Today’s rune from the Elder Futhark is Kaun or Kenaz (sound value: K).
In Old Norse, the word ‘kaun’ means boil. I’ve also seen it translated to ulcer, or sore. In modern Icelandic it translates to carbuncle as well as boil. The Norse and Icelandic rune poems use the word in the meaning of a boil. Only the Anglo-Saxon uses the word torch for this rune.
Disease, infection, inflammation, infected or poisonous relationships, self-harm.
Back in those days when the runes were created, I imagine a boil was a more serious problem than it is today. Back then, they probably only had red hot needles, salt and fire. So the cure must have been just as painful as the boil itself.
I don’t have any reliable sources that those were the (only) methods used to get rid of a boil. That’s just what I picked out of my own head.
Today a boil might be lanced or cut open, rinsed with disinfectant and kept open to heal from the inside. Even in modern times, boils are nasty. But dying from one is far less likely today.
Merkstave: The cure of the same disease. The red hot needle which pierces the boil. Or maybe getting out of a bad relationship.
What’s your take on this rune? Leave me a comment below.
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