Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Throw me a bone: the Rune stones

A Rune is defined as “any of the characters of an alphabet (futhark) probably derived from a Greek script and used by the Scandinavians and other early Germanic peoples from about A.D. 300” By Webster’s New World Dictionary.

Ask a random person what a rune is, and chances are they may not know, or will associate runes with Vikings. In fact, the ancient symbols were etched in to standing stones by pre-Germanic tribes. Greek, Roman, and Biblical references are made about runes.

Scandinavian, Icelandic, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic people are best known for using runes in their everyday lives. Runes were symbols of faith. A single rune etched on a stone marked a sacred place, a grave, or a place where a significant event took place. Weapons, jewelry, buildings, and wooden objects had runes engraved on them to impart power or to identify the craftsman. During the Middle Ages, runes became a rudimentary alphabet. Shaman and lay people alike used bones, pebbles, and even sticks marked with runes as tools of divination.

Runes were part of stories and history. The Volsungasaga is a famous 13th century Icelandic epic poem that relays the story of Sigurd and Brynhild. A carving with his poem was found in Sweden, dated to 1000 AD. Another famous medieval poem is the Nibelungenlied, or The Song of the Nibelungs. This epic poem tells about Siegfried the dragon-slayer and his wife, Kriemhild. There are countless other stories and sagas that have been discovered written in runic transcripts, bringing the daily lives and histories of Scandinavian, Germanic, and Celtic families to life.

Today runes are used for divination. The Viking Runes consist of twenty-four stones, plus a blank stone. Runes may be consulted for any question. Either have a reference book for the stones meaning or print out a sheet from the internet which lists the meaning of each stone. If you print out the sheet, make certain you get a list which has the meaning of the stones showing right side and the stone reversed. The stones should be kept in a bag. Keeping the question in mind, draw a stone out and place it on the table. Look at the symbol, is the symbol right side up or reversed? This is where the rune book or meaning reference sheet comes in.

In addition to a single stone query, here are a couple of choices for rune divinations, per Ralph Blum’s The Book of Runes.

A situation spread will to determine a course of action. The easiest way to do this is to draw one stone at a time and write down on a piece of paper which stone (and if it is right side up or reversed). The stones are placed horizontally 3, 2, and 1. Stone 1 is the overview of the problem, stone 2 is the challenge, and stone 3 is the action one must taken.

A more depth consultation for a problem can be done using five runes placed vertically starting from the top and working down, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The 1 stone represents the overview, the 2 stone represents the challenge, the 3 stone is for the action to be taken, the 4 stone is the sacrifice to be made, and the 5 stone is the new situation.

Curious about your past or future lives, then try a three times spread. Put a 2 stone in the center representing the present. Directing on top (north) place the 5 stone representing the future life, the left of the center (west) place the 3 stone representing future in this life, on the right (east) representing birth & childhood put the 1 stone, and finally below the center (south) put the 4 stone representing the past incarnation.

to see examples of runes, link to:




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