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Runes Using the runes as a divinatory tool

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Old 02-12-13   #1
Leben
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Default URUZ Illustrated

Hey everyone, I just finished my illustration for the rune Uruz. I may add some shading here and there, so I guess it's MOSTLY finished Didn't have time to get a scan of it today, but here's a picture from my phone ... what do you think? Does it resonate with your understanding? Is it different? How does the symbolism effect you? Thanks
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Old 02-12-13   #2
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hhmm, Leben..wonderfully drawn card! First let me say I am no rune expert; I've been studying about 2 years off and on, I draw a rune daily, I do a little reading. So my impressions are just that; how I am hit by an image, not an expert's assessment at all.
For me, uruz is primal life force; strength, tenacity, vigor, endurance. I would say you've captured the warrior aspect well, but I am sorry to see the steer being slain. I would greatly prefer this card if the bovine image was one of symbolic strength - co-operation with the human, not slain by him.
Also, because I associate the lightening so much with Thurisaz, it felt a bit out of place for me here.. with the fetus at the bottom, what I see here is sacrifice, the harshness of nature, the cycle..and honestly that's not how I perceive Uruz. but as I said I am no expert, and I think your artwork is fantastic! Hopefully someone more skilled than I will comment as well soo, too.
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Old 02-12-13   #3
Leben
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great feedback, thank you!

As I see it, the runes represent an initiatory pathway that begins with life, Fehu. It could also be said that beginning in this way, one must also see THEMSELVES as the cattle, the domesticated life force. From this, we move into Uruz, the -- as you say -- primal life force, undomesticated. It is no longer the energy of the cattle, but the auroch -- which we have hunted into extinction (this is another aspect of the imagery I had hoped to capture). Hunting and slaying the auroch, traditionally in the cultures which developed and worked with these runes, was see as a rite of passage from which that primal energy could be released (see also Mithraic Tauroctony), initiating a NEW LIFE, hence the fetus. The crystals are a representation of the ordering/manifestation aspects of the rune, which I believe is indicated, although veiled, in the Old Norwegian rune poem:

Dross comes from bad iron;
the reindeer often races over the frozen snow.


Dross is the solid formation that appears on the surface of molten metal, as opposed to slag which is liquid. So we see a crystallization on the surface. How interesting it is to me that in the next line, is a reference to frozen snow, which is solid enough to support even the racing reindeer. To me, I see this as the power of Uruz to manifest and make solid. The ordering principle SEED which is inside of chaos. The seed; the fetus; new life. From all this, the life and the death of the image above, is interwoved the pranic life breath which flows from one to the other, indicating that the bull is not truly slain but part of a larger cycle and RECYCLE of that same primal energy/force.

I actually don't associate lightening with Thurisaz, though thunder I do. In this image above, it's actually a reference to the Old Icelandic rune poem for Uruz:

Rain is lamentation of the clouds
and ruin of the hay-harvest
and abomination of the shepherd.


So here we see that Uruz is associated with quite a destructive power. I chose the 'lightening' image because on one level it would be associated with the destructive powers of the storm, but also because it represents a CRACK through which a new life can begin, through which those primal energies can flow and be manifested.

In the Old English or Anglo-Saxon rune poem, we see that the auroch was NOT an animal which our ancestors co-operated with in the way I think you are indicating (I would say that is represented in the rune Fehu, or Ehwaz.

The auroch is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.
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Old 02-12-13   #4
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See, you're coming at this from a true scholarly approach, and all of that is culturally fine-tuned and powerful. At the stage I am at, and studying from outside of a Norse tradition, I maybe have watered down and modernized ideas. Which begs the question, should people even BE studying runelore if their cultural/spiritual persuasion is elsewhere? but another topic of course.
Thank you muchly for this education and sharing your work. It's amazing.I have only one set (moonstone) runes and an apple set I am making - but slowly. I wish I had more time!
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Old 02-12-13   #5
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No problem, it is truly my pleasure. This is something I had been wanting to do for a few years now and I'm glad that outer and inner circumstances have coincided in such a way to allow the effort.

Yes, I believe it's very important to try to understand the runes from within the specific cultural context, and then to apply them to today's world from there. Certainly, for example, there is value in an intuitive approach to the Tarot, because of the imagery and it's effect upon the subconscious. However, if one studies the Hermetic traditions that gave rise to that imagery, the ableness of the subconscious to intuit the meanings is greatly enhanced. With the runes as they are, there simply isn't enough represented in the glyphs themselves to give an intuitive inlet WITHOUT additional supplementation of knowledge from an outside source. For many, this is found by reading the interpretations of one or another contemporary authors, but at the end of the day, there are ONLY the three traditional runes poems; old icelandic, anglo-saxon and old norwegian. Every scholar that has written on the runes has only found their interpretations through these poems, and the connections they find therein as related to Norse mythology on the whole.

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Which begs the question, should people even BE studying runelore if their cultural/spiritual persuasion is elsewhere?
Yes, if they can first enter into the position of those who created the runes and understand from their perspective. Otherwise, I believe it creates an adultured or watered down approach.
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Old 02-12-13   #6
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Default Re: URUZ Illustrated

Beautiful artwork, Leben!
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Old 02-12-13   #7
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Thank you, the seeker. Most of the labor is in the conceptual stage and the pencil work, and the inking takes only two or three hours. This piece represents about 12 hours of work, I think.
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Old 02-13-13   #8
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Default Re: URUZ Illustrated

Another excellent illustration! I'm excited to see what you come up with for Thurisaz!

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Old 02-13-13   #9
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Thanks, kaosxmage! I am conceptualizing as we speak, I hope not to disappoint glad you are enjoying them.
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Old 02-14-13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leben View Post

Yes, I believe it's very important to try to understand the runes from within the specific cultural context, and then to apply them to today's world from there. Certainly, for example, there is value in an intuitive approach to the Tarot, because of the imagery and it's effect upon the subconscious. However, if one studies the Hermetic traditions that gave rise to that imagery, the ableness of the subconscious to intuit the meanings is greatly enhanced. With the runes as they are, there simply isn't enough represented in the glyphs themselves to give an intuitive inlet WITHOUT additional supplementation of knowledge from an outside source. For many, this is found by reading the interpretations of one or another contemporary authors, but at the end of the day, there are ONLY the three traditional runes poems; old icelandic, anglo-saxon and old norwegian. Every scholar that has written on the runes has only found their interpretations through these poems, and the connections they find therein as related to Norse mythology on the whole.



Yes, if they can first enter into the position of those who created the runes and understand from their perspective. Otherwise, I believe it creates an adultured or watered down approach.
Agree 100%. And in fairness to my time constraints I am immersed in Avalonian magic as well as ramming in as much NA/shamanic study, relevant to my area of the world, as humanly possible. It's hard to keep up with just that, so I know full well I can't afford the time to delve into anything else. Still, I enjoy the runes and learning bits as I go. This project of yours is wonderful and very informative - thanks again!
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