Also known as: Ur, Urz
Letter sound: U (as in “brute”)
Translation: aurochs (wild European ox), brute strength
Keywords: strength, health, power, energy, endurance, creative force
Magical Uses: Bring new circumstances and situations into your experience, strengthen and focus personal will, harness the energy of sudden change to your advantage, healing on all levels, deeper understanding of yourself and underlying motives
In contrast to the domesticated cattle symbolized by Fehu, the second rune of the Elder Futhark represents the aurochs—the wild, fierce European ox of centuries past. This animal was admired for its raw strength, energy, and power, yet because the aurochs was untamable, these qualities were also cause for healthy caution—as were its sharp, deadly horns, which are symbolized by the shape of the rune itself. This raw strength and power are at the heart of the meaning of Uruz. Physical strength can be indicated, but emotional and spiritual strength are just as likely to be emphasized here. If you are facing challenges, Uruz is a reminder that you have the strength to persevere, as well as to defend yourself from adversaries. If you are pursuing a dream, this rune suggests that there is enough momentum behind you to bring it into manifested form. Summon your connection to divine energy and trust that you will be guided to channel your personal power toward a positive outcome. A related message is to beware of allowing raw, untamed energy to rule your responses to your situation, or of trying to use your power to control others. Indeed, the challenge presented by Uruz is to “tame” the primal forces of Nature within each of us, so that our energy can be used for everyone’s benefit. Uruz reversed indicates that you have missed opportunities or neglected to recognize your own abilities to achieve success. You may be experiencing a lack of will power or motivation, which can both cause and be caused by a perceived lack of progress. What can you do to restore your self-confidence and proactive energy? What fears—conscious or unconscious—are you allowing to hold you back?
Another chief meaning of Uruz relates to health. Upright, this rune indicates that you are or soon will be experiencing good health and a high degree of vitality. Uruz reversed in this respect warns of ill health, low energy, and the need to pay attention to your physical well-being. Uruz is also a rune of sudden changes, often with unpredictable outcomes. In this context, Uruz upright is encouraging you to weather the upheaval, as new growth and even previously unimagined positive consequences are likely. However, you need to embrace the change and be willing to take chances in order to reap potential rewards. A willingness to engage in “creative risk” is called for here. Uruz reversed in this interpretation indicates that you are holding back from taking advantage of the opportunities that change and challenges present. If you continue to stand still out of fear of the unknown, you may miss out on something wonderful, and experience stagnation and loss of momentum instead.