In recent years there has been renewed interest in the magical and spiritual powers of the Runes. It is a word often heard, but many people wonder what they are.
The Runes are a sacred and magical alphabet which was used by the ancient people of Northern Europe, associated particularly with Scandinavia and Germany. Originally, Runes were used for magic spells and rituals, and runic symbols would be carved into swords and shields to increase their magical energy.
Later, the runic alphabet was developed as a form of writing and although it was eventually used for practical purposes such as inscribing grave stones, the Runes were also considered potent symbols to be used for divination. The word ‘Rune’ is derived from the old Norse language and means ‘secret’ or ‘enigma’, which implies that the real mystery of this ancient runic system might never be fully revealed.
Casting Runes ~
Many of the old Rune masters made their Runes themselves, carving them out of wood, stones or leather. If they were consulted to give a Rune reading they spread the Rune stones on the ground; stones that landed with the runeside up were interpreted. The Runes have never lost their mystical quality.
According to Norse legend, the spiritual power of the Runes comes from their mystical and magical origins. The god Odin is said to have received the symbols from divine sources after hanging upside down from a cosmic tree for nine days and nights without food or water. On the last night, as he peered down into the Underworld, he observed the Runes and snatched them up, stealing them away.
Legend says that from that time on he had the power to raise the dead and could call forth the occult secrets of the underworld by carving the relevant characters. A great magician, Odin had the power to free the human mind from fear and hesitation, and presided over magic, inspiration and journeys.
Traditional Uses of Rune Stones ~
Traditionally, Runes were used to cast spells, heal the sick, protect sacred sites and essentially, to tell the future. The secret knowledge of the symbols was passed on to Rune masters who would make their own Runes out of stone, wood or leather, staining them with magical preparations.
Since that time, Runes have fascinated many and have been consulted the whole world over by those who need to find their true direction in life.