31 Days of Devotion to Týr, Day 3: What are some symbols and icons of this Deity?

What are some symbols and icons of this deity?

The rune Tiwaz (Source)

Tiwaz: The rune Tiwaz is perhaps the most well-known symbol connected to Týr, considering that the word tiwaz directly refers to Týr Himself. Tiwaz reflects and espouses the qualities of righteousness, justice, and sacrifice of the individual for the greater whole. The upward quality of the arrow symbolizes the rightward path to the heavens and to victory; it also refers to the North Star / Polaris (which Týr is connected to) that guides travelers rightly and safely to their destination. In its aspect of Polaris, Tiwaz symbolizes the cosmic law/order and the importance of the moral compass in determining the right way to engage with the world – and so also represents the harmony and orderliness of balance that is necessary for right-living to happen successfully. It is the rune of warriors, of legislators and judges, of oaths, and of courage. It is the symbol of self-disciplined warrior, whereas Odin espouses more of the beserker-warrior whose power lies in complete loss of control.

Spear: It is very possible that Týr was the original All-Father, and that He ruled next to Odin before Odin usurped His place as the All-Father. However, many aspects between Odin and Týr are very similar, and the symbol of the spear is shared between these two gods. As a deity of war, it is apt for any and all weaponry to be related somehow to Týr, but the spear in particular is related to Týr’s personality due to its shared quality with Tiwaz as an embodiment of right direction, right movement, and straight path to the target.

Sword and Shield: Again, as a god of war and warriors, weaponry is symbolic of this wonderful God; the sword and shield are representative of carrying out one’s duties and responsibilities in an orderly fashion while maintaining a perfect balance (sword for offense, shield for defense).

Hand / Glove: The most well-known sacred myth of Týr is when He betrayed the God Fenrir and lost His right hand in order to secure the Binding of Fenrir. The loss of His right hand became a symbol of the hero, of the price of self-sacrifice to preserve the greater community, of the courage needed to make difficult decisions, and the reality that maintaining law isn’t always a black-and-white issue that can be dealt with simply. It is said that Týr keeps His right hand under His cloak.

The North Star: I find this symbol the most interesting precisely because it’s one that’s not really discussed or pointed out. As Sky God, God of Righteousness/Right-Way, and Holder of Cosmic Law, Týr is the deity of all right-relationship and of setting the example for heading in the right direction. I’m still developing an understanding of the role of the North Star in connection to Týr and what the North Star means, as I was surprised to find it connected to Týr!


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