Monday, October 8, 2012

Runes 201 - Individul Runes - Tiwaz

This morning, I reached into my bag of Runes and asked which Rune I should write about today.  Tiwaz came out and I smiled, because I feel a strong affiliation with this Rune and the god it represents - Týr.  I put the Rune back in the bag and asked the Runes what they would like us to know about the Warrior Rune.  Here are the three key aspects.
Number one:  Thurisaz.  This is a Rune of great power, around which one must be careful.  While it may be good to help us break down barriers, once that power is released, it may become hard to control.  The Rune poems for Thurisaz are a bit varied, for while the old English version talks of thorns and discomfort, the old Icelandic and old Norwegian poems refer to a women's illness.  With regard to the latter, I can't help but think that the reference is actually to menstruation, which was seen as an illness, but it is also quite powerful, holding within it the potential to create life.  These verses make interpreting the Rune more challenging; harder to discern a single meaning, but what is clear is that caution must be used, because of the power this Rune invokes.  With regard to Tiwaz, the same can be said of the warrior.  The warrior is powerful, but, once we realize that power, we must be cautious in how we choose to proceed and use it; a reckless warrior is not a good warrior.

Number two:  Gebo, the Rune of the gift.  The message here is to give without expectation, because giving creates its own rewards.  In many ways, a warrior epitomizes the idea of giving, because s/he is willing to make sacrifices to accomplish the end goal.  Think for a moment of the sacrifice Týr made to make sure that Fenrir the wolf was bound.  He gave his right hand to make sure the gods and goddesses of Ásgard were safe from the beast.  For him, the gift was his bravery, for those he protected, it was safety.  Within this, we must not necessarily think of a warrior as a traditional soldier or our battles as traditional battles.  This is giving on many levels.  We can all stand up for injustices, lend a hand to others, but we must also fight our own battles as we try to give something personal to others, something, perhaps less altruistic, but a gift nonetheless.

Number three:  Dagaz.  The Rune of day and clarity is a good action for Tiwaz, because we need a moment of clarity to give us direction.  We are warriors.  Warriors stand up, speak out, and lend a hand.  Warriors are fair and just.  However, warriors must also be prepared to fight personal battles, stand up for themselves and pursue their goals.  This may be where the warrior within us is most needed.  For many people I know, it is far easier to stand up for someone else, to promote someone else's efforts, than it is to stand up for yourself, promote your own achievements.  Part of what we, as warriors, must realize is that our inner warrior is for our use too. To endure the hills, twists, turns, and obstacles on our path, we need to act like warriors, to be strong, and march forward for ourselves even when the road we're on is anything but smooth.

Tiwaz is the warrior within us all.  It is powerful when we stand up for others.  It must also be so when we are standing up for ourselves.  We can give unlimited gifts to others, from food, clothing, and housing, to books, art, and music.  However, what we must accept is that it is okay to give ourselves some gifts too.

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