Further Analysis of the Tiwaz Rune

Tiwaz

ᛏ / T

Tiwaz is a peculiar rune, representing a broad spectrum of meanings, associations, and uses. In Proto-Germanic, Tiwaz means “deity/god,” and would later develop into the Norse god Týr.  In most cases, it is agreed upon that Tiwaz is a rune of victory, war, warriors, justice, and the sky.  Tiwaz stems from the proto-Indo-European word deywós, meaning “god,” which was a deification of the daytime sky. When Tacitus wrote of the Germanic tribes, he spoke of a certain war god they worshiped, identifying it with the Roman god Mars. Tiwaz is cognate with the Greek god Zeus, another great sky god of the Pagans. The Luwians of Anatolia had a sun-god named Tiwaz as well, with another epithet of tati, meaning “father.”

There has been much debate over whether Tyr or Odin was the chief god of the Germans before Christianity, mostly due to this word and the emphasis on the god in Germania. Not only this, but on the Negau helmets found in Slovenia, dated 450-350 B.C., we have a runic inscription reading “Teiva,” which would indicate ancient worship of this god. I think it is possible there was more emphasis on this god in some areas of Europe, although it’s possible it could have just been a term used for Odin. There are many names for Odin ending with the word –týr, including Valtýr (god of dead warriors) and Farmatýr (god of cargoes). When viewing Tiwaz (and its shape) through the lens of Odin, we can attribute this rune to his magic spear, Gungnir, which he hurls over enemies that are to be conquered. In Voluspa verse 23 it is said:

“On the host his spear

did Othin hurl,

Then in the world

did war first come…”

Evidence for Tiwaz being invoked in war or magical purposes can be found in Sigrdrífumál, verse 6,where the great valkyrie, Sigrdrífa, states:

“Winning-runes learn,

    if thou longest to win,

    And the runes on thy sword-hilt write;

    Some on the furrow,

    and some on the flat,

    And twice shalt thou call on Tyr.”

In Old English, this rune/god was called Tīw. This is where we get our modern word Tuesday from, as the second day of the week in the time of the early English was called Tiwesdæg. The“Old English Rune Poem” states:

“Tyr is a certain sign, it keeps covenant well

with athelings; it is ever on course

above the night’s mists; it never misleads.”

This poem invokes Tiwaz as a “certain” sign, meaning one that is unwavering. It keeps its oaths and promises, as Tyr is a god of honor, justice, and judgement. This is reflected in another Old English word, tīr, meaning “fame, glory, honor.” As an Aesir god, his duty is among them and his dharma is unclouded in their ranks. Tyr is the law. The last line mentions this rune as a star, likely Polaris, which has been used to navigate the northern hemisphere since antiquity. With this perspective, one can see the Tiwaz rune in the “little dipper.”

The “Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme” is less descriptive but more cryptic in tone, stating:

“Tyr is the one-handed among gods.

Oft the smith has to be blowing.”

The poem invokes Tyr’s mythological context of being one-handed, as he is said to have one bitten off by the wolf Fenrir. The second line refers to Tyr as a war-god, as during wartime, a smith is hard at work making weapons and tools of battle. Tyr is usually identified with the sword, and thus, would further connect him closely with the smith and smithing.  The mysterious tone of this poem is likely due to poetic artistry.

The “Old Icelandic Rune Poem” adds another element to the previous poem, stating:

“Tyr is the one-handed Ase, and the wolf’s leftovers,

And the helmsman of holy sites.”

Here we see the same concepts brought up as in the former poem, although the second line clarifies the connection with the wolf, as “leftovers” refers to Tyr’s hand that wolf Fenrir bites off. The “helmsmen” of holy sites is an interesting line, showing Tyr’s role as a mediator, judge, or presence of justice. Tyr is truth, law, and vigilance.

Tyr’s shape has been theorized to symbolize a pillar holding up the sky, perhaps giving deeper insight into his role in the ancient worldview of the pagans. Tiwaz was a protector and upholder of the glorious daytime heavens, the unobstructed sun and fair weather on the land. Another proto-Indo-European root word for Tiwaz is dyew-, meaning “sky, heaven” and “to be bright.” Together, with the notion of a god, I believe it is without doubt we are looking at a sky-god representing the unobstructed sun. The glory of the daytime sky was was synonymous with god and heaven.

