Reading the Runes: Wunjo

(pronunciation: woon-yo / transliteration: w)

Wunjo translates as joy or bliss, and while it only survives for us in the Anglo Saxon rune poem, it’s meaning is echoed there:

WunjoWho uses it knows no pain,
sorrow nor anxiety, and he himself has
prosperity and bliss, and also enough shelter.

Esoterically speaking it addresses themes of success, joy, bliss, recognition for good works, friendship, like-minded community, harmony, fulfillment, contentment, hope, optimism, well-being, and shared ideals.

Wunjo is the final rune of Freyja’s Aett and can be taken to represent the end, or beginning, of a cycle. It is filled with that which we love, and that which can motivate us. Our hard work so far as paid off. To get a little mushier than is my norm (my somewhat pessimistic nature can scoff at this rune on occasion) teaching hate can never lead to peace. Only love can heal the divides that hate has allowed to fester in this world.

Wunjo can lead us to realize that which we are striving for, but it also echoes ideas of community and strengthening bonds on fellowship and friendship. I drew this rune a few months ago and it helped remind and redirect me to my desire of fostering a stronger spiritual community where I live. It unfortunately seems so easy in our present era to become divided rather than embrace each other, but Wunjo helped me begin to bridge that gap and start to reach out to people who I found, surprisingly to me, often shared similar spiritual goals to mine. It is a rune of like-minded ideals.

WunjoSorrow and pessimism can be tremendous obstacles in these times, Wunjo can remind us of good times and the importance of following our bliss. It can invite harmonious energy into our interactions with families and communities and lead to stronger and more authentic communication pathways opening before us. Some of the greatest differences we can make are in our local communities, and this energy can spread to others doing similar work. Causes that start locally can changes tides globally.

That said, Wunjo can also be a major stalling point for some, as it presents little challenge in the way of confrontation. Bliss is a seductive place of little planning and pure enjoyment and idealistic behavior. We are about to step into the hail of Heimdall’s Aett though, and this is a welcome and needed pause to reflect, and resting place in our runic journey.

In bindrunes, Wunjo can be combined with Gebo to make a simple but effective invitation to joy and the gifts following our bliss brings to the spirit. Wunjo can lend itself to a rune combination focused on wanting success in a task or endeavor, as well as alleviating the stresses of pessimism.


I had a bit of a struggle coming up with photo ideas for this rune, but my daughter told me “just take pictures of what makes you happy!” Sometimes we need people to tell us the simplest things! So she is holding the rune in the top photo, then I have my roving for spinning in another, and Wunjo in my garden too. Planting a garden to me is the surest sign of hope in a future.

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