by Sacha Tarkovsky
The Runes are having a revival and just like the Tarot. They are a way of understanding our lives better and look set to grow again in popularity, as we seek to understand our lives in more depth.
The Runes in History
Runes are ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian civilizations, and found on many ancient inscriptions. They were probably first used by the East Goths (c.300), who are thought to have derived them from Helleno-Italic writing, and were used extensively throughout Northern Europe, Iceland, England, Ireland, and Scotland until the final establishment of Christianity.
After that the use of runes was reviled as a pagan practice, so their use was discouraged, discontinued or used in secret. However, in Scandinavia their use persisted even after the Middle Ages; there they were used for manuscripts as well as inscriptions.
The word rune is derived from an early Anglo-Saxon word meaning secret or mystery. Therefore in our ancient past, writing was perhaps a much more serious thing than it is today; not just to communicate, but it was full of magical power. Runes were often used in casting spells, to get someone to love you, or to make an enemy impotent, or even die.
Interestingly, in the casting of spells, the writing of the runes was accompanied by a mumbled (whispered) or chanted prayer or curse, also called a rune. This was to make the magic effective.
Today, the revival of the rune, which had faded away like a whisper, has reappeared from the mists of the past.
Runes have now been rediscovered as a significant symbolic system and have gained a wide following as a means of divination. Like the Tarot, they give a glimpse into the past as well as the future, as they provide an approach to understand the lives and beliefs of our ancestors. The Runes, have much to teach us about a way of life that was more intimately related to the worlds of nature world, and spirit, than our own today.
The darkest period in the history of runic studies was paradoxically their revival by German scholars connected with the Nazi movement in the that 20's and 30's. The legitimate historical research of our past was unfortunately tainted by Nazi propaganda and racism and it rendered the results negligible.
However, by whatever means, the Runes had re-appeared in our cultural sphere, and with it, came its mysteries and perhaps, power. Today, the Runes are basically used as a method of Divination. However, since there are no reliable historical descriptions of runic divination (at least not known to the general or scholastic communities), virtually any method one chooses can be considered valid.
There are certain characteristics of the runes that make them better suited to some methods than others. For example, most runes are carved onto small bits of wood, clay or stone. These are designed to be easily picked up and scattered, rather than being laid out in a specific pattern (like the Tarot).
How to use the Runes
You must either buy a set of them (sold in bookstores or New Age stores or sites). You can also make your own. You will need a bag to place them in. There are several good books to buy that will explain all these steps in details. However as an example, after you have your Runes, you can quickly ask some question mentally, and then place your hand in a bag, and pull out three Runes as in the system below.
The Norns System (The Three-Rune Easy Cast)
This method is helpful in getting an overview on a given situation, and to give some idea about a future outcome. The result will depend on how much time and effort you put into the analysis and your understanding of the meaning of each Rune.
To begin, you pull one rune out of the bag and lay it down face up. This rune represents the first Norn - or those events in the past which affect the current situation.
Pull another rune and lay it next to the first. This is the second Norn - or the present situation, which frequently to a choice that needs to be made.
Pull a third and lay it down. This is the third Norn, and often proves the most difficult rune to interpret. It can represent the person's inevitable fate, or might simply be the end result if the current situation remains unchanged, or even just one of several results.
You must rely on your own psychic abilities to decide which the answer is. As in all things, practice makes perfect. This is something that the more you practice, and concentrate, the better the result.
About the Author
This article was written by Sacha Tarkovsky. For more alternative thought on the Runes and on spirituality, religon and alternative thought please visit our new site.
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