You are probably most familiar with Algiz when it is included in a circle, used in the 1960s as a peace symbol. Algiz is a rune of safety, protection, and stability. This card is the opposite of the Suit of Swords, which is all about the world falling apart around you.
I would love to point to a wooden building in the Tarot, but the Waite-Smith doesn’t have a single wooden building. Many wooden buildings contain this Rune (often upside-down) because it just makes buildings stronger. Stone buildings, like those in the Suit of Pentacles, tend to use arches instead, which is based on the same physical principles that make this Rune work. This is a Rune of the safety of a stone wall and a sturdy door.
Interestingly, despite Swords being this Rune’s antithesis, Algiz shows up indirectly in the Six of Swords. The Six of Swords shows someone rowing away from their home, and the boat likely contains an Algiz in the construction of its hull: The central stave is the keel, and the other two staves would be curved upwards to create the hull of the ship. In the chaos, the ship is the only stable thing the refugees on the Six of Swords have.
When this Rune comes up in a reading, it is time to turtle up: pull yourself into your shell, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Unlike Eiwaz, which is a more aggressive Rune of protection, this is a more passive Rune. This is a Rune of hiding behind walls and letting the storm pass.
Use in Magick:
Algiz is the cornerstone of almost every ward I have placed around my house. My favorite ward, which is placed near each entrance to my house, hidden under heavy furniture so my son won’t get at it, is Algiz carved into the jagged lid of a food can. The symbol I am carving is a peace symbol. Anything that does not bring peace to my home can be shredded by sharp aluminum.
If it is made of wood, Algiz is probably already built into your house. The triangles created by putting Algiz into a structure made out of two-by-fours strengthen the shape. If you use a stud-finder, you can find where the two-by-fours in your walls are and infuse them with protective magick to keep your house safe and strong.