies things, as the heat distills out the poison and toxins that have been frozen within. Through these methods, it clears the way so new things can come forth, filling the void that exists in their absence. From the alternate view, all these things are destructive though, as they destroy things that maybe we have built up to protect ourselves or to insulate ourselves from things that we are afraid of. By removing the toxins, it can put us into shock, as we have become use to filling ourselves with the poisons, and now our systems purge themselves, and in that purification the healing can be difficult and sometimes even painful as we have to adapt to our new existence, which isn’t comfortable and familiar like the old one that is gone.

April 27, 2010 – Cweorth


Cweorth is the letter Q

There is no rune poem for Qweorth. It is a Northumbrian Rune
Qweorth for me today was the cleansing fire, taking away impurity, removing harmful and unhealthy influences from me. Things that were ready to be taken, consumed and released from me, and purified so they can go to where they are needed.

April 23, 2010 – Cweorth


Cweorth is the letter Q

There is no rune poem for Qweorth. It is a Northumbrian Rune.
Qweorth, the fire-twirl, the sacred fire is the rune for today. Friday’s for me tend to be a pretty significant day for Qweorth. Friday is when I make offerings to my spiritual allies and Gods, thanking them for their blessings, and for the challenges they place before me. This typically involves a lot of candles, some for the Gods, some for the ancestors, some for the spirits and wights who I work with. As the fire consumes the wick and candle, it is a way for me to send my gratitude to them, along with the smell of burning incense, and a final candle, a spell for love (it’s Friday, I am not going to ignore the energies that are there). So the sacred fire is everywhere in my home today, with tea lights, offertory candles, smoking incense sticks, and other fires I maybe feeding. A sign that offerings are recognized, being consumed by the flame, are also accepted.

April 2, 2010- Qweorth


Qweorth is the letter Q

There is no rune poem for Qweorth. It is one of the Northumbrian Runes.

The fire-twirl. The sacred fire. The fire of creation and destruction. The transforming fire. The funeral pyre. This is qweorth. This is the fire that changes everything. It brings heat and light and yet it can also bring destruction. Sometimes it can do both in a single stroke.

It is the opposite of Isa in every way. It is action and dynamic and going somewhere in contrast to Isa which is still, inert, and unmoving. Qweorth can melt and release what Isa has frozen and captured.

Sometimes though, you don’t want to release things, or at least, not quickly. But that is the way qweorth. If you aren’t ready to immediately deal with what is before you, don’t set it alight with qweorth. What maybe released from the destruction may not be what you thought you were getting.

March 28, 2010 – Qweorth


Qweorth is the letter Q

Qweorth is one of the Northumbrian runes. There is no rune poem from qweorth.

It’s name’s exact meaning is a mystery, but often qweorth is translated as “fire-twirl” the sacred two ended torch that is used to re-light the sacred fire when the year turns. Because of that association, it is symbolic of a sacred fire, or holy fire, and also the pure aspects of fire itself, both as an act of creation and destruction. Destruction as expressed as the sacred fire used to light funeral pyres, or as a place that offerings are given, consumed and released to the Gods.

When qweorth appears in a reading, expect rapid change and transformation, physical spiritual and otherwise. It is one of the fire runes that shows great heat and intensity. While Sowelo can be a sunny day, Qweorth is the heatwave, that scorches and burns. In some practices, heat and fire is the force that puts things into action, gets things moving towards your desired goal, and often does it quickly. It might be that a fire is being lit underneath you to get you moving forward, either for something you want, or because someone wants you out of their way.

March 16, 2010 – Hagalaz


Hagalaz is the letter H

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from

Hail is the whitest of grain;
it is whirled from the vault of heavenand is tossed about by gusts of windand then it melts into water.

Hagalaz (hail) is the rune of the day. Small hail is somewhat of a wonder, and yet can be beneficial, as it melts and turns into water, which can nourish plants and land. Large hail can be terrible destructive, destroying structures, hurting people, animals, plants and crops, and generally wreaking havoc. Yet, it too melts into water, which can sustain and nourish those that have survived the initial onslaught.

That is the meaning of Hagalaz. Generally considered a unfavorable rune, Hagalaz is the fury and violence of nature. Storms, Lightning, Hail, torrential downpours which lead to flooding and mudslides, but it can also include earthquakes (how appropriate) wildfires (which is different from Arson, but for a surer sign of that expect to see Qweorth as well) and any natural disaster, or seemingly natural disaster. On metaphysical levels, it shows those subtle energies being unsettled and over active, and often acting in destructive ways. Nothing is left the same after Hagalaz, but what does survive is often stronger and more capable.

