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or magical means. Within the magical sphere of runework, these powerful symbols can be used for transformations, psychic development, inner and outer healing, and the manipulation of our environment. However, should you choose to make the runic system part of your life and study, you will find the direct application creates a unique response within your life. The runes will serve as a bridge in knowing thy self and establishing a new language in which you may speak with hidden aspects of yourself, and at the same time communicate with the greater outside forces that shape our lives. In the following text you will find the most common Runic system, that which is the Elder Futhark system. With each visual representation, you will find the most basic of interpretations; this is because of the fundamental nature of the runes themselves. The word "rune" means secret, hidden, and mysterious; once you have embarked upon the runic pathway your understanding will broaden. The runes could be considered as labeled gateways…leading to hidden dimensions. Through hard work, historical data collection and dedication to runelore, scholars have reawakened the power of the runes. To those souls we owe a huge debt for the malleable energy we have been gifted with. To those who only wish to reinforce their weakness through unjust or dishonorable action, and to those who fear the transmuting power held within the runes, take heed. The runes lead to a road of transformation, not vindication.
Runelore Translations A rune is of itself a magical formula; this is why it translates as ‘secret’ or ‘mystery’. Therefore as a magical word, the rune must be understood from an inner state. Runes are focus points of energy, or points of reference within the cosmos of human intelligence. The following runic system will hopefully allow the potentional runester a basic ‘feel’ for the meaning held within the runes. In the end the only sure way to mastery of the runes is to absorb and meditate on the shape of the hidden power posed within each of the runes. There are 24 runes in all within the Elder Futhark Rune traditional system; they in turn are divided into 3 classes or families called aettir. Each of the aettir has a group definition; the first set underlines the mysteries the runester must learn and master before continuing down the chosen path. The second aettir is twofold, leading the runester through trial and tribulation, the cycle that teaches through hardship in order to find the essence. The third aettir details the reality in which the runester works; it is the combination of ego and environment. Elder Futhark 1-8 Fehu [upright] a rune of fulfillment: ambition satisfied, efforts realized. It also calls for deep probing of the self in matters concerning profit and gain. It urges vigilance and mindfulness, especially in times of good fortune, for that is when recklessness interferes. Fehu is most important to the runester; it is the power within that transmutes into gold. [reversed] generates considerable frustration. You are forced to recognize where growth is required in your quest for satisfaction. Uruz [upright] A rune of transforming potentional. Positive growth and change, even if it is through a passage of darkness. Occasionally opportunity is disguised as loss, friend, family, or self; seek among the ashes to discover new growth. Strength is the power within this rune. [reversed] If the vital energy of this rune is inverted or spent in the wrong direction, unguided by wisdom, it can be destructive to the individual or the society. Your own strength will be used against you.
Thurisaz [upright] a rune of non-action, of polarized extremes that neutralize each other. It is also considered the symbol of a gateway that cannot be approached until balance is expressed, breaking the stalemate. Once through the gateway, there is a release of fertile energy. [reversed] It demands contemplation on your part. Hasty decisions at this time will cause regrets as you give more motivation to deceiving yourself. Impulses must be tempered by thought. Take heed and do not attempt to go beyond where you haven’t yet begun. Ansuz [upright] this is the Messenger Rune. Drawing it tells you that connection with the Divine is at hand. It is the signal to explore the depths of your being, to be aware of all around you, and to be receptive to gifts of knowledge. [reversed] it suggests that you consider adversity. Failed communications, lack of clarity, and futility abound when this rune is inverted the uses of. Raido [upright] this rune is one of journeys. It is often a journey towards self-healing and selfawareness. Trust the progress – that is the essence of Raido. Keep cutting away illusions, continue the quest towards completion. [reversed] this rune inverted puts you on notice that ruptures are more likely then reconciliation’s. Effort will be required , despite disruptions and disillusions making hoped for outcomes elusive. Kenaz [upright] the rune of openings, clarity, and revelations. The protection offered by this rune is that of clear light dispelling the darkness, revealing the illuminated self. It is also the rune of inspiration, the kind that shapes the will and its environment. [reversed] expect the darkening of light upon some situation or person. It puts the runester on notice that death of a way of life , or false hope is immanent by transient. Gebo Gebo is called The Gift, this rune has no inversion for it signifies the gift of freedom from which flow all other gifts. The gifts of consciousness, life, and form , that which has become sacred within the runester. An ecstasy of a serene type, the quiet balance of perfectly balanced inner concentration and harmony.
