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Runelore This 8-10 week course will combine runelore with exercises and stories from the runic pathway. Its emphasis lies on reconnecting the runes with the everyday life they were once a part of, using the runes for divinatory purposes and creating small-scale energywork with their presences. Open to all levels of learning."

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Old 10-17-11   #1
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Default Runework for Week Two: Part Six


Other names: Ken, Kauna, Kenu, Kaun, Kusma
Letter representation: k, hard c

Kennings: torch, knowledge, illumination, enlightenment, study, cunning, skill, controlled energy, successful ideas, inner guidance, painful healing, sexual attraction
Associated colour: pink

Our sixth companion, Kenaz, can perhaps be most easily explained through exploring the linguistic roots it has taken up in our languages. The word 'ken' is still in use in Scotland with its meaning 'to know'. A similar verb ('kennen') with the same meaning is used in Dutch. Kenaz is the torch of enlightenment that comes with gaining knowledge. It also has taken up root in the English word 'cunning', which mentions the use of knowledge to achieve specific results. Kenaz governs successes that come from hard work and an inner understanding of one's goals.

Kenaz also takes up root in the Old Norse kaun and in the Gothic kusma, which are both connected to 'swelling' and 'pain'. (Particularly used in terms of fever and inflammation of the skin.) The inner fire of kenaz can burn away imperfections and wounds. It is a painful process that should not be taken lightly. Kenaz can be described as our body's very own detox system for that reason. Kenaz also implies that misuse of knowledge can lead to destruction of the soul. The rune can be used for healing, but can also take such healing away again when we continue to do the things that made us 'sick' in the first place. Kenaz warns us to stay out of situations that can be detrimental to us. There is a warning that it is sometimes better to not know things, although the first impulse of kenaz-energy is to wholly agree with the statement 'all knowledge is worth having'.

The shape of kenaz can be seen as a torch and as a funnel. The torch will illuminate the darker paths of one's mind and life. It invites us to see things as they are without casting shadows onto the things we do not wish to see. It makes the rune very confrontational for some, because it has the habit of uncovering lies and illusions we'd rather hold on to. In the guise of a funnel, kenaz creates a focal point for its energy to move towards. It can move inwardly and narrow things down until it discovers the sore spot, but it can also move to the outside and become a tool for creation.

Kenaz also has ties to sexual attraction. In Dutch, its derivative 'kennen' is also used as the old Biblical way of saying 'to know a man/woman intimately'. Sexual power comes from knowing what you want, among other things, and it's this will that kenaz governs. The fire from kenaz is fully controlled, which allows you to express your will through crafting an amulet with this rune. It is said to be the rune of unmaking designed for remaking: the artist's perfect tool. Kenaz can be used for any creative endeavours, although it is mainly a rune for crafting.
She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message:
for small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
- Carl Sagan
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