Viking Runes - The Stones of Divination

The Vikings were one of the earliest explorers in history. They may be pictured as noble savages of the sea but they valued knowledge and wisdom more than you could imagine. In fact, they used their own form of lettering - Runes.

What are Runes?

Runes are considered part of existing ancient alphabets which were used as a method of communication during the early centuries AD. Historians believe that runic alphabets came before the Roman Latin alphabets were adopted.

The term Rune is derived from the old European word 'ru' which means secret and the old Germanic word 'runa' meaning whisper. The many versions of runic alphabet came from Norway, Denmark and the British Isles.

History of Runes

According to a Norse legend, runes were the fruit of Odin's quest for wisdom and understanding of life and death. The Norse god fasted for nine days and nights. He also hanged himself from the tree of knowledge called 'Yggdrasil'.

From that time on, runes were used by Scandinavian travellers to aid their journeys and battles. The knowledge spread throughout the world and runic inscription can be found on artworks, coins, stones and graves.

Runic Divination

Runes were also associated with mystery and magic. They represent energies of intuition and further insight hence they were used for divination purposes. Those who understood its power used them to answer life's questions.

Similar to I Ching and la tarot, rune tiles are placed in a spread or pattern. Each symbol is interpreted depending on its placement or whether a tile is reversed. Each type of spread concentrates on a different insight.

Runic Symbols

The oldest form of runic alphabets is called Elder Futhark. A rune set consists of 24 runic symbols which are divided into three groups called 'aettir'. Modern users add a 25th blank tile to represent the inevitable.

1. Fehu. The symbol is associated with Freya, the Norse goddess of fertility. Its ancient meaning promises abundance, wealth and happiness. Fehu can also be interpreted as conception or career advancement.

2. Uruz. The ancient meaning of Uruz is Aurochs - an extinct wild ox. The symbol indicates the use of strength and power to your advantage. When the symbol is reversed, it may mean poor health and mental fatigue.

3. Thurizas. Associated with Thor, the god of thunder, the runic symbol is interpreted as bad luck, warning and temptation. It may also indicate dishonesty and that someone close to you has a plot against you.

4. Ansuz. With an ancient meaning that of the messenger, Ansuz is known to be Odin's rune. It indicates great knowledge and power. The symbol's reversed meaning - associated with Loki, god of mischief - means deception.

5. Raidho. The ancient meaning is that of journey. Raidho is seen as the symbol for travel, unions and reunions. It often indicates meeting a long lost lover or an old flame. When reversed, it means separation or break-ups.

Runic Reading

Single Rune. It is a technique used to answer a simple or specific question. Single rune casting is often used for everyday guidance. For instance, a person can ask what he needs to do to make his day successful.

The Norns. Also known as the three rune casting, Norns refer to the goddesses of the past, present and future. The first rune is usually the overview, the second rune is the action or your options and the third is the outcome.

The Circle. To gain insight on romantic energies between two people, readers use the Circle spread. The runes may represent the attitude of both partners toward the relationship and the purpose of them being together.

Rune readers of a Hispanic site or sitio hispano share that runic divination is one way to guide an individual on his life's journey. Discovering what the symbols may tell you is similar to communicating with the Universe.