Sowilo, the s-rune




Excerpt from,
Futhark—A handbook of Rune Magic
Written by, Edred Thorsson
Chapter 2 pgs. 51-52

Book Futhark: A Handbook Of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson



The S-rune is the archetypal sun and the light of that sun, symbolically expressed as the solar wheel. The concept of the turning wheel (ON hvel) is central to the understanding of the rune. This is represented as the solar wagon, :: as well as the disk which is borne by that cosmic vehicular force. This symbol complex is the center of the ancient hyperborean sun cult, which was at its peak in the Bronze Age. The sun was known by two special names in the Norse. These are reflected in Old Norse sól and the cult word sunna (both feminine). In the “Alvíssmal” (stanza 16) of the Elder Edda we read:

It is called Sól among men
and Sunna among the Gods.


Sól represents the phenomenon, while Sunna is the noumenon, the spiritual power residing in the concept. The mystery of the sun is essentially a feminine one—the sun and solar power were considered feminine attributes by the ancient Germanic peoples.


Sowilo is the magical will that is active throughout the multiverse. Within the individual, this will is expressed through the “spiritual wheels,” the hvel. This word is an exact cognate to the Sanskrit ċakr. In this aspect it is a counterforce to the power of cosmic ice. The S-rune of ten has been connected to the power of the lightning bolt, and thus to the concepts embodied in thurisaz.


Sowilo is the eminent spiritual force that guides the vitki through the paths of Yggdrasill. It is an aspect of the goal, and also the active, willed path toward that goal. The S-rune may serve as a dynamic connection between heaven and earth (Asgardhr and Midhgardhr). Sowilo is the rune of the Germanic code of honor, a powerful path to ecstatic experience.


In later times this rune became known as the “victory rune.” Indeed, it is a potent, willed force. This can bring great success and victory to an individual when properly applied. But the true sigrún (victory rune) of the ancients was the T-rune.




  • Edda: ON. Word of uncertain origin, used as the title of ancient manuscripts dealing with “mythology.” The elder or Poetic Edda is a collection of poems composed between 800 and 1270C.E., while the Younger or Prose Edda was written by Snorri Sturluson in 1222 as a codification of the mythology of Ásatrú for skalds.
  • hvel: pl. hvel. ON. Literally, this means “wheel” (analogous to the Sanskrit cakra), a spiritual center in the human body where magical forces are collected, transformed, and either assimilated or projected.
  • ON: Old Norse
    multiverse: A term descriptive of the many states of being (worlds) that constitute the universe. The word is a play on uni-verse (one-being). ”Multiverse” is used when emphasis is placed upon the multiplicity of being, while “universe” is used for a unitary emphasis.
  • skald: ON term for a poet who composes highly formal, originally magical verse.
  • vitki: pl. vitkar. ON. (used throughout this book as if English.) ”Magician, wise one”: a magician and one versed in rune lore, who is not necessarily a godhi (priest) within the Faith of the AEsir but who remains within the natural laws of that Faith.

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