This is an excerpt from "The Book of Rune Secrets" which I will be using as the basis of our Free Rune Course's study of rune meanings. You are encouraged to add your perspectives and feedback, write your own blog about the subject, or do any other creative things you like! Don't forget to upload a photo of yourself to your profile so we can get to know you better. Now, without delay, I present: Uruz, from the Book of Rune Secrets.
Uruz - from The Book of Rune Secrets
KEY CONCEPTS: manifestation, self- preservation, persistence, raw primal power, survival, physical growth, archetypal patterning, organic structure, formative life force, immediate action, permanence
The Auroch was a beast that symbolizes the principle of Uruz at work in our lives. It is a relative of the cattle, but wild and primal. To pass from the unconsciousness and dependence of childhood into the independence of adulthood, the individual must confront and best Uruz, the Auroch. Once upon a time, this was done as an actual test of might and courage against a living breathing Auroch. In our times, the Auroch is extinct, and it is we who are the beast.
Uruz is the rune of becoming. It is the rune of immediate action, in the physical and organic world. When a thought becomes a physical thing, it is being manifested through some means, into a reality. Through the secrets of Uruz we can shape our body, our environment, our habits and the structure of our brain.
This is our primitive, animal self. There is much of us that is not human. It is the messy, primal truth. The shit, sweat, sex, and hunger. The blood and guts and violence. No one is always above these things, nor is it necessarily wise to be. The messy organic reality of things is never quite as 'perfect' as we would like it to be.
Uruz is part self-preservation. It is the force that prevents you from jumping off a bridge or stepping in front of a car. It is the force that prevents you from stabbing your hand with a knife. It is a strong force, a heavy force. Doing strange things was not good for survival, so as life evolved, so did the routines that embed habit, conditioning, tradition and conformity. Uruz is like a center of gravity that stubbornly holds us to our accumulated patterns.
Uruz is the force that makes us grow from children to adults. It takes food and transmutes it into useful material for our body's essential structure. Uruz is also behind our habits and the basic mechanisms that allow us to copy the behavior of others, learn or invent new behaviors, and train ourselves athletically. We are usually conditioned unconsciously, but we can condition ourselves consciously, once we know how.
Uruz represents our genetic inheritance. It is the blueprint upon which our life force is based. Although there is a huge amount of wiggle room, we will constantly be confronted by the power of Uruz, as it acts to physically bind us to our old patterns, our physical blueprint, our habits and conditioning. Uruz is the pressure of conformity, of habit, of automation, reflex, and instinct. This is a sticky, stubborn force. It is territorial. It does not respond gently to being challenged.
Strangely, the conformity found on the surface of Uruz, which often contributes to territorial disputes and feuds between individuals and groups, is contrasted by the opposing reality that we are nearly genetically uniform as a species, despite the flourishes that make us unique.
You will notice that both Fehu in its focus on wealth and Uruz in its focus on health and bodily wellness both point toward extremely basic concerns that most of us spend an incredible amount of our time occupied with. When they are neglected, we soon come to ruin. They, like the other runes of this Aett, are fundamental human concerns, always at work in our mind -- important mysteries to be experienced and unlocked.
Uruz is a rune that can be understood, and harnessed. It represents the Auroch, which is to be overcome and mastered as a rite of passage into adulthood. The Auroch is a metaphor for grabbing the beast by the horns and taking control. Therefore, Uruz represents the indomitable human will, strength, courage and backbone, but also its blind, two-sided nature. We have all allowed, in some way, our own unconscious conditioning, our disempowering beliefs to grow into powerful and intimidating beasts.
Yet once harnessed, the secret of Uruz can make dreams into physical reality in the same way it slowly and surely persisted in making your body. But it takes work and perseverance to master because it is the embodiment of work and perseverance.
The energy of Uruz flows around the self, binding us to our biological form, fixing our patterns, and giving us permanence, but the cost is that we form habits and conditioning that can be difficult to shed.
