Perthro – Rune Meaning
“The beginning and end are set. What’s in between is yours. Nothing is in vain, all is remembered.”
Perthro – “Per-throw” – Literally: unknown – Esoteric: The Norns, Fate, Lot-Cup
Rune of fate and the unmanifest. Rune of probability and the role of luck in the evolutionary process of the all things. Universe at play.
Psi: co-incidence, living with the unknown, the art and magic of guessing, pattern recognition, prophecy
Energy: evolutionary force, luck, nothingness, the unborn, the unmanifest
Mundane: gambling, random occurrences, guessing
Divinations: Good omen, knowledge of örlög, fellowship and joy, evolutionary change; or doom*, psychological or emotional addictions, stagnation, loneliness, delusion, fantasy, unknowability.
*Doom is the way in which the uncontrolled aspects of our self conspire in our destiny. It does not necessarily mean death.
Perception of the layers of örlög and wyrd
Manipulation of cause and effect
Placing runic forces in the stream of Nornic law
Alteration of probability and dependence on luck
The creation of favorable circumstances
Chance, gambling, divination and the art of guessing
It is important to remember that the true meaning of Perthro is unknown to scholars, as it is not a recognized word, and though many have agreed that the idea of a ‘lot cup’ seems fitting, I think that this ‘unknown’ or ‘nameless’ quality is extremely significant.
A ‘lot cup’ is an ancient dice box from which ‘lots’ were cast by warriors seeking knowledge of their fate before a battle. Perthro represents orlog, a concept of the larger matrix of the universal law of cause and effect. It encompasses the fixed and unalterable law of action and reaction. Wyrd is the working out of the law of cause and effect on a personal level. It is not unalterably fixed, like orglog is. A person can move about within the web of their wyrd in accordance with their degree of conscious development (and using the rune Nauthiz).
There is a large portion of our unmanifest future that rests on an element of chance. This awareness must be incorporated into the lore of Perthro and divination is a way to discern the parameters of that element of chance. Divination through casting of lots using dice or runes provides conscious indicators of unconscious ‘lay’ or pattern of cause and effect as it pertains to any specific future happening.
Of all the runes, this one is the most mysterious, perhaps next to Eihwaz before it, because Perthro deals with the mysteries within the runes themselves and the birth of the universe. On one hand this allows you to intuit original knowledge about the runes that may have been suppressed, destroyed or incompletely passed on over the centuries. On the other hand, the ‘how to’ techniques are less defined than with other runes, for we are dealing with fundamental mysteries of the universe. Orlog plays out as the consequences of the cosmic and primal laws themselves unfold from beginning of the universe until the end. All patterns are interdependent and interwoven, throughout all existence.
The proper relationship between Perthro and Nauthiz is that Perthro allows you to become aware of the hidden and relatively fixed workings of the deep law of cause and effect, which in turn give us the ability to see into the unmanifest and peer into the unknown. This is wyrd, and lay within our influence if we have knowledge of how our personal fate can be manipulated. Nauthiz helps you get around the workings of orlog, using the forces of resistance to change direction of the flow of wyrd. Together, these two runes govern the magic of ‘the Wyrding Way’.
All the records of all events are stored here, so Perthro’s power helps the recollection of knowledge that is hidden within the collective unconscious of humankind, especially human lore lost over the course of the centuries. The same process is responsible for prophecy. Perthro will assist the birthing of a great idea into your environment by raising awareness of the forces arrayed against its manifestation. Co-incidence and deja vu play an enormous role in the recognition of the fundamentals of this rune.
Other topics: quantum probability, Akashic records.
For more in-depth exploration, read Perthro – Rune Meaning Analysis.
Perthro – Rune Meaning Analysis
The meaning of the word ‘PERTHRO‘ is unknown to the scholars, as it seems to have no other origin outside the runes. Rather than suppose that the word is lost, I treat this as intentional, as I must with all the names and their positions in the Aetts. Therefore, the reason that Perthro is unknown is because of all the runes it represents the unknown: Fate, the unmanifest, the unknowable and the nature of chance. Together all of these suggests Wyrd (the manipulation of chance and fate).
