Tiewaz, the Spiritual Warrior Rune

rune-block-TiewazTiewaz is probably the most well known of the Elder Futhark runes. It’s shape that of a simple arrow belies the complexity and power of this rune. Tiewaz is the rune of the ultimate warrior. Tiewaz represents the Spiritual Warrior. Not to gainsay the honor and bravery of those who place themselves in harm’s way as a warrior of peace for others, Tiewaz speaks specifically of a deeper battle…the battle with our inner selves.

Tiewaz’s harshest message is when he is telling you that you must let go or sacrifice an old way of thinking. For most of us, this is a very difficult thing to do. These are not issues of outer consideration, but the issues that appear deep within the core of each of us where the battle of the Spiritual Warrior never ceases. The Spiritual Warrior is on a path, a quest to connect with the higher self. In order to accomplish this, sacrifices must be made – mainly those of the inner self. The sacrifice of Tiewaz is only as painful as we make it be. Tiewaz tells us to go within so that we can let go of what constrains us.

Warriors of battle on the physical plane painted Tiewaz on their shields. Its power was said to grant courage and strength to the warrior while granting him protection as well. Tiewaz represents a positive outcome in battle. Many tribes tattooed this symbol to the arms of warriors so all would know their high standing and importance. It has only been in modern times that those who sacrifice the most for peace have not been held in the absolute highest esteem.

The famed Red Branch of ancient Ireland is a perfect example of the high regard warriors received. At one time warriors were given the place of honor at the fire pit or table. The warrior’s portion was normally the best piece of meat served to one who had acted heroically during the battle. The health of the warriors was watched with great care for without them there was no defense! Warriors were directly below royalty or tribal chiefs on the social/political ladder. In many cultures it took a vote of the warriors for a decision to be made (while others it was a vote of the elders). Even today, around the world, among those who are serving in harm’s way there is a soldier wearing Tiewaz.

The warrior application of Tiewaz is also seen in its shape. Its obvious representation of an arrow cannot be denied. The arrow is a powerful weapon when wielded by a skilled archer. It can kill nearly silently with just the shushing sound of displaced air. Archers were respected for their strength, skill and stamina. It took powerful muscles to wield a war bow or long bow. Even the cross-bow takes effort. With the application of effort working in conjunction with a simple machine (the bow) an individual can become an effective long range weapon. Without the archer the bow is a piece of wood with sinew attached. With the archer it is a force to be reckoned with! Be the archer of your body, mind and spirit!

Tiewaz – The Warrior

Tiewaz, the Warrior is aligned with Tyr and a member of
Tyr’s Aett.

Key Word(s): Tiewaz is the warrior. Victory in battle, The Norse Sky God – Tiw (you refer to him each time you say Tuesday), and the war god Tyr.

Element: There is nothing receptive about Tiewaz. Tiewaz is the symbol of the ultimate male polarity. Positive, surging, probing, aggressive, the warrior is not passive in his craft unless the situation calls for it (i.e. an ambush – but beware you are not setting up an ambushing on yourself)!

Only Mars, the red planet, named for a different pantheon’s God of War, is the planet most strongly linked with Tiewaz. Reading the stories and mythologies of the gods of war in myth and legend may help you connect with your inner warrior.

Tarot Link: The Warrior protects his or her people. The Warrior is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of the self to ensure that those they care for are safe from harm’s way. The Warrior is there to ensure a sense of justice in the world. It is the Justice card that is linked with the Warrior, for Tiewaz points up, speaking of the Warrior’s high ideals.

Color: Flame red, what else? We are said to “see red” when we are angry. But the wise warrior knows to wait until the red of emotional anger fades before deciding on a course and proceeding.

Polarity: Male energy at its most potent. Within this Rune and its representation are the emblem of the best and worst of us as a race. In the aspect of the Spiritual Warrior it represents those who have chosen a stronger connection with the inner strengths and warming embrace of their belief system. In its most noble aspect it is the Physical Warrior who nobly sacrifices self for the protection of those they care for. In its most negative extreme, Tiewaz symbolizes war. While many noble and heroically brave and stunningly selfless acts occur on the battlefield, war is still hell and epitomizes the worst of our race.

Healing Property: Tiewaz, who demands the best of those with the most promise – the young men and women of fighting age – does not forget those who make it through the battlefields to old age. Tiewaz’s strongest healing energy is for rheumatism, arthritis and other joint ailments; especially those of the hands.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Teiwaz is associated with the letter T.

Special Runic Associations: Tiewaz is the Warrior Rune, it is one of the four Love Runes and is one of the runes in the Physical Healing grouping.


thurisazbThurisa is called the Gateway Rune. It’s glyph is used in drawing and sketching gateways. Gateways represent moving from one space into another. Gateways and their symbols abound in modern culture. Whether it is the gate at the secure neighborhood, or the gate for the remote ranch, or the “gate” of the doorjamb which is the entrance to every home, the gateway is a place of transference from one space to another.

