Sunday, 9 October 2016

A while back I posted an article about runes that were formed by two reflective runes. In this post I'd like to show how some runes have a rotation about them. This means that the rune looks the same whether drawn up or down, or rotated 180 degrees. These runes demonstrate how a symbol can hold a meaning and its direct opposite meaning at the same time.

If we look at the Wolf-Hook we find a perfect example of this. To me this is one of our most powerful runes. This rune strikes fear into an enemy. It identifies the wearer of this rune as an outlaw, or someone who resists. Those who use this rune identify themselves with the struggle of the wolf, hunted by the christian who feared this heathen totem. We can identify ourselves with this same struggle. 

Yet - this rune isn't just the rune of the hunted, but also the hunter. This is the Wolf Hook - the tool christians used to hunt this sacred animal. This devise was used to kill thousands of wolves - so many that they no longer exist in most of Europe. This rune both represents the christian hunter and the hook they used, as well as the heathens and wolves they hunted -  the outlaws and wolf-heads. Both opposites survive within this one rune.

The bases for this style of Wolf-Hook is the Eoh rune. Eoh is often used to mean the Yew. However the root of the word Yew in Old English is Eow - and it is this root which also gives us the word 'Ewe' meaning sheep. And it is this link which brings us back to the Wolf-Hook as it was often the sheep farmers who were responsible for hunting the Wolf. This practise died out in England when the wolf died out, but continues in Scandinavia even to this day. Though there are still many connections between the hunter and the hunted that do survive here in England. In the north especially, we find many pubs called the Wool-Pit. This name is taken from the Wolf-Pit, a hole dug in the ground and filled with spikes, used by sheep farmers to kill predators.    

So this is the Eow/Eoh rune. It is both the rune of the Sheep and the rune of the Wolf. The rune of the Hunter and the rune of the Hunted. Both opposites are found within the one rune. How this rune is used and how this rune is defined all depends on the intent of the user.