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The Runes and Their Many Uses

Updated on May 2, 2019
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ASP52 has written on HubPages for many years and covers a wide range of subjects. These include History, the Natural World and Paganism.

The Runes, Gateway to Greater Understanding


If we were to mention the word rune in the 1970's the general reaction you would be met with would be one of horror. The runes were thought of as evil, signs of black magic, sorcery and devil worship. This was completely ridiculous but it was a consequence of hundreds of years of Christian propaganda. Not content with destroying the sacred places the hierarchy of the church decided to belittle or demonize Europe's older traditional religions.

The word rune is an old Norse word which translates as mystery or secret. Runes are written characters which hold an oral teaching. Under oppressive rulers and religions the runes were a secret language and alphabet. This alphabet held an inner wisdom and was a key to Shamanic divination.The use of runes tapped into the life energy that flows through us all. And with the correct usage of the runes you could manipulate these tools of divination to help you to understand your own reality.


A Means of Divination

The Runes
The Runes

Rune Usage in the Viking Age


The use of runes was very prevalent throughout Northern Europe between 400 AD and the end of the Viking Age (1066 AD). Warriors of the Germanic tribes had runes inscribed on their weapons, these magically enchanted swords feasted on the life energy of the slain enemy giving the sword's owner greater strength in battle. It was very common to find a Viking or Saxon's sword engraved with a Tiwaz rune for protection.

The Tiwaz rune is represented by an arrow pointing upwards, Tiwaz is associated as Tyr's rune. The god Tyr is associated with both warfare and justice. His runes point to doing the right thing and the god is a benevolent and moral figure in the traditions of the Old Norse.

Some swords had messages etched upon them, these messages may have the name of the sword or a dedication to a deity or fallen hero. There have been archaeological finds with weapons called "Pain giver". These swords reflected the raw emotions of their owners and often became legendary among those warriors that followed the wielder into battle.


Tiwaz "Tyrs" rune
Tiwaz "Tyrs" rune

Knowledge From on High


The knowledge of runes brought great fame and respect to the rune masters of old. Generally the rune master was either a wise man or women of the local area. They were effectively shaman of the tribe or the village. At this present time,people are beginning to treat rune divination more serious, or at least giving it a bit more respect than it has had in previous years. The renewed interest in rune divination is partly down to a few of Hollywood's stars taking an interest in it, and that in turn creates a fashion that others follow. The rune masters who do the celebrity circuit get paid large amounts of money, when any one can do it as all they need is a set of runes and the knowledge of the stories of the Viking Age.


Self divination With the Runes


You can do a simple divination yourself, all you need is a set of runes, a booklet with their meanings. It also helps to find a quiet and calm setting in which to undertake your divination. It is best to hold the runes in a bag and concentrate on what you seek enlightenment on.

I usually stick to selecting 3 runes, which represent past, present and future. If I need further clarification, then I will pull out another rune and I can use this to get a bit more information from that rune. If you buy runes they will include a guide on how best to use them.

Another technique to use, is to think of what you need guidance on and scatter the runes you have been holding away from you. Any rune which is upturned is active and you can piece together a time line of events from the nearest ( which represents the shortest time away from the present) to the furthest ( Which indicates what will happen in the near future).

Your last rune will always point to the end result of your query, but it may be somewhat ambiguous as nothing is ever simple or straightforward. .


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Andrew Stewart

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    • deblipp profile image

      deblipp 

      10 years ago

      Nice introduction. It would be great if you wrote about bindrunes as well.

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