When most of us hear of think of the ancient carved symbols known as “runes,” we think of Norse mythology and examples in popular culture such as video games like “Skyrim.” Other times one might call to mind an image of a mysterious witch casting pieces of bones with crude magical markings on them to tell someone’s fortune. There is much speculation about these symbols, but as time goes on, they are becoming more widely known.
There is a beauty in the deep mythological rooting of these symbols, which are an ancient Germanic tribal alphabet known as the Elder Futhark, related to the Roman alphabet. They date back to the Vikings in Scandanavia in the Dark Ages around 600-800 C.E. Each rune is a letter, but also a word, and also a whole mythological or historical reference to a story of the time.
The Nordic tribes were a very superstitious people and devoutly practiced their religious rites. Folklore tells of symbols that would guide the warrior's spear and deliver a blow that would find its way past the shield and into the flesh, giving a mortal wound to all that opposed him. As the Nordic people mingled into the Germanic Tribes, the ancient Nordic religious rituals and beliefs became a part of the Germanic mystic and folklore as well. According to legend, Wuotan (Odin), desiring to seek wisdom and knowledge went to the Yggdrasil Tree which was believed to hold all the worlds. There was Asgard: a heavenly abode of the Gods, Midgard: an Earth- dewelling place of man, and Utgard or Giantland: a place where Frosty-Giants and Fire Giants lived, and Hel or the Underworld. Runes are a deep mysterious and powerful lettering in these stories that intertwine with this mythological world.
“Thou wouldst thy wisdom make known:
What name has the steed that from East anew
Brings night for the noble gods?"
- Henry Adams Bellows, The Poetic Edda
My first encounter with runes was receiving a whole 25 piece set on hematite as a gift only a couple years ago for a divination tool for me to explore. Through researching and a certification course, I have learned the basics of these
powerful symbols, and realize the depth of them; that there is still so much to uncover. I fell in love with the many ways to give rune readings and the differing ways to interpret them. I give Rune Readings at House of Intuition as a service, and am delighted to bring them out of mystery by teaching and helping others to be able to expand their horizons with this unique form of divination.
My Introduction to the Runes class this month takes place Tuesday 2/28 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at the Sunset House of Intuition location. More info is available at: http://www.meetup.com/templeofintuition. Hope to see you there!
Reader, Healer, and Teacher at House of Intuition