"eye-waz" ( Yew tree.) Yggdrasill (the world tree) is a Yew tee. Odhinn hung on Yggdrasill.
This Rune looks like a vertical line with a down and to the lower right hash mark at the top and an upward and left hash mark at the top.
This rune contains all other runes. It is seen as: Vertical axis connecting below w/above, melding of opposites (and the inspiration that comes with the completion of initiation (Odhinn had the flash of insight of runic knowledge).
The yew is the tree of death. It is commonly found planted in cemeteries, it can trap the souls of the dead.
It is poisonous to eat, and also gives off toxic gases.
It stands for initiation and immortality (evergreen, remains green when all else is ‘dead’ in the winter.
Immortality in this case is of course the Teutonic or Norse version. It is not an avoidance of death, but an acceptance, and a melding of life and death. This is the rune of the will, the fire that lies within the rough skin of the Yew, alive throughout the winter.
The rune illustrates the joining of Hel and Asgard via the trunk of Yggdrasill, a marriage of light and dark into a single power.
A proper wand should be made of the Yew.

Eihwaz signifies a deep, powerful, transformation; a spiritual awakening, endurance, controlled change of consciousness.
The dead give up their secrets (look to and acknowledge thy ancestors).
Realization of inner-strength.

As a merkstave, it signifies confusion, destruction, dissatisfaction, and weakness.

As a person it indicates an honest man who can be relied upon, or a Mystic.


Y'know, I have to admit very ashamedly, that this is the only Rune that I have never understood. Ever! No matter how many times I get it in a throw, or how many times I experience it, I just seem blocked to its meaning... Maybe that's telling me something in itself?!



Like most runes, this one is multi-layered. Modern Tarot Theory tells us that This means That. Not so with runes, they lean more towards the world of oracles.

I need to wax eloquent for a moment to pull in perspective on this rune.

Now days, family trees are displayed upside down. They show great-great-grandparents and their offspring [Regular Pyramid]. They should show the thousands of people that lead to us [Upside-Down Pyramid]. Looking backwards through time, decisions and choices created the path that brought us to where we are now.

A miller swore and dodged out of the way, as a carriage splashed mud towards him. He found himself in the doorway of a lace makers shop. A young woman looked out of the grimy window, their eyes meeting…six hundred years later you were born in your current condition. I was descended from the carriage driver.

We can look backwards, not always understanding the cause and effect, but see the path. Our ancestors created the path that we walk upon. If we do not like it, it is for us to change, with our choices and decisions (or we can choose to stay upon it, bemoaning our fate). Most choose not to acknowledge their ancestors. Failure to do so is to walk thy path blindly.

Likewise, when we are one with Yggdrasill, it is difficult. Most feel they are not worthy. Few can see the forest with all the trees in their way.

This is truly a wonderful rune. It indicates being as one with your path, and Yggdrasill.

…and your path is not static. The path you trod upon is a living/dead thing.

The dead give up their secrets, listen to your the language of your ancestors, and allow them to help you find your way.

Eihwaz: To be connected above and below, to be connected past and future, and in life, we are marching towards death; and the ability (or need) to recognize those connections.


I am confused : Eihwaz is a Yew tree, but Yggdrasil is an Ash... Where's the link?



Hi all,
I like to think of Eihwaz as a human backbone. It connects our root to our crown. It is the path of the kundilini. The statement that someone “has a backbone” means that they standup for what is right and for the things they believe in. This is just a little mental image that helps me understand the meaning of this Rune.


Kiama said:
I am confused : Eihwaz is a Yew tree, but Yggdrasil is an Ash... Where's the link?


The is/is not one. Good reason to be confused, it was a confusing reference.

Yggdrasill is an ash; Eihwaz is a yew.

The Yew is the tree of magic.

My references (more than one) refer to Yggdrasill as being ash, and Eihwaz being both Yew and Yggdrasill.

I can only say, where is Malachite when we need him?


Umbrae said:

This rune contains all other runes. It is seen as: Vertical axis connecting below w/above

The rune illustrates the joining of Hel and Asgard via the trunk of Yggdrasill, .

in the "nine doors of midgard" edred thorsonn says that eihwaz "describes the vertical dimension of the world-tree, yggdrasill." he describes the "vertical flows of substance up and down the central column." is it possible that it represents only this dimension of yggdrasill, and not yggdrasill itself?


The Welsh made their longbows from Yew, usually collected from trees at the local church-yard, for its flexibility and strength.... Just a tasty tidbit I thought evoked some sort of meaning from this Rune...




In the book that comes in the set of Haindl Rune Oracle, Nigel Pennick writs on page#148 and Iquote"In Norse Tradition, The world-tree or cosmic axis is an ash tree. But some authorities, such as Edred Thorson, think that this cosmic ash was not meant to be an actual broad-leafed ash tree, but a Yew. This is plausible, as Yggdrassil is said to be evergreen, and a by-name of the Yew tree in Old Norse is barraskr [needle ash]. An alternative interpretation of the name Yggdrassil is "Yew-column." This world tree is known sometimes as Mjolvidhr, "The tree of Measure,"A central point in relation to which all other things may be related." unquote. Ihope this is of some help. **runehunt**