Without gateways to show us that we are transferring from one space to another we may not realize the transfer has occurred. Thurisa is related to the heart. Modern medicine has shown us that there are valves (another word for a one-way gate) within the heart. When the gates, or valves, work properly our hearts pump sustaining nutrients and oxygen through our cardiovascular system. The steady rhythm of your heartbeat is one of the ways doctors test the body to see if it is strong. When the gates or valves malfunction, serious medical issues may immediately occur.

Thurisa speaks of standing in the gateway, ready to take the step. The young virgin bride stands in the arbor (another representation of a gateway). She can’t help but review her life of innocence that she has lived until now. With her father escorting her towards her soon to be husband she reflects on her past that she is symbolically and physically leaving behind. However, her eyes rest on the one soon to combine with her in perfect partnership, creating a bright future for them both. This is Gateway’s power — The power of passage from one form of being to another.

This rune features highly for those runemal that look at the progressions of life’s progress. Many believe that our life is cyclical and we repeat scenarios which are similar although we may interpret them differently. This theory can be expressed with the oft repeated phrase “if we do not learn the lessons of history we are doomed to repeat them.” Whether interpreted for mankind as a whole or the individual self, Thurisa calls you to wait at the precipice before stepping off into the future. Take the time to review where you have been as it will allow you to appreciate your accomplishments and help solidify your path ahead.

Thor, the Norse God of War is aligned with this Rune. If you’re of the right demographic, you may remember Thor from Saturday morning cartoons or comic books at the 5 and Dime store. Thor was a major player in the Norse Pantheon. The association of Thor should not be missed and the fact that he is still “alive” today in popular culture speaks much of his endurance. We still honor Thor in today’s calendar – Thor’s Day is Thursday.

Thor’s aggressive association may be warning you that those around you are being false or giving you false information. Thurisa warns you to watch the thorns among the roses!

Thurisa – Gateway

Thurisa belongs to Freyr’s Aett.

Key Word(s): Thorn, defence, giant, and non-action.

Element: Thurisa is aligned with the element of fire. Once you have stepped through the gateway you will never be the same again. Yet, like the Phoenix who rises from its own ashes within the fire, you have matured, developed and grown through the transmutive properties of fire.

Thurisa is aligned with the gas giant Jupiter.

Tarot Link: Only the Emperor could hold the regality of the knowledge of proper time and place. The Emperor is truly in command of all that he surveys. He waits, watching the members of his Court, allowing them to show their true colors to him.

Color: Red, the color of fire and change.

Polarity: Gateway is masculine. Thurisa invites you to step forth, but only after proper reflection.

Healing Property: One of the properties of the gateway is the healing essence it brings to the human emotions.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Thurisa is associated with the phonetic combination of TH or P.

Special Runic Associations: Thurisa is the Twelfth in the Cycle of Initiation. Speaking of the non-action to assimilate lessons learned, it hints at the promise of the future beyond the gateway. Thurisa is one of the runes in the Emotional Healing Runic Grouping and the Protection Runic Grouping.

Sowelu, the Rune of Wholeness

sowulobSowelu is the final of the runes of the Elder Futhark. After traveling through the entire set of Runes we come to Sowelu – Wholeness. Sowelu is the wholeness to which we all belong and are connected. Sowelu is finding wholeness and completeness within whom we are and how we interact with others. Sowelu is the Sun in it’s most magnificent and beneficent guises. Sowelu is the harvest from the fields stored and ready to carry through the dark of winter’s night. Sowelu is achievement. Sowelu is celebration. Sowelu means having what we need when we need it – even if we can’t see the truth of that in the current moment.

Sowelu’s wholeness can also be the wholeness found in a happy and appropriate relationship. Sowelu indicates that your personal regenerative powers will allow for you to continue to grow even after you have achieved wholeness. It is once you have achieved wholeness for the self that you can truly participate as an equal partner in a romantic relationship. For, as it is often said, we must learn to love ourselves before we can turn the internal light of self-love out to the world. Loving ourselves allows us to choose those relationships that are healthy and nurturing for us and our partner.

Sowelu speaks of basking in the glory of the sun’s rays. The spiritual warrior has achieved his center. His final arrow has been released and he now knows the inner workings of his own character. Through this position of wholeness a new, stronger, more solid, and higher foundation is created.

Although Sowelu speaks of completion and wholeness, he also challenges you to remember that life never stands still. Regardless of the dictates of man, the earth revolves, the moon smiles down on us as she goes through her phases; together earth and moon along with the other planets and moons revolving around the sun; our solar system is part of a huge galaxy called the Milky Way that is believed to circle like a pinwheel around a structure called a “super-massive black hole.” “As above, so below” was an oft used phrase to describe this string of similarities from the smallest forms of life into the unknowns of the universe, it seems when we find differences in life we find even more similarities.

