The Yew and Hammer Taufr Norse Rune Altar Piece Thor Odin Gungnir


Original design, hand crafted, pyrography and acrylic paints on wood, that has been sealed with urethane to preserve its beauty.

The Yew and Hammer Taufr

The first thing your eye is drawn to is the Yew tree, Yggdrasil. The world tree which holds the nine realms, the tree of all potential, the tree whose roots are fed by wisdom and the Norns carve the runes of men's fates. Inside the tree is Thor's mjolnir. The hammer of both protection and provision; of strength and protection. In the center is Gugnir, the spear of Odin and the spear that is thrown out when battle is declared. In the very center is Othala, the rune of ancestral heritage and inheritance. It also symbolizes the innangard and utangard; the sacred space within and the things outside that sacred space.

On the right is the sword, a symbol of personal protection with which we battle against those things trying to overtake and destroy all things important to us; family, kin, ancestral heritage, the gods and our rituals. On the right is Wunjo, the rune of joyfulness. Having a joyful and glad heart in the midst of trials is only the surface aspect of this rune. The deeper meaning, and the characteristic that caused our ancestors to be seen fierce warriors, is the complete joy and abandon with which they fought. Wunjo is the rune of fellowship and the bindings of kin. The only place where you may find happiness and fellowship is the stronghold or byrg of the rune poem. Being within the stronghold means both warding against sorrow and experiencing the joy of being with your kin and friends - the only cure for loneliness which was such suffering for the outcast. It was also another source of strength for the Viking warrior who went to battle with his kin and friends by his side, more than a social contract it was a binding of one to another.

The purpose of this Taufr is to remind us of the joy which is our kin and folk; to remind us of the tree from which we come and which our fate is bound too; that judgement and justice is declared to guarantee the ancestral heritage and inheritance that is our bloodline and that we can pick up our sword, stand with our kin and folk and guarantee a lasting inheritance for the generations to come. Now more important than ever.

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