A Note on Using the ‘Blank Rune’
The rune meaning of Perthro includes Wyrd, Fate, the mysteries of the unknown and unknowable. Most agree that it represents a ‘lot-cup’. It is the rune of the runes. Because this is so, we can immediately see why a ‘blank rune’ is an unnecessary addition to the 24 elder futhark runes. Typically, the ‘blank rune’ represents exactly those things that can be discovered and explored through Perthro — adding a blank rune into the strictly ordered futhark is at best redundant, and at worst a confusing impediment to genuine understanding (at least in the context of the system described by Rune Secrets.)
The Power of Guessing
Though on the scale of everyday life we tend not to think about it, we live in a multiverse of unknowns and unknowables. We live by certain axioms — we can depend on gravity, on sunlight, that we are in a primarily physical world. Often, we possess unexamined, if pragmatic assumptions. In the end, these are simply our best guesses. Perthro is the ‘guessing’ rune, something we constantly do, but that is a remarkable ability, in both psychological and magical contexts.
Guessing is an unbelievably extensive component of our interactions with the universe. The cosmos forces us to make such guesses constantly: we cannot ever stop guessing, barring a perfectly silent mind or perfect enlightenment. The mystery perpetuates itself! Science has never come close to running out of questions — there will always be more questions than answers, in any form of knowledge.
A guess, especially an unexamined one, is really a bid for certainty in a chaotic world. Perthro is the rune of questions, doubt and guessing, so it makes sense that it was inscribed on ‘lot-cups’ and used for luck in gambling and other games of chance and/or strategy.
The Game of Life
The ‘guessing game’ that this playful universe invites us to celebrate is infinitely complex, spontaneous and beautiful — the stakes can sometimes be high, but for better or for worse, Perthro frames the makeup of the universe as uncompromisingly playful. Remember that the second Aett is composed of Orlog: the elements of reality that are inimical to human life, that continue on despite our wishes and designs. The universe is unapologetically playful even when we do not feel like playing.
The biggest game, with the highest stakes, is our life and death. This is where the idea of Fate comes into play. Fate is a tricky subject — it is a word often used but perhaps mostly misunderstood. It represents the things and events chosen for us, instead of by us. Examples include parents, date of birth, birthplace and all the initial conditions of our lives. Fate represents the patterns of your thought and behavior which attract people, events and environments into your life. It is the unchangeable, or unchallenged factors that someday will lead to your death. The idea of ‘doom’ is when fate has become like a curse.
Fate and Wyrd
Fate is governed by the Norns, who must be negotiated with if things are to change. Wyrd, or the ‘Wyrding Way’, is the magic we all possess (and often unknowingly use) that we can learn to use in order to change or guide our fate, where necessary, or alternatively discover it and work with our Fates instead of against them. One such application is discovering certainty over your purpose in life, and how you can transform your patterns, to align yourself to that purpose. This is perhaps the highest function of Wyrd: the removal of fetters which hold us to our negative patterns and the perfection of our positive patterns so that we can accomplish, in this lifetime, what we are meant to do, what we chose to come to this world for. Part of the game is that we have to guess and gamble, taking risks even with these highest of stakes.
Fate is the study and manipulation of consequences. There are innumerable factors within our lives, both conscious and unconscious, within ourselves or our environment, which we may or may not have any awareness of. These causes (and effects, which then in turn became causes) form our patterns, our ‘primal cause’. The laws of cause and effect play themselves out and lead us into our future selves. Whatever control and awareness we can gain over these consequences, that extend we can guide our fates, use Wyrd, or work with the unchangeable rather than toiling in futility against it. This magical working is at the core of Wyrd, and it allows us to shape our destinies and often the destinies of those who depend on us in some way.
Perthro in Divination
Much is hidden and unmovable. Perthro can represent the void from which all things manifest, itself being the unmanifest, the unknowable in the sense that it is yet to exist. If it once existed, it may be accessed through our collective unconscious with LAGUZ, or our memories via MANNAZ.) In a rune lay, Perthro will often mean just that. The runes sometimes say: “Your guess is as good as mine.”