Further Analysis of the Ehwaz Rune

Ehwaz

ᛖ / E

Ehwaz means “horse” in Proto-Germanic and is associated with transportation, trust, movement, quickness, and adventure. Ehwaz represents the vehicle we use to travel, whether that be the horse, the chariot, the car, or even the body itself. Ehwaz is that which we depend upon to move around the landscape and quicken journeys over vast distances. Great trust, care, and love was bestowed upon the horse, as one would treat their vehicle in modern times. General health and maintenance of the vehicle should always hold a top priority in necessary duties.

Ehwaz represents the physical body and that which our soul inhabits. While Raido is the soul, or “driver,” Ehwaz is the vehicle that the soul uses to “ride” in, as one uses a horse on a long journey. The horse can also be applied to our thoughts as well, as the skilled visionary can separate oneself from their thoughts, watching them as if one would watch a wild horse in an open field. This is a dissociative meditation practice where one can take a third person view of their own thoughts, observing them in awe, without attachment, being represented by the wild running horse.

Horses were of high importance in Germanic culture, being associated with the gods Odin and Freyr in particular. Both gods possess magical horses, Odin with the 8-legged Sleipnir (Slippery One) and Freyr with Blóðughófi (Bloody Hoof). Freyr’s temple in Þrandheimr was said to host a herd of sacred horses. We also have the word Yggdrasil, the name of the great world tree, which translates to “Terrible Steed,” a shamanic reference to Odin as he travels the 9 worlds of the tree. Two other notable horses of Norse myth are the horses of Dagr (day) and Nótt (night), Skinfaxi (Shining-Mane) and Hrímfaxi (Frost-Mane).

The “Old English Rune Poem” is the only of the old poems to invoke Ehwaz, although in Old English this rune is called Eoh, meaning “horse,” but also, “stallion.” Admiration for this noble beast is shown here, stating:

“Stallion is for earls among athelings a joy,

a horse haughty on its hooves, when warriors,

wealthy in steeds, trade talk about it;

and for the restless it is always a remedy.”

Through this poem, we can deduce a few meanings that the Anglo-Saxons associated with this rune. First, they reference the stallion as opposed to just a plain horse, giving this rune a masculine and “fertile” role. Second, it invokes the “athelings,” or nobles, linking royalty and regality to the rune. The third line has a “Fehu” tone to it, stating that one can be “wealthy in steeds,” showing that this animal was worth money and could represent a person’s wealth. The last line refers to being “restless” or anxious, stating the horse as a remedy to these feelings. This would tie us back in with the meditative association with the horse, as this quick and possibly “reckless” movement can be therapeutic to those suffering from uneasiness.

In Sanskrit, we have the relative word áśva, which translates to “horse,” also being the name of the constellation Sagittarius, a cluster of stars resembling horse-like features. It is also a term denoting the “Knight” of the chess board. Through many branches of the Indo-European language family tree, we can see this word emerge, nearly unscathed by time. We can see this in the proto-Indo-European root word héḱwos, meaning “steed/horse.” This word remains in the lexicon almost unchanged over thousands of years, showing up in Latin as equus and Primitive Irish as eqas. In modern English, we see this word evolved into equestrian, a word relating to those who ride horses.

It’s debated whether or not the horse was domesticated first by (Yamnaya) Indo-European speaking peoples or (Botai) Urgic speaking peoples, but many have traced horse domestication back to people of the west Eurasian steppes. These people are said to be the alleged “proto-Indo-Europeans,” and this could be very well be the reason the Indo-European language family spread so far and so quickly; carried by those riding on the backs of these fast and powerful beasts. Regardless, humans have had a very close connection to these animals for nearly 6000 years. Prior to their domestication, horses were hunted for food like many other wild game, even being consumed in sacred religious ceremonies amongst the northern Germanic tribes. In “Unmentionable Cuisine” by Calvin Schwabe, he says:

”In pre-Christian times, horsemeat eating in northern Europe figured prominently in Teutonic religious ceremonies, particularly those associated with the worship of the god Odin. So much so, in fact, that in A.D. 732 Pope Gregory III began a concerted effort to stop this pagan practice, and it has been said that the Icelandic people specifically were reluctant to embrace Christianity for some time largely over the issue of their giving up horsemeat.”

Among this, he also references cross cultural similarities and associations amongst Indo-European peoples and the horse, stating:

“For among our Indo-European forebears, many legends bespeak the prime religious importance of the horse, not only as a manifestation of Odin worship but as the Gaul’s horse goddess Epona, who was but a form of the Celtic people’s mother goddess. Among Teutons, Slavs, and Iranians the sun traversed the heavens in a horse-drawn chariot.”

