Meaning of Eihwaz

It is a rune which is considered sacred to Odin, the one who collects the souls of the dead people for their easy travel to Valhalla, or the underworld.

When it’s on the right side, Eihwaz is considered to be a rune that symbolizes death, but it should be taken as a natural process, as it happens when people attain old age, and after that, leave this world and all its materialistic pleasures.

Eihwaz signifies the value of death in our life as a simple process for taking birth again and getting a new life. This rune also highlights its linkage to the opening door of the underworld. Endurance and calmness are required to pass through a bad or a dull phase in one’s life. This indirectly also tells us that without old things moving out of our life, the coming of new things isn’t possible.

This rune can be used to interact with our loved ones who are now in the underworld after death. But if it's reversed, it's not a good sign. It clearly gives us a warning of one receiving emotional issues in life, feeling nostalgic, and crying over what has already happened. In a reversal, Eihwaz also warns us of having emotional troubles due to the early demise of one’s beloved or a very close relative. Eihwaz is also known as Ihwaz. It means “yew” in general.

Key Concepts 

Mysteries, Death, Birth, Spiritualism.


No time limit, Mysteries about death, Kundalini.


Privacy, Translating,   Chakra ideology, Imperishability, Planets, Hell, Paradise.


Graphics, Bushes, Saplings, Startings, Initiate, Long life.


Patience, Self-protection, to start something, Illusion, Devastating, End.


  • Thinking spiritually.
  • Facing the reality.
  • Gaining new levels of patience.
  • Learning to face one’s fear with courage.
  • Start learning about chakras and the “tree of life.”

Eihwaz is another favorite rune stone of mine. It represents the fortitude of the yew tree against evil forces and strength. It symbolizes protection, defense and greater force that is supposed to protect the person against evil. Picking this stone means that you’re going to be ambushed. Or you already have and you need help. However, Eihwaz will give you all the necessary courage and strength to fight evil and win back your life and confidence. Eihwaz also stands for unique skills, knowledge and great wisdom. Meaning, if you get this stone, it denotes difficult times that will teach you a very important lesson about life. Also, Eihwaz represents a powerful spirit and intelligence. You’re probably a smart person with a strong spirit and great heart who needs to be reminded of how special you are and what you want.

Eihwaz reversed stands for weakness, dissatisfaction, destruction, and confusion. So, this stone should teach you that not fighting your inner demons and following your mind instead of the heart could lead to self-destruction, dissatisfaction, and confusion. Eo is a symbol of trustworthiness, dependability, reliability, and transformation as well. So, it’s supposed to teach you how to rely on people and transform yourself into the person you’re supposed to be. Eihwaz is the stone of motivation, greater purpose, determination and targeting goals.

Getting this rune stone means that you’re ready to focus on your highest aspirations. It should boost your motivation and courage to take risks in order to achieve what you always wanted. This stone appeared to you because you’re afraid of change and uncalculated risks.

However, in order to succeed in life, sometimes you have to take these uncalculated risks. Do you know what’s the biggest risk in life? Not taking any risk at all. Think about that and you will realise that our limited time on this planet shouldn’t be taken for granted. Meaning, you’re supposed to get the most out of life while you still can. It’s never too late for a big change.

Have I mentioned that Eihwaz stands for honesty as well? You must be an honest, reliable person if you picked this stone. However, you’re also naïve and easy to manipulate. People manipulate you and take advantage of you all the time. It’s time to put an end to how some people treat you. And you know very well who I’m talking about. It’s time that you stand up for what you believe and prove to the world that kindness and goodness shouldn’t be taken as stupidity. Being sensitive and compassionate doesn’t mean that you’re blind and stupid.

Choosing this stone reveals that you’re going to need your strength and determination for what’s about to happen next. You’re going to encounter conflict with someone who’s jealous of your life success. Maybe it’s an old “friend” or ex-partner who’s envious of your current job success or personal life. Either way, you will deal with this person your way. Still, you’ll have to remember that he or she doesn’t have power over you as they once did. If this is a person who’s used to manipulate you for their personal gain, they’ll try to do the same but this time, you will be prepared and say “no” to their demands. Gather the strength to end a toxic relationship that will break your heart eventually. It doesn’t matter if you once loved this person. If they try to manipulate you or hurt you, they don’t deserve your love. Eihwaz predicts your victory over evil forces and people whose goal is to take advantage of you. It also offers protection, inner peace, and harmony. All you have to do is face the evil forces.

I also mentioned that this is the stone of motivation, greater purpose, and targeting goals. It’s clear to you that you weren’t born to lead a normal life. Meaning, you’re born to do big things, great things and be remembered for your creativity, originality, authenticity and kind heart. However, in order to accomplish great goals and realise your dreams, you have to work in service to others. Meaning, you need to find a way to develop your talents into a business that will encourage people to follow your steps and realise their own aspirations.

As I already said, this stone also reveals that you have a greater purpose. Everyone has a greater purpose than just exist and extinct. However, not everyone has the courage and skills to follow their heart and answer their call as you do. Lately, you have been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety because of your uncertain future. You have to understand that no one’s future is certain. Abraham Lincoln said: “The best way to predict your future is to create it”. And he was absolutely right. That’s what this rune stone is trying to teach you. It’s time that you take things into your own hands and start shaping the life you want for yourself. Otherwise, life will do it for you and you might not enjoy the final outcome.

