Study Group Discussion: Tyr
By: Phoebe Langley
Name: Tyr, Tiwaz, Tius
Rune: A fight, opposition, sanctified battle, righteous crusade, justice, honor, bravery, dedication, promises, oaths of allegiance, the warrior archetype, the spiritual warrior.
Origin: It’s been said that Tyr could have possibly been the son of Odin, his mother being Frigga, the queen of the gods, or a giantess whose name we do not know… However, its also been said that he is the son of Odin or the giant Hymir.
The earliest appearance of this god comes from the Indo-europeans as the great sky god. This creates a variety of names to come forth via different deities. Despite differences in appearance to followers, unlike Odin, Tyr represents only light, not darkness… Although, both gods still represent sacrifice. A separate connection in his idenfication between cultures is his relation to the Pole star, Polaris, which connected him to the Heavens and the earth. It is said that you would have to place yourself between heaven and earth on a mountainside, just like you would with many gods and goddesses, in order to honor Tyr.
When we think of Tyr, we should think of one statement and one statement only;
“Do what is right, what is fair, what is just, and what is honest, with special stress on service to, and protection of, the community, both the Asatru community and the general community which one lives”. Although considered the god of war, he was also the god of justice. Not the justice you think of with a judge, but justice with a jury. We consider Tyr the “Thing” God. This does not imply that he created “rules” or what we consider today as “politics”. Rather, he provided the framework for managing struggles or conflicts within a community, for the community. During the study group discussion, we compared this to the “All Thing”, which we feel is more of a ruling rather than what Tyr would do for the communities. The “All Thing” was for all of the communities, a major law. Tyr sacrificed for the greater good, which also applies to military service.
We associate with Tyr because of his relationship to war, but also his parallels to justice. We think of Tyr as the original war amputee, considering his right hand sacrifice to Fenrir. Legacy of Tyr wants to create a brotherhood based upon the principles of everything Tyr symbolizes, like the ability to rely on your strength for the benefit of others. Whether that be a friend, family member, or your entire community. When honoring him, recognize his courage and lead by his example in the act of selflessness.
Our Troth: Volume 1, History and Lore.
Myths of the Norsemen by Helene A. Guerber
Asatry Book of Blotar and Rituals by The Asatru Folk Assembly
Nordic Runes by Paul Rhys Mountfort
Enclyclopedia of Norse & Germanic Folklore Mythology and Magic by Claude Lecouteux