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What you need to know about runes? Runes or runestones are words or symbols that have been found in the stones of Scandinavia and are believed to be used as a tool for self – help or self – awareness. What you need to know about runes?Runes means mystery, magic, whisper; or secret – and this perhaps is the main reason why the original meanings were never written down because it’s meant to only be passed on by word of mouth or by someone who seeks for its wisdom just like the Kabbala language in Hebrew.

Today, such stones can be seen in the Stockholm Museum. Historians and anthropologists found a lot of original runic carvings all over Europe but only the ones carved in stone remains intact. As mentioned earlier, relatively a few people know about the runes and even fewer understood its meaning and significance. What you need to know about runes? According to the Vikings, it’s not just a means of communication to oneself; it’s also their way of talking to the gods so that they can be guided in their everyday lives.

Masters of Rune

What you need to know about runes? According to historians, the last great rune masters died around the 17th century in Iceland. They were priests and priestesses or otherwise known as the wise men and women who understand the meanings of the runic alphabet and its significance. Fortunately today, learning about the art of runes are now made commercially available and could breed the next rune masters.

There’s nothing to fear because it is just a system and not some form of supernatural oracle or a cult that needs some form of sacrifice like what you mostly see on TV. The runic alphabet is only meant to guide you through your journey to self – discovery and also serve as a tool to help you achieve self – development. The runes can function as both a tool and a teacher.

Who Are the Runic Gods?

What you need to know about runes? According to the Vikings, there are 3 Norse gods namely; Odin, Freyr, and Thor. As you’ve learned earlier, Odin is known as the chief god; but it wasn’t always the case because evidence suggests that a god named Tyr (also known as Teiwaz, Tiwaz, Tiew, Ziu) was the original sky god or chief god. Tyr is known to be associated with his own rune which is why the 3rd aett is named after him.

The God of War

According to historians, Tyr was the Norse equivalent of the Roman god Zeus. Tyr is known as the god of war, and he is someone who is very brave and powerful.

The Chief God

The Lord of Slain was known as the god of mystery because he is always in disguise. However, he is more of a sinister figure, and commonly referred to as the Lord of the Slain. Another name for the chief god Odin is Thund along with around 170 other names according to the Anglo – Saxons. It is said that Odin has a palace in Asgard (equivalent of heaven) which is known as Valholl or the ‘Hall of the Slain,’ a place where fallen warriors go to after their death and prepare for their last battle known as the Ragnarok or the ‘doom of the Gods.’ 

Creatures that have strong associations with Odin are the raven, wolf and eagle. According to legend, the wolf was said to guard the western door of Valholl while the eagle hovered on top. The ravens were Odin’s secret spies that enable him to known what’s happening in the world. 

Chief god Odin is also known as the god of the dead, the warriors, war; and magic and also as the patron of poetry. He is often depicted carrying a spear called Gungnir while riding with Sleipnir, his horse with 8 legs. Odin also wears a blue cloaked and a brimmed hat pulled over his one eye along with his ravens. He has a wife named Frigg, and 2 sons called Thor and Baldur.

His son Thor is more powerful and popular than his brother Baldur. He is depicted as someone who is huge, a red – hair with red beard; and always carrying his hammer called Mjolnir to protect the world. The hammer could be thrown or swung and goes back to Thor like a boomerang. This is exactly where Marvel Comic’s ‘Thor’ film was based from. 

The God of Thunder

As you know from the movies; Thor is the God of Thunder and the Lord Protector of the Universe because his powers have the elements of lightning and thunder. Thor is known to spend his time protecting Asgard and Midgard (the universe that man lives in) against forces and giants that are outside the limits of civilization.

The Vikings believe that whenever there’s a storm; it means that Thor is moving around in the heavens with the thunder as the movement; and the lightning as him throwing his hammer and fighting off giants. Thor is also known as the god of seamen and farmers because he can provide a better weather through the wind and rain. He is depicted as someone who is noble, courageous, powerful and approachable both by gods and man alike especially in times of trouble.

There’s a runic symbol that is said to represent Thor’s hammer. Aside from his Mjolnir hammer, he also carries with him a pair of iron gauntlets and a magic belt. According to various theories, Thor was as significant as Odin during the time of the Vikings; and even more so because Thor’s temple is always given the prime spot.

