I’ve already written about Eihwaz here, but I drew that Rune again today. A week or so back I discovered that Galina Krasskova had done a “Rune A Day” series over on her blog, and I’d read what she had to say about a few other runes already and really liked it. She lays things out very well, and for someone who is just starting her journey with the Runes, she makes it easy to get a feel of them. (Though also as she points out, one must develop a relationship with the Runes and actually interact with them–not just read books and/or websites about them~) So, naturally, I was curious as to what she would have to say about Eihwaz. The following really spoke to me and made me marvel even more that Eihwaz was the first Rune I ever handled, purchased and worked with.
People say that the blank Rune is Odin’s Rune. I actually don’t work with the blank Rune, but regardless, the more I learn about Eihwaz the more I say that it is Odin’s Rune. So far, it’s also the Rune I have the deepest relationship with, and would be my personal Rune. When I finally create a personal symbol (something I’m currently in the process of doing), Eihwaz will most definitely be incorporated into it.
The common association with initiation, death, and rebirth ties right back into its associations with Yggdrasil. Odin hung for nine nights and nine days of agony, sacrificing Himself on Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Some gnosis has it that He died, seized the runes (or was seized by them) and brought them back. Eihwaz has that connotation with willing sacrifice but it isn’t like Tiewaz/tyr, it isn’t sacrifice for a community, or others, it’s sacrifice specifically to gain something on one’s own spiritual journey. It’s sacrifice for personal power, understanding, and wisdom….and for magic. With Odin, we’re talking about a God that had His ordeal on the Tree, then plucked out one of His eyes in exchange for a drought from the Well of wisdom, and the lore is full of other examples of ordeals that He willingly undertook for knowledge and power. Odin and this rune are inextricably bound. It speaks very strongly to His winning of the runes…so much so that the World Tree bears one of His by-names: Yggr. Yggdrasil means “steed of the terrible one,” with the understanding that the Tree became not only His gallows, but the vehicle by which He was able to penetrate into all the worlds, and into the place where the runes reside. That mystery lies at the heart of this rune.
I think on this rune and I think about roots, and the passage in the Runatal section of the Havamal, which tells of Odin’s quest for the runes, and the line ‘None can tell wither run the roots of the Tree.”. I interpret the meaning of this passage and the meaning of this rune in many different ways. Firstly, it speaks to the necessity for paring away the inessential, for seeking out one’s true self, one’s core, for paying attention to the foundations upon which one is setting the house of one’s spiritual life. It speaks to the need to be rooted in knowledge, especially knowledge of one’s self. Without that, it is too easy to get swept away by this work. It speaks to the need to have deeply connected roots: as above, so below. We can have all the magical and spiritual knowledge in the world but if we can’t live in the mundane world, it’s useless. We’re meant to live here, in the human world and if we can’t do that effectively than the magic is for nought.
(Read the rest of Galina’s Eihwaz post~)
That Eihwaz was the first Rune to come to me doesn’t suprirse me–especially after reading this. It’s message to pare away the inessential makes perfect sense for someone wanting to deepen their spiritual practice and get closer to their Gods. You can’t develop a deep relationship with anyone–deity, spirit, or human–if you’re caught up in “extras”. I’ve never been a hugely material person, but for a long time I worried about fitting in with my peers, and because of that I was caught up in a lot of unnecessary trappings–trappings that hindered my ability to live my spirituality because they were time consuming things. When I started wearing my Eihwaz pendant I drew the energy of that Rune into my life, and the things that I was doing solely to fit in started falling away, because they weren’t things that I was hugely interested in.
These days I’m still not the most popular girl around, but I’m definitely happy with my life. I’ve tossed aside the things that don’t matter to me, and instead fill my time with studying spirituality and living mine, and with writing stories that made me smile. Thank you, Eihwaz, for helping me get to this point in my life.