The Elder Futhark rune, Kenaz is the torch, a rune of knowledge, teaching and learning. Inspiration and knowledge are often associated with light, as in “enlightenment” or “shedding light on the problem.” Kenaz is the act of bringing light, a force that makes the invisible visible, uncovering truth and bringing light to the unseen. In this sense, Kenaz is a rune that represents the flame of revelation.
As well, Kenaz can also be interpreted as the flame that welcomes, the flame at the hearth, which is the fire which hallows (makes sacred) a space.
In a similar way that Laguz is the flowing energy of water that must be controlled, so does Kenaz hold the powerful energy of fire – a force which is capable of being a beacon and a destroyer – as a welcoming fire could just as easily burn out of control if one becomes complacent about its power. Kenaz is a rune of sudden, rapid insight and discovery.
Related to this meaning, the Anglo-Saxons interpreted this rune as Kaunen/Cen a rune that is not only the essence of the torch’s flame that illuminates the shadows, but a rune that symbolizes an ulcer, boil or wound. In that sense, this rune the heat of a fever, the mark of an illness that can easily lead to death, or metaphorically, the frenzy that can be brought on by sudden revelations that leads to delusion and/or madness.
Though many scholars may disagree with me, as a rune in Loki’s name, I interpret Kenaz as evoking Loki’s energetic association with fire. Kenaz is the light of knowledge, the force that illuminates the shadows, and the symbol of the welcoming hearth-fire at the center of the home.
As well, I see the relation to Loki’s energy in both the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Saxon runic forms: as the Kenaz rune echoes the energetic duality as fire as a provider and destroyer similar to the rune Laguz’s duality of water – and as Kaunen, the rune that symbolizes the boil/ulcer, the fevered mark of an illness – the fever that needs to break before one can be healed, or the damage that must be attended to, as Kaunen is both the warning and the reminder that must be heeded to avoid death/disaster.