This rune shows up again and again, in so many readings, in so many conversations.
What happens when we really tell the truth? So often I hear people say they can’t be truthful because it would hurt someone's feelings or upset someone or that their partner, family member, friend, work associate just wouldn’t understand. If you believe that, then the place you really need to start is telling the truth to yourself.
Loss is always involved in compromise.
Strength of convictions always demands a price.
This is the story of Tyr and the wolf Fenrir, son of the giantess Angrboda and Loki, brother to the great serpent Jormungand and Hela who dwells in the realm of the dead. The story is most often told from the perspective of Tyr, the god of justice, law and upholding traditional sources of authority. In this version of the story, Tyr is a hero because he keeps chaos at bay and loses his hand to the wolf because of it. But what is also true is that he lost his hand because he lied to the wolf and tricked him into being bound with magical chains made by the dwarves.
Why did he do it? Because the high gods told him to? Because he was afraid to go against traditional sources of authority? Because he believed it necessary to keep the peace? No matter the reason, Tyr suffered a loss when he compromised his role as a truth teller.
No doubt he would have paid a price as well if he had refused to lie to the wolf but the price would have been different from the loss suffered from compromise.
And what about the wolf? Do we ever hear the story from the perspective of the wolf or in support of the wolf? A wolf is a wolf is a wolf. It's his nature. Of course he bit off the hand of Tyr. What else would a wolf have done?
Working with the spirit and essence of Teiwaz gives you the opportunity to dig around in your own issues of truth, compromise, integrity and loss. When you reflect on the story you can ask yourself, who am I in the tale? Am I the high gods, the wolf, Tyr? Am I perhaps the hand that got bit off?
There is no right answer. There is no wrong answer. Only you can say what is true for you.
Here is one of the many things that happen when you don’t speak truth to those around you. First you justify your withholding by saying something to the effect that speaking truthfully would cause upset or anger or conflict. Your withholding creates an energy that is ever so slight but can still be felt by the other person, even if they’re not aware of what they’re feeling. They have an animal sense that something is off and that creates an energy of distrust. They pull back from you and withhold because they sense you can’t be trusted. Once they do that, you feel it, and make the decision that you were right to not speak your truth. And then it just builds from there. All this happens on a very subtle level, in a matters of seconds, or over a long period of time. It’s not so much about what you say but rather what you don’t say.
You can call upon Teiwaz to support you in living with integrity and strength of conviction, enjoying relationships based on truth telling and trust.
You can ask yourself, where in my life am I compromising myself, my dreams, my health and happiness because I'm afraid to go against the high gods, or have been convinced it’s my duty to keep the order at the expense of my own truth?
Teiwaz can support you in building a strong sense of self-worth so you fearlessly live your true nature.
title Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash