Welcome to a brand new series where we will explore the mysteries and magic of the runes!
I want to start with a brief history of and introduction to the runes.
To most, the various symbols that make up what we call “the runes” may be seen simply as archaic remnants of a primitive and long-abandoned alphabet. While this is true to some degree, those who work with these mystical symbols in divination know they are far more.
Although the runes have not been in widespread use for several centuries, the past few decades have seen quite a revival of interest in runic magic and divination. If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkein, you’re bound to be familiar with some of these symbols, which appeared in The Hobbitt, and inspired the invented “runic” alphabet in The Lord of the Rings.
In the academic sense, the runes are known as the characters in a group of alphabets used to write in various languages spoken by the Germanic peoples of Europe during a period starting roughly in the first century B.C.E. (before The Common Era) and ending several hundred years later.
However, unlike our modern letters, the runic symbols had been in use for magical purposes long before they were fashioned into a writing system. The runes carried deep meanings for the people who used them, and for this reason they never disappeared completely, even though they were once banned by the Christian church.
The English word rune, comes from the Norse word runa, which means “a secret” or “to whisper.” The Norse runa is also the root for the English word we use to identify a very magical tree, the rowan. Found throughout Northern Europe, the rowan tree has long been sacred to various magical traditions and is used widely for protection. It is known by many folk names, including “rune tree” and “whisper tree.”
The oldest written record of the runes comes from the Nordic region. Throughout Nordic literature, the runes are portrayed as powerful and even potentially dangerous magical tools
The runes most widely used today in divination and magic practices are known as the Elder Futhark (footh-ark), the oldest known runic script.
And that is the script that we will be exploring throughout this series.
There is a total of 24 runic symbols and one blank in each set.
Another important aspect of a rune set is the pouch in which you keep them. When I was studying them as part of a psychic development class in Denver, many years ago, we were instructed to make our own set of runes plus a personal pouch. The bag I made is the one on the left below and I keep my wooden set of runes inside it. On the right is a silk bag in which I store a set of opalescent rune stones which I purchased.
The runes I made at that time, are the runes I will mostly be using throughout this series. There was something magical in that process. I found myself often in a meditative state.
I will do much like I did with the #TarotTuesday series in that we will explore each rune symbol, then I will do some three rune and five rune readings. So, settle in and I hope you will enjoy this journey with me as together, we learn more about this ancient method of divination!
**Also, on a side note: If you are interested in making your own set of runes, this is the guide I highly recommend.**