Reprinted from "Rainbow Wind" Magazine
Welcome to the third installment of the Rune-of-the-Month-Club. This month's rune is Uruz, the second rune of the Elder Futhark, and has the sound(s) of the letter "U", a nice long U sound, as in "food." If Fehu, the first rune, is a tame cow, then Uruz is a wild one! That's just what Uruz means in Proto- Germanic. The first two runes thus represent two opposite poles. Ur, its Old English name, means the same thing as Uruz. The Rune was known as Urus in Gothic and Ur in Old Norse. The Old English Rune Poem refers to its original meaning, the aurochs, now-extinct ancestor of domestic European cattle. This beast, which became extinct in Poland in 1627, was six feet high at the shoulder (adult bulls), quite fierce, and possessed of enormous horns which made really nifty drinking horns. Owning one was seen as a token of both bravery and skill. When human went up against aurochs BGP -- Before Gun Powder -- human very often lost! It is a wonder our ancestors were able to tame cattle at all considering the nature of the genetic raw material they were obliged to start with! Uruz is no meek little Jersey cow or hornless, stubby-legged Aberdeen Angus bull! The Old Norse Rune Rhyme interprets Ur as "slag": refuse from metal-smelting. The Old Icelandic Rune Poem describes it as "drizzle". The former, however, has a second line referring to reindeer, and the latter to herdsmen, so the original hoofed-animal connection is maintained to some degree.
The basic meaning of Uruz is things that like the aurochs (ur = primeval or original -- ox) are wild, free, and independent. This is raw power. It can help you hold your ground, and can help the weak-willed grow a backbone. It is useful in works of stabilizing and strengthening. Strength, independence, wildness, stability (things hard to move or bend to your will), raw materials, unrefined things, freedom, individuality, boldness, battering (think of being tossed on the horns of a huge wild bull), resistence, and wilderness all fall under Uruz. Modern manifestations include bulldozers and wrecking balls! Uruz resists control by others. It can break bonds or barriers (which are part of the rune Nauthiz). In proper balance, Uruz can give self-reliance. Unbalanced, it can cause you to attack all in your way, with predictably disastrous consequences. If you attack all in your path, soon everyone will be ganging up to stop you!
Uruz is also things outside of your control. In this sense, it continues to be an opposite of Fehu, which are things which you control (and use to make a living). It can be a random factor, or an obstacle which must be totally overcome, rather than made to serve your purposes.
This rune is used as a healer and strengthener. It can be a source of courage, boldness, and self-esteem. Uruz, a rune of personal strength, can manifest as a forceful personality. Approach it with caution. For difficult or delicate workings, one should first develop an inner grasp and appreciation of the rune. Book knowledge isn't enough. This is not a particularly "easy" or "safe" rune. Combined with other runes (a thing to be approached carefully and after much study) it amplifies the energy of both itself and the other rune! Combined with an aggressive, destructive rune, the results can be particularly dangerous. Again, care is called for. For example, Uruz with Ingwaz can enhance the "desirable side of male sexuality", while Uruz with Thurisaz brings out the predatory, obsessive side of it! Record your work with the runes. Grow in understanding of this potentially very useful and potentially havoc-wreaking rune!
Strong convictions, wills and personalities are all manifestations of Uruz. Seek its influences in your own life and surroundings as a preparation for your own runework. Uruz can be a powerful ally or a wreaker of havoc. How the rune's power is manifested depends on you, the runeworker! The runes were won by Odin at great price, and generously shared, first with Freya, then with the other Gods and Goddesses, Elves, Dwarves and humans. Exercise due caution, but do not fear to move ahead. The trail to the Runes has been well blazed!
Works Consulted: At the Well of Wyrd by Edred Thorsson: Samuel Weiser, Inc., Box 612, York Beach ME 03910 and The Road to Bifrost, Volume III: The Runes and Holy Signs by Thorr and Audrey Sheil.
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