THE ELDER FUTHARK
 
The sixth Rune of the First Ætt of the Elder Futhark
(for more information on the First Ætt per se, go to
http://runesecrets.net/profiles/blogs/first-eight)

This is an installment in a series covering each and every Rune of the Elder Futhark. In this series, instead of giving the esoteric meaning of the Rune by citing the Rune poems written in Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian and Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English), or any modern commentary, the etymology of the Rune name is presented.


                   K
               K    
          K
     K
K
     K
          K
              K
                   K


1:6 KENAZ

Pronunciation: “kay-nahz” with “ay” as in “day” and the stress on first syllable “kay.”

This is the first sound of the Elder Futhark to consist of a complete closure of the vocal tract. The preceding sounds all had some sort of lengthened continuity - whether as white noise (FEHU and THURISAZ); as the ongoing open-mouthed vocal cord vibrations of vowels (ŪRUZ and ANSUZ); or as resonating air streaming past the trilling tip of the tongue (RAIDHO). KENAZ is a temporary lock-up of the back of the tongue against the throat (i.e, the velum - a.k.a, soft palate). This current (see FEHU) of sound begun with FEHU, and carried through to RAIDHO, has now come to a focal point in KENAZ. This is symbolic of what KENAZ means, “torch.” For, if we consider FFFEHU fffire that has spread up to RAIDHO, then RAIDHO itself is the traveling of this raw fire into a holdable torch.

Writing: The KENAZ stave stands for the phoneme /k/ as in “kindle.” You may use the KENAZ stave to write a word with the /k/ sound in it.

Etymology: KENAZ (torch) is related to English kindling, kindle (in the sense of starting a fire, not of a rabbit giving birth); and to Old Norse kindill “candle, torch.” The sense of “kindle” as in giving birth is based on a different root, which goes back to Proto-Indo-European g-n-, and is NOT related to KENAZ, which goes back to Indo-European gjēi-.


    REFERENCES:

        www.etymonline.com
        New Oxford American Dictionary
        Indo-European Lexicon: Runic Reflex Index
            (www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/ielex/X/Run.html)

Proto-Indo-European g-n- became k-n- in Proto-Germanic, and thus the word KEN(AZ) sounds like (but only sounds like) it comes from this Proto-Germanic root k-n-. In this way there is an esoterically/psychologically significant pun to play here by citing the etymology for Germanic root k-n-. One must wonder if the makers of the Elder Futhark had this pun in mind! Perhaps we are MEANT to interpret KENAZ in this way. The root meaning was perhaps “familiarity”: English know, can (as the verb), kenning; German können (to be able to), kennen (to know how to; to be familiar with)… Noun forms of this root are kin (someone you know), kind (a type), kindred, and German Kind (child - which is part of one’s kin). The list goes on and on, throughout both English and German, and indeed throughout the Germanic languages! Please feel free to delve into etymological dictionaries for yourself!

Proto-Germanic k-n goes back to the Indo-European proto-form g-n, from which we get such forms via Greek popping up in English as Gen(esis), gno(sis), gen(us), gen(etics), (dia)gno(sis). The Buddhist word for wisdom and understanding, Prajna contains the Sanskrit form, jna. Indeed, it is not only throughout all the Germanic languages that the list of descendants goes on, but throughout all the Indo-European languages - from India to Ireland!

The k-n-/g-n- root of “knowing, familiarity, ability” encompasses a wide and significant semantic domain worthy of runework. Creatively connecting this domain with that of KEN(AZ) “torch” indeed sheds light on the former. Puns are useful.

        REFERENCES:    
        Kluge’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch (23rd Edition)
        New Oxford American Dictionary


...Now, NOTICE the entire semantic domain covered by KENAZ through time. Let this be the MYSTICAL MEANING of KENAZ. Study it and ABSORB it.


AUTHOR: Francis Tokarski
www.linguexperience.com
www.runesecrets.net
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