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Origin of the Runes

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  • witch@in-box.net
    After the other day s fairly pathetic piece on the right wing and runes I thought I should redeem myself with the other promised piece about the origin of the
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 3, 2000
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      After the other day's fairly pathetic piece on the right wing and
      runes I thought I should redeem myself with the other promised piece
      about the origin of the runes. This is not something I would claim to
      be an expert on. Saxon rather than Norse literature is my area of
      training. However I do think it would be very useful for the
      beginners on this list if we tackled this subject since it is one of
      the things that makes the runes unique among divinatory tools/oracles
      in that there is a clear mythology explaining their origin.

      We will be no doubt returning to the topic of the Eddas in the future.
      These are written texts which provide an important source of material
      for Norse mythology. The Elder or Poetic Edda includes a poem Havamal
      (The Words of the High One) which tells how the god Odin first found
      the runes.

      One of the general messages we get from the runes is that nothing
      comes without a price. The rune Hagalaz for example (Haegl) opens up
      opportunity for new growth but first it forcibly clears space, a
      process which is sudden and can be traumatic. In our modern
      something-for-nothing society this is not an easy concept to accept
      and yet it is a fundamental and universal law which we cannot ignore.
      Abuse the environment as we have done and freak weather conditions
      are the price we pay. The link between cause and effect was one
      understood in ancient times and embodied in the concept of Wyrd(If
      you
      don't know about it, think of it as Karma for now). Discovery of a
      precious gift such as the runes could not then come easily or without
      sacrifice.

      Odin hung from Yggdrasil (The World Tree) for nine days without food
      or water, pined to it by his own spear. There are obvious
      similarities here to the traditional imagery of the Hanged Man Tarot
      card, especially as, like the figure in the Rider-Waite deck for
      example, Odin hung upside down. This inversion is important because
      it
      implies a humility and a willingness to look at the world afresh. We
      can see Odin's action as an extreme form of shamanistic ritual
      helping
      him to reach an altered state of consciousness. For, on the 9th night
      as he lay between life and death, he first saw the runes

      "Down into the depths I gazed
      Crying aloud I took up runes
      Then finally I fell"

      For me, the depths reference is not only to the roots of Yggdrasil but
      to Odin himself. This was a moment of self-realisation also - looking
      into his inner depths. I think this is supported by another line
      which speaks of this being a sacrifice of Odin to Odin. There is I
      think a strong personal element to all working with the runes and
      that
      is why seeking to lay down too strict rules on how to use them is
      neither desirable or often possible. The Eddas are a useful starting
      point for runic studies but as we do not know their author(s) or
      their
      intentions. It is as likely that it was to inform and entertain their
      contemporary as it was they were seeking to lay down guidance on rune
      use for all time. The first time I read the Havamal I remember
      thinking that it was effective propoganda on behalf of the
      skills of the rune masters, stating first the technical skills in
      their preparation

      "Know how to cut them, know how to read them
      Know how to stain them, know how to prove them"

      And then having discouraged a casual interest interest in the runes
      and persuaded people to leave it to the professionals, then going on
      to set out their wares, listing the runic charms they have available

      "I know a sixteenth: If I see a girl
      With whom it would please me to play,
      I can turn her thoughts, can touch the heart
      Of any white armed woman"

      I am being a little light-hearted when I say this trying to learn
      about the runes from this is like trying to learn how to drive a car
      from a picture in a catalog. However there is a serious point here,
      while we have to consult the Eddas because they are one of the few
      texts about the runes available, we have to be careful in focussing
      too heavily upon them. Indeed given the secretive nature of runic
      practice I suspect most information was transmitted orally and
      anything written down was heavily disguised anyway. Therefore I don't
      believe we can rely on ancient texts to give us the answers. We must
      find these for ourselves.

      OS
    • Leonardo Souza
      Hello:) Where do you guys think the runes came from? Do you think that another symbolic sistems, like Tarot or Kaballah have a commom origin with the runes?. I
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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        Hello:)

        Where do you guys think the runes came from? Do you think that another symbolic sistems, like Tarot or Kaballah have a commom origin with the runes?.
        I think that, maybe, ther were several things that, being created or discovered at different times, later were put toghether (not necessairly at the same time), and became what today we call "runes".