Wunjo [upright] this joyous rune brings a moment in which understanding is transmuted from knowledge. A time of trails has ended, and the shift that was due to occur has done so, you have “come to yourself”. Glory, spiritual reward, and joy are heralded by this rune, which in turn delights and heightens the sense of well-being. [reversed] brings a crisis, a difficult passage is at hand. Consideration and deliberation may be called for, and be warned of impractical enthusiasm for it impedes your timely growth.
Elder Futhark 9-16 Hagalaz Hagalaz is a rune of elemental disruption, of events totally beyond your control, Hagalaz has only an upright position, and yet it always operates through reversal. Expect disruption of your plans as this rune is the great Awakener, although the form it takes may vary. There is nothing trivial about this rune. The more severe the disruption in your life, the more significant and timely your transformation will be. The term ‘radical discontinuity’ best describes the power of this rune. Nauthiz [upright] this rune gives notice that the need for restraint is unquestionable. The necessity of dealing with severe constraint is its lesson, deprivation , want, and adversity provide the limitations upon the runester. [reversed] a cleansing is required here. Nauthiz is the teacher disguised as the bringer of pain and limitation; however it also teaches survival, determination, and endurance. Isa Isa is that which impedes, bringing all to a standstill. Positive accomplishment is unlikely now, there is a freeze on useful activity, and all plans are on hold. Seek to discover what it is holding you that keeps this condition in effect and then let go. Shed, release, cleanse away the old, this will bring a return to the flow of life. Usually Isa requires a sacrifice of the personal, and yet there is no reason for anxiety. Submit and be still. Jera Jera there is no upright or reversed for Jera. It is a rune of beneficial outcomes, it encourages you to keep your spirits up. Be aware, however, that no quick results can be expected. A span of time is always involved; hence the words ‘one year’, symbolizing a full circle of time before the harvesting of plans or deliverance.
Eihwaz Eihwaz defensive and aversive powers are in effect. Patience is counseled, there appears to be blockage in your path, but even a delay may prove beneficial. Perseverance and foresight are called for here, use the ability to foresee consequences before you act. Averts anticipated difficulties through right action. Perthro [upright] a mystery rune that points to that which is beyond our frail manipulative powers. Its ways are secret and hidden. Deep inner transformational forces come in to play. This is a rune of questing, signifying an intense aspect of initiation which seeks the deepest stratum of being. On an earthly plane there may be surprises, unexpected gains happen. [reversed] counsels against expecting too much. Marshal your scattered energies and concentrate on your own requirements. Do not focus on outcomes, or to bind yourself to past achievements. Elhaz [upright] new opportunities and challenges come with this rune, but so do unwanted influences and trespasses. During times of transition, shifts in life course and accelerated self-change, it is important not to collapse yourself into blindness. Remain mindful that timely action and correct conduct are the only true protection [reversed] care for your health and look carefully at all associations you form. Beware false friends. Temperance and forethought are the sinews of this runes protective power. Sowelu Sowelu is a rune of great power, making life forces available to you. Sowelu marks a time for recharging and regeneration right down on the cellular level. You may actually experience power surges, for the energies involved are rather dramatic. Although the rune has no reversal, there is reason for caution as such power can scorch and sear the soul . Within this rune lie elemental forces, cleansing fire, and the uncanny ability to become your own personal myth.
