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Journey Through the Runic Cosmos: The Ritual of the Antlered

The Buck Moon, and Uruz in the heat of summer; a slam dunk of a ritual right? I thought as much, but this ritual to dive into the divine embodiment of Uruz took some interesting turns. Some fueled by my own preconceived notions that I was attempting to keep from the ritual, and others that led me to knowledge of deities and beings not known to me prior. First the Buck Moon; What is it, and why is it prevalent for this Rune? Besides being the first super moon of the year it is also the full moon that symbolizes the male deer known as a buck among many First Nation cultures as this is the time when their antlers are reaching full growth. This name sake and lore behind the Buck Moon lends significance to Uruz due to what the Buck, Stag, and Elk represent. Uruz is named so from the Elder Futhark. When translated it is the word for the mighty and ancient cattle species the Auroch. The Auroch now extinct were revered and feared in part due to their massive horns. In the Old English Rune Poem it states; Aurochs are formidable and massively horned, A very dangerous wild animal, it fights with its horns- A famous marsh-stepper that is a great-hearted creature! Through the Rune poem we can see just how their horns were seen by the humans of the time. The Auroch is portrayed as powerful and aggressive, as well as courageous and strong. It was these traits that led to their admiration and being feared. Stoic, brave, primal and patient. What being exudes these traits and is behaviorally similar? Which being comes forward in your mind's eye? While it may be obvious for those reading, at the time of ritual it was not so obvious for myself. This is where my preconceived notion came to play. I pride myself on not being cliche and being as original as possible to channel the Runes as authentically as I can. To answer my call and relay the knowledge they bestow upon me without bias. With that in mind, and seeing how Uruz is associated with Aurochs I was determined to not let my brain determine the course of what was revealed. Determined to not let the image of any animal associated with Uruz be the seemingly cliche answer. Then the ritual happened. Upon setting up my ritual and making my offering of self and libations I began my connection with Uruz and as I began to sink into the meld in the inbetween a song began to play. “The Horror and the Wild, The Amazing Devil.” This song was the key to unlocking the first pieces of what Uruz truly embodies. Its lyrics, “You're the daughter of silent watching stones, You watch the stars hurl all their fundaments. In wonderment, at you, and yours, forever asking more. You are the space that's in-between.” and “You are the driftwood and the rift, witness me old man, I am the wild.” This set the precedent of the recurring images of great basin shaped antlers with foliage hanging off of them, water sloshing out of them as they rise from the depths; primordial and ancient and the revered king of the forest; The Moose. Because of my own mistaken thinking however I did not see the Moose for what it was, instead I wandered to the great liminal and chthonic deity Cerrunos. Deity of fertility, chaos, mischief, balance, the circle of life and the Wild Hunt. This led me to Loki, and as worthy of reverence and admiration as they are due it did not fit into what I was seeing and being shown from Uruz. Loki is syncretized by many with Cerunnos or even thought to be a child of Cernunnos. The child theory can hold weight due to the fact there isn't solid archaeological evidence of Cernunnos pre-Wiccan Germanic name. This then led me to a discussion with one of my peers about whether there is a more concise Norse correspondence for Cerunnos, and sadly there is not. Loki is the closest syncretism, and while I love Loki this isn't his Rune, so we continued to converse and discuss random topics, spitballing and brainstorming down rabbit holes as one does. All venues and deep dives and each topic had a continued recurring theme. The Moose. Again and again those great sun and moon catching antlers found their way into our discussion. Conversing on the topics of their great size, and formidable aggression, of the great depths they dive to, and how they seem to exist just outside of reach of our plane whilst occupying the same space as us. It finally hit me when my peer suggested that, “Hey you keep saying Moose, you should look into that.” I heeded their words and reached out to some of the best academic and esoteric researchers that I know, and spent time studying their recommendations. Then it was time again to spend time with Uruz. It was at this point in our venture that Uruz’s divine being was solidified and is indeed encapsulated by the Moose. How? Why? What about Algiz? All great questions, especially when Algiz is translated to Elk. More succinctly, the European Elk (Alce Alce). The same species as the North American Moose which linguistically makes Algiz the Moose Rune. To discover the answers we need to look to the legends, kennings and lore of the Moose. Looking at the Ojibwe and Cree traditions, Moose are symbols of endurance and survival, and beings of primal strength. And unlike the Great Bear Mother Artio, Moose doesn't relinquish part of its year to winter. Instead the Moose is active in both winter and summer. Moose are also seen to be liminal beings through multiple culture’s petroglyph art, such as contemporary Siberian, to mesolithic Finland, and bronze age Norway. The depictions of riding antlered steeds were seen to be means of crossing into other planes such as the otherworld. Through the kennings of antlered boats found to be amongst Northern European culture we see yet another connection to the Moose being liminal and possibly chthonic itself. The Moose is also among a classification of animals named Megafauna. A type of animal that is of great importance to its ecosystem and surroundings due to how it shapes and dictates the natural order around it. Megafauna, just as Cerrunos, Loki, and Esus multiple forms, helps keep balance in all planes of existence; the Moose also makes sacrifices and hard decisions to keep the circle of life intact and the wheel turning. The Moose is credited with the honor of being associated with strength, determination, tenacity, introspection, stillness, intuition, adaptability, pride, majesty, integrity and grounding. It is also linked to the Ogham Beith interestingly enough, and how the Birch tree represents fertility and new seasons, once again reminding us of how the Wheel must turn. Uruz is the Moose, and we see that in the lessons it can teach us. To be primal, not in aggression but in connection. To ground and focus, let our intuition guide us through the roots of the forest. To revere and respect the world around us so that we can uncover the secrets of the forest. Through these lessons may we become as wise and as strong as the king of the forest himself. No matter which you prefer, Elk or Moose, Uruz is encapsulated by this mysterious being of the Realms. -Liagis

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