        Leonardo



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      • Stephe Lindas
        Not to be funny, but Odin learned them by sacrificing himself to himself for 9 days, on Yggdrasil. Wassail, Stephe ... From: Leonardo Souza To:
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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          Not to be funny, but Odin learned them by sacrificing himself to himself for 9 days, on Yggdrasil. Wassail, Stephe
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Leonardo Souza
          To: runes-divination@yahoogroups.com ; awen80@...
          Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 2:33 PM
          Subject: [runes-divination] Origin of the Runes


          Hello:)

          Where do you guys think the runes came from? Do you think that another symbolic sistems, like Tarot or Kaballah have a commom origin with the runes?.
          I think that, maybe, ther were several things that, being created or discovered at different times, later were put toghether (not necessairly at the same time), and became what today we call "runes".

          Leonardo



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        • Melissa
          Tarot is derived from runes.. ... From: Leonardo Souza [mailto:sleipnr8888@yahoo.com.br] Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 1:34 PM To:
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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            Tarot is derived from runes..


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Leonardo Souza [mailto:sleipnr8888@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 1:34 PM
            To: runes-divination@yahoogroups.com; awen80@...
            Subject: [runes-divination] Origin of the Runes


            Hello:)

            Where do you guys think the runes came from? Do you think that another
            symbolic sistems, like Tarot or Kaballah have a commom origin with the
            runes?.
            I think that, maybe, ther were several things that, being created or
            discovered at different times, later were put toghether (not necessairly at
            the same time), and became what today we call "runes".

            Leonardo



            ---------------------------------
            Desafio AntiZona: participe do jogo de perguntas e respostas que vai dar
            1 Renault Clio, computadores, câmeras digitais, videogames e muito mais!

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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          • Jessica Flynn
            Stephe is right, Odin found the runes, as for the origin of the others, you might try this small thing called research. I m sure there are books out there that
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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              Stephe is right, Odin found the runes, as for the origin of the others, you might try this small thing called research. I'm sure there are books out there that will tell you what you want to know.


              Jessica


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            • Stephe Lindas
              Runelore by Edred Thorsson is a good one for that. Not sure if it will have what your seeking but its the best book for that question. At least that I m aware
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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                Runelore by Edred Thorsson is a good one for that. Not sure if it will have what your seeking but its the best book for that question. At least that I'm aware of. Wassail, Stephe
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Jessica Flynn
                To: runes-divination@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 4:02 PM
                Subject: Re: [runes-divination] Origin of the Runes


                Stephe is right, Odin found the runes, as for the origin of the others, you might try this small thing called research. I'm sure there are books out there that will tell you what you want to know.


                Jessica


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              • Jaretlb@yahoo.com
                Get a copy of the Eddas. J ... __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 27, 2003
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                  Get a copy of the Eddas.
                  J
                  --- Stephe Lindas <lindas1@...> wrote:
                  > Runelore by Edred Thorsson is a good one for that.
                  > Not sure if it will have what your seeking but its
                  > the best book for that question. At least that I'm
                  > aware of. Wassail, Stephe
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Jessica Flynn
                  > To: runes-divination@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 4:02 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [runes-divination] Origin of the
                  > Runes
                  >
                  >
                  > Stephe is right, Odin found the runes, as for the
                  > origin of the others, you might try this small thing
                  > called research. I'm sure there are books out there
                  > that will tell you what you want to know.
                  >
                  >
                  > Jessica
                  >
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
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                  > Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site
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                  > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  > ADVERTISEMENT
                  >
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                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                  >
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                • Temathi
                  I read enough to know... that some authors go to great lengths to talk about Ohdin, and how he discovered how to write the Futhark. For nine days he hung
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 29, 2003
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                    I read enough to know... that some authors go to great lengths to talk about
                    Ohdin, and how he discovered how to write the "Futhark." For nine days he
                    hung upside down, on an Ash Tree... plucked an eyeball out, and gouged his
                    liver with a spear.

                    Okay, this ain't my idea of how a Diety would develop an alphabet.

                    Here's my take on what I think actually happend.

                    Ohdin, and the Celtic Diety Oghma are quite simular, in how both of them
                    rule "communication" and "Thought." - - - The De Dannans were driven out of
                    Ireland and settled on Denmark, during the Mag Tured war.

                    Oghma is a travelling scribe during the era about 700 b.c. and strangely
                    enough had three sons, which about describes the children Ohdin had. And I
                    think what happend is while travelling in one of them voyages.... He got
                    caught by some "warring" culture... and suffered some crewl punishents.

                    I think what happend... was after nine days of being hog tied upside down
                    on an ash tree... with a gouged out eye.... what are you going to do, but ask for
                    the Universe to get yourself out of this mess !

