What Makes Runes Powerful?

What Makes Runes Powerful?

by: Donald Tyson
Runes are the manifest symbols through which rune magic is worked. They can be employed for all of the magical purposes that other magical systems serve, but  they possess unique aspects that make them superior for certain uses.
Because they were forged over the centuries in the same creative fire that shaped the pagan gods of the Teutonic peoples, runes are indispensable in magical  dealings that involve the northern hierarchy. They are a key that unlocks the powers of these gods, and they are a book that unfolds the secrets of their  personalities. Before the rediscovery of runes, the Aesir, lords of Asgard – who number among their ranks Odin, Thor, Tiw, Heimdall, Baldar, Loki, Freyja and  Hel – were difficult to integrate into modern ceremonial magic. An elemental wildness distinguishes them from the more civilized gods of Greece and Rome and  the abstract, almost technical natures of the angels and spirits of Hebrew occultism. It would be absurd to invoke the Aesir with Hebrew numerology or Greek  words. Yet before the rebirth of runes, the magus had little option.
Because runes form the magical language of the northern gods and express the forces upon which those gods are framed, manipulating the runes gives direct  control over the actions- not just of the deities but also of the spirits and lesser entities of Norse mythology, which all arose out of the same primeval  crucible of mythic archetypes. They are more than just arbitrary symbols chosen to represent occult forces by the Germanic shamans; each rune contains in its  structure the same essence that is in the god, spirit, or magical potential to which it corresponds. It is the magical name of that god or natural power.     Anyone seeking to contact and communicate with the northern hierarchy – whether for purposes of worship, divination, or active magic – must use the runes. It  is possible to invoke the Aesir without runes, but this is akin to driving a nail with a rock when a hammer is sitting within easy reach. It makes no sense.  More and more, those with Teutonic roots are seeking to know the gods of their ancestors. Runes are indispensable in building this bridge to the past.
Perhaps because they rested forgotten for so many centuries, the runes remain undiluted by modem skepticism and rationalization. Of all the symbolic tools of  magic, they are the most powerful for causing material change in the world. Rune magic makes things happen – often violently, sometimes unpredictably. Most  potent physically, rune magic is also most dangerous to the unwary. The elemental powers contained and defined by the runes are not conscious in the human  sense, but they possess a type of animation and awareness not unlike the self-awareness of animals, plants, or embodied spirits – a watchful, quick,  sometimes malicious awareness that might almost be called mad in its unexpectedness. But madness is a human concept, and the runes are true to themselves and  terribly sane.
All types of occult work that seek material change – or transformations on the human level of emotions and urges that are linked to the body – can be  fulfilled with rune magic. Rune magic also embraces the spiritual level of the human soul, and great works of the spirit are possible using the runes. The  point that should be grasped here is that runes are weighted more toward the physical, tangible end of the scale than any other ancient magical system. It  may be that in their beginnings all magical systems were mainly concerned with material change, but it is only the runes that have descended through time in  their pristine, primitive state.
Another unique aspect of the runes has to do with their structure. Because they are simple letters that can be carried in the head and inscribed on any  surface as easily as the alphabet, they are the most compact and accessible of magical systems. Bulky temple instruments are not needed in rune magic. They  can be written anywhere on virtually anything in moments when an emergency arises. No one can ever take the runes away or destroy them; they live in the  mind.
In their portability runes resemble the Hebrew letters, which are combined into magical names and words of power based upon the numerical values of the  letters in the system of Jewish occultism known as the Kabbalah. At one time each letter of the Hebrew alphabet also had its elemental meaning, independent  of its numerical value. But in modern times, the natural powers embodied in the Hebrew letters have largely been forgotten, displaced by the number values.
As is true of the Hebrew letters, the runes can be combined both occultly in numerical and symbolic groupings and phonetically to form words and sentences.  The same runes can both embody a magical desire in their combination of elemental potentials and explicitly define that desire in words. These methods  complement and support each other, and are frequently encountered together on rune artifacts made for magical purposes. For example, the sixth-century  Lindholm amulet of Sweden bears the intelligible inscription of its magician maker: “I am an Herulian, I am called the Cunning One.” But it also  bears a string of runes that cannot be translated, because they convey only an occult, not a literal, meaning.

Can Runes Be Used for Divination?

Can Runes Be Used for Divination?

