"An Air of mystery will always surround the origins and sacred use of the Runes...

The word itself means a "secret" or "mystery" and is associated with things whispered."

(Author of this content - Ralph Blum)

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Out of their Latin and Etruscan origins, and influenced by the dialects of the north Italian hill peoples, came the RUNES, a twenty-four-letter alphabetic script created among the Germanic tribes at least two thousand years ago.

The resulting alphabet, which incorporated fertility symbols from prehistoric rock carvings, was linked from the outset to religious beliefs and ritual practices.

Although never a spoken language, the RUNES do comprise a symbolic system whose sacred function was to permit communication between humankind and the gods.

The traditions of "runemal", the art of RUNE casting, were transmitted orally by "legomonism", the passing on of sacred knowledge from master to apprentice through initiation.

However, as the knowledge of the RUNES spread, so did their use in poetry, for memorials to the dead, and for commerce and trade.

By the fourth century a.d., the RUNES were becoming widely known in northern Europe, carried place to place by traders and adventurers, warriors and even, in time, by Anglo-Saxon missionaries.

**** ALPHABET****

For this to happen, a common alphabet was required -

the alphabet that became known as "futhark" after it's first six letters.

(the "th" counts as one letter)

The original Germanic or elder futhark is comprised of twenty-four letters and was probably in existence as early as the second century b.c.

The later or Younger Futhark was reduced to sixteen letters by the ninth century a.d., while later Anglo-Saxon futhark alphabets expanded to include as many as thirty-three letters.

The Elder Futhark was divided into three "families" of eight runes each, which were named for the Norse gods, Freyr, Hagal,and Tyr.

In the ancient runic alphabet each symbol or glyph possessed a signifying sound and a meaningful name.

The "R" (raido) meant a journey and also referred to the voyage of the soul after death.

The "A" (Ansuz) was connected with signals and messages, and was connected to the mouth as a source of divine utterance, with the mouths of rivers and with the Norse god LOKI.

Certain of the Runes still bear traces of their ancient pictographic or ideographic origins, suggesting parallels with classical Chinese.

The pictograph for "man" in Chinese, for instance, still resembles the human figure, standing upright, legs spread. Add one more brush stroke and you have the ideograph for greatness, suggesting man and his greatness.

In the runic alphabet, the letter "Z" (Algiz) , the RUNE of protection, looks like a cross, with the "arms" extended skyward.

Originally, one of the associations for Algiz was the horns of an elk, suggesting the proper boundaries between people, the appropriate distance, so to speak, between "your horns and mine".

As you can see, the wealth of connotations connected to each letter places the runic alphabet in quite a different light from the stark templates of our twenty-six-letter English alphabet.


From the ninth through the twelfth centuries, the RUNES were carried by the Norsemen to Anglo-Saxon England, to Iceland and wherever their long voyages took them.

Rune carvings, testifying to the extent of the Norse expeditions, have been found as far afield as Russia, Constantinople, the Orkney Islands, Greenland and ---there is mounting evidence---on the North American continent.

Shaped by the tribal wisdom of the northern fertile crescent from many of our ancestors came to the new world, the Viking Runes emerged.

The craft of "runemal" touched every aspect of life from the most sacred to the most practical.

There were RUNES to influence the weather, the tides, crops, matters of love and healing; there were RUNES of fertility, birth and death.

Runic glyphs were carved onto bone,, into pieces of hardwood or cut into leather. Examples of the RUNE carver's art on swords, amulets, rings, bracelets and drinking cups are to be found in many of the world's museums.

Who cut RUNES? At what point did the carving qualify as religious or magical? And who qualified for the title "RUNE-master"?

From R.I. Page's "INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH RUNES" provides a helpful overview of the subject.

"In some cases the RUNE-master would be simply a monumental mason accustomed to cutting inscriptions on stones and mastering runes as one of the scripts appropriate to his trade.

In others he might be a literate Anglo-Saxon who found it convenient to express himself in runes.

In others again a die-cutter who copied RUNES from an exemplar, a coin, another die, possibly a drawing presented to him by his employer.

But if in early times RUNES were intimately connected with magic, a RUNE-Master then would be an awesome figure.

Consulting an Oracle to determine the wisdom and timeliness of a venture was not a practice unique to the Vikings.

There is hardly a culture that did not, at some time in it's history, support an oracular tradition.

Those traditions are as various and richly endowed as the societies they served.

We are probably most familiar with the Greek Oracle at Delphi.

Yet from the ancient Oracle bones of the Chinese to the State Oracle of Tibet, the study of flights of birds, the arrangement of clouds, the patterns formed on water--the diversity of oracular styles is truly remarkable.

For a truly Western contemporary oracular system we must, in the end, turn to the RUNES".



*Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have need of shedding light on--It is my honor to serve in these times of great well..

#runes #oracle #norserunes #odin #norsemythology #runestones

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