(pronounced OOH-rooz) was used to represent
the u sound in runic writing in all the
Germanic languages. The name signifies the aurochs,
an enormous form of wild cattle, now extinct.
The Anglo-Saxon rune poem sums up the qualities
of this creature well:
aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of
various animals connected with the runes, the
aurochs is the most fierce, the most primal, the
most massive. It is the power of the wild earth
incarnate: strong and determined. It is unstoppable
in motion, and immovable at rest. Today, with most
animals that humans find threatening being driven
to extinction, it is becoming hard to project
ourselves back to a time when we were often at the
mercy of the animals that roamed the Earth, rather
than the other way around.
rune reminds us of simple, raw, physical power -
power that has nothing to do with wealth, politics,
or the conventions of the social order. The power
of the aurochs is pure presence: size, muscle, and
will. This is the sense of power we connect with
when we do physical labor or achieve an athletic
For me, uruz
is a quintessentially earthy symbol. It represents
everything to do with body, mass, and strength. It
is about physical health, about steadiness and
determination, about strength in adversity,
weathering a storm through sheer presence of will,
tenacity, and motionlessness. When we show what
we're made of, when we dig in our heels, when we
are the last one standing - that is
more spiritual language, uruz is that bastion of
inner strength, the life-force focusing itself on
rune appears in your divination work, ask yourself
the following questions:
is my inner strength?
- Is my
body strong and healthy?
- Is my
power rooted to the earth?
must I endure?
- Am I
a force to be reckoned with?
work, uruz can draw us to contemplate and connect
with the physical aspect of existence. It may ask
us to seek greater body awareness, through yoga,
standing meditation, or similar practices. Modern
cultures encourages us to understand our physical
bodies in ways that are primarily intellectual:
anatomical terminology, nutritional science,
medical treatments. The primitiveness of the
aurochs and its world can serve as an antidote to
this way of thinking, encouraging us to know the
body in a more direct way, through our senses and
feelings, through our presence in place.
uruz can be used magically to draw forth strength,
power, or tenacity. Its energy is fierce and
primal, but not wantonly destructive. It lends
itself to defensive or protective uses, as well as
instilling permanence or sheer magnitude to a
magical undertaking. Combined with other runes, it
is an amplifier, a stablizer, and a grounding