Futhark Village

Runes for Tarot Lovers – Uruz

Uruz is the rune of strength, but not the Major Arcana Strength. Strength, in the Major Arcana, is a card of gentleness and being safe with your hand in the lion’s mouth. Uruz is a rune of being strong enough to cause harm if you are not careful. 

 Uruz literally means “Bull” or “Ox,” with both the positive and negative connotations of the animal. We will frequently say things like “Healthy as an ox,” or “Strong like a bull,” and both of those are definitely part of the meaning of Uruz, but bulls are also known to charge.

Despite its name, two of the rune poems describe Uruz as the molten metal in a blacksmith’s shop. An inexperienced Tarot reader might therefore be tempted to compare Uruz to the the craftsman on Eight of Pentacles, but Uruz isn’t about the blacksmith himself. It is about the metal which can become anything. The blacksmith could make a horseshoe or a sword or a puzzle. Once he makes it, that thing stops being Uruz: It becomes Ehwaz or Thurisaz or Perthro at that point. But in that moment when it is molten hot on the anvil and could become anything, that is Uruz.

Therefore, I compare Uruz to the card Death from the Major Arcana: the card of change. The fact that this is a rune similar to Death makes it ironic that this is a rune of health and healing. 


In a reading, Uruz almost always represents a health situation or the querent’s physical body. It can be good, like The Star, or bad, like The Tower. That will depend on the other runes in the reading and the positioning of Uruz. 

When Uruz represents a person, rather than a situation, that person tends to be very masculine, and often a doctor or a nurse. These are the people with the power to heal or, if they’re not careful, to harm.

Use in Magick

Most people think that Uruz is the rune used in healing because we want to be “As healthy as an ox,” and I think that’s part of it, I just think that there’s more to it. If you are sick or injured, you want to change the situation. The Death card is often a good card to get in a reading for a terminal cancer patient, and similarly, Uruz can be used to bring about that change.