To conclude, we can see Ehwaz holds a very important place in the rune row, representing one of the most important animals to our ancestors, if not the most important. The horse was used by most classes of society, whether for farming, war, or regal means, making it an animal of the people and a part of the living “organism” of society. Ehwaz has direct association to gods such as Odin and Freyr, as well as celestial and natural deities such as Day and Night, or Sun and Moon. It’s because of the horse that more than 3.2 billion people speak an Indo-European language today, as the adventurous young warrior bands, or Männerbunds, spread across the world in search of wealth, glory, adventure, and wisdom.

Purpose, Law, Karma

Much of our suffering in life comes from trying to do too much. 

“Doing” implies a creation of Karmic chains, whether good or bad, that will have to be mended at some point in time.

However, by doing only what is necessary, it is possible to sever the roots of future Karma.

Finding out what is truly necessary applies to one’s individual Dharma (law/purpose).

This can be pinpointed through meditating on attachments and desires. 

Find out what your highest Self (untainted by ego) desires to accomplish in the physical world, accomplish it, then begin your exit from Samsara, like the wind exiting the body. 

This is one aspect of the ancient teaching of “non-doing.”

Do what you must, then do no more.

This is a way to show compassion to all beings.  

Hailaz / Namaste

Mjolnir and Vajra

The Mjolnir and the Vajra are spiritually symbolic weapons meant to destroy ignorance, uphold order, and ultimately, represent the indestructible and diamond-like state of awareness that exists within us. 

Whether or not you carry this symbol on your person throughout the day, always remember its power when needed, until it becomes a constant state of awareness. 

Hailaz / Namaste 

New Book “Freyr’s Aett” Now Available!

This book is the first of a 3-part analysis of the deeper meanings hidden within the runes of the Elder Futhark. Through various avenues of mythology, language, and history, we will expand the scope and meanings present in each rune as it moves through time and culture. We will explore well known runic theories, as well as delve into uncharted and obscure territory that is meant to leave the reader with the sense of “vastness” present in each individual rune.

Throughout the project, we will examine common themes, philosophical musings, and an overall expansion of the deeper connotations that each rune encompasses. We will examine direct connections to the god Freyr and discuss many other deities present in this specific row of runes. Although the basics of rune theory are covered here as well, I don’t necessarily recommend this book to beginners or people new to Germanic Paganism. The reason being, is that this book may offer “too much information” and overwhelm someone without prior foundation in this esoteric system.

For beginners, I would recommend picking up my first rune book “Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination”. That book will give you a good introduction to the runes while offering glimpses into cryptic aspects inherent in each one. It gives multiple angles one can view each rune from based on one’s experience and how one identifies with the initial word, shape, and sound of each rune. However, if dedicated and willing, this book can be approached first and may open many doors for your future research and practice.

Focus, Compassion, Development

How many cataclysms happen within the seed before it sprouts, how many obstacles before the flower blooms?

Keep your head up, focus on your goals.

Be kind to your fellow man.

We all struggle, we all experience suffering.

There’s no need to add to this Karmic weight.

The war is against ourselves, not the world.

Hailaz / Namaste

Custom Runes and Bindrunes

I make runes nearly everyday. It keeps them fresh in my mind and allows me to express divine concepts through simple symbology.

With runes (and bindrunes) one can essentially deliver ideas to a fellow initiate without words; a language of its own based on the culture of those using them. This is the premise of all symbolism; the transfer of immense amounts of knowledge through very simple forms.

Here, we have a bindrune symbolizing Odin’s sacrifice on the Great Tree, where after 9 nights, he falls “screaming,” receiving the secrets of the runes. A gift for a gift (sacrifice).

Broken down we have :

ᛇ – Eihwaz (Yggdrasil, Axis Mundi, World Tree)

ᚬ – Oss (The hanging god, Odin)

ᚼ – Hagal (Hail, transformation, change)

ᚷ – Gebo (Gift, sacrifice, exchange)

If you want this, contact me. It’s made on Norway Spruce harvested from our land. If you want something custom of your own design, I would be honored to make it a physical reality. I have access to many kinds of wood, many of which are already processed and cured.

I have many runesets available as well. These include Elder Futhark, Younger and Anglo-Saxon Futhorcs. Adalruna sets are available as well, all on various wood types.

Hailaz