Working With The Gods: Týr

The first thing that comes in mind when talking about Tyr, is that he is a god of war from the Norse pantheon, but there is more about him than just that shallow knowledge of being a war-like deity. Tyr the one-handed god is also the god of honor and justice. Forseti is also the god of justice, but Tyr’s justice is more harsh and somethimes ruthless.

In Norse mythology Tyr is a god of honor and law, he is a deity of heroic-glory, a warrior god.
Tyr is a very popular deity, much as Odin and Thor are, but few really know anything about this god aside from also being a god of war, or his story of how he lost his hand, in truth it is really hard to know anything about him at all, for his origins are shrouded in mystery. There are two versions about Tyr’s origins, one is that he is one of the sons of Odin and an unknown mother, the other is that he is a Jotnar, or of Jotun blood, the son of Hymir and Hrod, but after he reached adulthood, he turned his allegiance to the Aesir tribe of gods, it is even said that Tyr himself stole his father’s own kettle so that the Aesir could have more beer while feasting in Aegir’s halls. Whatever oringins Tyr might have, these two stories might indeed be both true, for Odin has a few adopted children and Týr could be one of those.
From an historical point of view, Tyr might actually be one of the Germanic deities more revered, he might even be the deity of the sky with the power over all the other gods because his name simply means “god”, and is related to the Old English Tiw, or the Old High German Ziu, the Middle Germanic god Tuisto, and the Proto-Indo-European Teiwaz, which has a rune of the same name. These are also related to the Latin deus and the Sanskrit deva. So Tyr may once have been a “global” Sky God,  who eventually gained more personal characteristics and was “reborn” into the Norse pantheons as a War God and God of Honor. justice and law. There is some evidence that the Germanic version of Teiwaz had a consort, referred to as Zisu, which was simply a feminization of his name.
As I have said before and everyone knows that, Tyr is the one-handed god, this fact his his main myth aside to the one where he stole his family’s great cauldron, but the story of losing his hand is the story that confirmed his status as a God of Honor.
When the Aesir decided that the dangerous wolf-God of destruction, Fenrir, had to be chained, they created a magical chain to bind him, named Gleipnir. They cornered Fenrir and told him that they wanted to see him snap that chain, as he had snapped all others, and the Wolf-God was naturally suspicious, and he told the Gods standing there that he would allow them to bind him, but one of them had to place his hand in his lethal jaws while the binding was being done. Tyr had been a friend to the Fenrir since his kidnapping as a child, and was known to be honorable, so when Tyr stepped up and placed his hand in the wolf’s jaws, Fenrir trusted him. When the chain proved unbreakable, Fenrir flew into a rage and bit Tyr’s hand off, which in fact Tyr knew would happen. Since then, Tyr has been referred to as the One-Handed God, and can be easily identified as such in old drawings depicting the Gods.
Tyr is a god that when comes to honor and giving him gifts, he is less interested in offerings of objects and more insterested in actions. To have the courage to face difficulties in life, to be brave and fight any problem that comes in our lifes. Such as Ullr, Tyr is also a god of oaths, so he will not tolerate any oath breaking, not even if it is a small commitment, he will expect you to have a code of honor and stand firm by it.  Understand that if you promise him something in return for his gift, he will expect you to come through. Do not break your word to him, or it will go badly for you. Tyr is never malicious, but he will strike you if he feels that it is necessary. Tyr is one of the best gods to make an oath upon his name, if you are truly sincere and completely sure of what you feel, following your heart, your convictions, being true to yourself and to others, everything bodes well for you. This is also applied to love oaths.
A great offering to him is also the protection of those who do not have the physical or mental strength to protect themselves.
To the old Norse/Germanic peoples, taking care of weapons, not letting them get  dirty or rusty was a way to honor Tyr and later give those weapons as offerings.
Curiosity: In the English language, Tuesday is named after Tyr.
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a painting of Tyr made by me. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link –> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s