So you have slowly been hearing more and more about Runes. But that's all great. You even seen them on TV shows. But if you wanted to start learning about the runes, where do you begin? Well, the answer isn't as mystical, or complicated as you may be thinking. The first part would be to get your self a set of runes, or rune cards. Then it would be great to get hold of a copy of the Poetic Edda. Among this collection of poems is the Hávamál, which of all the poems, is found only in the Codex Regius manuscript, which was first discovered in 1643, and is a written down account of teachings traditionally passed down by word of mouth.
These are the old traditional poems, sayings and lessons from ages past. There are many translations. But when you starting out, don't stress out too much about that. There are many free versions available online, and I will soon be adding a few files to the resource section of the website.
But you can even start without all the above to get yourself going. In the Havamal, which are the words of the Old Wise One, or Old One Eyed, Odin, he tells us exactly what is important before starting to use the runes. Stanzas 138 - 145 deal directly with the Runes. The Havamal is the longest of the Poetic Eddas, around 168 stanzas long.
In this section Odin speaks of what is important before using the runes:
"Dost know how to write, dost know how to read,
dost know how to paint, dost know how to prove,
dost know how to ask, dost know how to offer,
dost know how to send, dost know how to spend?"
In short, what is being said here, is before using the Runes, the user should know how to pronounce their sounds, draw their shape, and know their meaning, and understand their context. As mentioned above, to do this, its important to learn the rune poems associate with each of the runes, which help with explaining each rune's meaning, and symbolism.
There are a number of books on the topic, and some well known authors who have made it easier to study the runes, and I encourage you to start investigating and searching for these. I have put some in the resource section of the website. But ultimately, your journey will be yours alone, and you will find your path taking you and leading you in a unique direction meant for you alone. In later articles I will begin to offer some guidance on various methods to help connect with each of the runes,
But for now a good starting point is the following:
- Learn the shape of each rune
- Learn the name of each rune
- Learn the sound of each rune
- Learn the original meaning of each rune
- Learn the phonetic equivalent in the modern english alphabet
- Learn the position of each rune in the order of the Elder Futhark
- Learn in which of the three Aetts (Eights) each rune can be found
The above will help you in further study and understanding of each of the runes and build a solid foundation for your future studies and workings.
Those of you who have been following my Facebook page and website, will undoubtedly know I also launched my rune card series. And one of the sets in the series I call "Learn the Runes". This set is specifically designed to help the student of the runes to learn all of the above, and more. Feel free to visit the website to order your set. They are a great Q-Card for learning the runes, and are a nice size to carry in your handbag or pocket.
Enjoy the journey, and I look forward to sharing part of it with you.
Love, Light and Skol