Since I was a child I had an affinity for reading, words, letters. I would close my eyes and easily see worlds painted before me. Worlds I could visit through books; pictures so vivid it is sometimes hard even today to determine if I am thinking of a scene from something I read, or from actual memory.
I know you’re wondering what this has to do with the study of Runes. I believe that the same interest that gave me such a voracious appetite for language draws me now to the study of Runes and the important link to Spirit they provide. Throughout tradition, Rune Masters were men and women who used Runes to give advice to their leaders and help resolve problems among community members.
History of Runes
The Runic writing system came from the German culture. It is thought to have dated back as far as 200 BCE. Prior to the more standard versions of Runes, symbols were carved into rocks that date back to the Bronze age. Since these symbols are very close to similar letters found in Latin and Italic, it is thought that Runes came from the Etruscan alphabet.
People who used Runes to seek communication with Spirits:
The Elder Futhark: Futhark is actually much like the English alphabet. The word itself stands for the first two letters in the writing system and includes a set of 24 symbols.
The Anglo-Saxon Futhark: This set offers 29 Runes. Some argue that this set started Frisia and spread to England, but more reliable resources show that Scandinavians brought them to England where they were modified and exported into Frisia.
The Younger Futhark: This set of 16 Runes appeared during the 9th Century. It is thought that the reason it has fewer Runes is directly related to the changes in language as the Norse language changed through time.
Legend Of Runes
In old Nordic stories, Odin received the Runes as a gift when he pierced his own body with his sword and hung himself on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, in order to achieve Spiritual enlightenment. He hung there for over 9 days until he was considered worthy to bear the burden that Runes provided.
A similar Nordic story claims that Odin met with Mimir, a giant who protected Yggdrasil. Odin cut out his eye and gave it to Mimir to receive a drink of the spring water that flowed among the roots of the world tree. Once he swallowed this water, his mind was opened to the spiritual secrets hidden in the tree.
Today, many people are opening up to their “gifts” later in life. Although everyone’s experience is different, many may have recognized that they were more aware, more emphatic than what was accepted as normal. Runes provide a set of Spiritual Symbols that can offer a simple, yet effective way to communicate with your higher self and discover hidden meaning from the Spiritual realm.
As can the Tarot, references to memories, people you know or a personal library.