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[Wane Wyrds] JERA: Rune meanings from a Vanic perspective

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As a Vanatruar, I have an interesting relationship with the Runes. I do not use them regularly in practice, but there are certain Runes I do use in other ways. These are Runes I feel are more suitable to the Vanic ways. One of these Runes is Jera, of the Elder Futhark.


Jera (pronounced YEHR-AH) translates literally as "year", in Old Norse languages. Symbolically, this stands for the cycle of the seasons, and specifically the harvest. It is invoked for a "good season" or "good year." Jera is a Rune of bounty, abundance, and the manifestation of energy into the physical. In short, the work that we do grows and expands into substance, material, and reward.


The interaction of the two seperate v shaped symbols most likely represent the two halves of the Northern year, winter and summer. In the far north, spring and fall are nearly nonexistant climatically. In essence Jera is similar to the ying yang in that it symbolizes the union of extreme forces. In this case, the cold dormant months of the winter and the fruitful warmth of the summer. It is an expression of how both these cycles in union are key to the production of our sustenance, and life itself.


The Norwegian Rune Poem, line 10


Plenty is a boon to men;

I say that Frothi was generous.


Icelandic Rune Poem, 10


(plenty is)

boon to men

and good summer

and thriving crops.


Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem


Summer is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,

suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits

for rich and poor alike.


Old English Rune poem (Swain Wodening modern translation)


Géar (Year) is man's hope · if

God lets, Holy heaven's king, · the Earth sell (i.e. "give")

Bright fruits, · to nobles and needy.



evt101021234900857.jpgRunic ManuscriptWe can see from the later Anglo Saxon versions here that with Christianity the name of Frodhi was replaced by Christ. Frodhi was a mythical king (several actually) of the Danes whose reign is always portrayed as one of peace, frith, and plenty. Due to many similarities, Frodhi is often considered to be a mortal aspect of the God Freyr. Both are associated with wealth, abundance, the harvest, and barrows, which may indicate a connection to the alfs (elves) of which Freyr is said to rule as the Lord of Alfheim.


Jera is not a rune of instant gratification. If used in magickal workings it should be used to forward long term endeavors which require the investment of both time and patience. It is a rune of manifestation, yet of a more lasting, long term goal or "harvest." It is especially useful for projects that require physical labor, or hands on skill.


When one looks at the form of Jera, it is interesting to note that there is no reversal. from both top and bottom it is the same. In essence, it is like a circle, with no beginning and end. When we encounter Jera, it is both a blessing and a lesson. A blessing in that it indicates fruition of our goals, yet it also indicates time and a need for patience and perseverance. This is the mystery of Jera.


The energy of Jera is not forceful, or aggressive. Never the less it is unstoppable, gradual, and continues into infinity. Much like the tortoise and the hare, Jera is comparable to the slow, steady movements of the tortoise, the passage of time which eventually leads us efficiently to a finish line. However this race is never ending. It would be unwise to invoke Jera unless one is committed fully to the realization of their particular goal, and committed to do the work that requires indefinitely.


Jera is a Vanir appropriate Rune for both it's association to Freyr and Frodhi, as well as it's deep connection to the earth through the production of crops. Also worth noting is that Jera is a rune of balance, and moderation. Both the restful, renewing sleep of winter and the blazing sun and abundant rains which all contribute to the "good year." Neither overbearing, or devaluing the other. This is the inherent wisdom of the Vanic path and all other earth based traditions.



Jera Key Word Associations




Cycle of the Year


Fertility (growth within the womb and birth)


Infinite Movement

Elemental Earth


The Proto-Indo European root of jera is "ars", meaning year or good season. A historical blessing we can use even today is:



"Til ars ok fridhar"


For Good season and Peace





In Frith,















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