Uncle Thor's Lessons, Anecdotes and Humor


Rune Musings: The Elk Rune’s Bad Side


The Scandinavian Elk is the same as the North American Moose. It is ideal for depicting this Rune.

Many people are of the opinion that some Runes are safe and that others are dangerous. Likewise, they believe that certain Runes are helpful while others are harmful. The reality is that all Runes have the potential to be both helpful and harmful. This is genuine spirituality. No Rune is entirely safe. All have their dangerous aspects. Some may be harder to handle than others, but all have both beneficial and detrimental aspects.

The Moose is a territorial animal the defends its domain fiercely. A female moose is equally aggressive in defending her young. No wonder the Elk Rune is a protective sigil. It is an active defense that repels harm.

By the same token, the moose can be dangerous. In Alaska, for instance, moose have been known to attack sled dogs with little provocation. Several years ago, a moose and her calf got onto a college campus. A man accidentally got too close to them. He had no idea they were just around the corner until it was too late. The female moose, thinking her calf was endangered, stomped the man with her hooves, killing him. The attack was caught on video.

One of the dangers of the Elk Rune involves its territorial nature. One can protect that which is his. A danger is being overprotective and over-aggressive. He may go so far as to find an intrusion where no such thing has happened. It is paranoia on one hand and raw aggression on the other. The combination makes for a person whose reactions are all out of proportion to the actual problem he wants to resolve. Another word for it is overkill.

Think of the person who responds to all trespassers with a round of buckshot. It does not matter to him if they are hunters or small children playing. Look at some of the disputes between neighbors. Things that could be settled by cooler heads become ongoing wars when neither side is reasonable. Every little thing is taken as both provocation and cause for retaliation.

An interesting story comes from History. Russia had bought mineral rights in Manchuria from the Chinese. In losing the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, these rights were ceded to Japan. The arrangement was an easy one. China maintained the border and the province. Japan handled the mines, railroads and other facilities it controlled. The rights were leased from China. As the Chinese and Russians were on good terms, the border region was peaceful

In 1932, the Japanese launched a coup to take over Manchuria. It is known as the infamous Mukden Incident. Japan forced the Chinese out of Manchuria. Among the many problems it caused for the Japanese, the border with Russia and Mongolia became a hot spot. Japan and Russia were not on friendly terms. To the contrary! Mongolia was Russia’s ally. With the Chinese gone, the Japanese were responsible for defending the border. Hostile border incidents almost launched the two countries in war. Neither side would compromise. There would be a hostile incident, after which diplomats would try to smooth things over. Border conflicts were commonplace and the diplomats were kept scrambling. The worst of these clashes was at Nomonhan in 1939. Though peace was restored, the aftermath affected the course of history that eventually put Japan against us in World War II.

None of this would have happened if the Chinese controlled the Manchurian border.

.The Manchurian fiasco illustrates the Elk Rune excesses on an international scale. Whether it is two nations skirmishing over a border or two neighbors squabbling irrationally, the principle is the same. Both are cases where the defense of a border leads to the offensive. Reason takes a back seat to territorial hostility.

In its normal mode, the Elk Rune is a defender and a repeller of danger. Skewed by human frailty, it can become a defense that is irrationally aggressive.


A person on the bad side of the Elk Rune is the type who responds to every affront, real or imagined. His own over-defensive nature makes him easily manipulated. He must respond to every little intrusion. A cunning adversary can keep him running like a chicken with its head cut off.


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