Uruz – Initial Rune Study

Six months ago I started a thorough initial study of the Elder Futhark. Each week I would focus on a new rune, reading the rune poems and a number of published interpretations. While these posts are old (originally posted to my Tumblr), I want to move them over here for easy reference.

Week 2: Uruz

Basic meanings: Aurochs, wild ox

Further meanings: Strength, vitality, speed, force, courage, great energy

Divinatory meanings: Untamed potential, strength to get through something, need of discipline, action, change (usually for the better), shaping of power, aggression, endurance, ability or need to take responsibility, a time of good health or healing, persistence, rejuvenation, moral strength, uncontrolled rage, patterning, wisdom, indestructibility, overcome obstacles, possibly time to take a risk.

Reverse meanings: Weakness, obsession, misdirected force, domination by others.  Sickness, inconsistency, ignorance.  Lust, brutality, rashness, callousness, violence.

Magical uses: Shaping circumstances with will and inspiration, healing and maintenance of good mental and physical health, bringing about fortunate circumstances, self-knowledge and -understanding, seeing something through to the end (despite possible burn out). Where Fehu was the initial spark, Uruz keeps the energy flowing.

Personal Thoughts On and Associations with Uruz

The meaning of Uruz was initially harder to grasp, especially by its most basic meaning.  Aurochs were not something I really knew anything about.  Add to that the fact that they are extinct, which, when considering Uruz’s meaning of indestructibility and tenacity, is sad and ironic.

Also, the “oo” sound (either the more closed sound in “boot” or the slightly more open sound in “book”) made it difficult to do the same exercise I did with Fehu.  With Fehu, I made a list of the words which began with “f”.  I ended up having to list words that contained the “oo” sound rather than beginning.  This did end up becoming extremely useful, however, to my understanding of Uruz and its connection to Fehu.  Uruz isn’t meant as a first state, it’s something that comes along after the initiatory spark and sustains, maintains.  So its appearance in the middle of words (at least in English) makes perfect sense.

However, because my previous exercise didn’t work, I had to try something else.  While I was unfamiliar with aurochs, I thought more about the wild ox and listed some of its features: strong, stubborn, doesn’t back down, wild, horns, fighter, honor, large, powerful, unstoppable, protective.  This gave me a good start when I started researching the other meanings.  The healing aspect surprised me, but I can understand why it’s there.

An odd association with Uruz came up this weekend.  I went home to Texas, which slowed down my studies this week.  I bought boots while home, which I hadn’t had since high school.  Wearing boots always makes me feel like it’s time to get shit done.  Uruz makes me feel the same way.

The best part about Uruz to me, however, is how it feels when chanting it.  Seriously.  Drop into your lower register, get the wider vibrations into your voice, and draw out the word.  It feels awesome.  I was having an unfocused anxious moment when I sat down to do this meditation, and repeating it over and over for fifteen minutes just put everything back in order.

There’s much more to this rune, but this is what I got for now.  Thanks for reading.  Please drop me a message if you have any other Uruz thoughts or stories you’re willing to share.

Sources for meanings:

  • Sunnyway.com/runes/index.html
  • Runelore by Edred Thorsson
  • Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
  • Principles of Runes by Freya Aswynn
  • Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn
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