About the Runes: The Alphabet of Mystery
Learn their language and let them speak to you.
What are Runes?
From Wikipedia:. The Runic alphabets are a set of related alphabets using letters (known as runes ), formerly used to write Germanic languages before and shortly after the Christianization of Scandinavia and the British Isles . The Scandinavian variants are also known as Futhark (or fuþark , derived from their first six letters: F, U, Þ , A, R, and K ); the Anglo-Saxon variant as Futhorc (due to sound changes undergone in Old English by the same six letters). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runic_alphabet
Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and magic, in addition to writing. The word “rune” actually means mystery, secret or whisper. Each rune has esoteric meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its mundane meaning and phonetic value. Each translates into a word or a phrase signifying concepts important to the early peoples who used them, representing the forces of nature and mind. Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship to a Norse God.
Runic alphabets first appeared among German tribes in central and eastern Europe. Some runes symbols are likely to have been acquired from other alphabets, such as the Greek, Etruscan, and the Early Roman. The runes were made of straight lines to make the characters suitable for cutting into wood or stone. The earliest runic inscriptions on stone are dated to the late 3rd century AD, although it is probable that runic alphabets had been in use for some centuries before.
The primary characteristic which distinguishes a runic alphabet from other alphabets is that each letter, or rune, has a meaning. For example, whereas “ay”, “bee”, and “cee” are meaningless sounds denoting the first three letters in our alphabet, the names of the first three runes, “fehu”, “uruz”, and “þurisaz” are actual words in the Germanic language, meaning “cattle”, “aurochs”, and “giant”, respectively.
Now regaining their staus as a divinatory tool, Runes are an ancient Oracle, rooted in Celtic traditions. An ancient alphabetic script, each of whose letters possessed a meaningful name as well as a signifying sound, Runes were employed for poetry, for inscriptions and divination, yet never evolved as a spoken language. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.
There is no firm agreement among scholars as to where and when runic writing first appeared in Western Europe. Before the Germanic peoples possessed any form of script, they used pictorial symbols that they scratched into rocks. Especially common in Sweden, these prehistoric rock carving are dated from the second Bronze Age (circa 1300 B.C.) and were probably linked to Indo-European fertility and sun cults. The carvings include representations of men and animals, parts of the human body, weapon motifs, the swastika and variations on square and circular forms.
To our ancestors, the earth and all created things were alive. Twigs and stones served for runic divination since, as natural objects, they embodied sacred powers. Runic symbols were carved into pieces of hardwood, incised on metal, or cut into leather that was then stained with pigment intto which human blood was sometimes mixed to enhance the potency of the spell. The most common runes were smooth flat pebbles with symbols or glyphs painted on one side. The Rune Mistress would shake her pouch and scatter the pebbles on the ground, those falling with glyphs upward were then interpreted.
The traditional Germain Rune set consists of 24 Runes, divided into three “families” . A later innovation added a blank rune.
The first readers of these stones held immense powers, were honoured and respected – as well as feared – in their communities, for few became skilled in the use of symbolic markings or glyphs to convey thought. Those first glyphs were called runes, from the Gothic “runa” meaning “a secret thing, a mystery”. The runic letter became a repository for intuitions that were enriched according to the skill of the practitioner of runemal, the art of Rune casting. There were runes and spells to influence the weather, the tides, crops, love, healing; Runes of feritlity, cursing and removing curses, birth and death. Runes were carved on amulets, drinking cups, battle spears, over the lintels of dwellings and onto the prows of Viking ships.
Runes, as Guide, as Teacher
Runes are an alphabetic script used by the peoples of Northern Europe from the first century c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. In addition to their use as a written alphabet, the runes also served as a system of symbols used for magic and divination. Runes fell into disuse as the Roman alphabets became the preferred script of most of Europe, but their forms and meanings were preserved in inscriptions and manuscripts.
Runes also have magical and religious significance as well, thus transforming the simple process of writing into a magical act. They are also used for divinatory readings and to create magical spells. Today, runes have been rediscovered as a symbolic system and have gained immense popularity as a means of divination. They are, however, much more than a curious alternative to Tarot cards for telling fortunes. They provide a key to understanding the lives and beliefs of the ancient people who created them, and have much to teach us about a way of life that was perhaps more intimately connected to the natural world, and to the realm of spirit, than our own.
Runes are the characters of ancient alphabets : Teutonic (24 letters), Anglo-Saxon (32 letters), and Scandinavian (16 letters). Runic characters are similar to Latin letters, except that they tend to have few curves and consist mostly of straight lines, suitable for carving with knives. Runic letters were used for over one thousand years. For most people, the runic alphabet died out sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries. But for those special New Age people with one foot in the world of secrets and the other in the world of mysteries, runes are used as a form of divination .
The runes are a teacher, a guide to your inner self. Runes, are yet another tool, like the Tarot, that serve as a means of communication with our inner selves, a way of tapping into the knowledge of our subconscious minds.
Rune casting is a journey into the soul, into your inner realms. It means taking the wheel of life in your hands and owning your power. Whatever the Runes may be, intercessors for the self, simultaneous translators between the Self and the Divine, an ageless navigational aid, the energy that engages them is our own and ultimately the wisdom as well.
The Runes never answer you with a Yes or No. Their counsel is one of preparation and proper conduct so that you may make a clear and conscious decision regarding the issue at hand.
Runes are an oracle from which one seeks advice. They work best if you detail your current circumstances and then ask a specific question. Rune readings are sometimes obscure. They hint toward answers, but you have to figure out the details. This is when the rune caster’s intuition becomes significant – and powerful. .
Runic divination or “rune casting” is not “fortunetelling” in the sense that one actually sees the future. Instead, runes a way to analyze the path that one is on and a likely outcome.
These stones are the markers left by Spiritual Warriors.
Contemplating the Runes is a process by which we may grow in clarity, in stillness, in being at one with the Self.