Ehwaz is the Rune associated with horses, movement, loyalty and trust, emotion, and the partnership between horse and rider. Those who have worked with horses know that horses are emotional creatures, reacting instantly and instinctively to feelings of fear or comfort, pleasure or pain, associating movement with emotion. Scientist Candace Pert discovered the molecules of emotion, centered in the body. The way we feel about things, the things we want and desire – these are all motivational factors in how we move about our life. My Gurdjieff teacher used to say emotion = e + motion. Knowing what motivates you will get you energized to get moving on it.

Horses and travel correlate the Ehwaz Rune to Raidho, which corresponds to the travel of the heavenly bodies across the sky, to travel by horseback and by horse drawn wagon, and in this modern era by car, train or plan. The relationship of Ehwaz and Raidho to the path of self-evolution is illustrated by the old teaching story of the carriage, the horse, the driver, and the passenger who rides inside the carriage. In this tale, the carriage represents the physical body, the horse the emotions, and the driver as the intellect. The horse is yoked to the carriage by its harness (as emotions are centered in the body), and the driver directs the attention of the horse through the reins. However, to accomplish a real aim, the development of the master (the passenger in the carriage) is necessary to direct the driver. Otherwise all three would be going in their own direction: the carriage would not move, the horse would be freely following its own emotional whims, and the driver would be down at the pub drowning his boredom in beer. We can see these aspects of self in our body, our emotions, and our intellect. When these three aspects of self are united through consistent practice of intentional sensation, the fourth aspect develops – the master.

Ehwaz is the ultimate Rune of partnership between two beings: horse and rider, a married couple, a business partnership. Honest communication is essential for the harmony of such partnerships having a common goal. Edred Thorsson relates Ehwaz to the power of the twin gods, and goes on to say that the horse in Germanic thought is related to mans’ “fetch” which easily travels between the worlds of Yggdrasil.[1] When I consider the shape of the Rune, it is the mirrored image of Laguz, which means flow. Laguz, coming later in the third ÆTT, is a symbol for water, which always seeks its own level. When honest communication stops, like water becoming ice, partnerships falter and break apart.

Ehwaz in a Rune reading is usually a positive indicator of events moving in a favorable direction with correct motivation, but if inverted Ehwaz can mean one’s emotional energies are scattered and unfocused, causing one to spin one’s wheels needlessly in any endeavor. Look to the health of partnerships or any endeavor wherein you are working with another person in a common goal.

[1] Edred Thorsson, Futhark, location 1195 kindle edition. The “fetch” is related to the astral body; see GNG definitions.