Runes come in a set of 24 ancient alphabetic symbols. Designed to be inscribed first into wood and metal. The term “runes” is used to distinguish these symbols from Latin and Greek letters. Runes have a long history, dating back to ancient use by Germanic and Nordic tribes, and are still widely used in today’s society.
The original meaning of the word rune is “secret”, “whisper’” or “something hidden”. This meaning seems to indicate that knowledge of the runes was originally considered esoteric, or restricted to a special group.
There is some evidence that the early runes were not used so much as a simple writing system, but rather served magick purposes. They were used as magical signs for protection and healing. Like other popular symbols such as hamsa, ankh, Horus’s eye and the tree of life, they were used for amulets, shields, and talismans.
In the Poetic Edda (a collection of anonymous poems of Old Norse), and in particular Sigrdrifumal section mentions “victory runes” to be carved on a sword.
According to the legend, Odin brought the runes to us. He hung for nine nights on the Yggdrasil tree, the world ash tree, injured by his own sword and tormented by hunger, thirst, and pain. He was alone and without any help until he was close to death, then he saw the runes and, with a last, mighty effort reached for them and got them.
The Meanings and magickal correspondences of each rune are shown in the flip cards below.
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