Gebo Rune Meaning

Gebo Rune Meaning

Gebo Rune Meaning

Gebo Rune Meaning

Pronounced: “GHEB-oh”

 The Gebo Rune is also Known as Gyfu, Gibo

The Gebo rune is the rune of gift giving. It can signify generosity and hospitality. Gebo is also a rune of sacrifice. In the most ancient times gifts were given in exchange for loyalty and service. Gebo is also another rune of Odin as it expresses his role as the Gift-Giver. In the changes made to the fabric of reality in our epoch we know him now as Santa Claus.

The winter solstice, also known as Yule, was a time when Odin led a hunting party, known as the Wild Hunt, in the sky with an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. It was the blood of this hunt that paints his robe red, as well as the snows of the Northern lands that embellish his outfit. It was said that as Odin passed by he would gifts in the boots of those who were underneath. In other traditions it was clear Odin (or Santa) had the role of rewarding good children, but punishing the bad ones as well.

While gift giving was an essential part of the culture of our ancestors (a tradition that still certainly survives today), there was a point in which too much generosity was considered foolish. Gebo is a rune of balance as it is represented by two equally intersecting lines. Without balance, and without exchange giving would be an unfair notion.

Gebo is perhaps one of the runes which has the most obvious expressions in modern times. Let us consider when we say X-mas, the X is unconsciously representative of this rune. It is a vestige of the past that I described above. In the Havamal, the Cosmic Law of Compensation is written as ‘Better not to over-pledge as a gift demands a gift’, and ‘No man is so generous he will jib at accepting a gift in return for a gift’. It goes on to state that even pain must be repaid. This divine understanding of “justice” is representative of this rune and highly characteristic of our old tradition.

The exchange of gifts, whether physical or otherwise, is a highly meaningful act, as is the idea of trade. It is associated with magical rings, which give kings the ability to share powers with their followers, as is expected of leaders. The need for exchanged energies and powers to remain equal in amounts is at the heart of the rune Gebo. In the Havamal it also says ‘A man should be loyal through life to friends, and return gift for gift; Laugh when they laugh, but with lies repay a flase foe who lies.’ Though this might conflict with the New Age morality, it was the ancient way of expressing ‘what goes around, comes around’.

Gebo Rune Poem


Gift is for every man
a pride and praise,
help and worthiness;
of every homeless adventurer,
it is estate and substance
for those who have nothing else.

Old Norse

Not available for the Gebo Rune.
Icelandic Rune Poem

Not available for the Gebo Rune.

Gebo Rune Meaning for Divination and Casting

Gebo Rune

Gift – Exchange,  gift, generosity, oath, binding, contract, sacrifice


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