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Basic Runic History and Mythology

The runes are one of the earliest known magical and divination systems in the world. If you are interested in learning more about the historical and mythical origins of the runes and getting into reading them, this post is for you!

Runes Contain Mysteries

Many merely define runes as an ancient writing system. The term "rune" has virtually become synonymous with terms such as "alphabet" in the contemporary age. More significantly, the runes are derived from the Old Norse term rún, which pertains to secrets and magical signs. This definition is far more critical to understand than the merely alphabetical usage of the runes. The term is later etymologically connected to the term for "whispers."

Although most alphabets are regarded as arbitrary symbols representing phonetic meaning, the runes have additional magical meaning inherent in their formation. After all, through an act of self-sacrifice, Odin gained knowledge of the runes while hanging from the cosmological tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights. There is more significance to the runes than a mere form of writing. They are mainly for spelling -- creating spells -- and divining guidance and answers regarding various circumstances.

Spiritual Significance of Runes

Although, as in the Volsunga Saga, runes have been used as a form of communication, there are also instances of their magical and spiritual importance.

The simplistic base representations of the runes may seem mundane at first glance. Nevertheless, when considering the philosophy of forms (see Plato), these base representations represent eternal forces inherent in existence. They highlight the flow of life and various energetic forms that the collective unconscious recognizes and understands on an intuitive level.

Similar to the Platonic forms, the runes are thought to precede the materials and circumstances that we encounter in day-to-day life.

Archeological Evidence of Runes

Regarding archeological findings, most of the runic inscriptions available today are on metal (such as with weapons to imbue them with magical properties) or rocks in Scandinavia. Although, the most common medium on which to inscribe the runes was wood. The lack of wooden evidence is due to the tendency of wood to decay over time.

These forms likely began to arise in the bronze age from magically-attuned minds. Although, mythologically, the runes are said to have come to humanity through Odin's sacrifice.

Runes were also incorporated in later Germanic architecture to imbue it with magical intention.

Mythological Story of the Runes

Mythologically, Odin hung himself upside down from the tree Yggdrasil (which connects the nine realms) for nine days and nine nights. He was wounded and starving for the time being until he absorbed the sacred information of the runes. Odin then gave the runes to the people.

There are rune poems worth studying that further highlight the significance of the runes through poetic language. Poetry closely correlates with the occult.

Discover the Energetics of Your Situation

Getting a rune reading is one of the best ways to understand the primal energetics of any given situation. Once you obtain or create your very own set of runes, you can give yourself a rune reading. Although, it is often easier to read for other people than to read for yourself.

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