Rune Study Group: Sowilo


> Tarot Forum > Beyond Tarot > Divination



 
Umbrae's Avatar
Umbrae  Umbrae is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Posts: 8,847
Umbrae 
Cool Rune Study Group: Sowilo


Sowilo:
"soe-wee-low" ( The sun.) This rune looks similar to the letter S.

A historical note is necessary. The Celtic (sun) cross predates the Christian cross as a holy symbol. It has been said that the Celtic cross evolved from the Teutonic/Norse sun cross, Sowilo. The Teutonic/Norse Sun Cross was made by laying two Runes of the Sun over each other. This forms a swastika. Unfortunately, the symbol of holiness and power is now associated with the nazi regime. Hitler did not make it a symbol of darkness by ‘changing’ it to ‘spin’ counter-clockwise. It’s meaning is not changed. It can be reversed and bear the same meaning, as it did for thousands of years, before Herr Shicklegruber deprived the world of the rightful use of the sign.

A Rune of Transformation, reason for hope. Good counsel is given.

Concentrate on goals to bring success.

Sowilo is invincibility, final triumph, unstoppable action; the will to act…however it is not a rune to overcome others, but a rune that strengthens self.

It wards against wounds and defeat.

The sun (Sowilo) melts ice (Isa) to leave reality exposed (reveal that which is hidden).

Guardianship (protection).

It indicates honor, luck, and protection from hostile forces. Educational undertaking may/should be in the offing.

(See similarities to Raidho for the path of the sun, and Laguz for the waters, which must be crossed).

Merkstave would be bad counsel, demise of a previously successful venture.

As a person, it indicates a sailor or a teacher.
Top   #1
Rhiannon's Avatar
Rhiannon  Rhiannon is offline
Crone
 
Join Date: 07 Aug 2001
Location: VA, USA
Posts: 1,834
Rhiannon 

I love this rune. I think it's just so positive. It makes me think of the Wiccan Rede also... you are strenthening yourself without harming others.

r
Top   #2
Umbrae's Avatar
Umbrae  Umbrae is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Posts: 8,847
Umbrae 
Thumbs up


Many times I work with folks who find that runes are “just so negative”, or are so “male oriented” (or filled with male energy). As you study runes, you begin to discover they are very sexless – neither male nor female – and neither positive or negative, rather – the runes are both. It is the place, and the intuitive interpretation that provides the truth of positive or negative (and ultimately the outcome to verify).
Top   #3
Ursula's Avatar
Ursula  Ursula is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 28 Dec 2002
Location: Undah da Sea
Posts: 93
Ursula 

i did my elemental spread with my runes this morning, and drew Sowilo upright in the Fire/Wands/Passion & Transformation spot. i love that, because it indicates that the fire for change that i feel has been recognized by the universe (as well as inspired by It!).

i guess positive & negative is all in your perspective. i tend to be a very positive glass-half-full kind of person, and i tend to see the runes in the same way. even when i draw one that warns me of a tough time, the advice is always sound & helps me through it. the tough time is going to come regardless, so i might as well have some good counsel to help me out!

edited to add: "so full of male energy"??? why? because they are about being a Spiritual Warrior? i have never once seen any gender preference in the runes or their interpretations. Laurie Cabot talks about how the Warrior is part and parcel of the Witch archetype in her book, The Witch In Every Woman. i completely agree. any woman who fails to embrace her inner warrior has failed to completely know and appreciate her true nature. consider this: amongst mammals in general, which is more likely to kill to protect their offspring, the mother or the father? women may fear that power, but it is most certainly there.

thanks!

~Urs
Top   #4
einhverfr's Avatar
einhverfr  einhverfr is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Nov 2005
Location: Chelan, WA
Posts: 253
einhverfr 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbrae
Sowilo:
"soe-wee-low" ( The sun.) This rune looks similar to the letter S.

