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Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magic. They have been used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles and Iceland from about 100 B.C. until 1600 A.D. Today, we find them online.
Old runic inscriptions have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.
Tacit, in chapter X of his “Germany”, describes a form of divination used by the Germanic tribes:
For divination and casting of lots, they pay attention beyond any other person. Their throwing method is simple: they cut a branch from a fruit tree and divide it into small pieces that they mark with certain distinctive signs and scatter at random on a white cloth.
Then, the priest of the community (if the lots are consulted publicly) or the father of the family (if this is done in private), after invoking the gods and with eyes raised to heaven, takes three pieces, one at a time, and interprets them according to the signs previously marked on them.
Online runes are an oracle used to receive advice. They work best if you detail your current circumstances and ask a specific question. Rune readings are sometimes obscure. They suggest answers, but you need to look for the details. It is then that the intuition of the rune expert becomes primordial. Sometimes the Runes “sing” to the expert, and their meaning becomes instantly clear.
Rune divination is not a “clairvoyance” in the sense that one really sees the future. Rather, runes give everyone a way to analyse the path they are on and a likely outcome. The future is not solved. That changes with everything we do. If you don’t like prediction, you can always change paths.
Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and magic, in addition to writing. The word “rune” actually means a mystery, a secret or a whisper. Each rune has esoteric meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its banal meaning and phonetic value.
Each translates into a word or phrase meaning concepts important to the first peoples who used them, representing the forces of nature and spirit. Each rune has a story associated with it, a relationship with a northern god.
Odin, the Nordic god of Aesir, clinging to the tree of the world, Yggdrasil, impaled on his own spear, for nine days and nights to acquire knowledge of the runes. When the runes appeared below him, he stretched out his hand and took them; runic knowledge gave him power.
He later passed on this knowledge to the goddess Vanir Freya. She, in turn, taught him the magic of seidr. Heimdall, the god who guarded the rainbow bridge, taught the runes to mankind.
The runic alphabets first appeared among the German tribes of Central and Eastern Europe. Some rune symbols were probably acquired from other alphabets, such as Greek, Etruscan and early Roman. The runes were made of straight lines to make the symbols suitable for cutting wood or stone.
The first runic inscriptions on stone date from the end of the 3rd century AD, although it is probable that the runic alphabets were used a few centuries earlier.
The old Germanic runic alphabet or “Elder Futhark” contains 24 runes. The first six runes of the alphabet explain the word “FUTHARK”. When the runes spread northwards in Scandinavia, some rune symbols were eliminated and the alphabet was reduced to only 16 runes.
Between 400 and 600 AD, three Germanic tribes, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, invaded Britain. They brought the runes with them. The shapes of several of the runes have changed, notably those for A / O, C / K, H, J, S and Ng. In addition, changes in language have led to the addition of nine runes to the alphabet to compensate for additional sounds, and several runes have received different corresponding letters.
This alphabet, developed to 33 symbols, became the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. The names of the runes have been transmitted relatively unchanged. Although no manuscripts appear on the names of the ancient Germanic runes, the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian rune poems are so much in agreement that their common origin can be deduced.
Online runes are divided into three Aettir or groups of eight. Whoever aspires to become a rune enthusiast must have a knowledge of the mythology, history and culture of ancient Europe and Scandinavia. The “runelore kenning” is mysteriously dependent on them. Much of what you find here will only point you in the right direction.
The rest is up to you. Enjoy as lightly or as deeply as you like. You are welcome if you wish to use WeMystic’s online runes!