Choosing this stone symbolises transformation as well. Once you start working on yourself, you will realise that the only person you should compete with and exceed is the person you see in the mirror. You are your best friend and your worst enemy, so be gentle and kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and learn from them in the future.

The reversal predicts heartbreak among other things. However, this doesn’t mean that the person you’re with will break your heart. You might be the one responsible for the end of a beautiful but unfruitful relationship. Deep down, you always knew that the two of you don’t have a future together. If you’re single, expect to meet the “perfect” person who will hurt you in the most unexpected way. By breaking your heart, this person will teach you that no one is worth your dignity and inner peace. If someone is gambling to lose you, let them win.

The rune, Ehwaz, represents the horse. However, it generally represents movement, a journey, change or the path to success. It also represents harmony, teamwork, companionship, awareness, loyalty, and trust. In this way Ehwaz is similar to the Adinkra symbol of Nkonsonkonson which symbolizes harmony, unity and the chain links that tie people together. It is also similar to the Triskele, a Celtic symbol which denotes motion.

This rune also ties into a saying that the Mandinka people of West Africa have passed down for generations. The saying goes: “The nail supports the shoe, the shoe supports the horse, the horse supports man and man supports the world.” This is supported by the fact that numerous cultures across time have revered the horse as instrumental to life and to the workings of the universe. For instance, in the case of Sól’s and Helios’ Chariots of the Sun.

The presence of Ehwaz in your life symbolizes a period of change and positive movement along the path to your prosperity. It encourages you to charge forward with courage in your soul and a passion that lets your heart beat like the thundering of the stallion’s hooves. Its significance in terms of professional development cannot be overstated since Ehwaz signifies that positive progress is being made towards the attainment of your goals. It also signifies the formation of loyal and harmonious partnerships that will assist you to maintain and accelerate this forward movement.

Ehwaz’s unifying aspect also bodes well for relationships since it signifies that your relationships are built on foundations of loyalty, harmony and the pursuit of common goals. This rune is a positive indicator of healthy existing relationships and the strong possibility of forming new relationships that are equally healthy. It encourages you to take comfort in the companionship that you have and to use this sense of companionship to keep yourself and the people you love moving.

This rune also signifies the unity of the mind, the body and the soul and emboldens you to keep moving in the pursuit of the betterment of the self. Forge the links between these three aspects of the self by honing their abilities and increasing their health. Nurture a positive soul, sharpen your mind and keep your body fit and healthy. This will make you an ideal vehicle for undertaking the movement that the rune has shown you are taking place in your life since you will be ready to overcome adversities of any form that may appear before you.

Ehwaz also encourages you to trust your instincts and accept your emotional and intuitive nature. Avoid overcomplicating your life or weighing yourself down with fear and negativity. Rather, find wisdom in the quiet, contemplative nature of the horse and go where life takes you. Take measures to avoid harm but do not let any adversity that you encounter stop you from continuing to move forward. Also, do not allow bad experiences to stick to you and affect you for a long time after they have ended. Take the advice of this rune and keep moving ahead without the baggage of your past weighing you down. Free your spirit from the shackles of the past and run ahead. Form new bonds with the ideal version of you that will be revealed through your positive forward movement. The wind flows through your mane. It does not linger. Each time you meet, it is a new breeze and you are a new you.

As a rune of awareness, Ehwaz also encourages you to understand the changes taking place within you and around you. This is so that you can be proactive and chart a path for yourself rather than being reactive and adjusting to a path that has been charted for you. You are the stallion that leads the team and you must understand your strengths and shortcomings in order to make decisions and improve yourself. Take stock of your nature, the nature of the people around you and the decisions that you need to make. This information will allow you to unify the three concepts in order to improve your strengths, mitigate your weakness and make better decisions.

Ehwaz’s merkstave or reverse, warns you to be wary of reckless movement since it could endanger you. Rush forward but only after careful thought and consideration. The rune encourages you to stay confident and acknowledge the fact that you are moving but also, to remember that not all movement is positive. Beware of logic traps that will make you think a move is right when it really isn’t. If faced with a situation that you are unsure of, seek the wisdom of your companions in order to temper your instinct with prudence.

Ehwaz also reminds you not to let movement obscure your view of your companions. Keep a close eye on your loved ones so that you do not stray too far away from them and your relationships do not deteriorate. Take time to actively participate in your relationships and enjoy the company of the ones you care for. Though it may not seem the same as the easily identifiable movement that you experience in your career, the growth of your relationships is also forward movement. Remember that the path can be lonely when walked alone and that the lone horse falls prey to the pack of wolves.

While Ehwaz’s merkstave warns against the reckless movement, it also warns against stagnation and the fear of movement. It reminds you that change is a part of life and that you cannot be afraid to change. The trick is to avoid moving backward and settling into old habits while also figuring out the best way forward. Once this path has been charted, feel free to move with confidence and courage in your own abilities and the companions that surround you. Do not stay rooted to one spot, or you will be unable to leave, but do not rush forward out of fear or you’ll end up somewhere you may not have wanted to go.

By Florance Saul
Mar 13, 2013