March 3, 2010 – Qweorth


Qweorth is the letter Q

There is no rune poem for Qweorth

The meaning of Qweorth, much like Peorth, is unclear. The most common meaning I have seen with people who have sought to define it is the fire-twirl. The fire-twirl is the sacred brand or torch that was used by earlier peoples to re-ignite fires. In some cases, it was a longer branch and may have been lit at both ends. To me, that is what I see in the image of the rune Qweorth, a branch that has been lit at both ends.

The fires that the twirl would re-ignite may be home fires, and even sacred fires, although usually the twirl itself was probably lit from a sacred fire, perhaps one that was kept burning all the time, an eternal flame. As the harnessing of fire and learning to create fire is one of the advances that humanity used to protect itself and slowly transformed culture and society, it is often given a sacred status, and the re-lighting of fires was a unique ritual, especially done after the winter solstice.

The other sacred fire is the funeral pyre. This is the meaning that Raven Kaldera focuses on, understandably so as his mistress is Hela, the Northern European Goddess who governs the afterlife and the underworld, known as Hel or Helheim.

As the symbol of the sacred fire, Qweorth symbolizes all of these qualities. It shows that this fire is burning, and it either needs to be tended or perhaps now is the time to re-ignite. It may also show that a great purification is taking place or coming, in which all that is unworthy or lacking will be burned away. It is destructive, but the destruction quickly clears the way for new things to take it’s place. Much like a forest fire will destroy acres of trees, but often the seeds of the trees are now stimulated to grow, their seed coats opened or burned away, allowing them to propagate. The fire also quickened the cycle of fertility, as the ash of the trees and plants now fertilizes the ground that they once fed upon, which may have become depleted because the cycle had become slowed down. The fires of creation can destroy, much like the fires of destruction can create.

Runes and Reversals

As you might notice through my rune of the day posts, there are runes that come up expressed as reversed. This is a common technique among contemporary systems of sortilege, especially tarot. The reader themselves will often have a ready understanding of reversed meanings about their tool, which can range from the complex to the simple. In most cases that I have heard of, the reversed meaning is a negative indicator or expression of the meaning contained within that symbol.

While historically we don’t know how the runes were used for divination (or if they were used directly) in contemporary practice they are. Many books will give reversed meanings for some or all the runes. This is usually for the practice of Divination. However, if you look at any Futhark, there are runes that are not “reversible.” That is, if you turn them 180 degrees on a vertical axis, it is the same symbol. Some symbols like this are invertible (that is if you turn them on a horizontal axis, they will become mirrored to the original inscription) but I have yet to find a rune set that includes inverse runes, as they would require a separate inscription.

What is of interest to many, are the non-reversible runes. A simple example would be Sowelo/Sigil/Sol the rune of the Sun. It’s various forms in the futharks are all non reversible images. In essence, it’s meaning in a reading never changes. That is an excellent graphical metaphor for the sun. In a certain sense, the power of the sun never changes. It may leave our ability to perceive the sun, but where ever it is, it always shines, bringing warmth, hope, and joy. It never changes or varies in that power.

This is one of the striking differences of the runes vs the tarot. Every tarot card can be reversed. Not every rune can be reversed. Some things are unchangeable, enduring, and lasting within the cosmology of the runes.
In Thorsson’s work, the non-reversible runes are often interpreted as being the runes of the Nine Worlds. As he only uses the Elder Futhark, there are only 9 immutable runes. They are Gebo, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Iehwaz, Sowilo, Inguz, and Dagaz. (if you want to know the Nine World equivalents, I suggest you acquire one of his books). The remaining runes are connected to paths connecting those worlds, much in the sense of the magical cabala associations with the tarot, with the major arcane forming paths between the sephira, which are associated with all the number units of the minor arcana. By adding in the Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian runes though, his cosmological map falls apart, as more non reversible runes are added. Ior, Qweorth, Shtan and Gar, bring the total count from nine to thirteen, and introduce additional concepts or repeated ones. However, they are suggestive of powers that are immutable as well, and maybe they are not symbolic of the nine worlds, but instead of powers manifested in all the worlds, powers that are constantly being expressed and at work in the deepest metaphysical levels.