In conclusion, it is clear that Tiwaz, in his many forms and titles, has persisted for many thousands of years throughout time and culture. Whether associated directly with the sky, heaven, and sun, or whether associated with honor, oaths, and justice, we see a god of high rank and merit. No matter which pantheon we look at, Tiwaz can be found in some way, ranking highest or near the top. The Old English associated this rune highly with honor, fame, and glory, while the continental tribes associated Tiwaz more directly with war and victory. Either way, Tiwaz can be attributed to warriors, weapons (spears/swords), and victory in battle. For modern pagans, we shouldn’t overlook this god in our practice, as Tuesdays should be dedicated to his admiration and veneration. Tiwaz is a good god for those interested in criminal justice, honor, or warfare. In this respect, Tiwaz has long been a god of warriors and military personnel. Therefore, practicing pagans in the military should look to this god for protection and guidance.  May he protect you always and fill you with the courage and stability to do what is right.

Runes : Video 8 – Introduction to the Younger Futhorc Runes, Part.3

In this video, I will give a brief rundown of the meanings and basic interpretations of runes 12-16 of the Younger Futhark (Futhorc).

For more information about the esoteric and practical side of runes, you can pick up a copy of my book “Runes, Bindrunes and Hahalruna: European Sorcery and Divination” on Amazon.

Hailaz

*I have no academic credentials regarding any of these topics. I am a private researcher and practitioner of this school of traditional Germanic occultism and share information regarding my experience along the way.

Futhorc Meditation

ᚠ:

Fe is a fire, and fuel of desire,

Light as a feather, heavy as iron.

ᚢ:

Ur is one’s power, endurance and might,

Primal aggression, and fuel for the fight.

ᚦ:

Thurs are the remnants, more ancient than gods,

Raising creations, from their dead bodies.

ᚬ:

Oss is the old one, more wise than the rest,

Slayer of Ymir, bestower of breath.

ᚱ:

Reid is a wheel, steering your journey,

Safely through hardship, and whole to the end.

ᚴ:

Kaun is the burning, when agony strikes,

A fetter of flames, a road of fire.

ᚼ:

Hagal can curse you, and others as well,

The powers of change, that nothing can quell.

ᚾ:

Naud is the lesson, teacher of spirit

Cross of the heathen, step of the ladder.

ᛁ:

Is moves with patience, over the landscape,

Silent destruction, focusing the mind.

ᛅ:

Ar is the reaping, gold in the meadow,

Fat on the cattle, food in the kettle.

ᛋ:

Sol rising higher, holiest fire,

Priest up in heaven, divine transformer.

ᛏ:

Tyr follows battle, invoked during war,

Carved on the sword hilt, warrior idol.

ᛒ:

Bjarkan is fragrant, a beautiful wood,

A bridge from the Earth, to those under root.

ᛘ:

Madr is mortal, observer of time,

Conscious creation, subjective divine.

ᛚ:

Lagu is life-force, connecting the lands,

Carry us forward, towards destinies sands.

ᛣ:

Yr is a poison, that also can heal,

A force of tension, projection of fate.

Authority from Within

As the path of Odin, Shiva, Socrates, Lucifer, Buddha, and many others will reveal: authority, truth, and wisdom reside in our core, lying within us. Through the emulation and understanding of these most invulnerable and permanent forms, the essence of the Self stirring within every human incarnation, we get a glimpse into a higher, more focused, refined and crystalline sense of reason and awareness. Here is where all answers await, and where all questions of importance in time must be directed, as this is the only conveyer of truth, the eternal Self within all. This is the voice which calls the true seeker; drawing ever closer to its origin; striving to balance the earth and sky.

A Rhythm of Younger Runes

ᚠ Fe makes right,

ᚠ Fe makes greed,

ᚠ Just enough – is what we need.

ᚢ Ur has hoof,

ᚢ Ur has horn,

ᚢ Mighty wild – eyes of scorn

ᚦ Thurs are sharp,

ᚦ Thurs are wise,

ᚦ Ancient beings – in disguise.

