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The Rede

studying runes for the joy of it

October 20th, 2008

Runes From A Vanic Perspective: Uruz

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Uruz is the trial of initiation from one stage of life into the next. It is a stage of becoming. The Vanir are very concentrated on the concept of supporting each other and those who came into their tribe as a kind of collective conciousness in a sense. Because of this, there is a sense that at certain times, the individual needs to seperate themself out, and find their own path, become more than they were before. This brings greater strength to them as an individual which they can then add to the whole. 

In times past, young men would go out to face the aurochs in a contest of strength and cunning and if they survived and brought back evidence of their kill (usually the horns) this was a sure sign that they had become an adult and capable of contributing to the survival of the whole. There was more to it than this though, because those who chose could in fact pick the rite of utiseta(setting out on the burial mound of one of their closest or eldest ancestors) in place of the hunt, this was considered just as dangerous if not more so. and had other connotations to it.. I believe that in allowing oneself to be opened up to the spirits of their ancestors individuals allowed for personal insights which caused great leaps in growth that might have taken years of development otherwise, but, risked the lack of being able to process it, which is why it was considered so dangerous. The Vanes, particularly Freyr, were mound oriented so the rites of initiation in my opinion are connected integrally to uruz and the Vanir. 

We don't have a huge amount of information on the rites of initiation for women, but I sincerely doubt they were any less harrowing.  Some believe that it was simply the act of beginning to have a monthly cycle that initiated a girl into the world of womanhood at which time she was given more knowledge and responsiblity. Others believe that though this was an 'introduction' into the world of womanhood, one did not become a full woman until actually giving birth because until that moment a female did not in fact risk their life in the same manner that a male did. I think that it was a matter of personal perception, especially as women were the peaceweavers of the tribe, and upon the point that a girl was able to be marriageable she picked up a responsibility that would weigh heavily in ways we today can only imagine.

When one looks among the various tribes of deities one of the first things that comes to mind is that They are most likely to want to bring about peace. Though They will fight for that which is right, in order for prosperity to reign peace must also dominate. This is why Freyr does not permit criminals in His holy places and why when Nerhtus travels through the land in her wain peace must reign wherever She happens to be.In marrying Skadi, Njord brought peace between Her and the AEsir... Though Freyja is a deity who is concerned with warfare, it can easily be said that She fights for peace. Though this is a hard concept for many people to encapsulate, it does exist. One must excise a disease so that the whole will be healthy again. 

Uruz is, therefore, a rune both of individual growth and of the tribe. It is a rune that shows us the many faces of strength, not just physical, but of character and of spirit. It gives resilience in difficult situations and allows us to bounce back against difficult odds.
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