The thirteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. Similar and yet different from the 13th Major Arcana card, Death, Eihwaz steps out from Jera’s yearly cycles and asks us to ponder cosmic eternity, rebirth, and transformation. It makes us the axis, with our feet in mortality and our heads in forever. Some use this rune for ancestor work or to connect with divinity (or our higher self) for insight and guidance. It is the rune that pierces the veil. Scholars debate whether the world tree was an ash tree or a yew tree etymologically, but regardless, this rune is attested as representing the yew tree: an important tree in old times that grew evergreen through winter and was often planted at gravesites as a symbol of eternal life. Though not attested, I associate this rune with Hel.
The ninth rune—and the leader of the second aett—of the Elder Futhark. It is the rune of change. Those familiar with tarot cards will find Tower energy here: Hagalaz is the necessary change. It breaks patterns and helps learn unlearned lessons. It is self-reflective and as healing as it is deeply uncomfortable. It represents the divine spark within devastation; the difficult storm to weather before clearer journeys. It is the first rebellion. Hagalaz is powerful for self-growth and shadow work. It is culturally linked (though not attested) with the goddess Hel.