Kaunan (or Kenaz)

Related to the German Kien (torch), but its original meaning connects it to the idea of eruption, or chapping, which explains why Krause gives it the meaning of boil, ulcer ('Geschwur'). Moreover, the Old Norse name of this rune ('Kaun') means boil, while it has taken the meaning of torch ('Cen') in Old English.
The original form, , certified from 175 (rarely roundish as in ), is small in size, but sometimes grows to . Then, it turns 90 to give then . After 500, this form evolved into , which then inverted to give , from 550 on. In England, after 700, becomes asymmetrical and turns into . , inversed gives the form , in Scandinavia after 700.
This evolution is summarized by the following diagram:

Texts related to Kaunan

Viking Rune Poem

Kaun (ulcer) is fatal to children;
death makes a corpse pale.

Icelandic Rune Poem

Kaun (ulcer) is fatal to children
and painful spot
and dwelling of putrefaction.

Old English Rune Poem

The torch is known to all the living by its flame,
shining and bright; most often it burns inside
where princes sit at ease.

Old English Rune Poem, as translated by Marijane Osborn

The Kindled Torch is clearly known
by its gleaming flame. It glows most often
where regal women rest within.

Sixth Runic Stanza of the Havamal

I know a sixth:
it will save me if a man
Cut runes on a sapling's root
With intent to harm; it turns the spell;
The hater is harmed, not me

Busla’s Second Curse

I wish you pain
In your chest
That venomous vipers
Gnaw your heart,
That your ears
are forever deaf,
And your eyes
are forever wall-eyed!


They are engraved ...
On the wolf’s claw

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Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raido Kaunan Gebo Wunjo
Haglaz Naudiz Isaz Jeran Ihwaz Pertho Algiz Sowelo
Tiwaz Berkanan Ehwaz Mannaz Laukaz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala