"Sun is by seamen / always hoped for / when they fare far away / over the fishes´ bath / until the brine-stallion / they bring to land"
(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)
"Sun is the light of the lands / I bow to the holiness"
(Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme)
"Sun is the shield of the clouds / and a shining glow / and the life-long sorrow of ice"
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)
"I know an 11th: if I am to lead old friends / into the fray, I sing under the shield / and they fare into battle mighty and whole, / they fare from battle whole, / they are whole, wherever they go"
The rune sowilo is the rune ofthe sun, an active power which either shows itself forth as the whirling of a wheel or as a thunderbold/sword. In either side of its being, the sowilo rune shows the invincible power of the will. You may note that the sun-wheel or swastika is made of two sowilo runes laid over each other, showing the being of this rune as a symbol of holiness and source of power which is recognized even beyond the Indo-European world. Unfortunately, this archetypal symbol has had a great deal of ill thought attached to it as a consequence of its use by the Nazi regime, and hence is used only in private today because of the distress it causes in those who are unaware of its true meaning. It should be mentioned that a good number of metaphysically aware people think that the swastika is meant to spin clockwise (reversed sowilo rune) and that Hitler deliberately made it a symbol of darkness by turning it backward. This is not true. The swastika has been an ancient and honorable sign of power among the Germanic people for thousands of years in both its forms. The swastika reversed does not change in being any more than a rune reversed does; the ancient runeworkers wrote right to left, left to right and alternately back and forth. If rune reversal ahad any meaning, it woud be far harder to make bind-runes well. In point of fact, althought deosil and widdershins are not without meaning in Teutonic magic, they do not automatically distinguish between works of weal and works of woe.
As the rune of the sun, sowilo is the rune of invincibility and final triumph. The Old Icelandic Rune Poem´s reference shows it being as a rune which acts both as a warder and in active combat. As the wheel, it is a shield; as a thunderbolt, it is a sword. The Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme shows sowilo as a ruling power and the light of life. This rune has certain conceptual ties to elhaz; you should mark that the sun, like the valkyrja, is always feminine in Germanic thought.
As well as guardianship and might, the sun is also guidance, as the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem tells. " To fare far away " ia a kenning used either for death or for the journeys taken by the magician in a deathlike trance. In this case, the ocean referred to may be the waters between the worlds - the dark waters of the underworld of the personal subconscious (see laguz). The magical will is the force which brings you throught the dark night of the soul and guides you living through the death-passage. In this setting sowilo the sun is closely related to raidho (the path of the sun) and to laguz (the waters that must be crossed). Note the similarities in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem references. In both the shape and actionof sowilo, you may also see a certain likeness to eihwaz. Eihwaz, however, is unshakable and unchanging - the will to endure- whereas sowilo is endlessly mobile - the will to act. Both are runes of transformation. Thorsson identifies sowilo with the chakras (wheels) along the length of the spine which are vitalized by the spinal fires of eihwaz.
Sowilo is used to strengthen the active, magical will, making it into an invincible and unstoppable force. Both its shielding and striking capabilities are bound up in this action; nothing can assail the fully developed will, and nothing can withstand it. The woe-working side of this rune is its insignia. Wrongly used, it is the rune of arrogance, cruelty and isolation. The will itself is a neutral force, with weal and woe depending on its goals, as may be learned from both the triumphs and the terrible destruction wrought by Hitler, who consciously believed in nothing but his own will.
The rune sowilo and the swastika may both be used in understadning the currents of power which swirl widdershins through the earth and deosil through the heavens, coming forth from and meeting at the poles.
In ritual usage, sowilo is associated with the hammer of hallowing. Used with
other runes, sowilo activates and vitalizes.
Sowilo can be used with meditations on the wheels of the body (chakras). It brings out the ability for active leadership; that is, the ability to inspire others with your own will. It is not a rune for victory in the same way as tiwaz, but it is the rune of active triumph and of warding from wounds and defeat. Tiwaz is a rune by which you may overcome others; sowilo is a rune by which you strengthen yourself.
The stone most traditionally associated with sowilo is the Norse sunstone (identified as iolite by some, Icelandic spar by others) which, because of its refractive properties, was a valuable navigational aid to the Norse seafarers. There is also another stone called sunstone, an orange form of moonstone which reflects light brilliantly and works well with this rune. Also appropriate to sowilo is the diamond which, like the rune, is brilliantly invincible, its very name meaning either unconquerable or hardest steel. The diamond is a great stone of warding and also brings shining might into the wheels of the body.
You stand in a grassy field, a little away from the edge of a red sandstone cliff. Beyond the cliff, you can hear the waves beating against the rocks. A strong salt breeze blows cool around you. Gulls and terns circle overhead, calling sharply
You take a step towards the ocean and at once your way seems to be blocked by invisible force that keeps tries to keep you in the position you are in, as if glued to the ground. Surprised, you hold your ground and then gather all your inner strength to push forward against the invisible barrier. Without faltering, you step forward, tracing the rule sowilo mentally as a shield of protection, as a sword to cut your way through the barrier. You feel the resistance, but your resolve is stronger and you move one step after the other, until you reach the wind-eaten edge of the cliff. To your delight, once you get there, the invisible barrier is gone and it is only you and the sunlight strengthening you, showing a path of light across the sea.
Looking over the edge of the red cliff, you see a small boat resting on the
stony beach aged and gouged, it leans over the ocean. You see no way down, but
you know that you must reach the boat. With your sword of light, you begin to
strike at the edge ofthe cliff, carving out a few steps, then moving down them
and hacking away a few more. The wave-eaten sandstone crumbles away in great
chunks, shattering to ruddy sand on the beach below. You know that it could
collapse at any moment, but you are so intent on your blade biting into the
rock that you have no time to feel any fear.
At last you reach the bottom, standing on the rocky beach. The boat is a simple rowboat, perhaps a bit small for seafaring, but it looks sturdy enough. You push it away from the beach, your feet and calves numbed by the stinging, icy water. When it is floating well free of the bottom, you haul yourself up over the side. The waves catch your craft, flining it about violently as you try to paddle beyond the surf to the open ocean. Finally, you must toss your shield into the air before you. The sun-wheel whirls over the prow, pulling the boat straight after it, parting the swells before you.
You sail like this for some time. Although the sky darkens quickly around a
pale sunset, the spinning wheel before you gives off enough light for you to
see clearly, glowing over the water ahead of you. Something large nudges against
the bottom of your boat, trying to bump it off course or perhaps to overturn
it, but it cannot shake you from the path of light, and after a while it leaves
you to fare in peace.
As the sun comes up behind you in the east, you see a dark mass of land ahead of you. You sail towards it until your boat grounds against the beach with a bump. Taking up your whirling shield of light, you wade ashore. A shining figure is walking along the beach towards you. It is woman dressed in white, her long golden hair unbound and flowing loosely around her face. Warmth and glory radiates from Her. Above her head is a small, radiant white sphere, spinning swiftly enough for you to hear its clear note. In her hands she carries a crown bearing and whirling golden sowilo-rune with a glittering diamond in its center. You bow your head before her glory and she crowns you. The intense might of the spinning sun-rune above you glows down through your body, setting the wheels of power whirling down your spine. Slowly you return to your own body, feeling the might that runs through you surround you in a whirling sphere of holiness and warding, though your feet always remain firmly planted on the earth.
I am the Light that Shines in the Darkest Hour
The Light of the Darkest Hour am I
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