                    The scribe probably suffered from malnutrition and had hallucinated due
                    to probably having frostbite, and lord knows if he's diabetic on top of it.

                    So in a vision - - - Here's all these sticks form the ash tree forming letters,
                    known as the futhark. Maybe there was voices in his head, saying if he
                    gathered what was told to him... by looking at the twig letters, he just might be
                    able to get himself right side up... and rescue himself from this predicament.

                    It ain't the Blair Witch Project.

                    But you can sorta guess, he developed a mock alphabet and looked nice
                    on a quill and a piece of parchment paper.

                    The end.
                  • rhoomegaphi
                    I like your thoughts. Hahaha. It always pays to question things. ... to talk about ... days he ... gouged his ... alphabet. ... both of them ... driven out of
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 18, 2005
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                      I like your thoughts. Hahaha. It always pays to question things.

                      --- In runes-divination@yahoogroups.com, "Temathi"
                      <geargail_fear@y...> wrote:
                      > I read enough to know... that some authors go to great lengths
                      to talk about
                      > Ohdin, and how he discovered how to write the "Futhark." For nine
                      days he
                      > hung upside down, on an Ash Tree... plucked an eyeball out, and
                      gouged his
                      > liver with a spear.
                      >
                      > Okay, this ain't my idea of how a Diety would develop an
                      alphabet.
                      >
                      > Here's my take on what I think actually happend.
                      >
                      > Ohdin, and the Celtic Diety Oghma are quite simular, in how
                      both of them
                      > rule "communication" and "Thought." - - - The De Dannans were
                      driven out of
                      > Ireland and settled on Denmark, during the Mag Tured war.
                      >
                      > Oghma is a travelling scribe during the era about 700 b.c.
                      and strangely
                      > enough had three sons, which about describes the children Ohdin
                      had. And I
                      > think what happend is while travelling in one of them voyages....
                      He got
                      > caught by some "warring" culture... and suffered some crewl
                      punishents.
                      >
                      > I think what happend... was after nine days of being hog
                      tied upside down
                      > on an ash tree... with a gouged out eye.... what are you going to
                      do, but ask for
                      > the Universe to get yourself out of this mess !
                      >
                      > The scribe probably suffered from malnutrition and had
                      hallucinated due
                      > to probably having frostbite, and lord knows if he's diabetic on
                      top of it.
                      >
                      > So in a vision - - - Here's all these sticks form the ash
                      tree forming letters,
                      > known as the futhark. Maybe there was voices in his head, saying
                      if he
                      > gathered what was told to him... by looking at the twig letters,
                      he just might be
                      > able to get himself right side up... and rescue himself from this
                      predicament.
                      >
                      > It ain't the Blair Witch Project.
                      >
                      > But you can sorta guess, he developed a mock alphabet and
                      looked nice
                      > on a quill and a piece of parchment paper.
                      >
                      > The end.
                    • Terry Canote
                      Wassail! ... to talk about ... days he ... gouged his ... alphabet. ... both of them ... driven out of ... and strangely ... had. And I ... He got ...
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 18, 2005
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                        Wassail!

                        --- In runes-divination@yahoogroups.com, "Temathi"
                        <geargail_fear@y...> wrote:
                        > I read enough to know... that some authors go to great lengths
                        to talk about
                        > Ohdin, and how he discovered how to write the "Futhark." For nine
                        days he
                        > hung upside down, on an Ash Tree... plucked an eyeball out, and
                        gouged his
                        > liver with a spear.
                        >
                        > Okay, this ain't my idea of how a Diety would develop an
                        alphabet.
                        >
                        > Here's my take on what I think actually happend.
                        >
                        > Ohdin, and the Celtic Diety Oghma are quite simular, in how
                        both of them
                        > rule "communication" and "Thought." - - - The De Dannans were
                        driven out of
                        > Ireland and settled on Denmark, during the Mag Tured war.
                        >
                        > Oghma is a travelling scribe during the era about 700 b.c.
                        and strangely
                        > enough had three sons, which about describes the children Ohdin
                        had. And I
                        > think what happend is while travelling in one of them voyages....
                        He got
                        > caught by some "warring" culture... and suffered some crewl
                        punishents.
                        >
                        > I think what happend... was after nine days of being hog
                        tied upside down
                        > on an ash tree... with a gouged out eye.... what are you going to
                        do, but ask for
                        > the Universe to get yourself out of this mess !
                        >
                        > The scribe probably suffered from malnutrition and had
                        hallucinated due
                        > to probably having frostbite, and lord knows if he's diabetic on
                        top of it.
                        >
                        > So in a vision - - - Here's all these sticks form the ash
                        tree forming letters,
                        > known as the futhark. Maybe there was voices in his head, saying
                        if he
                        > gathered what was told to him... by looking at the twig letters,
                        he just might be
                        > able to get himself right side up... and rescue himself from this
                        predicament.
                        >
                        > It ain't the Blair Witch Project.
                        >
                        > But you can sorta guess, he developed a mock alphabet and
                        looked nice
                        > on a quill and a piece of parchment paper.
                        >
                        > The end.

