Gebo is the rune of giving, reciprocation, honor, sacrifice. It represents the balance and equilibrium created in the giving and receiving of gifts. There are many forms of gifts that can be given or received. In some lore gebo represents musical or artistic ability, so a gift of art is perfectly acceptable. In others, it states to not be afraid of stating your love and showing it through gifts. Love itself is a gift, and in giving and receiving, the balance and partnership is strengthened. Likewise, other forms of gifts in a loving relationship should also be balanced. It shouldn’t be overlooked to also keep the balance with the divine as their gifts are no less important, albeit often unseen.
Gebo is also a rune of forgiveness. Forgiveness is among one of the greatest gifts to give and receive. It’s a gift this girl cherishes more than many, save the love of her Master. There’s no definitive on what has to be given, just that it must be given carefully and with thought. The old saying of “it’s the thought that counts” is clearly evident in the rune’s meaning. Each rune carries a significance. This one is one of understanding the truth behind sacrifice, that it’s not simply just death as a sacrifice, it’s also giving up something to attain something else. Sacrifice isn’t morbid, it’s beautiful and a gift. It’s what Odin did at Yggdrasil to gain the runes and to forget his sacrifice is an ultimate dishonor to any Norse pagan Heathen. It’s his sacrifice filtering down to all others to teach us that he offered up greatly so we could prosper. In the end, we need to share that among one another to also grow and prosper in our own relationships, not personal and as a community but also with the divine.
While it’s often overlooked, a couple modern uses are often placed on many items. X-mas instead of Christmas can be seen as gift giving, the use of gebo. But most used and possibly least known is when a letter is signed with x’s and o’s (XOXO). Sources I found noted that the X for a kiss is representative of gebo, I believe that the O for the hug is representative of ingwaz. Together the gift and unity work together. One without the other is almost lacking. Gebo strengthens ingwaz and ingwaz nurtures gebo. It’s cyclical and they’re a strong unit. Alone they’re strong, but together they’re like iron. I think I want to start signing my letters with x’s and o’s again now that I understand it more.