Monday, April 28, 2014

Runes 201 - Individual Runes - Uruz

Uruz is one of those Runes with an obscure meaning, but tends to follow the Anglo-Saxon meaning of aurochs or wild ox.  Though there is some consensus that the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem comes closest to Uruz's original meaning, I wanted to consider the Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian Rune poem meanings too.  The old Icelandic poem calls Ur (Uruz) drizzle and the Old Norwegian poem says that is it slag from bad iron.

Interestingly, when I asked about the Icelandic poem meaning of drizzle, I drew Sowilo, which seems to counteract drizzle.  When asking about the bad iron slag of the Old Norwegian poem, I drew Eihwaz, the yew tree, a strong wood used to make exceptional bows.  This seems to oppose the slag from bad iron, because bad iron makes a weak sword, but the yew tree makes a strong bow.  I don't know if these were supposed to cancel each other out, but they appear to, so I turned back to the idea of the aurochs from the Anglo-Saxon poem and asked about this meaning.

The Rune I drew in response, almost as if to say that it is, in fact, a Rune that represents the wild ox, was Uruz itself.  Still, we cannot consider Uruz without acknowledging that the aurochs is a 'wild' animal.  I would say it means less 'wild' and more free, not domesticated, even independent.  Coupling these ideas - physical well-being and strength with free or freedom/independence - I had the two aspects of this Rune on which to focus.

What should we know about these aspects of Uruz?

With regard to physical strength, though it could relate to several things, the message I've been getting lately refers to taking care of physical health, holistic physical strength, not just physical power.  This stands, in some ways, in contrast to the usual idea of physical strength and power and says, instead, it's okay to have weak moments and it is important to allow ourselves time to heal after them.  We cannot spend our lives powering through everything - going without proper sleep, nutritious food, and some form of physical activity.  There are other aspects to life that give us balance to move forward in a healthy way, not just acting like a bull in a china shop.  As we age, it becomes even more important to pay attention to this for our overall well-being, not just physical prowess.

The other aspect I like about this Rune is the idea of 'wild'ness.  Often times, I see depictions of Uruz standing in contrast to Fehu - the wild ox versus domesticated cattle.  However, I don't think this means run wild, disregard everything else completely and do whatever the hell you want, not in the rebellious sense anyway.  That mindset seems to support the idea of powering through, which has no balance in it.  Rather, what I take from this is the idea of freedom to make choices, not to follow things blindly like a sheep, and question everything and make sure you agree with it before simply following suit.  This is such an important part of this Rune, for even though we talk about being wild, what we are really talking about is using our innate abilities and one of our greatest as human beings is critical thinking.  When we employ that, we have the capacity to become a much more peaceful and accepting society.  However, what Uruz says is start with yourself.  Develop your own critical eye, not in the sense of negativity, but in the sense of thoughtfulness.  Think, consider, and make independent, well-reasoned choices.


  1. Uruz is my birth Rune, and it comes up often for me in casting. It takes on a different meaning when thinking in terms of Audhumla, and realizing that connection to humanity, and creation. Also interesting in a Futhark capacity that the sacred auroch follows the divine cow.
    Great post!

  2. When casting a circle I associate this rune with North. "Earth is my strength." My favorite if that is possible.