Heathens of Yorkshire
Tīw - by James Batty, February 2019
Meaning of Name: Tīw’s name stems from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz, which means ‘a god’ or ‘celestial being’.
Pronunciation: The ‘ī’ is pronounced as the double ‘ee’ in ‘street’. ‘Tee-w’
Function: God of heroic glory, war, battle, the Thing/legal assembly, defense of the tribe, and law. There is a distinction to be made for Tīw as representative of inspired, glorious warfare, opposed to Woden’s existential warfare. As a God of the Thing, Tīw is seen as a deity of civilization and the tribal innangeard, and a stalwart protector of tribal cohesion, and represents the warriors which would act in defense of the tribe. This is supported by the later Norse iconography with Tyr’s dealings with Fenris, who represents the utangeard and the dangerous Other against which Tyr steels Himself and His folk.
Tīw is a bridge between the overruling tribal sovereign and sky father-like figure, as well as a figure representative of more “grounded” and communal authority. He is a strong figure for those who work in law enforcement in particular, local and national government or criminal justice and penal reform.
Iconography: A figure flanked by wolves on the Sutton Hoo purse lid is believed by some scholars to be a depiction of Tīw. The ‘Tīr’ rune (ᛏ) is typically associated with Tīw, and has been found on weapons and ceremonial urns alike. Weapons, shields, the formal accoutrements of war, and images of warriors would be appropriate icons for Him. It was said that to secure His blessing in war, one should mark one’s weapons twice with His rune.
Tīw lends his name to our modern ‘Tuesday’.
Contemporary Bīnaman: Dōmgeorn (Eager for Justice/ Virtuous), Sigebeorht (Triumphant), Folcriht (Lawful)
- by Toni Wilson, March 2018
Tyr (Týr old norse) is associated with law and justice. Tuesday and the rune Tiwaz ᛏ are named after him.
He is an Aesir god and is seen by some as a lesser god due to the fact that he is not referenced as often as others.
He is one handed, as it was bitten off by Fenrir the wolf and he accompanied Thor in his quest to obtain his giant father Hymir’s cauldron (with predictable results).
The tale of the binding of Fenrir is what attracted me to Heathenry initially and therefore is particularly meaningful to me.
Tyr stepped forward when others refused and offered to place his hand in Fenrir’s jaws during his binding, knowing that Gleipnir, the chain used to bind him, was unbreakable.
His story of self-sacrifice is a poignant one and reminds me that right thing to do isn’t always the easiest.