Monday, November 18, 2013

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Ehwaz

Over the past few months, Ehwaz has been showing itself more regularly in readings I've done for myself and others and in posts on this blog (Pace Yourself Ritual, Working Runes, and Applying Runes to Different Situations).  Ehwaz, the horse Rune, signifies many important and practical aspects to life.  It is a symbol of loyalty, teamwork, relationships and partnerships, pilgrimages, and modes of transportation on life's journeys.  Because it is coming up so often right now, it is time to investigate it in more detail.

I wanted to see how it reflects each of its attributes.  I drew a Rune for each one and here is what I got.

Loyalty in and of itself is challenging; trying to determine where loyalties lie, to whom you should be loyal and how to manage when someone close to you is disloyal are all pieces of Ehwaz.  Berkana helps explain the loyalty within Ehwaz.  The birch Rune brings to mind beginnings, birth, perhaps indicating that loyalty is the foundation of everything else carried on Ehwaz's back.  It is a key ingredient in the success of any relationship, partnership or team.  A pilgrimage cannot be truly fruitful if the pilgrim is not loyal to the intent of the journey.  Likewise, loyalty to the vehicles you use on life's journeys will determine how well those vehicles carry you.  If you want to be a pianist or a dancer, unless you practice your scales or steps, your vehicle, in this case your talent, will not take you very far.

The second aspect of Ehwaz is relationships, whether with a single person or a group.  Algiz is a great Rune for this aspect of Ehwaz, because it is about protection and self-defense.  What makes it so interesting is that, although we are talking about relationships, it brings self-defense into the mix.  Its meaning here may be a bit counterintuitive, because it is not suggesting that you must defend yourself against others, rather that others supporting you reduces the need for you to defend yourself or to stand alone.  In the process of defining self-defense, it almost shifts to protection as its point.  Essentially, Ehwaz reminds us that we are not in this alone and those who are in our corner will protect and support us (be loyal to us) so that we do not have to be on guard all the time.

Isa supports pilgrimages in that they usually require some reflection.  When undertaking a pilgrimage, we need to understand why we are doing them and what we hope to gain by going on one.  Isa, as the ice Rune, reminds us to move forward carefully, with understanding of what our forward motion means.  What's most important to remember is that a pilgrimage does not necessarily have to be a physical action.  In fact, in this regard,  Isa is even more powerful in supporting the pilgrimage of Ehwaz, because a major component of mental, emotional, and spiritual pilgrimages as inward journeys involves reflection, not only self-reflection, but reflection on the people and situations that affect our lives.

The last key feature of Ehwaz, and perhaps the most obvious, especially as we look at Ehwaz's physical shape - a horse, is a mode of transportation.  Once again, our minds drift first to physical transportation on horseback or in another type of vehicle.  However, we must also consider our talents and desires as modes of transportation, for they drive us forward in a different way, in our careers and personal endeavors, in our relationships and life experiences.  Of course, I drew Ansuz in this regard, for it represents the way that we communicate in this world, how we view ourselves and the images we portray of ourselves to others.  Our mode of transportation can make it easier or harder  for us to get around in this world.

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts about Ehwaz….a “draft animal” associated with work, toil, agriculture — the toils of our work; the effort we must exert to get jobs done in our lives to survive. It is a rune that asks us to explore the effortfulness of our lives—where things are not enjoyable, not leisurely though, it also reflects ingenuity in terms of devising a way to make work more efficient and somewhat easier. It asks how we are obtaining help to simplify our work and make it more efficient. This rune the n challenges us to examine how we are using power to achieve our goals and who do we stand upon to do this and to reconsider our actions based on these answers.

    Ehwaz is a rune we can use to raise power to be able to engage in work that needs extra energy or one that can allow a shift of consciousness to enable journey work.