Runes were discovered carved on wood, stone, and metal and bone objects. Wood is the most preferred medium for depicting runes – particularly for magical functions. Words for “pieces of wood” connected with the runes are several in the old tradition. The three Old Norse examples related with runes would be stafr (stave, letter, secret lore), tenin (branch, talismanic word for divination) and hlutr (lot for divination, talismanic object – on which runes where carved).
The bracteates (thin metal disks encoded with runes and diverse other designs) play a significant role in magical uses. Among the ways, that runes were applied in magic is that of additional concealment the magical formula with intricately formulated codes. These codes were produced in order to keep the runic magic messages secret.
The cornerstone of all the runic codes is the numerical value of the runes. Both the Younger and Elder futharks are divided into three groups called aettir (families). The futharks of the runes are mystifying systems that were mostly developed in the Younger Futhark time; however, they most certainly were known and used in the older period, since ancient representations of the elder row are also clearly divided into aettir.
The names branch names and tent runes know two of the most remarkable techniques of making secret runic codes. Runes may be magically used in a broad kind of way. The most basic technique of rune magic in the olden days was talismanic, that is runes were engraved into several objects and infused with psychic power in order to bring about some change in the vitki (rune master) or his surroundings.
Runes are particularly useful in magical works regarding triumph, success, protection, rescue from limitation, love, and the acquiring wisdom. Each rune has a name that was also a meaningful word. It is trusted these rune names survived from early times, though of course they are not recorded until relatively late, when written records of the script began.
The Norse rune names are maintained from somewhat later, and at a time when only sixteen of the letters survived in use in Scandinavia, so we do not have a complete list of names from that region. Usually the rune names began with the sound that the rune represented.
Divination is another important use of the runes from the Vikings. The runic forms often were carved into pieces of wood, cast onto a white fabric, to perform a rune reading. It was then read according to strict criteria. All methods are valid and extremely potent for magical purposes today. The runes are holy signs may be used as focal points for advocatory magic, meditation, as well as self-transmutation and mysterious communication.
Runic divination is one of the oldest prophecy systems in Northern Europe. The runes make up a potent key, offering entree to the inner mysteries of Northern Europe. By using the runes is to restore inner-plane contacts we can recover much of our lost knowledge.
For genuine divination, a channel of communication must be accomplished with the runes. They should be accepted to speak for themselves without disturbance from the analytical mind. A rune reading is a sort of meduimship in which one has to liaise between the querent and the runes and read messages from the runic powers, of which the active rune-stones or runestaces are focal directs or doorways.
Divination is in origin a blessed act of acquiring counsel from the gods. The power of mastering magic and the darker side of awareness, of which divination forms a part, is in Northern European terms Odin. These forces represents the past, present and future and are distinguished with the three goddesses or Norns, Urs, Verdandi and Skuld – who weave the web of fate, destiny or orlog.
Therefore, the runes are sacred and are intimately intertwined with Northern mythology, personifying our deepest spiritual values. To find the maximum benefit from the runes it essential to have knowledge and a fundamental understanding of the myths of the North and the various god-forms and archetypes. This is what divination was entailed to be and is how it was applied in olden days.
by Lee Pavett