Ansuz. The phoenetic “ah” sound of the Elder Futhark, pronounced as the “a” in answer, amaze and above.
Ansuz means answer. Words, communication, language, music and divine messages all give a gentle and brief summary of this rune. It is an airy and fleeting rune, that is a little less tangible than the previous runes and can be hard to grasp. This rune represents the question, and simultaneously the answer.
Ansuz represents the question and, simultaneously, the answer.
Our nameless hero found his tool in Thurisaz, but in Ansuz he finds his purpose. He looks to the sky, asks the gods for an answer and in return is given his reason. The man who chose the sword becomes a warrior, the man with a harpoon becomes a fisherman, the man with a hammer a blacksmith. They now understand not just how to use the tool but WHY.
The image is of the windswept cloak of Odin, the all father. It is to Odin to whom not only the Norse but their pantheon of the Aesir turned to for answers. He sacrificed his right eye to gain knowledge at Mimir’s well, hung upside down for nine days and nine nights after sacrificing himself on his spear to to gain the knowledge of the runes, and learned the ancient earth magic of seidr from Freya. He is not just a master warrior in Valhalla, training warriors for Ragnarok, but also a wise wizard.
Odin often appears to man as a wanderer with a walking stick, humbling himself as he walks among us, learning of us, telling tales and asking questions in a quest to gain knowledge. There is a link to Odin’s wandering nature and the high importance that the Norse placed on hospitality, particularly to travelling strangers.
Above him fly Hugin and Munin, representing thought and memory/mind, respectively. They would fly out daily and bring Odin back knowledge of what happens on Midgaard and thus ravens were also highly revered. In the Poetic Edda it is stated that Odin fears they may not return, that he fears for Hugin but more for Munin, reflective of the importance of keeping oneself even if thought is lost.