Looking at Fehu as the creative well of human industry it is clear to see that the manifestation of wealth has lead from simple domestication to layer upon layer of complexity and over time has built the modern world as we know it. The first thing to strike me from Uruz is that the animal did not simply become extinct, but was rather driven to extinction by a lack of human imagination. So that the very imagination that Fehu draw on to create the world of things was not equally drawn on to preserve the natural world from which we emerged.
Almost all taboo is an attempt to touch the animal nature, to reengage with the primal instinct. Most often the taboo is set in the context of a spiritual or profane experience. Sports are about battle and a sport like rodeo and bull fighting point back to the ritual of the Auroch. This rituals tie as back to nature while at the same time the impulse is to mow it over.
The need to tame or dominate the animal impulse is demonstrated in the taming and dominating of the whole of the natural world. Roads tame the land bridges tame the rivers and so on in one way or another natural boundaries and limitations are over come with the creative fire of Fehu this domestication of Uruz on the surface seems wholy beneficial, but it has undervalued the importance of Uruz.
The essence of the fire is never within the scope of control it is wild and lay just beyond, in the realm of unquantifiable chaos it is God in the scene of that which proceeds the coming of order. Nature is what created us, it is the substance out of which we an all life emerged. It is the fire before the fire of Prometheus.
The punishment of Prometheus is taken up by Chrion the wounded healer. He is wounded by his own hand, It is he who guides Hercules to be the hero of the day but Chrion is wounded by his own creation. This is the motif of the Beast who is part man and is striving towards the god head through self discovery. It is own human story.
The Aurch stands as the icon of all natural life and both invites us to the hunt and warns us of the responsibility that comes with the kill.
From the Wiki:
The Eurasian Aurochs (Bos primigenius primigenius) once ranged across the steppes and taigas of Europe, Siberia, and Central Asia. It is noted as part of the Pleistocene megafauna, and declined in numbers along with other megafauna species by the end of Pleistocene. The Eurasian aurochs were domesticated into modern taurine cattlebreeds around the 6th millennium BC, in the Middle East, and possibly also at about the same time in the Far East. Aurochs were still widespread in Europe during the time of the Roman Empire, when they were widely popular as a battle beast in Roman arenas, and excessive hunting began and continued until it was nearly extinct. By the 13th century, aurochs existed only in low numbers in Eastern Europe, and hunting of aurochs became a privilege of nobles, and later royal households. The decreased hunting did not save the aurochs from extinction, and the last recorded live aurochs, a female, died in 1627 in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland from natural causes. Aurochs were found to have lived on the island of Sicily, where once there was a land bridge to Italy. After the disappearance of the land bridge, Sicilian aurochs evolved to a size 20% smaller than their mainland relatives.
Italian scientists are hoping to use genetic expertise and selective breeding of modern-day wild cattle to recreate the fearsome beasts which weighed around 2,200lb and stood 6.5 feet at the shoulder.
Breeds of large cattle which most closely resemble Bos primigenius, such as Highland cattle and the white Maremma breed from Italy, are being bred with each other in a technique known as "back-breeding".
In the past humanity was not as aware of the smallness of our place in the universe as we are now. The images of our small blue home should give rise to a grater sens of conservation and management and yet here we are still burning up our finite resources. Sense the 1960's wen we first dipped out toes in the sea of space, we have made grate strides in technologies that stand poised to transform our entire globe; and yet we are equally mired in an economic and social order whose legacy is a disease on the very future our technology offers.
In the same way that the Auroch was driven to extinction we to may soon find ourselves on a toxic ball of dyeing hope. In this way I see Uruz as pointing us to a new found respect for origins on the one hand, and a call to focus our Fehu back on the issue of restoration. Extending that revision to embrace a meme of reciprocity that seeks to move life off of this planet and into an art of terra-foming life in our solar system.
When I look at my yard I see the reality that to live the life I want, the land had to give way to my house, my driveway, the road, my garden and so on. None of my habitations give anything back to nature. This is how it is for all of modern humanity, the truth is the natural world dose not need us, it never has.To quote Terrence Mckenna "To the extent that we fail to see that our brand of intelligence is nothing more then an experiment within nature, we run the risk of being covered over with the same impunity that nature covered over the dinosaurs."
