Rune Study Group: Wunjo


Wunjo: “woon-yo” ( Joy ) (looks like the letter P)

Joy, harmony, courage, good cheer.

Maintain joy in the face of adversity, it is the principal part of courage.

Wunjo is used to battle despair and sorrow. You must picture and use joy as an actual THING.

Maintain enthusiasm despite despair and strife that appear when learning magic.
To keep this goal (of Wunjo) you must prevent pain and sorrow from taking over, in your life, you will know troubles, in order to learn how to deal with them, but you must not allow them to take over.

It is a rune of fellowship, and bonding with kin, for therein lies true joy.
Keep ideals in mind. Organize/harmonize inner-outer lives. It is used to heal rifts between people.

Courage and Cheerfulness shall equal self-confidence, providing the power with which to relate to the world.

It is a rune of healing, healing of the mind and heart. It also is the rune of scents, and will complement your use of oils and incense.

If restrained (by surrounding runes), the meaning is general success and recognition of worth.

New relationships; business success. The wind is blowing your way

As a merkstave, it indicates stultification, impractical enthusiasm, and complacency.

It may represent a person in the Social Services.


I came across a really cool way of rememberin the meaning (Joy, etc) of this Rune: It looks like a flag, waving for a celebration, or a heroe's return.. much like the 6 of Wands crowd may be waving flags for the guy on the horse....

Other than that, I cannot think of anything to add to what Umbrae wrote... And for once, we both, despite our differing accents, pronounce this Rune the same! :D



:)...I still differ!...I say Wuhn-zhyo...

I like the flag idea..had never thought of that before

THe first interpretation of this i ever came across was *Silver lining*.. as in, every cloud has one.

I think, whatever is going on, this rune reminds you that it will get better.


i don't know how reliable of a source this is, as i got the only 2 rune books available at the library..... nigel pennick in "the complete illustrated guide to the runes says that wunjo's shape represents a metal wind vane. there are still stave churches in scandinavia that use these. the wind vanes were used on viking ships and pagan temples. per pennick, "joy can be found by coming into balance with things, like the wind-vane, which moves in harmony with the prevailing currents of air".


Malachite’s pronunciation is of course flavoured by the UK accent. For those on the continent, this pronunciation should be followed. Folks living west of the Pecos should of course follow mine, which proceeded.


Umbrae said:
Malachite’s pronunciation is of course flavoured by the UK accent. For those on the continent, this pronunciation should be followed. Folks living west of the Pecos should of course follow mine, which proceeded.

LOL! I must be some sort of weirdo then! I live in the UK, but still say this Rune exactly the same as Umbrae! *Confused*

My thinking along this is that most of the J's for the Norse were pronounced as'Y', as we see in the name of the serpent Jormungand (pronouned Yormungand...) So, I just use that as a rule of thumb I guess...



and the dutch pronounciation: woenjoo
phonetic that is, using english sounds: woonyo



Wunjo analysis

The root *wunjo is the root of our Mod. Eng. word Wonder. I also suspect (the Oxford English Dictionary seems to back me up too) that the obscure Mod. Eng. word Wonne meaning a home is also derived from this root (though there is some dispute on this latter point). The OERP seems to portray a basic image of safety and security, not simply joy.

Otherwise, I have very little to add about this rune.

Dancing Bear

I've always pronounced this rune as it is spelt
Dancing Bear


How *wunjo would have been pronounced

Note that the Mod. Eng. soft "j" sound was adopted from the Middle French after the Norman conquests. This sound is not found in other Germanic languages. Nor was it even found in Latin.

The origin of the soft g/j sound (as evidenced in words like the Mod. Irish Dia, meaning God) was actually a contraction of D and I. The actual manifestation of this sound comes across differently in different languages. For example, Latin would drop the D sound so Diu-Piter becames Jupiter (prinounced YU-pih-ter).

In Germanic languages in general (English being the exception due pervasive French influence), the j is pronounced like a Y in Mod. Eng. So *wunjo would have been pronounced WOON-yoh