Uruz is named after the now extinct Aurochs, the wild, primeval European cattle. The large Aurochs had great horns, which the Norse used for drinking horns in their sacred ceremonies, and the young men probably used to show off their hunting prowess. This Rune links us to the Cow Audhumbla, coming into being out of the conflagration of the Worlds of Fire and Ice (the Creation mythology), and whose milk nurtured the first manlike-being, the giant Ymir.[1] We have explored cattle as wealth (Fehu), and now the second Rune, Uruz, links us to cattle as a symbol of physical wellbeing, strength, good health, stamina, and considering the cow, nurturing and nourishment. In the plant kingdon, Uruz may be considered the rootedness that connects plants to the nourishing soil of Earth.

Uruz is a powerful, primeval, animal force that one must be respectful of. If Fehu was a wildfire, then the power of Uruz can be likened to the stampeding Aurochs herd. In dealing with cattle, one must be mindful of the herd mind. The animal evolved a skull thick enough to support those great horns and withstand the impact of slamming into another Aurochs headfirst. When bulls or cows are determining which is to be the dominant one, they push against each other head to head, until the stronger one wins, and the pecking order is settled. The expression “bull headed” came about from pushing through until something gets resolved. Uruz can therefore mean a test of strength or an ordeal that must be passed through. You learn to stand on your own feet through situations requiring grit, energy, and determination. It might be prudent to ask whether the conditions are right for “bulling through” something when confronted with the major change that the appearance of Uruz represents. Natural occurrences present opportunity to fall back on self to fund the strength of will and develop the inner resources of fortitude, stamina, and perseverance to see the situation through. Calling upon this Rune during such times can help sustain you while you persevere.

Uruz also serves to remind us when we need to take time to self nourish. The Rune itself is shaped in the form of a grazing cow or bull. Sometimes the form this will take is a period of rest to replenish the energy needed to return to the fray.

Uruz reversed in a reading can indicate ill health, low vitality or low virility, lack of motivation, or that the questioner has failed to take advantage of the moment. Perhaps your own strength is being used against you, or perhaps you are being used to another person’s advantage.

[1] This giant is interesting. Ymir is a variation of a name that means “Roarer” or “Mudroarer.” See Maria Kvillhaug’s book for the best translation of the name, and refer to the chapter on Hela’s initiation at the Well of Souls.