Last night, I did my first ever wood carving. My late grandfather used to do wood carvings–he made beautiful animals and was very skilled at it. A natural talent. I…can’t say I got his talents. But I wanted to try my hand at wood carving, and I had read in Lisa Peschel’s book about carving the Runes into wood. I immediately thought about carving my name in Runes into a piece of wood and putting it above my Odin shrine. I had already translated my name into Runes (which proved to be pretty enlightening–I’ll write another post solely about this in a few days) and was excited about this project. But I had never in my life done wood carving. So when I went to buy my X-acto knife, I got a couple of cheap blank wood tiles to practice on.
I thought of carving something for Freyja and something for Odin, though I wasn’t sure what. It couldn’t be super complicated as these would be my first ever pieces. Then when I sat down to do the carvings I thought, “why not do a few Runes? What more perfect practice could that be?” So, I grabbed the notebook I keep on the Runes and opened straight to the page on Tiewaz. I didn’t seek it out. That’s just where my fingers pulled open the notebook. Totally by happenstance. (What’s even more perfect is that my Rune for that day happened to BE Tiewaz!)
Tiewaz is commonly known as the Warrior’s Rune. It’s also Tyr’s Rune. In the Binding of Fenrir, the gods were, obviously, trying to tie up the giant wolf. It came down to it that Fenrir demanded one of the gods put their hand in his mouth as proof that they’d untie him once they saw if the rope they were using could actually bind him. Tyr is the one that put His hand in Fenrir’s mouth, knowing that His hand would be forfeit. The gods had no intentions of untying Fenrir once he was bound.
This is the nature of Tiewaz. It is the necessary sacrifice. It’s about taking the right path, not the easy path. Tiewaz counsels you to take responsibility for your actions and do what needs to be done, regardless of how uncomfortable or difficult it may be.
Knowing this, it doesn’t surprise me that Tiewaz seemed to volunteer to be my first “guinea pig”. And it really couldn’t have been more perfect for a practice piece either. Tiewaz is all straight lines–the easiest thing to do in wood carvings. So, I grabbed my tile and “dug in”.
I was actually very happy with how it came out.
On the other practice tile, I carved Eihwaz–one of my most favorite Runes, and the very first one I ever learned about and worked with.
Once they were both carved, I painted them Red (a color I highly associate with Runes), and then went on to carve my name. I haven’t mounted it yet–it’s currently sitting on my desk while the paint dries until I get hanging equipment. But I definitely enjoyed this venture, and I’ll probably be doing more things of this nature in the future. May wind up carving the rest of the Runes into wooden tiles!