Ehwaz

Cognates: Old Norse, Eh (horse). It seems that the root Ehw- and the word Eh have no derivatives in either English or German. They come from an Indo-European root *ekw- (horse) that has given equus in Latin and hippos in Greek. Thus, one can say that Ehwaz is related to French 'équestre', and to English 'equestrian', but, clearly, these words did not develop from proto-Germanic *Ehwaz.
The two forms found for Ehwaz are: and . In Scandinavia, dominates between 200 and 400 since the first six findings were , and was not found until 400. After 400, became the dominate form in Scandinavia. It was the only one used on the continent and in Britain.

 

Texts linked to Ehwaz

Ehwaz was eliminated from the Younger Futhark, so the only rune poem we have is the Old English rune poem.

Old English Rune Poem

Eh (the steed) is the joy of princes in noble company,
the charger proud in its hoofs,
when warriors, prosperous ones on horseback,
discuss its points; and to the restless it always proves a remedy.

Old English Rune Poem, as translated by Marijane Osborn

The Horse among women:
a winsome sight stepping out proudly
when pretty ladies prance around him,
praising his looks — and to her who's uneasy
he's ever a comfort

"The Divine Hag of the Pagan Celts", by Ann Ross

the horse-Goddess, beneficent, maternal, but fierce when opposed, mate of the king or chieftain-to-be in the form of a mare - all these powerful, diverse, yet basically homogeneous goddesses find some place in surviving folklore and supersition.

Tacitus

Although the familiar method of seeking information form the cries and the flight of birds is known to the Germans, they have also special methods of their own - to try to obtain omens and warnings from horses. The horses are kept at the public expenses in the sacred woods and grooves that I have mentioned; they are pure white and undefiled by any toil in the service of man. The priest and the king, or the chief of the state, yoke them to a sacred chariot and walk beside them, taking note of their neighs and snorts. No kind of omen inspires greater trust ...

 

 


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