So true and the quote from Terrence Mckenna is so true. I struggle with how to honor our past but live in this future. Maybe that is what Uruz is about, how do we keep alive that which we are so intent on killing. It is like what Paulo Coelho says in valkyrie "one way or another I have wound up destroying what I've loved"
The icon of Aquarius is that of a human pouring out a basin of water. Looking of history in the long view it seems that our human evolution has continued not so much as a biologic movement, but more along the lines of sociology. Each rise of a dominant culture comes to an apex then collapses in on its self and out of its ashes arises a more modernized version of its older form. Western culture looked at as a single man is the image of Christ stumbling to stand up. By Christ I do not mean religion, but rather the Icon of the self sacrificial god. Odin hangs on Yggdrasil nine day's and Christ hangs the square root of the same. But both preform the same function. That is to create a bridge to the Godhead. Odin gives us the runes and Christ gives us a name. Both tell us that our salvation is in the apprehension of the godhead.
We are now at the point of taking over our own biological evolution this is the power of the godhead. Stripped of its religious and political impudence the Christ story is a call for compassion and if we look into the Icon we see that the compassion is directed towards the man on the cross. In the same way Odin as an icon is also a self sacrificial god the future he points to is also a Ragnarok. An end of this pattern and the hope of a new one. He points out through the gift of runes that the way forward is through wisdom and knowledge. Fehu pointed to the manifestation of that wisdom through the creative fires of the human imagination whereas Uruz points to the foundation of that wisdom.
Here is some one of his kin that managed to escape extinction and looks pretty impressive too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_bison In fact I cannot help it but it is the image of this animal that comes to my mind every time I think of the origin of Urus name I can almost see the outline of Urus in this picture!
he look very much like the American Bison. Geneticists are looking at bringing back both the Auroch and the great Mammoth. I am not so sure these are practical ideas or not as it seems to me our focus should be on preserving wild life before it goes extinct, but it at least proves the the science is moving in the right direction.
i bet one could walk up to him and kiss him on the nose.....and he would lick your face ;) looks impressive but feels like a very gentle animal.
( or maybe i just woke up today with a sensation of love and blindly would walk up to him wanting to kiss it and get trembled ^^ )
but than so..if my love is to be unconditional...i feel i can kiss him without watching out for the horns ;)
No that is a European bison, not an Aurochs. This is the Aurochs.
It seems to me as one progresses through the runic alphabet there are practical everyday answers and solutions that can be applied to common problems. So we see the paradox of science and spiritualism coming together in a mandala of complexities- its awesome point blank! That is, at some point in time we must organize our chaos that was our flaming birth. On the subject of a test of strength, one of the greatest tests that happen to a person now a days is the task to organize our minds and our environment so we can receive the greater message that the runes hold. How can we learn to relieve our fear of death if we haven't learned to control our own physical well being? Uruz makes perfect sense to be the second rune of the first atte, as we climb the towering wall that is our subconscious!
yes I like this view David the subconscious is that wild landscape we all have within. The prohibition on entheogens has held the world back from the very tools nature has provided for the exploration of the inner landscape. Being a rebel I have ignored this outlandish ruling by the ignorant, and have found much good in mapping these wild inner states of mind. But it would be so much better if humanity were truly free to explore the mind in an open and loving environment.
Urus was probably the first rune that visited me but I've had a very vivid experience of some of its aspects. This is THE martial arts rune. In several serious and highly practical martial arts styles there is a principal concept called variously but the meaning is that of "body frame" or "body contour" - the thing is hard for me to explain, but it is basically some structural perimeter of human body that can directly respond in combat situations without one even thinking of what it does. And this structure is governed by Urus. I often heard the opinion that in life-threatening self-defense situations people fall back on Thurisaz - that I know not myself, but I think that that the state of berserk battle trance is entered into through Urus and governed by it. I am not a particularly physically strong person, but letting in Urus energy I made a punching bag fold in two when I was hitting it. In my normal state I was capable of no such thing. I also played with my Siamese cat in that trance state and fast as those cats are I managed to touch him on his chest and withdraw quicker than he could touch my hand with his paws.