Sowelu is strongly aligned with the Sun’s Energy. The sun’s energy is anything but passive. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a European Space Agency satellite launched by NASA in December 1995. It has been quietly revolutionizing knowledge about our sun’s mechanics. SOHO has shown us that the surface of the sun is a roiling mass, shooting out ejecta, coronas, and arcs. Never the same, it is always changing, burning, roiling – the solar winds have serious impact on our small planet. But without the solar winds and ejections we wouldn’t know the glory of the northern (or southern) lights! The sun’s energy warms the wrinkled face of the old woman in her chair as well as the smooth skin of the new born babe. Sowelu beckons you to recreate yourself from the crone to the babe, ready for a new life journey.

Sowelu – Wholeness

Aett: Sowelu, the last of the marked runes is a member of Hagal’s Aett.

Key Word(s): Sowelu – the Sun, wholeness, completeness, personal life force, the growing energy of the sun.

Element: Sowelu calls us to the higher parts of our existence, to reach for the sun (it is the closest star, after all), and expand our life force for a new path soon to be chosen.

Again, The Sun. In all it’s aspects, Sowelu operates under the guises of the Sun. Sowelu allows you to accept the new you with an open heart and mind. Allow your new light to shine and combine with others to reflect the warming growth of the sun within your lives and relationships.

Tarot Link: Predictably redundant, The Sun is the Tarot card most closely aligned with Sowelu.

Color: White – the brightest of lights.

Polarity: The sun shines down upon us. Sowelu is a masculine or male polarity rune.

Healing Property: With its strong association with the sun, Sowelu is believed to be beneficial when working with burns or skin problems.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Sowelu is aligned with one of the most used letters of the alphabet – S.

Special Runic Associations: Sowelu is the last of the love runes. When Sowelu appears in regard to a relationship issue pay close attention to the message. Although it cannot totally negate the meanings of other runes around it in a casting, Sowelu does much to either shine light on issues you need to look at or mitigates some of the more negative aspects of the runes close to it.


raidobRaido speaks to us of the ending of a journey. Whether it is the journey within or a physical journey you embarked on, you now can see the value in your efforts. Raido reminds us that the path we walk in life is a journey of the body, a journey of the mind, and a journey of the soul. Each (body, mind or soul) may respond to stimuli differently, but they are all separate aspects of the entirety of the self. The body provides the stimulus for the mind. The soul directs the mind to a higher course. The mind incorporates the stimulus of the body and the directives of the soul to create the journey of life.

Communication is another meaning assigned to Raido. It’s not chance that Radio uses the same letters – in fact the only change is the transposition of the i and the d. The radio is the ultimate symbol of modern communication. I doubt that Mr. Marconi ever thought we’d have wireless internet, but he sure had vision and created a medium that has evolved to allow us just that luxury. However, Raido normally means the communication at issue is that with the inner self. Rarely does it include outside communications coming to you that are of import to the inner self, but primarily this is a rune of introspection.

Within its construct, Raido contains Wunjo (joy). Raido invites us to find the joy of going within ourselves. Raido invites us to continue on the journey of the Cycle of Initiation. Through communication with our inner voice, our inner self, our universal essence, we achieve a state of internal joy that need not be tended to by others. We become joyful within ourself. Raido can indicate a period of aloneness where we have to focus on our internal self, distancing ourselves from those who have influence over us. Hence the journey.

The wisdom of Raido is to continue on your journey of growth and connection with the inner self. You may have to face some of your greatest fears. You may have to open the musty closets of your memory and allow yourself the healing journey of reviewing the past for it’s lessons before gently letting go of the negative associations while remembering the learning and growth received.

Raido reminds us that all good things come to he (or she) who waits. Raido cautions patience. As we understand ourselves better we have to incorporate the lessons as we walk our path. Patience grants great rewards to those who learn her lesson. To learn the lesson of patience one must travel within to find their center. Without that centering, patience can turn into stagnation. Be receptive, but remember movement is required for the journey to continue. Make a forward step. Be daring. Find your inner journey to guide your outer steps.

Raido – Journey

Raido belongs to the Aett of Freyr

Key Word(s): A journey, riding, communication, motion, travel, and wheel are all key words associated with Raido.

Element: The elements of water and air are both aligned with this rune. Remember that water teaches us to go with the flow, while air reminds us to leave space for growth, change and development.

Zodiac Sign: The duality of Raido (remember, it takes “two” for communication to occur – a sender must send to a receiver who receives) is signified by the alliance with Gemini, the Zodiac sign of the Twins.

