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Updated on October 28, 2012



Elderfuthark Rune EIHWAZ


Alternative Names

Eoh, Iwaz, Eow, Ihwar.

Key Phrase

‘By embracing change

you will make quick progress on your path.’


The Yew Tree (Yggdrasil), Nature’s Immortality, death, defence.

The gate to the Underworld.

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning

Defence. Yggdrasil the Yew Tree – The Tree of Life.



Tarot Card Equivalent

9 of Wands - 9 - IX

Divinatory Meaning

Transformation, change, initiation, confrontation of fears, death, assertive powers.

Corresponding Letter


Associated Colour

Dark Blue

Associated Herb


Associated Gemstone


Associated Tree

The Yew tree

Associated Myths and Deities

Hel, Yggdrasil.

Manifestation Uses

To bring about profound change, to ease a life/death transition. Assertiveness. To increase personal power, defence and protection.

Relationship Interpretation

Expectations within the relationship between partners; idealism.

Healing Colour and Qualities


To bring about growth and change within. To ease pain and suffering. To clear a foggy mind. For depression, melancholy and to decrease an enlargement of the lymph nodes.


As a Talisman, Eihwaz can worn to bring about huge changes or shows the way around huge difficulties.

Eihwaz Drawn Upright


Change, initiation, confrontation of inner and outer fears, force, purpose, need to acquire, regeneration and rebirth, winter, death, transformation, turning point, strength, reliability, dependability, trustworthiness, enlightenment, endurance. The gate to the Underworld.

EIHWAZ is ‘the source of all life’.

The Rune Eihwaz is the sixth rune of the second Aett and the thirteenth, marking the middle, in the Elderfuthark alphabet.

Eihwaz represents the pinnacle to which all things revolve and spin out of. It is the mystery or the power of life. It is the death that renews and brings new life. It represents cycles and is a rune of wisdom and communication.

The Eihwaz rune represents a turning point in the runic journey and indicates the transformational phase of the initiatory process.

In all cultures, including that of the ancient Norse, all rites of passage, particularly those marking the transition into adulthood, contain the symbolism of ‘death’; the idea being that one’s former ‘self’ has died and given birth to a new persona. The Eihwaz Rune represents the passage through which we must enter in order to gain the knowledge and acceptance of our own mortality. Eihwaz symbolises the physical manifestation within time.

Traditionally, the Eihwaz rune represents the Yew tree. There is much association of the Yew tree and the ancient Norse, principally derived from the fact that Yews are evergreens which retain their greenery even through the coldest of winters, and because their red berries are seen as symbolic of the ‘Blood of Life.’

The yew tree is a powerful stave of protection and banishing, not only because of its association with the forces of life and death, but because of its association with the bow and arrow made of yew wood, which was common to the folk of the Norse.

Reverence for the Yew tree dates back to before the times of the Celts and beyond. Yggdrasil, the World Tree or the Tree of Life, is a Yew tree. Eihwaz represents Yggdrasil. In Norse mythology and cosmology Yggdrasil is the axis about which all else revolves and spins out of. Yggdrasil contains the mystery of life and death and is the life-giving force which has its roots in the Underworld and death.

The Eihwaz rune is one of wisdom and can be used to evoke the mysteries of Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil’s symbology and meanings are vast and complex.

The Eihwaz rune provides protection to the seeker and can help increase personal power and defence. It also suggests communication between different worlds, different layers of reality and different realms.

When Eihwaz is drawn in a reading it is a message to be strong and clear in your intentions, then follow through with them to the end.

Eihwaz shows that this is a time for transformations on many levels. It is a time to flow with the changes rather than resist them as the timing is right for goals and aspirations to come flowing abundantly. To resist is to stagnate. Eihwaz is giving you the driving force to acquire your desires and provides motivation and a sense of purpose. It indicates that you have set your sights on a reasonable target and can achieve your goals with ease.

The strong message with Eihwaz is to move forward through fear and doubt. If you remain true to yourself and keep to your own path, you will soon find yourself basking in new enlightenments.

When Eihwaz is drawn in a reading, be aware of what it is you are aspiring towards or are aiming at in your life. Now may be the time to put plans into action. Perseverance and foresight are called for when Eihwaz is drawn though. Avert anticipated difficulties through thought and right action. It is a time to deal with things at hand, rather than put them off until they resurface at a later date.

Eihwaz Drawn Reversed


Confusion, dissatisfaction, weakness, destruction.

Do not allow fears to stop you from fulfilling your destiny. These fears may have festered within you and have sabotaged past attempts to achieve your goals. There may be many and varied reasons for not achieving your goals; many of which are fear based. Now is the time to push through these fears.

Laying Merkstave, Eihwaz warns of confusion and destruction and an inability to get round something that is blocking the way.


RUNES – The Elderfuthark


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