From the cycle of the seasons, and the fruition of hope and perseverance of Jera, Eo takes us to the cycle of life and death itself.
For Eo — more formally Ēoh — is yew, a slow-growing, very long-lived tree which has long been symbolic of both eternal life and rebirth.
It is another rune which exists only in the Anglo-Frisian and Eldar Futharks; its Elder Futhark name is known by more than one form: *Iwaz, *Eiwaz, *Ihwaz and *Eihwaz.
The old rune poems emphasizes the solidness of the tree’s wood, its rootedness, and the fact it brings blessings to a person’s land.
And although the Ash is usually regarded as the “World Tree” (Yggdrasil) of Norse mythology, it is sometimes said to be the Yew.
Modern rune interpretations focus on the what is perceived as the yew’s steadfastness and patience; the yew takes a long time to grow, but its growth lasts eons.
It also points the way to spiritual growth, and the importance of experience in gaining wisdom.
As for names, the various forms of the rune name are certainly distinctive. Eo isn’t a million miles in appearance (and possibly not meaning either) from the Greek Io and is probably the most usable.
But there are numerous other names meaning “yew,” many etymologically related to Eo — including Yew itself.
- Bërshen — Albanian for yew
- Cis — Polish for yew
- Éber — from Irish mythology
- Eibe, Eiben — German for yew
- Eoghan — Irish form of OWEN
- Euan, Ewan, Ewen — Scottish forms of OWEN
- Hagina — Basque for yew
- Ia — a Cornish female saint (another name for St Ive)
- Idho – the Ogham name for the yew
- Ifor — Welsh name, probably cognate with ÉBER and IOBHAR
- Iobhar — also from Irish mythology
- Ìomhar — Scots Gaelic form of IVAR
- Íomhar — Irish form of IVAR
- Iona — the Scottish island
- Ivar — from the Old Norse Ívarr “yew-bow”
- Ive — a Cornish saint, and a medival form of IVO
- Ivo — Old German name
- Jarri — Hittite deity
- Jura — another Scottish island
- Milo, Milon — the Greek Milo comes from a Greek word for yew
- Owain — Welsh form of OWEN
- Serkhedar — Persian for yew
- Tasso — Italian for yew
- Taxus — Latin for yew
- Teix — Catalan for yew
- Teixo — Portuguese for yew
- Tejo — Spanish for yew
- Tis — Czech, Russian, Slovak and Ukrainian for yew
- Tisa — Croatian and Slovenian for yew
- Tisovina — Serbian for yew
- Tiszafa — Hungarian for yew
- Yolande — though traditionally linked with Violet, it is probably in fact from the Old German iv “yew” + landa “land”
- York — use as a name is an adoption of the surname, from York, Yorkshire
- Ywain, Ywein — medieval forms of OWEN
- Ywen — Welsh “yew”