Wednesday, November 3, 2010



Alternative Names
Gyfu; Giba; Gyfu; Gipt; Gifu; Geofu.

Key phrase
‘To tread a spiritual path
 you must be both a giver and a receiver.’

Gift, an offering, love, balance, hospitality.

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning

Partnership. A gift. Offerings from the gods.

Divinatory Meaning
A spiritual gift. To promote harmony and bring about union.


Tarot Equivalent
The Lovers  -  6  -  VI

Corresponding Letter

Associated Colour

Associated Herb

Associated Gemstone

Associated Tree
Ash / Elm

Associated Myths and Deities
Sigurd and Brunhild; Aesir and Vanir Treaty.

Manifestation Uses
To bring luck and good fortune. To bring about change, or effect a transformation.

Relationship Interpretation
To find or strengthen a relationship; for fertility. It can be a symbol of a sexual relationship or the product of that relationship. Give and take and compromise.

Healing Colour and Qualities
To cool and ease headaches. To relieve stress and tension.  To calm the body and mind. Brings balance. Transforms sexual energy into healing energies.

Gebo is an excellent talisman to strengthen a relationship and to bring luck and fertility.

Gebo Drawn Upright
Balance, a gift, exchanged gifts, an offering, love, friendship, partnership, generosity, giving and receiving, good luck, unexpected good fortune, hospitality, exchange, contracts, generosity, a sacred mark, dedication to the gods, talent and ability, joining together, love relations, bountiful abundance.

GEBO is the ‘wisdom of an action’.

Gebo is the seventh rune of eight, of the first aett. It is the rune of communication, and partnership and unions of all kinds. The Gebo rune also indicates giving and receiving and putting wisdom into action in order to reap rewards.

In Norse mythology, Odin received the runes after his labour and sacrifice. He then passed that knowledge and wisdom on to the world. In comparison, the planting of a seed will grow to be harvested and through this process you are able to feed yourself and others. Alternatively, the harvest can be sold to receive money in return. The planting of the seed is the labour;  the eating of the produce is the reaping of the rewards. We receive the product of our doing.

Generosity is a word that is often associated with Gebo, which relates to all kinds of exchanges including contracts, love, marriage and sexual congress. Gebo promises balance and equality.

Gebo is a rune of connection, particularly those between people. This rune represents places where our paths intersect with others and gives us the opportunity to form relationships. Such relationships are strengthened and sanctified by the exchange of gifts, both tangible and intangible.

The giving of gifts has been used as a symbol of an oath or bond since ancient times. For example, in years gone by, when a lord wanted to ensure the loyalty of one of his subjects, he would give that person a gift. The gift would create a debt on the part of the person receiving it, and this debt would ensure his readiness to serve his lord. 

Similarly, a gift given between lovers, especially that of rings, symbolises the bond between them. Gifts or offerings given to the ‘Gods’ often carries the same meaning, representing the giver’s love and loyalty to their God. The giving of gifts implies the acceptance of a debt with the understanding that the debt is not to be repaid, as such. It is this which forms the bond.

The root concept of the Gebo rune is not the gift, or the giving of the gift, but the fruits of the giving. The giving of gifts also allows one to receive them. By giving a gift of significance, you are also giving the gift of receiving to the recipient. If you give a gift from the heart, the recipient is given the opportunity to learn to receive graciously. It is the joining of the giver and the one who receives. Therefore, the giving of gifts is two-fold in its rewards.

Drawing the Gebo rune indicates a time of hospitality, generosity and giving. It is a time for celebrations and unions, marriages and get-togethers.

Drawing this rune may indicate a need for you to look within and find where your true heart lies in regards to those near and dear. It may be a time to express your heartfelt emotions to those who you value in your present life and express those feelings to them.

Drawing Gebo could be showing you that there is a need to learn what to give and who to give to. It is not appropriate to give to everyone indiscriminately. There are those who do not wish to receive, so giving to them is a waste of energy and an abuse of your own gifts. Weighing up your true emotions will help to find inner-balance.

Gebo appearing in a reading may indicate that a gift is coming to you. This gift may present you with opportunities and choices. You can either accept or reject them. If you choose to accept, you must be prepared to give in return.  Everything has its price, but with spiritual gifts, the cost is always worth it in the end.

Gebo is telling you to reassess where your truths lie, what your beliefs are and informing you that you need to take stock of your life. People, places and objects may not fit into your current lifestyle. Take stock of what you have, what you need and require, then shed what you no longer need.

This is your opportunity to de-clutter your life. It is also an opportunity for you to give the gift of charity by giving your unwanted goods to those less fortunate. In doing so, you will reap the rewards of the soul.

Gebo Drawn Reversed (Merkstave)
Greed, loneliness, dependence, sacrifice, over-sacrifice, obligation, toll, privation, bribery.

Gebo cannot be reversed as such, but may lay in opposition. This may indicate a loneliness or obligation. You may feel over-extended or that you have over-sacrificed yourself. You may feel used or abused by others.

Gebo merkstave will cast its shadow, causing spiritual and emotional emptiness.


Joanne Walmsley


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