Runes are an ancient form of divination !
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The Rune alphabet was introduced to us by Scandinavians about 2000 years ago. Because in ancient times written communication was non-existent, symbols or pictures were used to convey messages and stories. This method of communication might be compared with that of Stone Age markings or those of the ancient Egyptians on the walls of their temples and pyramids.
Norse mythology has it that the god Odin, whilst endeavouring to find out the secrets of life and death, hung himself upside down from the world ash-tree, by piecing himself with his spear in order to suspend himself from the tree. Whilst suspended in this position he noticed stones on the ground beneath him with peculiar markings. Even though in considerable pain, he managed to grasp them, interpret them and discover their secrets.
These Rune Stones contained secrets which Odin made available in order that mankind might benefit. The North European nomadic tribes employed Runemasters to accompany them in order to guide, inspire and advise them as they travelled. Runes and the inscriptions, were inscribed onto a variety of portable objects -wood, small stones, bones – in fact anything that could be easily carried around. Runemasters were revered in the same way that spiritual advisors are today “as messengers of the truth.”
Having said that, in ancient times “written understanding” or “written descriptions” of each Rune was virtually impossible. The name of each stone had to be carefully selected in order to exactly reflect a particular mood, sound or representation. The picture or visual appearance of each Rune had to correspond exactly to its meaning.
This probably explains why each Rune symbol consists of straight lines, rather than curves or circles. Also, please consider the ease of making straight lines! The student of Runes might consider the similarity of the Roman alphabet and the shape of the Rune shapes and design.
The word ‘Rune’ comes from the Norse word ‘run’ which when translated is interpreted as ‘secret writing’. This has similarities with the English word ‘roun’, the Gothic word ‘runa’ and the German word ‘raunen’, all of which are interpreted as ‘secrets’ or ‘secret whisper’. It therefore stands to reason that the Runes revealed secrets and should not be taken lightly.
In many ways they are more powerful and inspirational than either Tarot or I.Ching. Both Tarot and I.Ching are dependent in many ways on ‘psychic intuition’. Whilst some measure of this is of course necessary when translating Runes, Runes in themselves have more subtle meanings. The Runes are more precise in detailing problems than possibly any other method of divination.
Runes consist of 25 designs or markings, each one separate and individual. The oldest translation of the Runes is based on the Rune alphabet, known as Futhark because it comes from the literal sound when spoken of the first 6 letters of the Rune alphabet: