Uruz: vitality, life-force, vigor.
Galdr Sound: The phonetic value of the vowel U
Uruz looks like the horns of the aurochs, an ancient and mythical bull
"Aurochs is fearless / and greatly horned/ a very fierce beast, / it fights with its horns/ a famous roamer of the moor/ it is a courageous animal"
(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)
"Drizzles the weeping of cloud/ and the diminisher of the ring of ice / and the herdsman´s hate"
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)
"I know another that is needed by the sons of men / who want to be leeches"
The rune-name Uruz means aurochs, the mighty wild bovine of ancient times,
now extinct, which was an object of veneration among the Germanic peoples.
Uruz is the rune of the impulse to be, the strength of the wild, untame beings, which can only be guided by the wise ones. The rune poem links this stave to the process of purification and shaping embodied by the cow Audhumbla and the alchemical process of evaporation and condensation. Both slag and drizzle speak of the endless process of patterning, cleansing and reshaping which is the work of Uruz. In the larger context of world and being, the rune-shape shows the path of the water rising from the Well of Urdhr, shaping the growth of the World Tree and flowing back down from the leaves into the well, continually renewing the life of the tree and healing the wounds made by the wights that gnaw on it. Uruz is the rune of Wyrd as an active forc (the upward stroke) and also the rune used to direct magickal shaping will into the Well of Urdhr (the downward stroke).
As well as embodying the process of shaping and setting forth into being throughout the Nine Worlds, Uruz also represents the unconscious life-force shown by the strength and fierceness of the aurochs. As Audhumbla was the first source of nourishment for all wights, so the rune Uruz makes the primal "ur-" energies available for use.The twinned might of uruz as shaping power and nourishing might is written forth as two beasts on the roof of the Valhalla.
The stave shape of Uruz also shows the horns of the aurochs. They point downward rather than upward, showing the animal ready to charge. The best-known quality of the historical aurochs was is untameable ferocity, which to the ancient Germanic people was a sign of its overflowing spiritual vitality. Its horns were embodiments of this potency, and also represented the capability to pierce into other worlds. The Germanic peoples sometimes wore horned helmets for this reason: the warrior/vitki had access to all realms and is master of all. By defeating the aurochs and drinking from his horn, the warrior assumed the animal´s strength, power and pride of place. Uruz is the rune by which the vitki rule sthe lands around him/herself, just as the aurochs ruled the moors.
The rune Uruz is best known as a rune of healing, since it draws life-force
from all the realms and brings it into being according to the initial pattern
which is held in the genetic structure of the body (see hagalaz). It both shapes
and maintains the health and strength which are necessary to sustain the intense
efforts of magick and to withstand the strain which prolonged use of energies
puts on the user.
Uruz is used to aid in the growth of wisdom within you; that is to say, the deep-rooted, semi-conscious awareness of the patterns of being and the way inwhich the waters of Urdhr are flowing. It can be used to bring your awareness to the workings of nature and to the ebb and flow of natural energies. Uruz can be used in the personal sphere to bring you courage and physical strength and to enhance your independence and leadership abilities.
In workings of woe, Uruz can be used either to control another directly or to put that person at hte mercy of internal or external forces which he/she cannot control. More frequently, it is used to strengthen yourself and bring you the wisdom needed to gain victory in a struggle. In using Uruz to enhance your own power, you must remember that it is a primal and wild force which requires strength to work with. As the Germanic warrior had to overcome the physical aurochs to prove his fitness, so the vitki must be able to do this on the mental and spiritual planes.
Used with other runes, Uruz works tob ring them into being in all levels of reality and to send them into the Well of Urdhr, as described above. It is the power by which you can shape the patterns of your weird and by which those patterns are brought forth; it is the working of Wyrd´s water, as laguz is water itself and perthro is the Well.
As a rune of warding, uruz can be used against forces of breaking both to maintain the patterns that already exist within your own sphere and to either turn those energies back to their source or to use them for your own weal. Ritually, uruz represents the act of drinking and pouring a hallowed draught from the horn or cup.
In its aspect as the horns piercing the walls between the worlds, uruz can be called upon to bring about visions or to make speaking between realms easier.
The stone associated with uruz is tiger´s eye, which is traditionally said to bring courage, confidence and strength, and which calls forth life force and brings it into your won being. The eyelike gleam of light in this stone hints at the horns of uruz piercing the realms of being so that a ray of brightness shines through.
