Meaning: Lake, Leek
Supporting Meanings: Ocean, water, ebb, flow, Goddess, life, death, beyond control
Ancient Meanings: According to Diana Paxson, the meaning of the rune is essentially water–a lake or a river, given as Logr in Old Norse and Lagu in Old English, but there is an associated ‘pun’ meaning of Laukaz, or the leek, from the Old Germalic word for lake, Laguz. In the Anglo-Saxon poem, this rune is the wild ocean the Anglos and Saxsons ventured to reach Britain. It is as seen that seems unending to all those who venture upon ships, and its waves shall terrify them for they will be so strong that the ships cannot be controlled. The Icelandic poem is more moderated, and water there is simply “a swelling stream, a geyser, and land of the fish.” The Norwegian verses say that water is where a waterfall cascades from a mountain face and ends with the enigmatic phrase “but ornaments are made of gold.” That may refer to the practice of hiding hoards of treasure behind waterfalls
Modern Meanings: Edred Thorsson says that laguz represents the basic energy and secret source of organic life: primal potential, initiation into life, and passage across the waters through death. Osborn and Longland state that water is a powerful, unpredicatble, and dangerous element that cannot be governed by human agencies, a ship out of control. Gundarsson takes a more naturalistic approach. For him, laguz signifies the primal water, an ambivalent element that brings either prosperity or destruction; life-giving flowing water is contrasted with stagnant, poisonous water. As the leek, it is a protection against danger, especially that which comes through drink. It is a transition between life and death. Freya Aswynn feels laguz is a feminine rune and connected with sorcery, perhaps that which is boiled in a cauldron. Willis sees laguz as a woman, feminine energy, the moon cycle, amniotic fluid, etc. Peterson, however, focuses on the leek as a phallic symbol and holds laguz as symbolic of the male principle. Paxon seems to agree more with Aswynn, noting that all the waters of the planet can be interpreted as the blood of the goddess for the earth is her body.
My Take-Away of the Meanings: Water is a double-edged sword. It is necessary for life, but it can also dramatically sweep it all away.
Paxson’s Interpretation and Use: Laguz may indicate a woman or feminine influence in divination, or a new life or creativity welling up from the depths of the unconscious. Willis says it governs the powers of conception and birth. Matters pertaining to the psychic or the unconscious, contact with the spiritual ream, or the realm of the imagination. It can indicate a need to go with the flow, or promise that sympathetic help is coming. The leek, as a healing herb, can be used for protections and aid intuition. Laguz is a useful rune in spellcraft, for it has a powerful effect on the female reproductive cycle (and menses in particular). Drawing it emerging from an upended perthro on the womb can help relieve menstrual cramps and get the flow started, or it can stimulate contractions in child birth. Combining it with fehu and applying it to both partners can aid in conception. Drawing it on the brow while intoning it can remove writer’s block, and its power is increased in conjunction with uruz. In fact, combining it with uruz and thurisaz can influence rain magic.
Paxson’s Practice for Living Laguz: Studying laguz provides a good opportunity to examine your relationship with the element of water. If it rains, go for a walk without an umbrella. Spend time near a lake or pond or by the sea. Visit an aquarium, investigate the watershed from which your water comes. Drink at least one glass of water each day, and as you do, sign it with the laguz rune and spend a few moments thinking about its source. This is also an excellent time to explore the craft of brewing and to make herbal teas and infusions. Chant appropriate runes over the pot as it bubbles.