Runes – TEIWAZ
(T: Tyr, the sky god.)
DIVINATORY MEANINGS: Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters. Duty, discipline, responsibility, self-sacrifice, conflict, strength, a wound, physicality, the warrior path
MAGICAL USES: protection, victory, strength, strengthening the will, healing a wound
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES: Tyr and the Fenris Wolf, Odin’s ordeals
ANALYSIS: Just as the second aett began with the cleansing destruction of hagalaz, so too does the third aett begin with a loss. However, hail is imposed by the Gods to force the sacrifice of those things which aren’t really vital to our development. Teiwaz, on the other hand, represents a voluntary sacrifice, made by someone who understands exactly what they are giving up and why.
Tyr’s sacrifice of his hand to allow the binding of the Fenris Wolf was a noble one, and notable in a pantheon of deities not known for their sense of duty and ethical responsibility. He is believed to be one of the oldest of the Norse Gods – a Bronze-age rock carving was found in Scandinavia depicting a one-handed warrior – and his position may well have originally superseded Odin. Tyr’s rune is also one of the oldest in the futhark, having survived virtually unchanged from the earliest Bronze-age carvings. It represents all those qualities associated with the God: strength, heroism, duty and responsibility. But it also represents a deeper mystery – that of the wounded God. Like thurisaz, the pain of teiwaz focuses the attention and forces discipline. However, in this case the effect is more conscious and the wound carries a greater significance. Uruz has been confronted and bound, and the lessons of teiwaz and hagalaz have been learned. This is the path of the warrior.