PERTHRO, PERDHRO or perþ : vulva|
DIVINATORY MEANINGS: rebirth, mystery, magic, divination, fertility,
sexuality, new beginning, prophesy, something hidden and secret.
MAGICAL USES: fertility, easing childbirth,
to aid in divination and magic, enhancing psychic abilities.
ANALYSIS: The actual interpretation
of perþ is subject to controversy. The problem lies in the fact that the initial P sound doesn't occur
anywhere else in the old Germanic language, leading to the belief that the word was imported from another
language. The Old English rune poem seems to indicate that it had to do with some sort of game, leading
many to interpret it as 'chess pawn' or 'dice-cup'. The dice-cup meaning is particularly interesting
as it not only fits the shape of rune, but also hints at such an object's original use as a container
for the runes themselves. An alternate interpretation of perþ is derived from the Slavic 'pizda', meaning
'vulva'. Viewing it as a symbol of the womb of the Goddess, it represents the same element of the mysterious
and hidden as 'dice-cup', but taken literally as 'vulva', it adds a powerful, feminine, sexual counterpart
to uruz that would otherwise be missing from the fuþark.
However you choose to interpret the
meaning of perþ, the basic symbolism is that of a vessel, nurturing and giving 'birth', keeping hidden
and secret all those mysteries which can be uncovered only after the initiation of death. The rune is
closely tied in with the idea of fate, that the road we travel, regardless of what we choose to do along
the way, is pre determined from the moment of our birth. The very act of being born sets us along a
course of cause and effect, action and reaction that we may choose to follow blindly, or try to divine
through the runes or other means order that we may better understand the lessons we will learn.