Uruz – second rune of the futhark

The Elder Futhark, a runic system used by ancient Germanic tribes, consists of 24 different runes with a specific sound connected to them. The Futhark was named after the first six runes: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido and Kenaz. It is believed that the runes were not used solely for writing, but also for divination, which is also what many pagans use them for nowadays. We have already looked at the first rune, Fehu, and I’ll continue with the second rune: Uruz.

 

OerosUruz sounds like ‘oer’, or primitive/primal. Something from the very beginning. We call the big bang the ‘oerknal’, the primal bang with which life became possible. During the time of the first people, these were the massive predecessors of our modern animals, such as mammoths and cave bears. Uruz as a word means auroch, or ‘oeros’ in Dutch, an ancient bovine species, quite a bit larger and stronger than the cows and bulls we are familiar with. They roamed the land at the same time as the mammoths. Aurochs were very strong creatures, able to survive the hardships of the ice age. They were also typically headstrong creatures. It’s no coincidence that bulls and Taurus are thought of as stubborn. Having horns, the aurochs would use them to fight and protect themselves. Not that it did much good against men and mankind, who hunted the auroch herds, leading to their extinction.

 

Looking at the enormous bovine the rune represents, one can assume some meanings when Uruz is used in divination. Strength, sometimes too much or untamed strength, is associated with the aurochs, and therefore also with Uruz. The rune also indicates good health, willpower and stamina, and a certain measure of independence, being able to make your own decisions. Upside down it might mean rage and violence. This happens when strength gets out of hand. A lack of strength might mean indecision or a bad health. As ever with divination, however, it depends on the circumstances of the question and the situation.

 

UruzFor my rune course, I was asked to look back at situations where I have used the power of Uruz in my life. This was quite difficult at first, but then I realized I’ve needed this strength several times. I’m Taurus, and stereotypically I’m stubborn, always have been. When going to secondary school, I didn’t know anybody, and I knew my parents didn’t feel happy about the school I chose… but I pushed through, headstrong, and had a great time in the 6 years I attended it. The final year I needed the auroch’s strength again to keep going for my graduation after my mom died. I’m still glad I could find the strength 🙂 Apart from these two situations, I’ve often been stubborn, but not always sensibly…

 

I think everyone needs the strength of Uruz some times. When was the last time you needed it, and did you feel enough strength at the time?

 

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Fehu – first rune of the futhark

When I started on my pagan path, I had already looked into runes, because I felt more drawn to them than to tarot cards or other methods of divination. I made some cards with runes, to use to practice, but took them out of the dust about 3 months ago… And then I used them yesterday, to make the mandala for our best friend’s mother (sadly, she passed away this afternoon, but as I hoped, she didn’t have to suffer and drag on). It made me realize again the power of runes and I want to learn more about them. So I started a Dutch rune course online! After some background information about the use of runes and of course a mythology crash course, we started with the first rune: Fehu.

rune pendant : FEHU

rune pendant : FEHU (Photo credit: Linden Tea)

Fehu is used for the F-sound, to which letter it of course bears some resemblance;) It stands primarily for cattle or lifestock, which is ‘vee’ (pronounced ‘vay’) in Dutch. Yes, that sounds quite similar! In the past, cattle was a symbol of wealth. If you had cattle, you could provide meat and milk for yourself and your family, or you could trade for other things you might need. They provided your family with a certain amount of prestige as well, and new cattle born would only add to that. Having lifestock, however, also requires you to take good care of them! So yes, you are wealthy, but you have to work for it as well.

Correspondences are easy to guess from this. Fehu stands for money, wealth, fertility and prosperity, in addition to food and luxury. Turned around that would mean financial drawbacks, and it might also mean envy or jealousy, as others might not like you for what you have. The rune is one that is associated with Frey, the god of fertility.

One of the assignments with learning about fehu is about stating the wealth we already have. Relationships, possessions, talents etc. So I have a list of 100 items (yes, that was quite difficult) that I consider to be part of my wealth. I’ll share the 10 things that I’m most happy to have (in random order), and I count myself wealthy having them!

  1. My husband. whom I love very much
  2. My extended family, who are always there when I need them
  3. My BA (and hopefully soon MA) in Human Movement Sciences, which allows me to do the things I love
  4. My books, because I love reading and hope to collect many more books
  5. My korfball club, where I have spent many happy moments already
  6. My health: apart from hay fever, an occasional migraine and sport-related injuries, I’m healthy
  7. My happy memories of every day life with my mom and dad and little brother
  8. My lovely little brother, who really has grown and was amazing at our wedding
  9. My ideals: yes, I’m idealistic, even with the smallest things
  10. My dreams

In what way are you wealthy? Do you have relations you are very happy about, are your experiences what makes you prosper or do you have a wealth of knowledge?