You stand at the edege of a huge glacier, the icy wind that blows down from
it chilling you to the bone. You can see that the muddied ice has formed in
rippled layers. A murky, seething torrent flows down the glacier´s side,
freezing as it flows. At your back is a distant warmth. Looking behind you,
you see a great fire far away in the darkness, shedding light over the nothingness
and throwing off torrents of fames and glowing sparks. You consider which direction
to take up next, and you advance towards the fire, towards the darkness that
will lead to the doors that open the gateways to times past and to come. By
now, you have figured out that everything makes sense or has a special meaning
in your Journyes. This time you know you will be moving back in time and space,
and you raise a heartfelt prayer that your journey be for healing and growth
in all levels and spheres.
As you step through the inner portals, you feel your feet move along a road to times immemorial, to the land of the ancient beasts of power and magick, the Great Protectors and Healers of the Land and their people. Your mouth is dry and deep emotion fills your heart, mind, body and soul as you start to discern through the mists the forms of legendary beings of strength and power of ages past. Dragons, salamanders, gryphons, kelpies, all composite beasts belong to this realm: their beauty and strangeness teach us to value differences, to pass over and through barriers that require the combined use of different strengths and strategies, bringing with them the gifts of transcendence so that we can learn to balance out our inner and outer powers. Why so? Because legendary creatures by their unique nature challenge us to stretch our limits, to confront our deepest emotions, desires and aspirations.
Thus, when the mists open up after some time you turn around in a full circle to absorb the landscape, the discernible forms you know have accompanied throughout your journey so far. The stars disappear as dawn approaches in Her crimson and gold chariot. As the glimpses of dawn are becoming more visible, you stand at the bottom of a valley of lush green fields, at the foot of a tree whose trunk reaches up into the clouds, growing out of the great well before you. You know with sudden certainty that these fields were never touched by the plough or have felt man´s hands upon it. As you watch, the sun begins to rise in the East like the first morning, and as Nature awakens for a brand new day, you toss your head back to smell the flavours and take into yourself the vitality of the living earth. Strange, fresh, primeval Nature this is, and you smile because remember that the word animal or beast in Latin comes from anima, the term that also indicates Soul. Spontaneously, you feel you can´t stand still and you twirl round and round in an ecstatic frenzy.
When you finally fall on the ground panting, behind you you hear the thundering
of hooves and you turn to look at the beast who is trampling across the land.
Your breath catches, because it is an aurochs in his prime, a huge bull covered
with shaggy black hair six feet tall at the shoulder with long curling horns.
This is a moment of Truth and Giving, Courage and Trust. With a joyful shout you rush at the aurochs. He dips his horns down, ready to gore and toss. Easily but with the heart pounding with anticipation you leap up over his head, holding the rough horns to balance yourself as you ride his back. You are almost overwhelmed byt he might of the beast beneath you. Slowly, you gain control, melding into him until you yourself have become one with the mighty aurochs, the fierce warrior-beast who rules the primeval land land of the Norse ancestral soul. Your touch upon the horns of the magnificent wild beast are the touch of a friend, light and loving. The aurochs and you are made one, as the shamans have
done so from time immemorial, when they are chosen by their Animal Friends and accepted as Soul Companions. A tear of wonder and joy roll down your face as you think of the Sacred Beasts and composite beings that have accompanied initiates and are part of myth and magick, such as the bull-men, goat-fish, snake-dragons, hydras, and so forth. You blow and kiss to them and all of a sudden the figures you could not rightly discern when you started your journey become clear... to disappear in a flash. You lean down to embrace the neck of the aurochs, and somehow you know that from this moment on the strength of this mighty being will be yours to share in all worlds you thread upon.
When you have run long enough, you stop, caress again the neck of your aurochs and dismount. Beast and vitki on the make stand in front of each other, and aurochs power flows from him to you, as you slowly regain your full human form. On your head is a horned helmet, the sign of your mastery. Like the aurochs, you toss your head, and light flows through the air where your horns pierce it. You know that you have the power to pierce the veils between the realms at will, and to master the other worlds, as you mastered this one.
As you have done before, you visualize a globe, the Earth, and allow for the light and aurochs power to flow from you to the globe. Healing for the Earth, our physical world, this is what you wish and desire to come true.
"This is a very long term wish", you hear the auroch's deep voice
resound in your mind, a hint of laughter in it.
"I know", you reply. "But let's make it happen.. day by day... and for the years to come. Together."
A beam of light from the horns of the aurochs pierces your soul. The aurochs of your dreams now inhabits the depths of your soul, so when it is not anymore visible in the Outer, you feel the aurochs alive in the inner. You raise your arm and with deep respect, wonder and joy you trace the shape fo the rune Uruz in the air. This done, you return to your own body, feet firmly panted on the earth, knowing that the Uruz-might will be forever yours to reach and draw forth through the rune Uruz.
You are a being of honour and strength, vitality and vigour, and you honour likewise the different strengths of all beings.
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