Elder Futhark 17-24 Tiwaz [upright] this is the rune of the Spirit Warrior. The urge toward conquest is prominent here, especially self-conquest, which is a lifelong pursuit which calls for skill and awareness. This rune will uphold law and order with a sword like quality that enables us to cut away the old, the dead, and extraneous. Warrior energy honed through discrimination. [reversed] a rune of powerful energy, therefore when reversed, it calls for all motives to be examined. Domination of others will erode the true essence of the Warrior. There is danger in hasty or ill-timed actions. Berkano [upright] a transforming rune that promotes growth, healing, and rebirth. It enhances the influencing development and flow of the evolutional process. Its action is gentle, penetrating and pervasive. [reversed] has the power to pervert through carelessness, loss of control, and abandon. Ehwaz [upright] is the rune of Movement, representing actual transits, and transitions, physical shifts, new dwelling places, new attitudes or new life. Rapid progress. [reversed] warns of blind precipitation, rushing in, and blind haste. There is a stalemate, the way is blocked. Mannaz [upright] represents the Self. Being in the world but not of it, this rune counsels to ‘know thyself’. Through intelligence, skill, ability, forethought, and craft the runster can master the wholeness of man. This rune illuminates the Magician. [reversed] represents inner blockages. Do not turn to others, look inside, in silence, to seek the ‘enemy’. Power is tainted through sly manipulation, calculation, and cunning. Laguz [upright] has unseen powers which are active, creative, flowing, and fertile powers of Nature. The power of this rune flows deep into the psyche; stirring dreams, mysteries, and dark primordial urges. The unconscious. [reversed] it holds the essence of water; therefore the danger lies in drowning in madness, obsession, and despair. The failure to draw on the wisdom of instinct has led to perversity and sickness.
Inguz Inguz the completion of beginnings is what empowers this rune. This rune is used in initiation rites to signal perfect concept of union and completion. This rune dwells within the intellect, allowing the runster to gestate an idea or concept through the unconscious and then bring it forth when the culmination has been realized. Dagaz Dagaz a major period of achievement and prosperity can be brought about by this rune, however the stronger the change provoked the more radical the transition. Dagaz indicates a breakthrough cycle, it counsels to be hyperaware, to recognize and seize the moment when it arrives. Othala [upright] is the rune of acquisition and benefits, however the benefits received may be derived from something that must be given up. It holds the essence of what a man is bound to, land of birth, fixed possessions, and The Clan’s lineage. [reversed] may initiate the severance of the old ways, a radical departure requiring total honesty. Otherwise to refuse through negligence or conditioning, pain and damage to oneself and society may occur. Note: each of the proceeding runes can be used for divination, self- adjustment, or magical applications. Further study is recommended when using them for any manipulation of ones environment both inner and outer. At a later date there may be presented a page on the magical use of the Elder Futhark system, which will deal with Bindrunes, Changerunes, sigils, and talismanic magic’s.
RuneOrigins In norse mythology, the God Odin was the original RuneMaster. He did this by hanging himself on the Yggdrasil tree of life for nine straight days and nights. Pierced and bleeding by this own spear and having no water or comfort. Odin obtained thru his own efforts the reception of the great gift of Rune Wisdom and knowledge. Odin during those days and nights of self sacrifice is said to have passed through the nine worlds of the Yggdrasil into the realm of Hel, the underworld. This great initiation of Odin thru self sacrifice is found also with other Gods, Goddess's and Initiates in other traditions and religions. How very ironic that so few understand or accept the inner meaning of the tarot card 'The Hanged Man' much less apply it in their own personal searches for their path of wisdom. They seldom realize the great disrespect they bring to elders of many traditions including that of the Norse traditions of telling a elder to hang on the tree of self sacrifice for them and when they climb down, tell them the wisdom they found for them. What seems vital and important in helping one grasp the meanings of each Rune is symbolically contained in the various recorded poetic stanzas of the Norse elders in their writings called 'The Sayings of Har, which is directly translated to mean The Sayings of The High One, Odin. One such sayings of the High One is: I know, that I hung on the windy tree all of nights nine, wounded by spear and given to Odin myself to myself on that tree which no one knows from what roots it rises. They dealt me no bread nor drinking horn. I looked down, I took up the runes. I took them screaming, I fell back from there.
In other Rune branches such as that of Runemaster Guido von List and known as Listian or the Armanic Runes, there are slight variations to the Sayings of Har. In them each stanza is specifically in regards to a single specific Rune, the first Armanic Rune is defined in the first poetic stanza and so on until the last Armanic Rune is defined in the last poetic stanza. This approach is very much in keeping with many other earth based traditions where wisdom and deep mysterys are often placed into easily remembered and easily told traditional legends, stories and songs which are helpful in successfully maintaining the inner core of those traditions over many centurys and many generations.
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