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Monday, January 14, 2013

Uruz - Rune of Health and Manifestation

*Previously published elsewhere - see note below

Uruz (pronounced oo-rooz) is the U rune and comes from an early Northern Eurpoean letter script which later came to be associated with magic and divination. Its divinatory meaning is linked with the word's origin and Norse mythology. It's used to attract good health, manifestation of desires and also during times when strength of mind, body and spirit are called for.

Etymology of Uruz

There are different associations with the word uruz. The scholar R.I. Page in Runes: Reading the Past suggests that it's reconstructed from the word ur in Old English and Old Norse which had different meanings in each culture. In English, it meant wild ox or cow but in Norwegian meant slag which is a by-product of metal working. In Icelandic, the word is associated with drizzle or rain. Some modern rune authors focus on one or more of these different meanings along with the study of Norse lore to derive magic and divinatory uses for the rune.

The Wild Ox in Norse Myth
Ymir and Audhumla

The aurochs was the ancestor of the wild ox. The first aurochs named Audhumla played a large part in Norse creation myths. Before the earth was created, there were worlds of fire and ice. In the meeting of these two worlds sprung forth Audhumla out of the melting ice.

In Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, H.R. Ellis Davidson relates one myth in which Audhumla sustained Ymir, another creature who came forth from the ice. He suckled her milk to survive and was the giant from whose left arm was formed the first man and woman.

Audhumla was also responsible for releasing Bor, the progenitor of the Norse gods, from the ice by licking away the rime. The gods would eventually slay Ymir and his blood is what formed the earth while from Audhumla's udders came the milk that would become the rivers of the world.

Magical and Divinatory Uses of Uruz

Due to the association with Audhumla and creation, uruz is commonly considered a rune of growth, virility, and the ability to shape one's own reality. As the ancient auruchs helped bring forth the creators of humankind and the world, so to does uruz unearth latent potential. It can be combined in spells with any other rune to add a boost to that particular rune's purpose.

When uruz is drawn in a reading, it can signal a time of manifestation of current desires or needs. It might also indicate the health of the querant either good or ill depending on its position to other runes. In its slag or drizzle sense, drawing this rune could mean that it's time for a cleansing whether it be mental, spiritual or physical. It could also mean that after this cleansing the situation should then be looked at from a clear state of mind.

The auruchs was an animal of great size and strength. Meditating on the rune symbol or carrying the rune as a talisman are ways to draw on the strength of uruz. A simple talisman can be made by drawing the symbol on paper, carving it in wood or painting it on stone while intently focusing on the talisman's purpose. On a personal level, working with uruz increases self-awareness of what strengths and weaknesses are brought to any given situation.

Sources:
Related reading:
[Note:  This is an original article by me that was first published at Suite 101.  These articles were meant for a general audience and don't necessarily represent my current personal practice but I share them for those who will find them useful.  I started a rune series for Suite because there wasn't on there but left the site before I finished the series.]
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© Trish Deneen

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