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History of The Runes

Wikipedia defines the runes as such: “The Elder Futhark, Elder Fuþark, Older Futhark, Old Futhark or Germanic Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic peoples for Northwest Germanic dialects in the Migration Period, the dates of which are debated among scholars.” The Elder Futhark Runes are one of the oldest writing techniques, dating back before 700 CE. Not only were they used as an alphabet, they were also given properties and magickal purposes and used in spells and other magickal works by the Viking peoples. Over the next few weeks I will be going over the history and the meanings of the Runes one by one, but this blog post will be about the history of the Runes. 

 

The Elder Futhark Runes are a set of Germanic runes that were used for many things, magickal and mundain. As stated before, the Elder Futhark Runes were used in many ways between 100 and 700 CE, and even though they have gone out of style, they are still used by practitioners and Pagans alike. The Elder Futhark contain 24 symbols, each correlating to a letter or letters in the English alphabet. The word “Futhark’ comes from the first six characters of the Elder Futhark’s order.

The order of the Elder Futhark are as follows: (Fehu), (Uruz), (Thurisaz), (Ansuz), (Raidho), (Kaunan), (Gebo), (Wunjo), (Hagalaz), (Naudiz), (Isa), (Jera), (Ihwaz), (Pertho), (Algiz), (Sowilo), (Tiwaz), (Berkanan), (Ehwaz), (Mannaz), (Laguz), (Ingwaz), (Othala), and finally (Dagaz). Each rune represents a letter of the english alphabet as well as an Old Germanic word. These words are common things found in Old Germania as well as today, they include “water”, “horse”, and even “day.” While the Vikings didn’t have a writing lexicon, they carved these runes into wood or stone, using the powers of the runes as tools for their many purposes. For instance, You could carve the rune Laguz (water)  into a stone if you wished for rain. 

 

Each rune will be gone over in future blog posts, in much better detail than they were today. 

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