Purists might complain that I am mixing up two or more separate histories and traditions, and so I am, but I make no apology for it
The Tarot, the Runes, western tropical astrology, eastern sidereal or Vedic astrology etc etc arose from distinctive cultures arising in distinctive landscapes at particular latitudes, looking up at the visible skies of those latitudes, and correlating celestial events with seasonal and other events at ground level.
Obviously there is going to be considerable variation between the iconography of these different symbolic systems used in divination and prediction, but there’s still a great deal of common ground, going all the way back to the Sumerians and long before that.
Bull worship in one form or another has had its place in every polytheist culture where bulls have formed part of the natural landscape.
Tarot ostensibly has its origins as a cultural artifact of fourteenth century northern Europe, but derives out of much older cultural traditions arriving into Europe from Turkey and going way back to the ancient civilisations of the Indus; the Persians, Babylonians and Sumerians.
Tarot uses the Hierophant card in directly correlating the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull with priesthood and established religion as a general principle.
Popes issued edicts known as Papal Bulls.
The Runes on the other hand, are an alphabet associated with proto-Germanic culture both Scandinavian and Anglo- Saxon.
The Norse, we know, went travelling and trading throughout the Mediterranean and it has been suggested that the ancient Norse alphabet, the runes, derives in part from Greek.
The runes however, which began as an alphabet but were also used in shamanic practices as a symbolic magical system, reflect the landscapes they came from
You’ll notice they are made up entirely of straight lines, designed to be carved into wood, or on bones or stones.
A Tarot deck has pomegranates. The runes have a thorn and a yew tree.
Today marks the start of the third and final decan of Taurus the Bull; a fixed Earth sign, spring in its full flowering, season of wild cattle calving.
Once upon a time the spring equinox occurred a little later than it does now, owing to the movement of the constellations in relation to Earth – an effect called precession, so that one upon a time it was Taurus, not Aries, that was understood as the first sign of the new astrological year – the ‘alpha’ sign represented by the Hebrew letter ALEPH.
In the rune alphabet system, the 24 letters or glyphs of the runic alphabet, are both letters to do with cattle and specifically, bulls.
Here is that FUTHARK alphabet are again:
These two cattle letters are F and U ,the first two, top left
It sounds a bit rude…short for, well, you know, ‘Eff You.’
And maybe that’s not so much of coincidence as it seems. Synchronicity and all that. No-one pushes The Bull about.
But let’s take a closer look at these ‘bullish’ letters
The first letter of the old rune alphabet signifies wealth,but technically means cattle and specifically, domesticated cattle. The Norse peoples measured wealth in cattle, and this rune denotes wealth earned through hard work and tenacity. There is no good quick buck. There is nothing quick and easy about looking after cattle.
The modern English word Fee is derived from this ancient proto-Germanic root
Fehu is about effort. This rune won’t help you or me one bit with winning the lottery. But imagine you are job hunting, or need a business loan.
You could if you felt so inclined ask Fehu to help.
We have other words too, based around the prosperity and virility of bull symbolism; bull markets and bullion.
The idea is not as archaic as it might seem.
The bull statue was created in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1987. Wiki says that Di Modica – who has died recently, aged 80, February 2021, RIP- spent $360 000 to create the Bull, which was cast the bull in bronze in a Brooklyn foundry.
“Having arrived penniless in the US in 1970, Di Modica felt indebted to America for welcoming him and enabling his career as a successful sculptor. Charging Bull was intended to inspire each person who came into contact with it to carry on fighting through the hard times after the 1987 stock market crash. Di Modica later recounted to art critic Anthony Haden Guest “My point was to show people that if you want to do something in a moment things are very bad, you can do it. You can do it by yourself. My point was that you must be strong“-Wiki
The Bull was not commissioned apparently, and was installed without authorization, as something of a guerrilla act. The NYPD duly took it away but there was a public outcry, and it was reinstated in a new site, two blocks away from the stock exchange and seems to be an indefinite fixture.
People sit on it and rub its nose and horns – and other bits too, all of which are now shinier than the rest of it.
They rub the bull for luck.
Read more about this story HERE
To ask for Fehu’s magical protection, help or energy, draw or paint its rune, or carve it, carry it in your pocket, say its name. Speak in 3’s or 7’s. 9 is considered especially powerful for luck work. And when the desired effect materializes; well, it was down to your own efforts, but still…beware of hubris. Don’t neglect to say thank you to the ‘Everything That Is’.
There is a world of difference between having the wind behind your sails or not, and that is what luck work, or talismanic work, – so-called magic – is about.
Lining yourself up so that you have the right wind behind you.
Some years ago Senior sprog, then a vet nurse, had just returned from some years living and working away. She was depressed and desperate for a new job, and then she got the offer of an interview with a vet.
I put Fehu on the case big time, and she was offered the job right away, and that made the most enormous difference to a lot of things.
Now, here’s the thing before someone shouts at the screen that this is just plain daft.
She got that job on her own merits. Of course she did.
But it wasn’t my first experience with Fehu. And having the best experience or the best qualifications is no guarantee of getting the job, as I discovered working in the recruitment industry. The CV may well get them the interview but that takes the candidate only so far. Now they have to stand out at interview. They have to feel like a good fit for the individual employer who has to like them, and above all feel confident that they can work with them.
When it comes to these subjective aspects, the best candidate in the world has no conscious control whatsoever. That’s where the luck aspect comes into it.
There is always a gap.
I have had occasion to thank Fehu on other occasions. You could always give it a go. There’s no rule says you can’t. Just remember, these are very ancient human algorithms, and not to be commanded.
They demand respect.
Uruz, the second letter of the rune alphabet means physical power, primal strength, and it is inspired by that powerful wild animal, the auroch; predecessor of the first domesticated cattle as represented by Fehu.
Cattle were domesticated about 10 000 years ago, migrating into Africa about 5 000 years ago, and the auroch lives on in the genome.
Hitler got his scientists on to it,and tried to bring them back, but succeeded only in creating a mightily dangerous and bad-tempered animal, let free to roam and terrorize the forest inhabitants of Poland. Though that was at least partly the plan in any case..
Touching once again on the Taurean connection, The auroch were hunted during their annual migration starting April and May – Taurus season.
A hugely dangerous business.
Auroch burger anyone? Look. There is the auroch. Go get it, there’s a good chap.
Who, me? Would you look at it? Just look at that Fehu-cking thing?!
Yeah. So let’s go get him then. Because -auroch burgers!
You first. I just turned vegan.
Is has been suggested that the siting of Stonehenge marks a significant spot on an ancient auroch migration route. A mating ground known as a ‘lek’
Salisbury plain is a vast wide open space (vast for England) No predator could approach the herd unseen, and not only were there hungry people skulking about the place, there were still sabre-toothed tigers in Wiltshire at this time.
The bones of auroch have been found there, and Amesbury may have been a sacred hunting ground before the site itself was built around 5000 years ago.
In luck work it may be used the same way as Fehu; write it, carve it, carry it in your pocket
Say its name (pronounced Oooo-Rooooz) asking for a surge of extra strength or stamina, or to request health and healing for yourself or for another, after an injury or illness.
There we have it. Two practical applications of Northern European bull magic
Until next time 🙂
Or perhaps I should say ‘moo.’