The Tale of Runes: The UR Rune

Read Part One of A Tale of Runes

Read Part Two of A Tale of Runes

Read Part Three of A Tale of Runes

ur stone
  • Letter ‑ U
  • Name ‑ UR
  • Meaning ‑ AN AUROCHS (WILD OX)
  • Planetary Rulership ‑ MARS PASSIVE (PLUTO)
  • Gemstone ‑ CARBUNCLE
  • Flower ‑ NASTURTIUM
  • Number ‑ 3
  • Arthurian  ‑ ALL THINGS MUST PASS
  • Association words: Testing, Change, Sacrifice, Vitality, Growth, Will, Effort.

the rune ur and wild ox

Magical Meanings: To draw new circumstances into a person’s life. To initiate new conditions without being specific about what those conditions should be.

Divinatory Additions: Change that tests one. Sufficient resources to secede in challenges faced. Self-reliance. Letting go the old to make way for the new. Changes that can’t be avoided. Indicates will power determination rude health. May show that masculine passion is high in a relationship. Financial circumstances can be improved through one’s own effort.

Reversed: Letting an opportunity pass by or an opportunity you should let pass by, look to the other runes to see. Week will. Stagnation.

Important note: In the Germanic tribes the boys of the tribe would go on a ritual hunt for an aurochs, an extinct form of buffalo, and not until they had participated in a successful kill were they counted as men. Men could marry, own property, challenge, have rights independently under the law. Thus, the Rune’s meaning of letting go of the lesser good of childhood to embrace the greater good of adulthood.

 In the modern world, this Rune can apply equally to both women and men.

Story upright:

Fjorn stood naked in the village court his well-muscled young body sculpted by his time spent at the forge. He’d left his children’s clothes in his mother’s house. The sun was bright and the day warm. A palisade of logs lashed together surrounded the town. The great hall at the town’s centre was buried up to its thatched roof into the earth as were the shops/houses of the craftsmen. The palisade was more defense against the wind than it was against raiders.

His eyes were drawn to the smithy. His father looked up at him with pride. After today Fjorn would be an apprentice no more. His stint as a journeyman could begin.

“Good luck,” Sigurlina walked towards him, her long, golden hair pulled into a braid swishing behind her. She was a year older than him, and the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

Now the fact that he was naked made him blush. “Thank you.” His voice cracked as he said the words.

“Playing with the children again?” A swarthy youth in a surcoat and leggings strode up to them.

“Go away, Jokull,” said Sigurlina.

“Don’t you want to be with a real man,” countered Jokull.

“Fjorn is more a man than you’ll ever be,” snapped Sigurlina.

“He is only a boy. He can’t challenge. He owns nothing. I’m surprised he’s not suckling at his mother’s teat.”

Fjorn’s blood boiled. Jokull was a month older than he. It was bad luck that he missed the last hunt by a space of days. For a year, the braggart had insulted Fjorn at every opportunity.

A horn blew. “I will soon be back,” Fjorn spoke to Sigurlina. He moved to join the seven other naked boys gathered at the gate.

“Children at play. Come, Sigurlina. I have a gift for you,” said Jokull

“I want nothing from you.” Sigurlina walked away.

The village leader, a burly warrior who’d actually seen a city on his journeys, thrust a spear into each of the boys’ hands.

“Win honor.” The gate opened, and the boys raced into the forest.

Fjorn came to a meadow about an hour outside the village, signaling for the other boys to follow and be quiet, he crept to the tree line. Their prey, an aurochs, its horns long and deadly, its bison-like body knee-deep in tall grass, munched, oblivious to its impending doom.

The boys milled about in confusion. Fjorn pointed to two of them.

“Go to the far side of the meadow in case it flees that way. Keep to the trees. He pointed at another two boys. Go behind it. Keep it in place.”

He pointed again. Stay on this side. Ginnarr and I will take the front. When I screech like an owl, we all close in.

The boys dispersed.

In minutes Fjorn gave the signal, and the boys rushed the aurochs. The beast bellowed and charged forward, only to have Fjorn drive his spear home. The weapon caught in the animal and Fjorn was forced to release his weapon. As the aurochs backed away other spears pricked it.

Together Fjorn and Ginnarr charged the animal plunging their remaining spear deep into their prey, which bellowed.

The other boys charged, stabbing the aurochs until their spears lodged or broke.

The beast staggered and fell.

The men bellowed out their triumph.

That evening the men carried the carcass through the village gate and were taken by the elder men to the bathhouse to remove their prey’s blood which spattered their young bodies. The meat was set to roast. After washing, the new men were instructed through the night in their rights and obligations then returned to the village.

Fjorn wore a tunic his mother had gifted him with that morning.

“You look very handsome,” remarked Sigurlina.

“You are as beautiful as ever,” replied Fjorn.

“Sigurlina, I’ve been looking for you. You didn’t come to accept my gift yesterday.”

“Go away, Jokull,” said Sigurlina.

“You shouldn’t talk to me like that.”

Fjorn pulled a neckless of amber beads from a pouch on his belt. “It’s time to end this. Sigurlina, will you accept my betrothal gift?”

“You can’t do that,” shouted Jokull.

“If you don’t fall silent, I will challenge! Do you wish to face me?”

Jokull stared into the eyes of the boy who he’d abused for the last year and saw a man of the tribes staring back. The bully walked away.

“I am now my father’s journeyman with a share in all I make. When I have done my master’s piece, I can strike out on my own or stay and take my father’s place when he can no longer swing a hammer. We could have a good life.” Fjorn held out the betrothal gift.

Sigurlina took the neckless and fastened it around her neck before embracing her man.

Story Reversed:

“Geldnir.” The woman’s voice was like iron on a wet stone and split the name in two, dragging it out.

Geldnir cringed, it was like his boyish body shrank in on itself.

“She can’t stop you. Go if you want to,” said Fjorn.

The small boy looked up at the smith’s journeyman, only a year older than himself. “I don’t know. Mother would be mad. She says that I should wait for next year because I’m small.”

“Only you can make the choice.” Fjorn’s voice was steady.

“There you are. Why aren’t you dressed? Honestly, put some clothes on and come help mommy grind the flower.” A bulky woman with braided grey hair and a severe face strode up to Geldnir.

“Mother. It’s.”

“And you, sir. Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to, filling my son’s head with foolish nonsense about being a man. He’s just a boy. I’ll thank you to leave him alone.” The woman poked at Fjorn’s chest.

Fjorn looked at her with dislike but held his tongue. Instead, he turned to Geldnir. “It is your choice. The boys are gathering for the hunt now. Next year is a long time away.”

Geldnir looked from his mother to Fjorn and back then sighed. “I’ll get dressed and be right with you to help with the flower, mommy.”

“That’s my good boy.” The woman glowered at Fjorn as she walked off with her boy who chose to cling to childish things.

Learn more about Stephen Pearl at his blog!

Stephen Pearl

Stephen B. Pearl has studied metaphysics for over thirty years focusing on Pagan beliefs, primarily the Egyptian Path though he is eclectic in his views and practice. He considers himself an Egyptian path Pagan Wizard-priest. Which is all to say, he’s tried to make sense out of the craziness that is the universe and has probably made an even worse muck of it. He has read Tarot and Runes professionally on and off for about twenty years. In addition, he created and ran the You the Psychic and Divination the Mystic Eye courses at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. As part of Divination the Mystic Eye, he instructed people on the use of Runes as a divinatory medium. Stephen is also a fiction writer with many works that dip into the paranormal and draw on his personal experience for inspiration. For more on this aspect of his life please visit:

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