Kenaz: The Rune’s Meanings and How to Interpret It

Use this torch to light your way.

Kenaz Rune

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“If everything around seems dark, look again, you may be the light.” That was written by the 13th century Balkh poet Rumi, but the message is similar to that the meaning of the Norse Kenaz rune.

The Kenaz rune literally means torch. To give light to the darkness. It is the spark of divine inspiration. The warm creative fire giving rise to new hopes and ideas, burning away anything stagnant and in the way of your potential.

The Kenaz rune is the sixth rune of the Elder Futhark and is within Freya‘s aett.

Hidden within that fire is divine knowledge illuminating your path forward. If you have been unsure of which way to turn, the rune Kenaz is letting you know you are on the right path and are being divinely guided. If you don’t feel like the path you’re walking is clear or it feels like you’re going the wrong way, this rune is here to let you know things will be illuminated shortly.

Kenaz Meaning
Torch, creative spark, inner fire, illumination, knowledge, warmth, transformation, passion
Element Fire
Goddesses Freya
Other Names Cēn, Kauną, Kaunaz, Kenaz, Ken, Kennaz, Kaunan, Kauna, Kaun, Kano
Energy Feminine


What Is the Kenaz Rune’s Meaning?

When the Kenaz rune is upright, it’s similar to that of the Ace of Wands in tarot. It is the element of fire. It’s handing you the torch and saying, you have what it takes to create that which you desire. You just need to put it into action and take the leap of faith. In doing so, you will grow your self confidence.

If things have felt murky for you, trust that the road will be lit and your path illuminated. Like the Hermit walking with the lamp ahead of him, you may need to go inward and listen to your intuition to find the answers, but the answers are there. By following them, you will lead yourself out of the darkness and start to create the life you have been longing for.

If you’re a creative type or working in a creative business, know that the Kenaz rune is the rune of artists, blacksmiths, and creators, so this message is especially meant for you.

If you pulled the Kenaz rune in regards to love, expect more heat and positive energy in your relationship. And, if you’re asking an about an ex, yes, their fires are still burning for you too.

But, take a look at what runes are around it as that will indicate what its intended meaning is within your reading.

What Does the Kenaz Rune Mean If It’s Reversed?

If the Kenaz rune is reversed, you might find yourself losing your creative streak. Or, it might be that your creative projects don’t play out in the way you had hoped they would. Things in your life might seem quite bleak.

When this rune is reversed, you might find yourself struggling to feel motivated and might be feeling like your fire has gone out. It might seem like there is no where to go.

The guidance here is to first accept that the way you’re heading is not the best one for you. There is always another path. The reason you might not see it is because it is hidden in the darkness. Try to quiet your mind and find your inner calm so that your eyes can adjust to the dark and, in doing so, see the way.

What Is the Origin of the Kenaz Rune?

The Kenaz rune has an interesting etymology. It is known as Kaun in the Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems and meant “ulcer.” It is also sometimes called Kaunaz. The torch meaning comes from the Anglo-Saxon “Kenaz,” alhough it looks more like a torch in the Old Norse. In Anglo Saxon, it looks more like a “c.”

If you’re wondering we got from ulcer to torch, think of the ulcer as a burning, a fever, or discomfort. This intense, fiery feeling is uncomfortable. Using a torch to find your way through a dark cave is uncomfortable. But, either way, you need to move forward and cannot remain where you are. This rune is here to wake you up and point you in the right direction. It almost even looks like the top of an arrow.

Here are the references to Kenaz in each of the original rune poems.

Icelandic Rune Poem

Kaun er barna bölok bardaga [för]
ok holdfúa hús.
flagella konungr.

Ulcer disease fatal to children
and painful spot
and abode of mortification.



Kaun er barna bo,lvan;
bo,l gørver nán fo,lvan.

Ulcer is fatal to children;
death makes a corpse pale.



Cen byþ cwicera gehwam, cuþ on fyreblac ond beorhtlic, byrneþ oftust
ðær hi æþelingas inne restaþ.

The torch is known to every living man by its pale, bright flame;
it always burns where princes sit within.

If Everything Around Seems Dark Look Again You May Be the Light Rumi