"Tyr is a star. / it keeps faith well / with athlings, / always on its course / over the mists of the night / it never fails"
(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)
"Tyr is the one-handed among the Aesir / the smith has to blow often"
(Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme)
"Tyr is the one-handed god ; and the leavings of the wold / and the ruler of the temple"
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)
"I know a 12th: If I see a hanged man / swinging high in a tree, I can carve and stain runes, / so that the man walks and speaks with me"
The stave-shape of Tiwaz shows a spear, the weapon of the Skyfather god and lord of victory. The image of the one-handed god lifting a spear is shown in the oldest Indo-European rock carvings nad is clearly Tyr or Tiwaz, whose name in its earlier form is cognate for the latin deus, Greek theos and Greek Zeus. Originally, Tyr held the highest place amongst the gods, as sky-father and lord of law, courage and war. Only when the runes and their power became known to humans, did Odin come forth as All-Father, assuming such sides of Tyr ´s being as were not wholly contradictory to his own nature. Several uses of the spear in Odinic worship come from this assimilation, particularly in the practice of casting the spear over one´s enemies to "give them to Odin". Most of Tyr´s characteristics, however, were so different from Odin´s being as to preclude assimilationand hence, though Tyr´s place in written myth is farily limited (owing possibly to the substitution of Odin in some places), he remained a powerful source as a religious figure.
The rune tiwaz is similar to eihwaz and elhaz in that it showsorth the central
column of the worldbut where eihwz shows melding of the lowest and the highest
and elhaz shows communication, tiwaz represents the separation of the heavens
and the earth. Thorsson identifies the rune tiwaz with the pillar that holds
the heavens. Odin is essentially bipolar; Tyr is essentially unipolar, as shown
by his one-handedness - a literal sigh that Tyr is bound to a single course
of action, as opposed to the ever-changing Odin.
The rune tiwaz is the rune of stability and ordering force. The North Star of the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem is probably teh North Star, which always serves as an absolute indicator of directions.
One of the greatest sides of tiwaz is its socio-religious nature as the rune
of law. Tiwaz is associated with the general assembly at which justice was done
and community decisions made. In this context, it is the complement of raidho.
Elements of this may be seen in the story fo the Fenris-Wolf. Tyr must take
the weight of dealing with the Wolf upon himself because it, as the embodiment
fo the forces of chaos, is chiefly his enemy at this point (it becomes Odin´s
doom at the Ragnarok because the Wolf is essentially part of Odin´s own
nature; it is the fate he has laid for himself). Ins spite of the fact that
betraying the oath the gods have sworn to the Wolf is in the best interest of
all life, Tyr still must pay for the deception with his hand, as he is the god
of oaths, honor and absolute justice.
Tiwaz is the main rune used by or on beahlf of thsoe who were not themselves greatly skilled in runeword. It was usual for wariors to, as the valkyrja Sigrdifa tells Sigurdhr, "call tiwce upon Tyr". The rune was inscribed on the hilt of the sword to instill honor and courage in the wielder and on the one or both sides of the blade to fill it with Tyr´s victorious might. Battle was seen as a judgement (from which the medieval trial combat was developed) and hence the use of the rune tiwaz made the warrior worthy, ensuring that he woud be judged the better man and so win the fight.
The rune tiwaz is used to obtain absolute justiceand to strengthen a person
or thing in the physical realm by filling it with spiritual and moral force.
It is, of course, called upon for victory, and is one of the mightiest runes
in dealing directly with earthly problems as well as magickal struggles.
In the personal sphere, tiwaz develops courage, strength and honor. It makes you aware of your duty to others, especially where the social order as a whole is concerned. Tiwaz can be used for stability and to bind unruly woe-working forces within until you have developed the strength to meld these sides into your whole being. Tiwaz is used to bring about and maintain order.
In workings of woe, tiwas instills rigidity, prejudice and loss of perspective. It may be used directly against another in revenge-defense magic (casting the spear over) if the cause is really just.
Ritually, tiwaz is represented by the central pillar f the temple or its symbolic
The stones associated with tiwaz are bloodstone and hematite - both of which grant wisdom as well as strength in battle - and ruby, which is associated with leadership and warrior might. Star ruby is especially appropriate for this rune.
She had followed a dream of becoming a Priestess of Tyr, the first All-Father of Norse Tradition, the Lord of Order, Justice and Law, and this was her final trial, the vigil to the God of her heart. Would she fail herself and the gods, Tyr in special? Would she make it through the night?
"Giving up after going this far is unthinkable", she thought, and the weight of that realisation struck her as a mighty central pillar of temple. "But am I good enough?" With the usual stubborness of a girl raised in the farmlands of the South, she called upon her Inner Strength, the values that had shaped up her soul and tried to be courageous in the circumstances. She could be tough, resilient, patient and implacable when there was a need. Merciless, she commanded herself: "Get your act together, girl, honor your training this time and brace yourself for ... whatever comes next!"
Despite these stern commands, she felt as heavy as lead and old, so old as
Time. She should not fail the vigil. Thus with determination, she sat on the
floor of the temple and quietened her mind. She purposefuly remembered her first
months along the Path, the Call that had come not exactly out of the blue, her
desire to Know and Serve, Find and Give Meaning to everything that made life,
people and things worth living. She had pursued a genuine desire to Dare, to
Know, Will and Keep the Silence of Becoming, to seek excellence in all levels
of her life.
