Eihwaz is the Viking rune of the Yew Tree. The Yew is an evergreen tree that stands strong and vibrant, even during the coldest, snowiest part of a Norse winter. Eihwaz represents the Yew’s characteristics of strength, resilience, and regeneration.
The wood of the Yew tree has traditionally been used for both weaponry and art. Yew wood bows were the prized possession of early archers, while bards and musicians love yew wood lutes. For this reason, Eihwaz is a rune for archers, music makers, and anyone who needs to hang in there during tough times.
Understanding Eihwaz: A Look at the Historical Literature
Much of what we know about the Viking Runes comes from the Rune Poems. In the case of Eihwaz, the reference comes from the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem:
The yew is a tree with rough bark,
hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots,
a guardian of flame and a joy on native land.
Eihwaz as the World Tree: Axis Mundi
Trees play a crucial role in how the Vikings understood the world. Eihwaz represents the World Tree, whose massive trunk connects all the worlds. There’s an eagle at the top of the World Tree, and a snake hidden among its roots. In between runs a squirrel, carrying messages from the one to the other.
The World Tree is also known as the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is known in many cultures, serving as a reminder to reach for your dreams while remaining grounded.
What Does It Mean if Eihwaz Appears in a Rune Reading?
Eihwaz is a rune of endurance. Having it appear in a rune reading can be an acknowledgement that hard times are happening – or will happen soon – while reassuring you that you have the strength and skill to make it through. The Yew tree is vibrant and green even while snow is weighing down its branches. In much the same way, you will need to remain true to who you are despite the heavy burdens that may come your way. Spring will come, the snow will melt, and like the yew, you will stand strong throughout it all.