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Ihwaz or Eihwaz – Rune Meaning
“The path is hard and lonely and there is no end to sight.”
Ihwaz (also: eihwaz) – “Yew-was” – Literally: “Yew” – Esoteric: Yggdrasil or Kundalini
“The axis or process of spiritual becoming.” Upper and lower worlds meeting in Midgard (earth). Rune of the mysteries of life and death.
Psi: death mysteries, the timeless, kundalini,
Energy: axis of heaven-earth-hel, secrecy, encoding, immortality, the chakra system (hvel)
Mundane: longevity, initiations, trees
Divinations: movement toward Enlightenment, endurance, initiation, protection; or confusion, destruction, dissatisfaction, weakness, death
Initiation into the wisdom of the World Tree (Yggdrasil) and hvel (chakras)
Liberation from the fear of death.
Development of spiritual endurance and hard will to gain initiative
Communication between levels of reality – the Worlds or Yggdrasil
Eihwaz begins the second half of the 24 rune Futhark and represents the vertical axis, whereas Jera represents the horizontal. It is also indicative of the verticality and energy of the human spine. The spine (the pelvic region not included) has 24 vertebrae, which I do not believe is a coincidence in the case of the elder futhark.
The spine is the channel for one of the most powerful energy flows in the human psyche, which Yoga has termed Kundalini ‘fire’. It is the flow of megin energy up from the root hvel (chakra) to the crown hvel in the mind, bringing cosmic consciousness. Attempting to awaken Kundalini fire too early in your training can cause serious harm.
The needle of the yew is poisonous, containing a toxin that affects the central nervous system. The vapors from the toxin can become concentrated in close proximity to the tree. As a conifer/’evergreen’, it is associated with immortality, and the mysteries of life and death. Death is understood as the Great Initiation into the mysteries of life. To die before you die is to discover what in life is truly important. In psychology, this often happens as a result of near-death experiences.
The fear of physical death is one of the great inhibitors of humankind’s potential for total freedom of mind and spirit. Eihwaz gives you the power to recall your past lives, in short fragments or in more complete segments, and as a result confirm your death in this life as only one stage of a greater journey. Invoke Eihwaz as you conduct a meditation or dream exercise for the purpose of discovering past life patterns in the present. The answers lay not in memory, but in the clues of your here and now.
Eihwaz can be invoked for communication with the underworld and the dead. It is wisest to remain within your own ancestral stream when doing this, as your ancestors have reason to respond to your inner call. There should be sufficient reason to invoke such dark workings, but it is not an ‘evil’ exercise.