Tiwaz # 17 May 25, 2007 5:07:24 GMT -5
Post by Senbecc on May 25, 2007 5:07:24 GMT -5
Welcome to Tyr’s Aett, the third and final aett (group of eight) of the Elder Futhark. Tiwaz is the name of this aett’s first rune in reconstructed Common Germanic. Its name became first Teiws in Gothic, then later Tiw or Tiu in Anglo-Saxon and Tyr in Old Norse. Its phonetic value is that of the Roman letter “T,” or sometimes, in the Younger Futhark, that of the letter “D,” since the D-Rune, Dagaz, did not carry over into that shortened Futhark. In the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Saxon Futhork, this rune has the form of an upward-pointing arrow or spear. The “broad arrow” used at least up till recently by the British Government to mark its weapons and property is possibly a remnant of Tiwaz. Its meaning is the God known as Tiw/Tiu to the Anglo-Saxons and Tyr to the Norse. The word Tiwaz itself is attested in the historical record as Teiwaz (written in a North Italic alphabet which probably served as a model for the Elder Futhark) on a helmet found in the former Yugoslavia. Tyr was indeed known in the early part of the Common Era. Unfortunately, Roman authors such as Tacitus translated his name as "Mars," their version of the Greek war God Ares, even though Tyr, while sharing this function, is a very different (for starters, less bloodthirsty) God. Please note that I will use “Tiwaz” for the rune and “Tyr” for the God, since this is the most common usage in contemporary Heathendom.
Meanings of this rune in divination include the God Tyr, battle, conquest, victory (a meaning it shares with Sowilo, the previous rune), winning, competition, strategy, weapons, soldiers, war, attack, male leader, fight, and even competitive sports. Magically, Tiwaz is of great use anytime a victory needs to be won. It traditionally marked or engraved at least twice on an object, very frequently a weapon. Check out the Sigdrifumal of the Elder Edda. A modern soldier or police officer might want to put the Tiwaz runes on with an erasable marker, then charge them and remove the markings, if the marking of weapons be against regulations. Thurisaz, Elhaz, and Sowilo can also be marked upon aggressive and protective weapons. Tiwaz can be used to control and aim Thurisaz. This is a dangerous combination even for the advanced student. As a rune of weapons, Tiwaz ties in with the element iron, which made the most effective weapons, at least until uranium came along.
Both the Old Icelandic Rune Poem and the Old Norse Rune Rhyme make direct reference to the war God, Tyr in their verses for the rune Tiwaz. The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, perhaps under Christian influence, identifies Tir (the rune’s name in that language, distinct from Tiw or Tiu, the name of the God) as a star, arguably the North Star. So, all in all, an article on the rune Tiwaz is also a theological treatise on the God who gave it its name.
Tyr and Odin are have a curious, and somewhat polar relationship. While Odin inspires, Tyr motivates! Tyr may well have originally been the old Indo-European Sky Father, since his name, which literally means “(a) God,” is cognate with various Deities of that type as far away as India. In some areas, Tyr may have been the chief God. Later, Odin took over that role. As society developed and became more stable, it became evident that Odin’s cunning and wisdom were ultimately greater than Tyr’s martial force. Far as we can tell, Tyr took this in stride. Although they may be portrayed as otherwise (Thor is NOT stupid even though the myths often depict him as such), our Gods and Goddesses are not petty or jealous. That function, as I see it, can be left to the Monotheistic God. From the Eddic poem Lokasenna, we know that Tyr has a wife. Some identify her with the Swabian Goddess Zisa, although this remains unproven. Whatever her name(s) may have been in centuries past, she seems content to answer to Zisa today, and modern Heathens are re-discovering her mysteries with her cooperation.
Tyr is God of the Thing, or legislative assembly. Modern Heathens frequently put a glove marked with the rune Tiwaz on a pole or spear to declare a frithstead, or precinct in which hostilities must cease. I believe the custom of the glove on a pole to mark a place of peace continued in medieval fairs.
Still, Tyr is NOT a peacemaker. He goes for what is just and fair, and consequences be damned. Please note that while he is not legalistic or Pharisaic; the law Tyr upholds is what is right, or more accurately, the law of life. Thus, one should be very sure that one is in the right before invoking Tyr. I suggest that in cases where folks need to get along for common good (with most divorced or divorcing parents being a good example), that Balder and Nanna, together with their son Forseti, be invoked. Tiwaz can teach much about the proper use of force. Unfortunately, some see modern Heathenism as an excuse for gratuitous violence. Certain skinhead elements come readily to mind. Still, ours is not a religion for doormats. While force should be the last, not the first resort, some choose to understand nothing else. A bad childhood does much to explain, but not excuse a life lived outside the law. The ancients hanged their criminals, or outlawed them and let their victims or their victims’ families take care of it. Our legal system, while far from perfect, is better than most and takes that function in today’s society. Life without parole (in the US prison system, anyway) is probably a fate worse than death!
Tyr and Odin were both invoked before battle and sacrificed to in victory. An old village war cry preserved in Hawick, Scotland evidently invokes them both: “Tyribus ye Tyr ye Odin; Tyr haabus ye Tyr ye Odin,” which evidently is a worn-down Norse phrase meaning something along the line of “Tyr keep us, both Tyr and Odin!” (an e-mail message from Dan Ralph Miller dated 27 December 1994). While the aid of the Elder Kin is indeed a powerful thing, fully worthy of being sought, it is no substitute for personal endeavor and initiative. In the "old days," just as now, folks were wont to blame the Gods, Wyrd, etc. for defeat instead of acknowledging their own mistakes and trying to correct them.
