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Upright and Reversed Nauthiz: Different Meanings & Energies

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Written by: Tina Caro

The Nauthiz rune is a powerful rune that can be useful and amazing to help us create more powerful energy around us. But how? Let’s discover all we need to know about this fascinating rune!


In runic divination, the Nauthiz (Naudhiz) rune conveys distinct meanings and energies depending on whether it appears in an upright or reversed position.

Upright Nauthiz symbolizes constraint, need, and challenges that must be faced. It signifies the recognition of limitations and the necessity to address them, offering valuable life lessons and emphasizing endurance and patience in overcoming obstacles.

Reversed Nauthiz suggests a release from constraints and challenges, signaling a sense of freedom and relief. It represents the successful resolution of difficulties and the lessons learned from past constraints, encouraging personal growth and transformation. However, it also advises caution against complacency, reminding individuals to remain prepared for future obstacles.

Interpretations of Nauthiz in a rune reading consider its orientation and the specific context, guiding individuals toward addressing challenges, embracing growth, and remaining vigilant in the face of potential difficulties.

What does the Nauthiz rune mean?

The Nauthiz rune means need, repression, and pain. This rune represents the maturation of ideas and intentions or, of birth, expectation, and destiny, which bears fruit as long as you have patience.

The Nauthiz rune is the metaphor of one who carries an uncomfortable and heavy burden. It also evokes a sense of endurance—although it is known that it is wrong—and gives the strength to accept suffering willingly, making it productive as far as possible, even if the hope that better times will come is very low. Many times, we want to achieve a goal (to be strong, or to find our way in life) and yet have the wrong idea of this goal.

Nauthiz recommends experiencing weakness to learn what it means to be strong, or “getting lost” to find out what the real path is… the rune advises you to clarify your ideas and define your desires.

Custom Nauthiz rune by MagickalSpot
My homemade Nauthiz rune.

The word Nauthiz derives from the Indo-European root ne-, from which negations such as no, nothing, nothing, and deny originate; in English, we find never, none, nothing, not: a sense of emptiness and negation that connects this rune to the need and necessity it represents, the winter that arrives, the cold and the darkness.

Before we continue

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Nauthiz is pain, the affliction that distinguishes pain that is denied, not permitted, not expressed, not manifested. It is anguish, the bewilderment in front of one’s life to which there is no meaning. Pain is felt by everyone, this is dictated by a survival instinct, but there is a pain that arises internally that tells us what is right and what is wrong for ourselves. By not listening to this voice we betray our own destiny.

Sickness and suffering are an attempt by our spirit to tell us that something in our life is not working, something that we could and should change. Hagalaz is the inevitable force that bursts into life and destroys everything, Nauthiz is human resistance, understandable rebellion against death, destiny, and the gods.

The symbol of this rune contains its deepest meaning: if there is no sacrifice there can be no salvation.

You can escape from pain with denial, repression, displacement, and escape, but we must remember that what we deny possesses us. By avoiding evil, you also avoid good; by avoiding pain, you flee from joy and from everything that we do not want to recognize as ours, both the good and the bad side.

Nauthiz is associated with the unconscious, with the dark side, with shadows and so also with those figures such as ogres, witches, demons, fairies, and adversaries who, if not listened to, knock ever louder on the doors of our soul.

Nauthiz is affliction and thinks only to flee from pain and death, but if I live in mourning, the suffering of loss, the pain will gradually vanish and progressively be reborn to new life. Pain is the price we have to pay to love life more.

This rune is ruled by the goddess Nott, goddess of the night, and the Norn Skuld; like others, it represents destiny, the extreme test, what takes energy from the past, and will bear fruit in the future. After the night, however long, cold, and dark it may be, the day always comes.


Nauthiz is a difficult rune, it indicates suffering, oppression, and the inability to act; it puts us in front of the darkness of our soul. It is a rune that indicates a really difficult test to overcome, it is a block, a stop, a moment of lack and deprivation that leads us to the essential, to austerity.