The God of Peace, Fertility, and Good Fortune

Another important god to the Vikings is known as Freyr or Frey. He has a twin sister called Freya, and both of them are associated with the earth, seasons, and fertility. Freyr aside from being the god of fertility is also strongly linked with the seasons and weather especially the spring and summer. Freyr is also known as the god of peace and good fortune. The most sacred animal that’s associated with him is the wild boar, and in Swedish people still considers him as the most important god of all. According to legend, Freyr’s most treasured possession is a ship built by dwarves known as Skiobladnir. The ship is big enough to carry all of the gods. Freyr’s aett is dedicated to this god.

Uses of Runes

What you need to know about runes? According to ancient and modern - day rune masters, rune stones carry some form of strong healing energies in the form of vibrations that can help heal and protect the owner and also help them in their financial lives. One of the most important things to remember is that the art of runes is not a game or a toy therefore it should be taken seriously.

For those of you who have seen or read the book called Lord of the Rings, runes were suggested as implements of power; and in reality it is true since ancient Vikings regarded it as such. It has its own folklore and is a subject of mystery for some but it’s something that should be respected not feared or even regarded as a joke.

Runes can be used in different ways; but mostly it is now used as a means of altering the current alphabet that we have in order to provide alternative lettering or even meanings of our names. You might often see it used as an amulet to provide the owner some sort of positive energy. The letters of the Runic Alphabet are often times used to change names for people who feel like their current name has some form of negative energy. Runic alphabet is also seen engraved in swords or shields during the early times for protection and also for healing.  Rune stones or the runic alphabet can also be linked in numerology; as the Vikings believed that the numbers 3 and 8 have certain magical powers.

Runic Meanings

Runes when casted out can have other spiritual meanings based on their traditional foundations. In the upcoming chapters you’ll see how each rune is connected with the zodiac, animal/ nature, and planets. However, the astrological links we will give later on is based on modern thinking and not the original or traditional. We’ll also quote some runic poems to give you further details on how the runes are also link with different Viking gods, polarity, colors, and also how it’s connected with Thorsson’s Tarot Card.

The runes will also have a different meaning if it’s laid in an upright or reverse position which is also something that you’ll learn later on. It is essential that whenever you make runic readings, you also consider any spiritual or intuitive meaning, and not just based on technicalities. Sometimes runes will call the reader or the practitioner to provide his/her own meaning, and even meditate on it so you can bring out any intuitive powers that can help you formulate your own interpretations. Hopefully as you delve deeper in learning about the meanings of each rune, you’ll also gain personal meanings off of it but of course it will only come through experience and practice.

Kabbala is a word that means “secret” or “hidden,” and it is quite popular because it’s also being used in other magical systems; and alternative religion. It’s also quite interesting that Kabbala is also strongly linked with the art of runes; and it’s also connected with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life which in runic is known as Yggdrasil or World Ash Tree. Based on tradition, the Tree of Life contains the whole of creation which is also known as the Nine Worlds.

Runes vs. Kabbala

What you need to know about runes? According to rune masters the Kabbala and the original meanings of runes were never written down; and were only handed to students through word of their mouth. Those who are students of Kabbala known that the Tree of Life has 22 paths that runs in 10 sephiroths or stations. Such sephiroths are connected with various things which is also shown in the figure below but it’s also important to note that one should understand fully what each of these paths mean so that you can properly and strongly meditate on it; and also associate it with the appropriate runic symbols.

What is Kabbala?

Kabbala is mainly concerned with the creation of the world. According to this principle, God created the world through the 32 secret paths of wisdom; 10 of which is known as the Sephiroths, and the rest is the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Each path in the 10 sephiroths is like a level of knowledge that one needs to be attained; and the lower 7 corresponds to the Chakras of the body or the main energy points in the body. The Sephiroths are also known to compromise God’s name which is Yahweh.

Kabbala masters suggest that it’s very possible to achieve spiritual awakening if one learns how to meditate in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life; the same way people meditate when they’re going to a yoga classes. Using the Sephiroths discussed in this section as well as the runes linked to it will definitely increase spiritual awareness; and perhaps raise consciousness.

Reflecting the Sephiroth should be the main focus in the beginning but then it should also draw from certain experiences gained. Some Kabbalist practitioner also uses colors; and sound whenever they are meditating on the 10 sephiroths while other connect them planets, Chakra centers of the body, angels; numbers, angels and metals. You’ll get better with experience.

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