Kenaz means the torch. The forge fire. The spark off of Thor’s anvil. This rune at its most basic speaks of the inner spark of creativity. The drive to make and create, to forge something into something else. Where Thurisaz was the destructive Mars force, we see this channeled into positive creative energy in Kenaz.
This rune is as much about the small, fleeting momentary spark of inspiration as it is about repetition and mastery of skill, temperance if you will. The more you hone the skill, the more you make yourself work towards something every day, the easier it will be to find that creative spark and will to be the maker of something. Sometimes it isn’t there, which is the merkstave representation of Kenaz, and that is okay too (fiery energy is about high highs and low lows), but part of mastery is riding those waves as well and learning to control them and use them to your advantage. But it begins with the spark, and one should always find an outlet when the drive and desire are there to create. If you have received a merkstave Kenaz in your reading, you may not be feeling the most creative but this rune is telling you to not give up.
If we continue the story of our hero, they journeyed forth in Raidho, with tool and purpose, and in Kenaz they are now putting it into use. The hammer we found in Thurisaz is now being used to forge and create, after having slain the giants that were causing us pain.
As most creative folks know, inspiration often comes through channels outside of oneself, you have to leave your comfort zone to find new ground and truly become a master of what it is you do. And in doing so, you will also inspire others! See the next few runes for how this plays out, but think now on the torch meaning. By being the light, doing your best and shining your brightest, you are able to light the way for others.
By creating, we spark ourselves and become the torch that inspires others.
The spark is also a sexual innuendo. It’s that initial hot phase, the feel of the flare in your loins, the drive to please and create passion. This can also be channeled many ways, but the basis is that this rune can be used to help create that initial spark, it is then up to you to create a foundation or a hearth to keep that flame burning if you so wish.
Alchemy is also an important concept here. It relates to the change of the metal being hammered into a sword in this case, matter can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed. But it also speaks to the inner changes happening also, the transformation, regeneration and sacrifice that happens in the pursuit of mastery. This rune carries with it the fiery energy of the phoenix or the dragon, both mythical beasts of transformation.
Last but not least, there is a healing aspect to Kenaz. Think of art therapy and the regenerative effects that creation can have. It truly can be like a healing flame, to allow folks to release and temper those inner demons into something that is actually thriving and beautiful.