It is the darkness that follows the light, the difficulty followed by the solution, the test from which strength and will develop. The extraction of this rune tells us that what is happening in our life is a test and that we must be willing to pay the price of pain and fear to redeem our life. We must learn that the people and circumstances we perceive as enemies are our greatest teachers, and only through conflict is it possible for us to grow.

The advice is to work on yourself, be optimistic, and persevering to face with courage what could be a difficult moment.

It would be good to take care of the old accounts and sort out the things left pending. The secret is to be extremely correct and lucid in every area of life: to work with diligence and precision, to eat healthily and to do some physical exercise, and to have patience and understanding in love.

Nauthiz meaning if upright

What you want doesn’t always coincide with what you really need, and this makes you dissatisfied. It is likely that you are at a time when you are dominated by nostalgia and expectations.

MeaningNeed, constraint, necessity
EnergyFrustration, resistance, challenges
GuidanceEmbrace limitations, seek growth
SpiritualSelf-discipline, inner strength
RelationshipsOvercoming obstacles, commitment
CareerPersistence, learning from setbacks
HealthPatience, addressing health issues
Table 1: Upright Nauthiz Interpretation

Nauthiz recommends a rest period. Inner harmony will allow you to place yourself in the present, which is the only reality, so accept it and learn from it. This rune signals that if you spend your time fantasizing about the future or regretting the past, you will lose the best part of your life: the present.

Its advice is to be lucid and live in a coherent way with yourself and your possibilities. Some hopes have been frustrating or perhaps you have expectations that are not achievable.

Nauthiz meaning if reversed

Reversed Nauthiz is the great teacher disguised as a messenger of afflictions and limitations. It is said that only by reaching the peak of darkness can we begin to become aware of the light that radiates from our unconscious. When something that is part of our interior is denied, what has been so “rejected” causes destruction.

Nauthiz rune reversed by MagickalSpot
Nauthiz rune reversed

So here it becomes necessary to purify yourself; by setting out to do this, you will consolidate will and strength of character. Start with the hardest and then work your way up to the easier things. Or, on the contrary, start with the simpler ones and continue with the more difficult ones.

MeaningBlocked progress, trapped
EnergyStagnation, self-sabotage
GuidanceIdentify and address underlying issues
SpiritualBreaking free from limitations
RelationshipsConflict, unresolved issues
CareerLack of motivation, job dissatisfaction
HealthAddressing emotional blocks, seeking support
Table 2: Reversed Nauthiz Interpretation

Remember that the term “suffer” originally meant only “endure”. You may therefore be required to endure the dark moments of your journey, calling them to light. Controlling anger, suppressing impulses, keeping one’s faith solid—that’s what is at stake. Modesty and availability are essential in these situations.

Nauthiz meaning in love, work, and health

Love: you are having a difficult time with your partner, or, if you have no ties, you are about to start a relationship that will cause problems. Nauthiz advises not to make any decisions and to evaluate one’s own feelings and those of the other person.

Work: It is a time of intense work and new responsibilities, some more rewarding than others. The rune recommends applying yourself more intensely and taking charge of the tasks that are entrusted. Only in this way will you be able to choose wisely what interests you most.

Health: if you feel nervous or stressed, you will need to make sure that you have some time for yourself every day, to go for a walk, a group sport activity, or any occupation that makes you feel good and helps you “detach” from problems.

How to work with the energy of the Nauthiz rune?

The special message from Nauthiz rune to you

  • Overcoming anxiety or negativity
  • Acceptance of the graft
  • Development of the magical will, the manipulation of the wyrd
  • Understand the dynamic force of “resistance” in the creation process
  • Unlocking creative energy to solve problems
  • Protection of one’s own needs
  • Recognition of personal needs
  • Love magic; especially to find a lover
Nauthiz rune from my collection

Nauthiz rune magical uses

  • It supports the overcoming of a block and anxiety.
  • It helps one to face fears and shadows.
  • It strengthens the will and helps to accept one’s destiny.
  • It teaches one to cope with adversity with maturity and responsibility.

Nauthiz associations and correspondences

Norse RuneNauthiz
Tarot CardThe Tower
Zodiac SignCapricorn
ColorDark red, black
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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