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The Elder Futhark Runes: Meaning of Kenaz

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Kenaz is the sixth rune of the Elder Futhark runes and Freyr's Ætt, and it represents a torch or beam of light.

Freyr's Ætt (or "family") is the first of the three ættir (which is the Old Norse plural of "family") of this set of runes. The runes of Freyr's Ætt are related to creative and productive forces. To learn more about the ættir and the runes, check out our post on The Elder Futhark Ættir and Their Significance.

The Elder Futhark Rune Kenaz. Also known as Kano, Ken, Kaun, and Kaunan.
Kenaz Rune

Keywords: light (torch), heat, illumination, breakthrough, controlled energy, human abilities, transformation, regeneration, lust, creativity, knowledge, change of perspective, creation, inspiration, vision, enlightenment

Kenaz Upright Meaning

Kenaz upright is a beam of light (or torch) in the darkness and, as such, relates to forces under human control. The prefix "ken" directly refers to the knowledge that one has. It refers to clarity, seeing eye-to-eye, and gaining new perspectives. The imagery of a torch relates to illumination. Hidden insights and revelations are afoot. You are rising above confusion.

It is interestingly worth noting that whereas Lisa Chamberlain argues that Mannaz is the rune of humankind, Edred Thorsson states that Kenaz is, in fact, the rune of humankind.

Moreover, the fire element is a creative force, and the light of Kenaz may indicate the success of your creative pursuit at hand. It is also transformative and regenerative.

In the context of relationships, it could mean the beginning of a new relationship or of finally finding some common ground with another person.

Kenaz Reversed Meaning

You may be feeling confused or in the dark about a situation. There is some sort of disconnect. It could be in relationships with others, your creative pursuits, or confusion about what you should do next. It could also mean that something in your life is ending or extinguishing.

It could also have to do with hidden or clandestine desires. Depending on the context of the reading, you should consult the surrounding runes for clarification.

While the reversal of Kenaz in a love reading could indicate the ending of a relationship, it could also indicate secret lustful energy that must be kept hidden from the masses. It could be a warning not to give yourself over too much to passion or lusty feelings, as these (while not inherently reprehensible) can hinder you from attaining your goals by blinding you with need.

Magical Uses of Kenaz

Kenaz can aid you in gaining knowledge of the things you wish to know more about and can assist you in your creative pursuits. It also assists with the attainment of love (particularly sexual love), enlightenment, and healing. Kenaz is a powerful rune that adds firey fuel to your endeavors, whatever they may be.

According to Thorsson, this rune is "knowledge combined with ability". If you're working on strengthening an ability, seeking inspiration, or trying to achieve higher polarization, Kenaz is helpful.

To go even deeper with your study of the runes, check out How to Read Runes by Kira the Rune Witch.

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