Posts Tagged With: Vikings

Introduction to the Norse Runes

I believe I briefly mentioned that I work with Norse runes, they’re my main(read: only)  method of divination and I’ve been using them well over a year now, but before I get into that I figured that I’ll give you guys who have no idea what I’m talking about a brief explanation of what the runes are.  :3

Runes are predominantly known as the alphabet/writing system of the ancient Norse people (Vikings, who were essentially Norse sailors, and so on.) There are a few different ‘types’, the Elder Futhark, Younger Futhark, Anglo-saxon Futhorc, and maybe others if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know much about any other futharks because I only have worked with the Elder Futhark (named such, as you can guess, by virtue of being the oldest. The term “Futhark” itself comes from the first 6 runes in the alphabet, and it’s ordered in 3 “aetts” of 8 runes each.

F   U   Th   A   R   K


You’ll notice that there’s only one character for “Th”,  which, if you did the math earlier,  you’d also notice there are only 24 runes, as opposed to the 26 letters we english-speakers have.  That’s because, like the ‘th’ sound, when transliterated there are several sounds that take up more than one letter in the english language, but take only one when writing in runes.

As for the runes themselves, they are not only the symbol and the sound, but also have a name and meaning each on their own. A literal meaning, and a broader, more abstract meaning (This is where the divination comes in.)

Let’s look at Fehu for a bit, as you can guess that’s the big F at the beginning.

  <– this one.

So that’s it’s symbol, the name is Fehu, and the sound is that of F. Now, Fehu’s literal definition is “cattle”, but no, sorry to disappoint you, it doesn’t mean ‘cows’. It means wealth, that is, physical expendable wealth. (If you think about the time-period in which Runes were being used ((that is, 2nd-8th century according to wikipedia *cough* )) it makes sense that Cattle would be a main form of Wealth.)
And so that’s what Runes are,  I’ll delve into the divination portents more later on, but for now this is just a simple explanation of what exactly they are. As an additional note, the word “Rune” itself comes from “runa” meaning “Secret” or “Mystery” (I chalk this up to the fact that nobody knew how to read the bloody things for quite a long time haha.)

Have you ever seen or used Runes before? Got something to add? Or correct me on?
Leave a comment below!

Categories: Magic, Runes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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