This is the the first day of the fortnight (July 14-28) governed by the rune Ur or Uruz. Its phonetic value is “U” and its literal meaning is “Aurochs,” which was a very large, and now extinct, type of wild ox once prevalent in Europe.
Standing six feet tall at the shoulder with shaggy black hair and large curling horns, it possessed the fierceness of a wild boar and the strength of a bull. The Aurochs had much the same importance for the Teutonic hunters as the American bison had for the plains Indians.
From archaeological evidence, it is plain to see the Aurochs was a truly formidable animal.
Says The Old English Rune Poem: “The Aurochs is bold with horns standing high, a fierce horned fighter who stamps over the moorlands, a striking creature!”
By medieval times it had become an endangered species, and in 1627 was finally hunted to extinction in Poland. It is an ironic and damning commentary on human nature that an animal which once signified the primal source of our existence was ultimately destroyed by an ungrateful humanity.
In the Northern Tradition, humanity owes its very existence to the Aurochs. The Aurochs are revered in Northern mythology as Audhumla, the primal cow, who licked away a crystalline block of ice from which an androgynous being known as Bor was brought to life. Bor was Odin’s grandfather and the progenitor of mankind. Ur is thus understood to embody the primal power of the Universe from which all of mankind originates.
The animal’s original scientific name, Bos primigenius, was meant as a Latin translation of the German name Aürochse or Urochs, which was interpreted as literally meaning “Primeval Ox.” That the Aurochs had a magical significance is suggested by the costly decoration and careful preservation of its horns. It has been speculated that killing an Aurochs was a rite of passage into manhood.
When the qualities of the animal are runically distilled, Ur is the expression of elemental masculine potency, striving to overcome all obstacles and survive all dangers, to adapt to new challenges, to recover from wounding and rebuild power from weakness. The shape of Ur is a horn or erect phallus. Its polarity is male.
Physically, Ur signifies energy, strength, and agility. The power it represents is not one of domination but of determination, and its strength is that of adaptability and resourcefulness rather than unbending inflexibility. The meaning of Ur embodies a vital, masculine power manifested as health, virility, and endurance.
Emotionally, Ur signifies courage, boldness, and the will power to overcome and succeed. Ur promotes self-reliance, confidence, and bravery. Ur can increase learning capacity, restore hope, improve sexual desire and performance, and galvanize .
Spiritually, Ur signifies freedom. It is a power that can never be domesticated or enslaved; it is the triumphant soul of nature. Nor is the rune’s strength a force to be brought to bear over others. Ur denotes the primal, limitless power of the universe and the embodiment of unlimited creative potential.
Contrasting strongly with the personally-oriented, socially-controlled power of property expressed by Feoh, Ur symbolizes the impersonal, raw, untamed power of wild cattle. Ur’s indomitable might ensures that it can never be restricted to an individual level, under the control of one person. It is the patterning and formulating power of the multiverse, the source of the ordering principles that led to the final formulation of the world and which defines the origin and destiny of all things.
Feoh and Ur clearly form a pair. Perhaps you have already noticed that a similar pattern runs through the runic alphabet, and is useful in determining the shades of meaning between them.
Magically, Ur is said to be one of the mainstays for creating bindrunes, magic formulas, and runic spells. It brings raw power to bear to fortify the sense of other runes to produce healing effects, to overcome weaknesses, to boost confidence, and to promote continued good health and energy. Used in a bindrune, Ur will amplify the effects of other runes, and multiply its own effect as well.
Yet Ur is not a safe rune for magical work. One must be sure to understand its inner depths before invoking it. Used inappropriately it can cause imbalance and even a reversal of meaning.
Groove of the Day
98° and Clear