#TuesdayRunes – Eihwaz

Welcome to another segment of our study of the runes! Today we take a look at Eihwaz (eeh-wahz).

Eihwaz Rune photo by Jan Sikes

The keywords for this rune are death, regeneration, rebirth, changes, and magic. While those words may not sound like they have much in common, they truly do. This rune represents the Yew tree, making it symbolic of both death and regeneration. The Yew is a highly toxic plant to humans and livestock. In ancient times, poisons from the tree were used for murder and suicide. However, on the other hand, the yew tree is also considered a tree of life, due to its evergreen nature and extreme longevity. A wild Yew can live for thousands of years and when they do begin to die, they can be regenerated by their own daughter trees that grow inside their decaying trunks.

Yew Tree courtesy of geograph.ore.uk

Eihwaz is an extremely powerful symbol of the cycle of death and life.

Eihwaz does not indicate literal death, but much like the Death card in the Tarot deck, indicates an ending that will lead to a new beginning. If things seem to be at a halt (Wow! That makes me think of the Hangman card we got in yesterday’s tarot reading), be patient. You are being asked to allow an old situation to fall away so that new developments can enter your life.

It can also symbolize leaving behind old ways, allowing old aspects of yourself to die away now that they are no longer serving you. Don’t resist the changes that are underway. Instead, learn to go with the flow and be flexible. You may not be able to see it now, but what you are currently dealing with is paving the way for a new and improved situation.

Another interesting comparison of this rune and the Death card in the Tarot deck is that even though runes precede tarot cards by at least a thousand years, both carry the number 13. The Death card is the thirteenth card in the Major Arcana, and Eihwaz is the thirteenth rune in the Elder Futhark.

My take away from this rune, if it were to show up in a reading would be: Death is only the end of a cycle and NEVER the end of the story!

Other meanings of this rune include an association with magical work, particularly of a protective nature in dealing with transformation. It has been called a symbol of the gateway to the underworld and of deliberate journeys to the non-physical realm in search of knowledge or understanding. This rune can offer protection, overcoming obstacles, spiritual development, strengthening of physical and magical powers.

Again, I want to remind you this is not a reading, simply a study of this rune.

The birthdates associated with this rune are December 28th to January 13th.