Ingwaz. Inguz. Ing, Yngvi, Frey, Freyr. He is a god known by multiple names, and even as other faces such as Cernunnos in Celtic mythos. He is the fertility god, the divine masculine in the form of grounded earth energy. He brings seed and causes seeds to sprout and burst forth with their magick from dark soils. This is applied not just to physical plants but is a potent magical rune that allows ideas and plans that have been brewing dormant to now germinate. Use of this rune can help bring ideas into reality and thus has very practical applications in one’s work life, as well as being useful for creative people to actualizing their visions. This rune can signify that now is a good time to go for that thing that you have been wanting and waiting to do.
Ingwaz is a potent magical rune that allows ideas and plans that have been brewing dormant to now germinate
Freyr is the twin of the beloved goddess Freya, and was also very beloved himself by the Aesir. Both Freyr and Freya are Vanir gods and fertility deities that came to the Aesir as a peace pact between the two worlds of gods. They were both gifted many wondrous magical artifacts, such as Freyr’s ship Skíðblaðnir that can be folded into a small bag and always finds favourable winds. Where Freya is also a war goddess, masculine Freyr appears more docile, again highlighting the power female warriors had in Germanic cultures with men being more of a strong grounding force. Freyr, in fact, even gives up his flaming sword for his love of the beautiful Jotun maiden Gerd. He has a throne in Alfheim, where he is waited upon by the light elves. He rides his golden boar Gullinborsti, which was created by the gnomes of Svartalfheim, across the skies, giving sunlight and rain.
Freyr arguably has a close connection to more realms of Yggdrasil than any other god or goddess except Odin himself. Freyr roams the upper and middle realms of Asgard, Vanaheim, Jotunheim, Alfheim, Svartalfheim and Midgard, with only the nether realms of Muspelheim, Niflheim and Hel excluded from his wanderings. This makes sense, as fertility was needed for life on the upper six worlds, but the realms of the dead and ice and fire had no need for his life giving blessings. Indeed he is slain at Ragnarok by the fire giant Surtr, which might be a myth relating to a natural disaster such as a forest fire or volcanic eruption that destroyed crops.
I once read somewhere that it was Freyr’s ejaculate that brought the sown seeds to life, and he was widely worshipped for his blessing upon the crops. Freyr is usually depicted with an erect phallus. Sperm and the seed are synonymous with one another, and Ingwaz is the most important rune for fertility. It can be inscribed on the pots of plants to aide in their growth, carved on a tree in a forest for restoration or drawn on humans or animals for the act of procreation.
Sperm and the seed are synonymous with one another, and Ingwaz is the most important rune for fertility
Ingwaz is something of a small climax. It is the beginning, but it is also the end. Most seedlings do not survive, as most sperm do not find their mark. It is an act of magick that fertilization happens, or that the tiny seedling ever makes it to being a tree. Similarly, most ideas we have, most magical intentions, never end up coming into maturity. The bursting of the two tiny leaves or a new idea can be a beginning but it might also the climax if it wilts prematurely. Ingwaz is therefore the rune of potential, but it also marks an ending.
The ending and beginning is where our hero finds himself in Ingwaz. The next rune, Dagaz, will mark the transition and Othala will be the settling in and returning to home after a long journey. Ingwaz is therefore the climax and the not quite end of our hero’s journey. Since his rebirth, he has found partnership, a place in society, and healing in Laguz. That vitality from Laguz now bursts with potential, as time back with humanity has given him ideas and he sees the life he wants to create for himself and his partner. Ingwaz may represent him impregnating his partner (or if you choose to view the hero as female, she becomes impregnated by her partner), and the next two runes are the transition from bachelor life and now settling down to build family.
The seed is the shape of Ingwaz. There are two forms of Ingwaz, the first is just the seed, the second is the seed that has sprouted tiny roots and leaves. I have a preference for the second because the seed is no longer dormant, it has begun its growth and things are in motion. If you want to focus on dormant potential energies the more simple form will work better for your intention. One should note that Ingwaz might have little roots and branches but unlike Algiz, there is no central trunk, no strength to give this rune backbone. The little seed has only dreams of becoming the mighty oak.
It is good practice to differentiate the Ingwaz sound from the ‘n’ sound by vibrating –ng and n separately. You will find the –ng sound vibrates at a higher frequency, like the noise when your ears ring. N on the other hand is a much lower frequency. The high pitched –ng sound is said to be from other realms and you might find your ears ringing when you tune into particular energies.
There is no merkstave version of Ingwaz. This rune is perfect in its shape, there is no downside to potential energy. One could say infertility would be the opposite of fertility, but again I do not see merkstave as being a ‘lack of’ meaning.