During nine days, the Nordic god Odin hangs in the world tree
He hangs there sacrificed by
Withoutfood or water, deeply wounded by his own spear, he endures thelong nights in thetree,Odin's sacrifice in the tree is not an attemptto save man from his sins. He is not sacrificing himself to redeem asinful world. Odin hangs in the tree by his own free Will. TheNordic world picture does not include belief in an original sin fromwhich man and his world must be saved. The Nordic traditiondoes not emphasize any messiab.
are other reasons behindOdin's sacrifice. He hangs there for his own sake. He hangs thereto gain wisdom and power. Odin hangs in ihe world tree in hisquest for the outmost secrets of the universe, the secrets that hepicks up from ihe depths in a scream of ecstasy.Odin is not a messiab. He is in many ways a dark and demonicgod, feared by most men. But he is a role model. Through hisuncompromising search for knowledge and power we can learnthe secrets known only by him. Odin can become our teacher andinitiator. He will not save us from any sins. But the path of Odinwill reveal a magical initiation of knowledge and power. He canteach us to save ourselves from weakness and uncertainty. Odincan teach us ihe secrets of the runes.This book is an introduction to runosophy, the wisdom of therunes, and to practical rune magic. Trie runes are dynamical symbolsthat characterize hidden forces. The outer shapes of the runes havechanged through history, but the principles that they symbolizeare today almost the same as during old Norse times. 7r»s bookdocs not claim to include a liistorical description of runes or runemagic. Jt is an introduction to a rune magic that is constructedaround practical work with the runes in modern time. The ambilion,however, has been that the runosophy in this hook shall be deeply