by: Donald Tyson
The earliest allusions to runes concern divination. The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in 98 A.D., describes how the German priests would cut a bough from  a tree and divide it into pieces, then distinguish them by carving into their bark “certain marks.” The twigs were cast over a white cloth at  random, and after the priest invoked the gods, with eyes raised to heaven he would select three of the twigs and read their meanings. It is very likely these  divinatory marks were runes.
In modern occultism rune divination has become most closely associated with something called rune stones, which  are not stones at all but small squares of ceramic impressed with runes. There is nothing wrong with putting runes on ceramic, which has an earthy, natural  feel, but there is no ancient precedent for it, either. Many people are under the mistaken notion that this is the original medium of runes. In pagan times  runes were carved into wood for divination, specifically segments of a fresh bough lopped off a fruit-bearing tree such as the apple.
For less formal occasions, should an individual wish to divine for family or friends, or a professional wish to use the runes in paid readings, one can  create or purchase rune cards and rune dice.
Rune cards are similar in some ways to the Tarot . Each card shows a rune and two illustrations that convey its  active meaning and its symbolic emblem, as well as its number, name, meaning, and its place in its rune family, or aett. Avoid using a rune card deck that  minimizes the runes in favor of the images chosen to represent them. This is a major error. Divinations are done through the runes themselves, which have  many possible interpretations, not just the one image selected by the artist who illustrated the cards. In this respect rune cards are unlike the Tarot,  which consists only of its images. It is a vital distinction that is apt to be overlooked by those who rely on a colorful representation of the runes.
There is no ancient precedent for putting runes onto cards, because cards did not exist in Europe at the time the runes were being used for magic. However,  early playing cards from China are very long and slender, shaped more like wands than modern cards. Also, there is a type of Korean card which consists of  thin flat sticks with Korean characters painted on them (see A History of Playing Cards, C. P. Hargrave, pp. 6-12). The early Chinese cards were  invented in the period of active rune magic. It is probable that all playing cards have their origin in divination sticks similar to rune wands.
Rune dice are four cubes, each bearing three pairs of runes. The pairs are oriented to the three dimensions of space, and they create interlocking rings of  occult energy about the dice through their revolutions when the dice are cast. Each cube stands for one of the four occult elements – Fire, Water, Air and  Earth. By casting the dice and reading the four runes that fall uppermost, as well as the pattern of the dice and the relationships between the elements,  very detailed, lucid readings into general and specific questions are possible.
It may seem at first that putting the runes on dice trivializes them, but this is not so. Dice have been used from time immemorial for divination. They were  employed for this purpose by the Greeks and Romans, and significantly, by the ancient Germans, who were avid gamblers as well as diviners. Roman historians  report that the Germans divined by means of “lots.” such lots for the Romans meant small blocks of inscribed wood, as were used for divination in  their own temple of the goddess Fortuna. It cannot be proven, but it is at least possible that something very similar to the rune dice existed in ancient  times.
Runes are unsurpassed for divination because they represent a set of manifest qualities that are archetypal in significance. They define the essential  building blocks of the human conception of the world. They convey meaning on all levels, and can be interpreted literally as trees, cattle, water, and so on;  personally as human virtues and experiences such as dreams, desires, courage, eloquence, and service; or spiritually as good, evil, truth, justice, honor,  and wisdom. On all levels the message of the runes is explicit, because the rune symbols arise out of the world of Nature. They possess the clarity and  definition of the stones in a field and the trees on a hilltop. This makes them easier to interpret than the I Ching, the Tarot, or the symbols of   geomancy . I have used all major types of divination, and find that runes speak in a more straightforward  manner than any of them.

What Is A Rune?

What is a rune?

by: Donald Tyson
The runes are a set of symbols that concisely embody the most potent magical system of the ancient world. Because rune magic was rarely described in written records, persecution by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages succeeded in obliterating almost the entire tradition of rune use from the memories of the peoples of northern Europe, the indigenous home of the runes. Runes became the recreation of antiquarian scholars, known only as an obscure and obsolete alphabet preserved in crumbling parchment manuscripts and on leaning stone monuments erected by the vanished Vikings.
Runic characters are letters that can be used for writing. This is their exoteric function. But in pagan times they were used for much more. The undivided forest wilderness in which the wandering Germanic tribes hunted and made war upon each other was ruled by elemental forces – Water, Sun, storm, the seasons, trees, necessary beasts such as the bull and the horse, fire on the hearthstones, the cleared camp circle, the human virtues of cunning speech, courage, battle skill, the mysteries of birth, growth and deathóall of which combined together to determine the life of frail human beings.
The German god Donar, called by the Norsemen Thor, can be traced back to the Sun. Woden, or Odin, was originally the fury of the storm. Ing , the deity who gives England its name, sprang from the fertility of the Earth. All the major Teutonic gods are based upon a limited number of natural potencies. Although they were later refined and made more human in poetry and art, in earliest days they were different masks of the ever-changing face of Nature.
The Germanic tribes embodied these same elemental forces in simple symbols that were used for works of magic and divination by the shamans, who served the combined function of magician-physician-priest. By making symbols to represent the most important powers of the world, these powers could be manipulated for conscious human purposes. The symbols formed the magical link between men and the blind gods of Nature and allowed the shamans to control the destiny of their tribes.
Runes are the descendants of these shamanic power symbols, whose origin extends deep into the past before the beginnings of writing. Each rune is both a letter and a vessel of natural potency. There is a rune for water and a rune for earth, a rune for hail and a rune for ice, a rune for horse and a rune for man. There are also runes that name some of the Teutonic gods. Ing has his own rune, as does Woden (Os) and Tiw (Tyr). These runes represent both the gods and the natural potencies upon which the gods are based. For example, the rune for Tiw is both the god Tiw and the human virtues of honor and courage.

Daily Feng Shui Tip for Nov. 30th – ‘Stay at Home Because You’re Well Day’

It’s ‘Stay at Home Because You’re Well Day’ and I support that same intention! If you want to stay well all throughout the year then follow that old advice and eat an apple every day. Recent research has shown that students who ate two apples a day were less stressed, had fewer headaches and were more emotionally stable than those who did not. Apple eaters were also shown to experience fewer colds, have clearer skin and be unaffected by arthritis. According to ages-old legend, even the smell of fresh apples was believed to bestow longevity and restore flagging physical strength. So don’t forget to eat an apple or two every day. Go ahead, keep that darn doctor away and have a happy and healthy holiday!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com