A historical note is necessary. The Celtic (sun) cross predates the Christian cross as a holy symbol. It has been said that the Celtic cross evolved from the Teutonic/Norse sun cross, Sowilo. The Teutonic/Norse Sun Cross was made by laying two Runes of the Sun over each other. This forms a swastika. Unfortunately, the symbol of holiness and power is now associated with the nazi regime. Hitler did not make it a symbol of darkness by ‘changing’ it to ‘spin’ counter-clockwise. It’s meaning is not changed. It can be reversed and bear the same meaning, as it did for thousands of years, before Herr Shicklegruber deprived the world of the rightful use of the sign.
Just to offer a bit of a different point. The swastika was quite prevalent among ancient peoples, as was the solar wheel. Both these are seen in some of the earliest bronze-age Celtic sites, as well as Germanic, Greek, and Vedic literature. I see no reason to think that the Germanic people developed this symbol first but more likely it was a common Indo-European symbol which was spread everywhere the Indo-Europeans went.

As a side note, the swastika was, up until the mid-19th century, a fairly important symbol in Judaism too (representing the Crown of God) and you can still see it in many of the old synogogues. While I suspect that the Jews got the symbol from the Persians, I am not 100% sure.

I tend to be fairly skeptical of the arguments of the Germanic peoples inventing all sorts of things that later spread to other cultures around the IE world because, between the wars, these theories were commonplace among the Runic writers. For example, S. A. Kummer wrote that all languages were decended from the ancient Germanic mother tongue....
Top   #5

Dancing Bear's Avatar
Dancing Bear  Dancing Bear is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 04 Dec 2005
Location: Living in John Lennons song, Imagine. Nth QLD
Posts: 4,176
Dancing Bear 
Sowelu


I have known the Rune resembling the letter s as, Sowelu. As you all have discovered though, there are many pronounciations for some runes. I like Ralph Blums Sowelu (sow-el-ew).
I totally agree regarding the Masculine -Feminine thing Runes are no Gender They just are Runes.Not meaning to be anything But.
I am female and have always seen myself as the Spiritual Warrior and proudly so!!
I always thought the Swastika was the rune of Victory.
Dancing Bear
Top   #6
einhverfr's Avatar
einhverfr  einhverfr is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Nov 2005
Location: Chelan, WA
Posts: 253
einhverfr 
The names of the Elder Futhark.


The names of the Elder Futhark are generally reconstructed using fairly technical linguistic analytical processes. One of the benefits we have with proto-Germanic is that we do have a set of inscriptions including many words (Linu, Alu, Ansuz, Ansuja, Erilaz, Runaz, etc.) with which we can further validate the names. In general, I do not trust non-linguists to this sort of work as it is fairly easy to make mistakes that invalidate the conclusions. So I am more inclined to trust the work of Thorrson/Flowers, Polome, and others with academic linguistics backgrounds than most modern writers with this regard. So unless someone can show why the linguistic derivations are wrong, then I will continue to advocate sticking to those that are generally used in academic circles.

Another interesting point has been the debate over the vowel to place where I put the underscore in *Wod_naz. What is particularly interesting here is that although *Wodanaz, we do have a helmet with an inscription *Tiwodanaz (arguably a contraction of *Tiwaz and *Wodanaz (the gods that become Tyr and Odhinn respectively).
Top   #7
einhverfr's Avatar
einhverfr  einhverfr is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Nov 2005
Location: Chelan, WA
Posts: 253
einhverfr 
Sowilo analysis


This may be a long one, I'm afraid. There is a lot of lore regarding the sun and it takes some time to compile it all. One could easily write volumes on many of these runestaves, but this one probably has the most lore associated with it.

Linguistic Aspects

*sowilo is from the PIE *saewel (to shine, the sun). It is not the only word for the sun, and the only cognate it has in Modern English is Sol (not via Germanic languages). The ON Sol (with a long mark over the o) is however derived from this root.

The Mod. Eng. word "sun" comes from the PGmc *sunnon which is derived from the PIE *s(u)wein. It is likely that this last PIE term is an alternate form of *saewel. Linguistically, the Sun is literally "The Shining One."

The Old Norse had many words for the many of these things, as emphasized in Alvismal:
Alvíss qvaþ:
«Sol heitir meþ monnom,
enn svnna meþ goþom,
kalla dvergar Dvalins leica,
eyglo iotnar,
alfar fagra hvel,
alscír asa synir.»

