(pronounced SOH-wee-loh) was used to
represent the s sound in runic writing in
all the Germanic languages. The name means Sun.
The Icelandic Rune Poem reads
shield of the clouds
and shining ray
and destroyer of ice.
northern lands where the Germanic peoples
originally lived, the world was conceived as a
battleground between the elements of fire and ice.
Life came forth when the heat of the Sun's fire
melted the snows of winter and revealed the moist,
fertile earth beneath.
The Sun was
personified as feminine, and the Moon masculine -
opposite the associations found in Mediterranean
cultures. In the warm regions of southern Europe,
the Sun could be an unwelcome guest, parching the
land and drying it up. The Moon was sometimes a
welcome relief in these places, a gentle feminine
presence presiding over balmy nights and outdoor
revels. It was not so in Northern Europe, where the
Sun was unambiguously benevolent (and the Moon does
not merit a rune!) The Sun was warmer, life-giver,
creatrix. Known as Sol or Sunna, the Sun goddess
rode through the sky in a chariot drawn by two
luminous horses, Arvak and Alsvid. She was pursued
by a wolf, Skoll, who was fated to catch her and
devour her (a metaphor for a solar eclipse), at
which point she would be reborn as her own
Thew Sun was
also a guide, as suggested in the Anglo-Saxon rune
is ever a joy in the hopes of seafarers
when they journey away over the fishes' bath,
until the courser of the deep bears them to land.
The light of
the Sun dispels fog and the darkness of night,
allowing us to see the way before us once again.
She is illuminator, bringer of clarity. From the
Sun's place in the sky, we can judge both direction
and time of day.
The Sun is
thus the great force of fire and light, the Goddess
who leads us out of the frozen, trackless darkness
of the winter and ushers in a rebirth of life and
awareness. She rejuvenates us, and brings us back
to the path of progress and growth after we have
lost the way and survived the darkness of despair
rune appears in your divination work, ask yourself
the following questions:
is being revealed?
is my true will?
is the path to my destination?
wall of ice is being melted
The Sun is a
divine guide to growth and truth. In her light, we
can see our way forward and we can receive the
life-force we need to pursue it. She reminds us
that night does not last for ever, and that
uncertainty and weakness can be melted away when
clarity and vigor return to our lives.
You can use
the sowilo rune magically, too. It can bring you
clarity, renewed vigor, and help reveal your
purpose. It can melt away whatever is keeping your
frozen and immobile, and can dispel the darkness of
depression, confusion, or lethargy. Use this wound
to strengthen a new resolve, or to energize hope.