Eihwaz


Oracular Interpretation Key Words Mantra Stöödhur(Positions) Magickal Uses



Algiz-Ansuz-Berkana-Dagaz-Ehwaz-Fehu-Gebo-Hagalaz-Inguz-Isa-Jera-Kano-Laguz
Mannaz-Nauthiz-Othila-Odin's Rune (blank)-Perth-Raido-Sowelu-Teiwaz-Thurisaz-Uruz-Wunjo




Eihwaz or Iwaz (Proto-Germanic):yew tree; Eihwas (Gothic): yew tree; Éoh (Old English):
yew tree, or Eow: mountain ash, Ihwar (Old Norse, in runic inscriptions only): yew




Phonetic value: uncertain - somewhere between e and i.
This Rune stave is essentially a magickal sign that occurs infrequently in the writing of words.

Esoteric interpretation of name: yew as the tree of life and death - the world-tree, Yggdrasill.
Ideographic interpretation: the vertical column of the multiverse tree.



Eihwaz is the vertical axis of the world that defines the central column of the cosmic tree Yggdrasill.
The world-tree of Norse mythology was in
most cases actually symbolized by a yew tree, an idea supported by the old texts, which always refer to
its "evergreen" quality and its needles - the yew is a conifer (a cone producing pine tree). Another
name for yew in Old Norse is barraskr (needle ash). The word Yggdrasill means either
"Yggr's (Odin’s) steed," or "yew-column." The former translation directly refers to the shamanistic
ritual in the "Hávamál." The gallows are often described in Old Norse poetry as the "horse of the hanged."
This is the rite by which the erilaz goes to visit Hel (the realm of the dead, or the underworld) and
then to all of the Nine Worlds to gain their wisdom. This accomplished by traveling along the vertical
dimension of the multiverse. The shape of this Rune defines this "supernatural axis" that pierces through
and connects the three realms of heaven, earth, and the underworld. The emphasis here is on communication
between the worlds.

This Rune holds the mystery of life and death, and mystically unifies them
in its essence. The yew is made up of an alkaloid toxin that affects the
central nervous system Prepared properly, this is a powerful hallucinogen.
Kukowka, a professor of medicine at the University of Greiz in East Germany
discovered that on warm days the yew emits a gaseous toxin that lingers in
the shade of the tree and may cause hallucinations for those who stand under
its branches. This is a very important discovery in the study of the
shamanistic characteristics of the Yggdrasill initiation. Besides
being associated with death, the yew tree is also a symbol of
eternal life and endurance. This is because of its "evergreen"
nature and because it is an extremely long-lived (up to 2,000 years)
and hardy tree with exceptionally hard wood. The yew is often found
in the old church graveyards of Europe - former sites of Asatru temples.

Eihwaz is a life-giving force and the way by which that force is sustained.

In the younger Futhark this Rune is symbolized as Elhaz reversed (Old Norse Yr)
and sometimes means "bow mad of yew wood." This is because bows were often made from the hard
resilient wood of the yew, and because of the connection of Ullr, the god of bows, with the tree's
mysteries. Ullr is the archaic death god who rules the season of Yule.

The yew is also
a powerful stave of protection and banishing. In certain parts of Germany the magickal saying:
"Vor den Eiben kann kein Zauber bleiben {before yews, no (evil) magic can remain} can
still be heard. There is also a preserved runic talisman that is on the stave of Britsum.
It was carved into a piece of yew wood sometime between 500 and 650 C.E. and, in Frisian,
the inscription reads: "Always carry this yew! Strength is contained in it!"


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Key Words:
Vertical cosmic axis
Supernatural initiation
Life/death
Endurance
Protection


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Galdr (Mantra):
eihwaz eihwaz eihwaz
(iwaz iwaz iwaz)
e e e e e e e e e e
(a neutral, closed vowel sound)
iwu iwa iwi iwe iwo
iwo iwe iwi iwa iwu
e e e e e e e e e e


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Stadha (Position):
Stand upright and stretch both arms down at a 50ş angle,
while lifting your left (or right) leg back at an equal angle.


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Magickal Uses:
Initiation into the wisdom of the world-tree.
Realization of the death/life mystery and liberation from the fear of death.
Development of spiritual endurance and hard will.
Spiritual creativity and vision.
Protection from detrimental forces.
General increase in personal power.
Communication between levels of reality - the worlds of Yggdrasill.
Memories of former existences in the ancestral stream.


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Oracular Interpretation:



As we are tested we fund the power to avert blockage and defeat.
At the same time, we develop in ourselves an aversion to the conduct
that creates stress in our lives.

If there appears to be an
obstacle in your path, consider that even a delay may prove beneficial.
Do not be overly eager to press forward, for this is not a time or
situation in which you can make your influence felt. Patience is
the counsel Eihwaz offers: nothing hectic, no acting needy,
or lusting after a desired outcome. This Rune speaks to the
difficulties that can arise at the beginning of a new life.
Often it announces a time of waiting - for a spring to fill up
with water, for fruit to ripen on the bough.

Perseverance
and foresight are called for here. The ability to foresee
consequences before you act is a mark of the profound person.

Avert anticipated difficulties through right action, this Rune is saying.
And yet even more than we are doers, we are deciders. Once
the decision is clear, the doing becomes effortless, for then the universe
supports and empowers our action.

Receiving Eihwaz, you are
put on notice that, through inconvenience and discomfort, growth is promoted.
This may well be a trying time; certainly it is a meaningful one. So set your
house in order, tend to business, be clear, and wait on the Will of Heaven.

--Copied word for word from The Book of Runes by Ralph H. Blum

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All information in these pages comes from the following sources:


and The Book of Runes by Ralph H. Blum.

A now out of print and rare book and stones set.
It can still be bought, used, at the above link, though.


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