Alvis said (My translation is based in part on Hollander's):
Sol it is called by men, Sunna by the gods
To the Dwarves it is Dvalin's Bane
Ever-glowing to the Etins, The Alfs' "Fair wheel,"
All-bright to the Aesir's sons

One of the interesting points here is that you have Sol (from *sowilo) and Sunna from *sunnon as dual names fro the sun.

Also note that in most Germanic languages, the sun is feminine while the moon is Masculine (see Mannaz).

Rune Poems

The OERP and the OIRP both discuss the fair weather aspects of Sowilo, that it offers protection from storms (particularly welcome at sea). It is hence "the shield of the clouds" as the OIRP puts it.

The OIRP and the ONRR also discuss the Sun as that which lights up the lands, providing an ability to see things that the night might hide. This part of the runestave in the Younger Futhark might have been transferred from Dagaz during the condensation of the Futhark from 24 to 16 staves. However, the light of the sun is clearly important for a number of reasons (see below under mythic aspects) so should not be entirely discounted.

In the OIRP, the Sun is called the destroyer of ice because the light of the sun is necessary to melt the ice of the subarctic winter, and in the ONRP, it is said to have a hallowing aspect.

Mythic Aspects

Two mythic tales in among the Eddas are worth summarizing here: Alvismal and the episode between Helgi Hjorvarthson and Hrimgerdh. These two tales show striking similarities to eachother and further show a close parallel to modern psychotherapy.

In Alvismal, Alvis ("All-Wise," a dwarf), comes to Thorr and asks Thorr to keep his promise and give him Thorr's daughter's hand in marriage in exchange for some work that has been done. Thorr forestalls Alviss by asking him a series of questions until the run rises and Alvis is turned to stone.

In the Lay of Helgi Hjorvarthson, Helgi is confronted by Hrimgerdh (a giantess, "Ice Splendor"-- the name implies a Hrimthurs or Ice-giant) who offers to forgive Helgi for slaying her father Hati ("The Hateful") if he gives her sexual favors. Helgi, like Thorr, forestalls Hrimgerdh by asking her questions until the sun rises and she is destroyed. Note that Hrimgerdh arises from under the waves.

Alvis and Hrimgerdh share a number of traits: Both come from underworldly realms. Both desire what is fundamentally a sexual relationship (compare with Freya and the Necklace of the Brisings), and both are undone by questioning until the sun rises. While this approach is probably more limited than Freud would have had it, it seems to represent a direct parallel to Freudian psychotherapy. These stories also emphasize the link between consciousness and the sun.

One of the important differences however, is that the questions themselves are not as important as the process of asking the questions and addressing them at the entity. In the end, the consciousness gained is what the sunlight is and does, taking power from and destroying those things within ourselves that oppose us or would subvert our actions. When I get to Dagaz, I will discuss that breakthrough point as well, with discussions of Vafthrudhnismal and other similar stories.
Top   #8
Moonkissed Wolf's Avatar
Moonkissed Wolf  Moonkissed Wolf is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 21 May 2011
Location: Bavaria, Getmany
Posts: 6
Moonkissed Wolf 

I was just looking at pictures of different runes and came here to see what this one meant. When I first saw the rune, the words that came strongly to my mind were "Zeus" and "strength." Thank you for posting such helpful information!
Top   #9
Elsewhere on the Tarot Forum
Popular Tarot Boards
· Using Tarot Cards
· Talking Tarot
· Tarot Spreads
· Tarot Decks
· Rider-Waite-Smith

Special Interest Boards
· Astrology
· Crystals & Herbs
· Divination
· Lenormand
· Spirituality

Popular Tarot Threads
· Pet Peeves
· Timing of cards
· Interesting tarot pairs
· The Moon as how someone feels
· The World as feelings

More Tarot Threads
· Cards for certain events
· Tarot meanings for health
· List of Tarot Questions
· Can Tarot be Dangerous?
· List of Tarot Myths



Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· Tarot eBooks
· Tarot Card Meanings

Copyright © 1996 - 2022 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us. Advertise with us.