Other Names/Spellings: Eihwas, Eihwaz, Eo, Erwaz, Ezck,
Ihwar, Ihwas, Iwar, Iwaz, Yr
Eye - warz
English Letter Equivalent: Y as in yew or long I as in side.
Translation: Yew tree
Meaning: Yew tree,
archer's bow, weapon. Magic, deflection, prevention.
Ihwaz is the symbol of rune magic. Avertive, deflective or
defensive power is yours. Patience, perseverance, foresight
and protection against unexpected attack. Wisdom in
The Yew tree has mistakenly been linked with
death because of the ancient practice of planting yew hedges
around graveyards. Because Ihwaz is rune number 13, that is
the origin of the "unlucky thirteen" superstition of
But the real reason the Yew was
planted was to keep out unwanted scavenging animals - the
evergreen Yew is both poisonous and impenetrable year-round.
These Yews - now grown to huge gnarled old trees - are still
to be found in many early British churchyards.
Ihwaz should not be feared, because it also means continuity
and endurance. The best longbows were always made from yew
trees. As well as being strong, long-lasting, and flexible,
they contained protective magic. Thus, Ihwaz also represents
safety from attack and a weapon of defence.
Ihwaz has no reverse.
Your defensive abilities are dormant and must be realized.
What appears as a danger will be easily averted through
patience and concentrated effort.
This is a time of transformation, a time to let go of the
old and embrace the new, new beginnings, new life and new
dreams. The only constant is change, and quick progress
requires an acceptance of change, not resistance to it.
Dont be afraid. Change is scary, but if you remain true to
yourself and stick to your path, you will soon achieve your
Runic Number: 13
Air, Fire and Water
Associated gods: Ullr
Astrological Correspondence: Scorpio
Tarot Talk by Leila Vey
is difficult to match to any one Major Arcana card, because its dominant energy is that of defensive protection. There is no strongly protective counterpart in Tarot's Major Arcana. Any association made is bound
to be a bit of a stretch. Some experts argue that Ihwaz fits with The Hanged Man,
and this works to some extent, although the Hanged Man is more about suspension, waiting, and surrender than it
is about protection, magic or deflection.
I prefer to link Ihwaz with the Death card since the
rune also embodies continuity and endurance, both of which are promised in the Death card. Ihwaz and Death
both challenge us to let go of the old and embrace change, no matter how fearful we might be of the
unknown. One further possitibility for Ihwaz is the Emperor card. The Emperor is a figure of authority and defense,
but he is also a protective figure who will lay down his life to save those for whom he is responsible.
visit Leila's site at http://tarot.leila.ca
The Rune Poem: Verse XIII Ihwaz
The Yew is a rough tree without,
Fixed hard in the earth, the fire's herd,
Sustained by its roots,
A delight on the homeland.