Tarot Link: With its requirement of an inner journey and communication with the inner (some call higher) self, it is no surprise to see that it is the Hierophant to whom Raido is aligned.

Color: Raido, communication, is associated with the color red.

Polarity: Raido is the active force of communication…the sender…the masculine polarity in the communicative act.

Healing Property: With it’s allegiance to travel, Raido lends its considerable healing energy best to the legs and gluteal muscles. As you are walking out the pins and needles in your legs from riding too long in your car which has shocks and a passenger compartment and fully padded ergonomically designed seat, imagine what the poor horseman who spent all day in the saddle must feel.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Raido’s modern counterpart is the letter R.

Special Runic Associations: Raido is the Eleventh Rune in the Cycle of Initiation. Through the communication with the inner self which results in the journey of the soul, we prepare ourselves for the future we are now creating.

Perth, the Rune of Initiation

perthPerth comes into a casting with strong messages. Perth is not a gentle or passive rune, although it is aligned with a feminine polarity. Perth is the relentless force of water. Unstoppable, controllable only to a point, and then, suddenly – with no warning – the water is out of control, drowning everything and smashing it to bits and pieces as flotsam is slammed and hammered into buildings or structures. Perth clears a path for change.

Perth is associated with initiations and in some cultures the symbol is worn with pride by the girls who have entered into womanhood. This was a mark of her leaving total innocence of life’s greatest mystery behind and moving through the change of childhood into adulthood.

Perth talks to us about the unknowable in life. Although usually a prod to action, Perth can be telling you that your situation is far different that what you perceive it to be because there is much
going on outside of your range of vision or knowing! Sometimes the best action is no action. An indication of this is that many rune masters will terminate a reading before it truly has begun if the first rune pulled is Perth. It is said that if Perth is the first to appear that the answers are beyond comprehension at this time. It’s not saying you’re stoop-id! It is saying that no matter how well you think you know the situation there are important factors beyond your ken.

Perth speaks of secrets and the unknown, of hidden forces and unseen activities. Perth appears to tell you that there are things going on beyond your control so it is best to set things aside for now. Perth isn’t saying that you should give up, just set that particular issue aside for the now and let life take it’s course. Action will come, but wait until you have all available input. Perth reminds us to choose our moments for action appropriately. The time for you to take overt action.

On the material plane Perth is about surprises, gains or unexpected rewards. (Just because it’s “unknown” doesn’t mean it isn’t good!) Perth can be showing you where you have laid the proper foundation and are now in the position of being able to reap the benefits and rewards of your endeavors. When Perth shows up in your spread, you can be sure that there is a mystery involved. Mysteries can be good (ever heard of Agatha Christy?), or they can sneak up and bite us in the butt when we least expect it.

On the inner plane, when Perth arrives she invites your spirit to soar to a new degree of wholeness and acceptance. That invitation is an invitation to soar on the wings of the mighty eagle – the bird most aligned with nobility of spirit. Through the lessons Perth teaches she provides you with opportunities to soar. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Allow your inner self to capitalize on the chance to fly by being prepared to capitalize on opportunities that come your way.

Perth – Initiation

Perth is a member of Hagal’s Aett.

Key Word(s): Keywords associated with Perth are initiation, uncertainty, things beyond your knowning or ken in action, a secret matter and mystery.

Element: Perth appropriately, is aligned with the element of water. Water is essential to life. Without water we die in seven to ten days. Allow Perth and the hidden depths of her watery affiliation to flow through your life, clearing, cleansing, and setting a stable foundation for the inner self to achieve wholeness.

Zodiac Sign: The sign of the Scorpion, Scorpio is the sign most closely associated with Perth.

Tarot Link: It should come as no surprise that the Tarot association with Perth is the Wheel of Fortune. Letting go and trusting to the flow of the Universe may be difficult, but allowing for a little chance brings sparkle. (If not, how the heck do they sell all those lottery tickets?)

Color: Perth is associated with black. Black is the ultimate unknowable. Black is the ultimate darkness. Black is the ultimate unseen.

Polarity: As discussed above, Perth is telling you to be receptive with it’s feminine polarity.

Healing Property: All matters of physical healing are aided by this Rune. Wearing the rune Perth is said to help heal those who are injured or sick.

Modern Letter Counterpart: Perth is most closely identified with the modern consonant “P.”

Special Runic Associations: Perth is specific – if it is the first Rune pulled, the matter should be reviewed at another time as forces are still in motion and the outcome undetermined. In the Cycle of Initiation it is the fourth Rune focusing it’s properties on initiation or something being hidden. Perth is in the physical healing grouping – most of the time in physical healing we don’t actually see the regenerative growth happening cell by cell, but we know it is there as we heal and grow stronger.