Sif, Thor, Sigyn, Loki
Plants: Rowan, snakewood, beech
Safe to Wear? : Not especially
Need is oppressive to the heart; yet often it proves a source of help and salvation To the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes (Anglo-Saxon)
Need is grief of the bond-maid
And state of oppression
And toilsome work (Icelandic)
Need gives little choice; a naked man is chilled by the frost (Norwegian)
Traditional Associations: Need, necessity, insecurity, hard lessons
Personal Interpretation: (Note: this rune is also written as Nauthiz and Nyd)
Naudis means “Need.” The symbol of Naudis is like 2 sticks rubbing together to light a fire. In times of great need, prayer fires were lit of rowan and beech trees, which are sacred to Thor and to Sif. Sif and her husband are the patrons of the common people, and these fires were lit to ask these beloved gods for their help, especially during plagues and famines. Thor is said to be able to heal the sick and protect the weak, while Sif and her husband have a chief role in agriculture.
Naudis highlights what we really need in life, not just the things we want. This is a rune of absolute necessity and putting aside wants for the sake of mandatory things. When Naudis appears, now is not the time to buy luxury items, focus on the basics of life. Take the time to really focus on how materialistic modern society is. How much of the stuff that we own is stuff that we really need? How much of what we learn is needed information? Realism is very important in times like this, but realism does not equal pessimism. A negative attitude won’t do you any good, and will only serve to make it worse.
This rune may appear when you are feeling helpless and desperate. Action is required, regardless of your fears and anxieties. You need to protect yourself. The saying “the gods help those that help themselves,” fits well with this rune. Determination and action will pull you through hard times, now is not the time to sit on your hands and wait it out. Whatever is going on is a critical situation.
Times of need are always hard, however we often learn our best and most important lessons out of necessity. Many of our greatest inventions were the results of meeting a need. Humans invented vaccines out of the need to protect ourselves from disease. Our ancestors learned how to hunt and fish so that they would not starve. Need can teach us how to live more frugally and more resourcefully. If you don’t have the money to go out and buy something, you may be able to learn how to make it for yourself instead. Or you may realize that that thing you’re wanting is something you don’t really have to have, and it’s just a frivolous materialistic item. Loki applies well to this sort of thinking. Many of the things he does are done out of a need. Without Loki, Mjolnir would not exist. Without Mjolnir, Thor would be unable to protect the Nine Worlds.
In other words, Naudis serves to remind us of the parts of life that are essential; food, water, shelter, money, medicine, and so on. Most of the other things can wait right now. What are some ways that you can cut back so that you’re better able to meet your needs? Are you being too frivolous with your spending? Now is a good time to look at upcycling instead of buying new things, learning how to do things for yourself instead of buying it pre-made, or to find ways to shop smarter.
Gods/Goddesses/Figures: Skuld, Nidhog
Animals: snakes, dragons
Safe to Wear? Absolutely not
Traditional: Critical needs, fear, desperation
Personal: Depending on how you personally write this rune, it may not have a merkstave. If it does, it magnifies the message of its upright form. Skuld, the Norn of the Future, is associated with this rune. In times of need, the future never seems clear. Take care of yourself, be extra frugal and wise with your resources, and do your best to keep your spirits up.
If you asked a yes or no question, this rune is sometimes said to mean that the answer is unknown.
(*upg marked in Italics, art by me, please note these are my personal interpretations and the results of my research. You may not agree with everything I’ve written)