“The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem”
This rune was Gyfu to the ancient Anglo-Saxons, it it the letter G, generosity and help for those who are in need are signified by Gebo. Gebo is also said to indicate love, perhaps in the more general sense of charity rather then the purely personal. Oxen make an appearance with Gebo because cattle were the measure of wealth amongst the early peoples of northern Europe. Another concept intimately connected with that of generosity is that of boundary markers. In other words, being overly generous can also be a bad thing. In addition, recognising one’s own boundaries is as important as knowing how much to give. In another sense, the rune is connected with innate talents, or abilities that can be taken as gifts from the gods. This is the first rune of the series not to have an inverted meaning, so its message must be taken at face value.
The giving and receiving of gifts has been important in every society. As a gesture of mutual respect and a symbol of fondness, the custom is meant to bind people together. This may be why we still mark affectionate letters with an “X” to denote a kiss, while in previous ages, when most people were illiterate, documents were signed with an “X” to signify an acceptance of contract of afreement. Bringing the aspect of relationship to the fore, Gebo signifies both the donor and the recipient of a gift. All should be well as long as there are conditions and both parties know the limits of their agreement, even if nothing material is actually given. The payment for the gift may come in the form of simple gratitude, but if that is withheld, then resentment and quarrels will be the result. The same applies to the giver: a present should be given with an open heart, otherwise the giver will feel forced into an obligation and the recipient will feel worthless.
When Gebo appears, it is certain that you will feel honour-bound to help someone out very soon. However, it is important to judge exactly how much help you should give. After all, if you are too generous, then this needy person may become overly reliant upon you; if you are not generous enough, however, you could be considered a skinflint and your reputation could suffer.
Body Part: Heart – the great crossroads of the body, of the circulatory system.
Associated Maladies: Heart disease.
Action: Doing well.
Solution: Rest, relaxation, giving one’s health more attention and nurturing.