Tiwaz is a rune of truth. While the God Tyr says little and may choose to remain silent, he never lies! His loss of a hand in the binding of the Fenris Wolf is a good example of this. Tiwaz can clear up difficult and confusing situations. A modern Heathen who once held a job requiring his frequent presence in courts of law sometimes saw Tyr there.
In pathworking, Tyr is a God of few words. You may encounter soldiers, and smell hot iron, as in the manufacture of weapons. Handle the rune Tiwaz, and invoke Tyr, the God who gave it its name, with care. Again, Tyr is not a peacemaker. Invoking him may bring out latent aggressive feelings, or make an angrier person more so. However, Tyr can also help you get rid of unwanted feelings of anger. The following personal anecdote illustrates this very well. I’ve only been angry enough to commit premeditated murder once in my life. The SOB deserved it and there was even a chance that I could have covered it up and gotten away with it, but I decided that I was not empowered to act as his judge, jury and executioner, and didn’t want to wreak havoc on my personal Wyrd. The dog-beating, manipulative little creep simply wasn’t worth it. So, what to do, not with a momentary rage, but a seething anger several years in building? After checking with my friend Thorr Sheil, I invoked Tyr. Saying his name twice does it fine (more repetitions after that tend to charge you with Tyr-essence, which may or may not be a good idea depending on the situation), and of course Tuesday, that is Tiw’s-day, would be the best day, although I was angry enough not to be able to afford to wait! Now here’s the tricky part. Instead of drawing IN Tyr’s energy as in charging a horn in a Tyr’s Blot, I lumped up all that festering rage and hatred and GAVE it to Tyr, explaining the situation and asking that he relieve me of the energy and use it where it would do some good. I repeated that working several times that day with gradually increasing results. That night before I went to bed, I saw a cockroach in the kitchen. When I killed it with a dishtowel, I brought my right wrist down HARD on the sharp Formica corner of the kitchen counter, right where the wolf bit off Tyr’s hand. I yelped! When the pain subsided enough for me to think, I realized it was a message from Tyr, and that it simply meant, “message received.” Thus, as you can see, working with Tyr (and his rune) can hurt, even when used correctly, but is a necessary and useful part of our religion.
Oh, as for the SOB I mentioned earlier, remember how Tyr and Odin have a sort of polarity relationship? Once I had homicide off my mind and could again think clearly, I gave him to Odin via breadman sacrifice. Within a year, he found out that his real dad was Jewish, left Paganism (he claimed to be a fam-trad Welsh witch), and is now a happy member of the local Reformed Temple. The words I said when I stabbed the image were “Odin, please put X where he can’t hurt anyone else.” He’ll get nowhere with his mindgames and social manipulation in the Jewish community. He’s gay, a convert, flat broke and weird as all get-out. Those factors didn’t destroy his credibility as a leader in the Pagan community, but they sure will in the Jewish community. Tyr and Odin make a great team!
“Tyr keep us, both Tyr and Odin!”
The spear flies true
from the hand of the righteous
Names - TIWAZ - the god Tyr, TIEWS - the god Tyr, TIR - the god Tyr or glory, TYR - the god Tyr
Pronunciations - "tee waz" "tey waz" "teer"
Phonetic Value - "T"
Symbolism - The Spear
Keywords - Justice
Symbolically, this rune pictogram represents the vault of heaven intercepted by the world tree or axis. This image is intended to convey a pillar supporting the heavens and as such may act as a bridge between the affairs of humans and the divine will.
This particular pictogram has also been variously described as a spear point, an arrow, the pole star, or the North Star. This imagery will call to mind guidance in much the same way as the north star has served as a source of guidance to many journeyers who would otherwise lose their bearings and stray off course.
Phonetically, Tyr is harder to trace as there are few, if any, present day words with a root common to the derivations for this rune. Indications of meanings tend to be found more in rune poems and ancient language studies.
Since Tyr is the Norse god who presided at the Germanic general assembly, this rune can be interpreted as primarily a rune with meanings and overtones of justice and leadership.
Judgement in legal matters was not always arrived at by discussion or deliberation, judgement by arms was a more common concept to the Norse/Germanic cultures. It is associated with the idea that "justice will prevail" and victory will be granted by divine will to the contestant deserving of a favorable judgement. This cultural belief also lends strength to the connection between Tyr and the sword, spear, or arrow.
There is an Old English Rune Poem, than names Tiwaz and refers to it as a star that keeps its faith well and is always on course over the mists of night.
This rune, then, can be considered representative of the guiding principles which are steadfast and can be relied on to judge one's position. Again, the imagery of divine guidance through signs in the heavens hearkens back to the use of the North Star to determine ones course.
As a representation of Judgement, Tyr will also carry a reference to the authority of Justice and leadership. The spear of leadership points the true way.
Magically it can be invoked where justice should be done, to prevail in legal matters or lawsuits, and for victory in contests or combat.
Tyr may also be worked to effect a change in judgement, or to challenge a present and possibly corrupt leadership.
This rune is also used in rituals intended to call upon divine guidance or to reveal the will of the heavens to the Vitki.
In divination it will mean judgement, matters of law, decisions, or guidance and can represent any of the following forces.
TIWAZ UPRIGHT:Honor, justice, leadership, authority, analysis, rationality, guidance, victory and success in legal matters.
TIWAZ MERKSTAVE: Injustice, imbalance, strife, over-analysis,war, conflict, failure, absence of leadership, corruption.