ᚬ Oss is wind,

ᚬ Oss is wide,

ᚬ Pointed hat – spear at the side.

ᚱ Reid is reigns,

ᚱ Reid is spokes,

ᚱ Thor’s wagon – drawn behind goats.

ᚴ Kaun is heat,

ᚴ Kaun is fire,

ᚴ In the depths – of our desires.

ᚼ Hagal maims,

ᚼ Hagal tolls,

ᚼ Crystal star – that’s hard to hold.

ᚾ Naud is lock,

ᚾ Naud is key,

ᚾ Opening doors – that we need.

ᛁ Is is still,

ᛁ Is is clear,

ᛁ Hanging from roofs – like cold spears.

ᛅ Ar is blood,

ᛅ Ar is wheat,

ᛅ Harvesting that – which we seek.

ᛋ Sol is high,

ᛋ Sol is bold,

ᛋ In the skull – wheel of gold.

ᛏ Tyr is right,

ᛏ Tyr is score,

ᛏ Call upon – in times of war.

ᛒ Bjarkan shines,

ᛒ Bjarkan sees,

ᛒ Far away – atop the trees.

ᛘ Madr lives,

ᛘ Madr dies,

ᛘ In between – is where he lies.

ᛚ Lagu falls,

ᛚ Lagu pours,

ᛚ Bringing life – and carrying oars.

ᛣ Yr is green,

ᛣ Yr is bow,

ᛣ Up above – and down below.

Memory of Younger Runes

ᚠ – Fe is domestic,

ᚢ – Ur is chaotic,

ᚦ – Thurs is both for the good and the bad.

ᚬ – Oss is for breathing,

ᚱ – Reid is for riding,

ᚴ – Kaun is the torch that burns all around.

ᚼ – Hagal is harshness,

ᚾ – Naud is resistance,

I – Is marks the silence frozen in time.

ᛅ – Ar is the cycle,

ᛋ – Sol is the sun-flow,

ᛏ – Tyr is the pillar holding the sky.

ᛒ – Bjarkan is whitest,

ᛘ – Madr is wisest,

ᛚ – Lagu is water, tides, and the moon.

ᛦ – Yr is the crossroads,

A path you must choose,

One path you win and one path you lose.

Tiwaz – Rune of Order

Tiwaz is the rune of the great and ancient Sky God. This force governs victory, justice, and order among mankind. Tiwaz brings purpose and reason to us, offering a balance to the opposing powers of chaos and confusion. Tiwaz is a celestial power that neutralizes and combats the earthy, primitive, and chaotic forces governing the animal kingdom. It grants us our status as a different type of sentient being; one that isn’t driven by mere instinct but can analyze and impose its’ will upon the surrounding environment. Tiwaz is an ancient god of War, typically associated with the Roman god Mars or the ancient Indo-European god of the Day and Heaven, Deywós.

Tiwaz invokes and governs justice among men. When instinct drives us to be chaotic man-apes, we are returned to balance and reason by Tiwaz. Without this crucial force within us, we would be incomplete creatures without the capability to analyze or interpret; one of our most prominent and important features as a species. If you lie, cheat, and steal to get by, Tiwaz will bring you agony and leave you with an internal void, a lack of real accomplishment. In this respect, Tiwaz, like Algiz, can be associated with acts that increase one’s Hamingja, attracting more good fortune into one’s life.

Tiwaz represents leadership, honor, and duty to a specific cause. He is dedicated and focused, unwavering in his faithfulness and zeal. Honor guides him and he absorbs good fortune, radiating the powers of justice and willpower wherever he goes. He is graceful and gallant, as any great warrior must be.

Tiwaz is the spirit of honor and goodness, chivalry and grace. He is the archetype of the Warrior or Knight within the European soul. Bravery, courage, honor, and loyalty to what you believe in are his powers. This emulation is crucial and pivotal in our ascension of body, mind, and spirit. It is important to never turn your back on the realms of Tiwaz. If you do, you will surely lead a life of deception, bad luck, and treachery.