                        Well, first, I don't think that Woden developed the futhark while
                        hanging on the World Tree. The account in the Havamal says that
                        Woden "peered down" and "took up the runes." Now I have always
                        assumed that by the runes it is meant THE runes...the mysteries...as
                        in "mysteries of the universe" and that by "I took up the runes" it
                        is meant that Woden grasped them, understood them, discovered them. I
                        rather suspect that he developed the staves representing those
                        mysteries when he was no longer hanging on the Tree.

                        Second, there is no source that states that Woden hanged upside down
                        on the Tree and, indeed, there is circumstantial evidence suggesting
                        that he did not. Woden hanging on the Tree seems to have taken the
                        form of a traditional sacrifice to Woden. Just such a sacrifice is
                        described in both Gautreks Saga and Saxo's Gesta Danorum. King Vikar,
                        Starkadr, and their crew found themselves essentially stranded due to
                        a lack of wind. Vikar decided that they should draw lots to see whom
                        they should sacrifice to Odhinn in exchange for a fair wind. The lots
                        determined that it was Vikar to die. Not particularly wishing to die
                        yet, Vikar thought that staging a mock sacrifice might satisfy
                        Odhinn. Vikar stood on a tree stump and they took calf's intestines
                        fastened to a tree branch and placed it around his neck. Starkad then
                        took a stick and poked the king, saying "Now I give you to Odhinn."
                        The stick then became a spear, the intestines became strong rope, and
                        the stump fell from beneath the king's feet. The king was then
                        stabbed, hanged, and quite dead. This sacrifice reflects that of
                        Woden upon the Tree, stabbed by a spear and hanging. Given that we
                        are told that Vikar was hanged by the neck, I think it is safe to
                        assume that Woden hanged by the neck as well.

                        Welga!
                        Eric Wodening
                      • Rig Svenson
                        Wassail Eric, Outstanding! Welga! Rig Terry Canote wrote: Well, first, I don t think that Woden developed the futhark while hanging
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 19, 2005
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                          Wassail Eric,

                          Outstanding!

                          Welga!

                          Rig

                          Terry Canote <wednesbury@...> wrote:

                          Well, first, I don't think that Woden developed the futhark while
                          hanging on the World Tree. The account in the Havamal says that
                          Woden "peered down" and "took up the runes." Now I have always
                          assumed that by the runes it is meant THE runes...the mysteries...as
                          in "mysteries of the universe" and that by "I took up the runes" it
                          is meant that Woden grasped them, understood them, discovered them. I
                          rather suspect that he developed the staves representing those
                          mysteries when he was no longer hanging on the Tree.

                          Second, there is no source that states that Woden hanged upside down
                          on the Tree and, indeed, there is circumstantial evidence suggesting
                          that he did not. Woden hanging on the Tree seems to have taken the
                          form of a traditional sacrifice to Woden. Just such a sacrifice is
                          described in both Gautreks Saga and Saxo's Gesta Danorum. King Vikar,
                          Starkadr, and their crew found themselves essentially stranded due to
                          a lack of wind. Vikar decided that they should draw lots to see whom
                          they should sacrifice to Odhinn in exchange for a fair wind. The lots
                          determined that it was Vikar to die. Not particularly wishing to die
                          yet, Vikar thought that staging a mock sacrifice might satisfy
                          Odhinn. Vikar stood on a tree stump and they took calf's intestines
                          fastened to a tree branch and placed it around his neck. Starkad then
                          took a stick and poked the king, saying "Now I give you to Odhinn."
                          The stick then became a spear, the intestines became strong rope, and
                          the stump fell from beneath the king's feet. The king was then
                          stabbed, hanged, and quite dead. This sacrifice reflects that of
                          Woden upon the Tree, stabbed by a spear and hanging. Given that we
                          are told that Vikar was hanged by the neck, I think it is safe to
                          assume that Woden hanged by the neck as well.

                          Welga!
                          Eric Wodening





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