Runes – GEBO
Pronunciation: “gay-boe” or “yee-boe”
DIVINATORY MEANINGS: Gifts, both in the sense of sacrifice and of generosity, indicating balance. All matters in relation to exchanges, including contracts, personal relationships and partnerships. Gift, offering, relationship, love, marriage, partnership, generosity, unexpected good fortune
MAGICAL USES: to find or strengthen a relationship, for fertility, to mark a gift or offering, to bring luck
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES: Sigurd & Brunhild; Aesir & Vanir treaty
ANALYSIS: Gebo is a rune of connection, particularly the connections between people. Up until now, our journey has been a solitary one. This rune represents those places where our path intersects with others, and allows us to begin to form conscious relationships. Such relationships are strengthened and sanctified by the exchange of gifts.
The use of the gift as a symbol of an oath or a bond is an ancient one. When a lord wanted to ensure the loyalty of one of his subjects, he would give that person a gift. The gift would create a debt on the part of the person receiving it, and this debt would ensure his readiness to serve his lord. Similarly, a gift given between lovers, especially that of the ring, symbolizes the bond between them. Originally, only the man gave the ring in a marriage for much the same reason as the lord giving gifts to his vassals, but today the arrangement is usually more equitable. Gifts or offerings given to the Gods often carry the same meaning, representing the giver’s love for or loyalty to their Gods. The giving of a gift implies the acceptance of a debt with the understanding that the debt will not be repaid. It is this imbalance which forms the bond.