She smiled a bit when she recalled the long hours of study, where the ancient Wisdom had become a living Source of Inspiration brought about by Insights and Tears, the Discipline implicit in everything she did, the practice that had forced her to go beyond her limits... one more time. She had done her best so far, but even tthen this might not be enough to be awarded the High Priestesshood of Tyr.
However, there was one more test she should impose upon herself and this was to call the wolf Fenris for battle and defeat the fierce beast which brought chaos and disorder to the land. Who was Fenris and why had he to be bound? She closed her eyes and re-membered.
Secretly in frosty and rocky Jotunheimr, the land of thursar, rises and etins
(various types of giants), Loki married the gigantess Angurboda and some time
later she gve birth to three children: Hel, later to become the Goddess of the
Dead and the Underworld, Iormungandr, the Serpent and Fenris the Wolf. Soon
these creatures grew so much that they could not longer be concealed within
the cave of birth.
Odin saw all this happen and was alarmed at the rate of growth of Loki´s and Angurboda´s offspring. The three children could pose a threat to the peace of Asgard.He decided to dispose of them. Hel he cast into the depths of Niflheimr, the land of the dead, and Hel became the Goddess of the Dead. The Serpent Iormungardr was flung far into the sea. But Odin spared Fenris, the Wolf, in the hope that with proper kindness and understanding, Fenris might be trained to serve the gods. Unfortunately, Fenris grew more ferocious, bigger in size and stronger. Eventually, the gods realized Fenris had to be killed. But the gods were honor-bound not to kill one of their own, so Fenris had to be bound instead.
After several failures, the gods armed themselves with a silken rope fashioned by the elves of the Inner Earth Svartlfheim. They tricked Fenris by saying that they wished to see his enormous strength against that of the rope. But Fenris was suspicious and only agreed if one of the gods would consent to place a hand between his jaws. So finally Tyr agreed and he bound the wolf with the magickal rope, but Fenris, in anger at being caught, bit Tyr´s hand off at the wrist.
The initiate concentrated on the story and waited, heart pounding.
A thundering roar sounded in the temple as Adad, the storm god, in fury. Fenris, wolf lion beast, materialised in front of her.
"Are you in such a hurry to take your leave?", Fenris asked, his voice heavy with irony. "Let's see whether you can!"
The initiate gapped. Resolutely though, she faced the beast:
"It is fitting that I meet you at this stage. First you and if I am worthy, Tyr."
Fenris roared with glee.
"I challenge you to fight me as well!"
The initiate contemplated her chances in a fight with Fenris. Fit as she was,
she was not a match for the lion. . He was five times her size. Frantically,
she searched deep within herself a valid weapon she could use instead of brute
force. Tyr could also be associated to Time, Order and Law. She had to gain
time, act with tact, respect the limits not to anger Fenris, and perhaps win
her way out with diplomacy. Like a Peaceful Warrior, relentless in her purpose
to win by Wit and Skill.
"Why would you want to fight someone like me? You fight gods and heroes, not the ones who are very much like yourself. I've just realised that we may have a lot in common. Perhaps just perhaps, there is a part of me who wants so badly my ordination that would do anything to get it. This is the part of me that I want to conquer, my desire under control, my wants in attunement with the Will of the Gods and the Order of all Worlds. But equally as great is the desire to matter to the gods, Tyr in special and to the world. I want to serve Creation too, and I want to be accepted in totality by my god."
"So you dare to say that you and I are one?"
"No, we are not one. How could I ever be like you, a powerful Beast, greedy, of course, but a creature of legend and might?", she had to answer in all honesty. "You come from the realms where dreams are made and come true, whereas I am a girl from this plane and time, a promise perhaps, if I try hard to Become what I should."
"And what are you going to do about it?", asked Fenris.
"Try and change. I vow not to fail myself. I will try for priestesshood again and again if you allow me to escape from you at this stage... to serve on behalf of Tyr." She stopped and looked at the fierce guardian of this threshold she had to thread. If Fenris still wanted to fight her, she would die. Nevertheless, there was wisdom to be learnt with him.
"I wont survive a fight with you. But if you let me pass, I still want to be a Priestess. And you will have conquer your ferociousness in a way by not killing me as well... Give me the chance to succeed where you failed, mighty Fenris. I dont plead, but ask. From the bottom of my heart. Then perhaps I'll be able to heal you and myself when the time is right."
Discipline and reverence made then her kneel and bow in front of the altar
and her executioner.
"You may go this time... with my blessings.", she heard Fenris say and all of a sudden she felt pain in her left hand. It was bleeding! Then she looked closer and saw the rune Tiwaz carved in blood, her blood, in the palm. Time stopped, but a Voice sounded bright and true echoeing in her Mind, Body, Heart and Soul: "At every single generation my Priests and Priestesses fight Fenris and wound themselves in the process for the highest good of their communities. Youve done well. Welcome to my Service, New Priestess."
I honor and value my leadership skills
I am responsible for what I do and withstand the strength and integrity of my deeds
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