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Also known as: Madr, Madir, Mann
Letter sound: M
Translation: man, mankind, human
Keywords: humanity, the self, support, assistance, intelligence, family
Magical Uses: Help or cooperation from others, increase mental agility, improve memory, promote harmonious relationships, success in legal and academic issues
Mannaz is the rune of humankind, and symbolizes the characteristics that set humans apart from the rest of the Earth’s living creatures: the ability to create for the sake of creativity itself, to develop and contribute to culture, to read and write, etc. This rune reminds us that we are part of a shared experience among all humans, no matter our specific language, physical appearance, or beliefs. At the same time, Mannaz represents the self, with particular emphasis on one’s inner being. Often, this rune is pointing to some aspect of tension in the relationship between your inner self and your perceived place in the outer world. You may be feeling at odds with the attitudes and expectations of society. If this is the case, be sure you are listening to your intuition—rather than your ego—to determine the best course of action. Mannaz reminds you to maintain self-awareness, checking in with yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually as you choose how to respond to your circumstances. In addition to emphasizing the inner self, Mannaz also symbolizes assistance from others. Its shape evokes a sense of mutual support, as in two individuals coming together to stabilize each other, creating a stronger structure as a result. You may be on the receiving end of assistance from someone else, or asked to lend support to a common cause. Be sure to remain open to help from others at this time, and willing to lend a hand where needed. Independence and self-reliance are important attributes, but ultimately, humans need each other in order to reach their full potential. In the reversed position, Mannaz can be pointing to isolation, low self-esteem, and/or self-preoccupation. You may be out of alignment with your inner self, and needing some “down time” away from others in order to tune back in. Or you might be feeling like an “outcast” over a particular social conflict. Take some time to honestly examine the role you’ve played in the issue, and prepare to make any necessary amends once the situation cools a bit. Mannaz reversed may also indicate that you are not likely to receive assistance from anyone else just now, or are even experiencing interference from others regarding a goal you’re working toward. If so, self-reliance and unconventional approaches are useful at this time. Depending on its position in the reading, Mannaz may represent the querent. If this is the case, the runes closest to Mannaz have the strongest direct influence on the querent.
In connection with the theme of “humanity,” Mannaz also symbolizes human intelligence and creativity. It is considered a hugrune, or a rune of the mind, and indicates success in matters related to language, law, and academic studies. Reversed in this context, Mannaz is warning you that you are missing some crucial element of common sense in your approach to the issue at hand. Mannaz can also refer to family matters, and may indicate that you are concerned about someone close to you—either blood family or chosen family. In this context, Mannaz reversed advises you to take some time away from the problem and focus on keeping yourself balanced and healthy. After all, you can’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. Recharge your emotional batteries so that you will be available to assist when and if the time is right.