Runes were originally used as magical signs or for charms. They have also long been used for divination. The true meaning of the word Rune has been lost to time, but it is believed that perhaps the word comes from the Norse “rún” which means secret or mystery.The Elder Futhark is the oldest of the runic alphabets. It is made up of 24 runes that have both symbolic and phonetic meaning.
Rune casting is a form of divination that is much like tarot, or tossing the bones, or even tea leaf reading. The quester will concentrate on what they are searching for and the Rune caster will lay out Runes in a certain order and translate the reading. The interpretation of the Runes is entirely left to the one with the question. Although the Rune caster can offer insight, only the one asking the question knows the true answer they receive.
Runes are frequently used in the creation of sigils, or symbols considered to have magical powers. Some popular sigils you may be familiar with:
Vegvisir is an Icelandic magical sigil that means “May you always find your way home”. It was often painted on the forehead of viking warriors heading off to war, by their loved ones. And here it held a double meaning — may you find your way back to me, or may you find your way to the ultimate home of Valhalla. This symbol is seen presently in many tattoo works, most famously the musician Björk has this on her left arm.
Bind rune is a term given to the combing of two or more runes. They were seen on some rune stones, but mostly just to highlight the name of the carver. It is important that the Rune user make their own set of Rune stones. The more natural the material, the better they will be connected to divine powers, so wooden or stone is often used, however FIMO and RESIN Runes will work, as well, so long as they are made by hand.
Aegishjalmur is another common tattoo, this translates loosely as The Helm of Awe, or Helm of Terror. This sigil rune was used to protect warriors and to instill fear in their enemies. It is now widely seen as a sigil of protection.
Runes were used to tell a story, or a journey. They were rarely used to spell out a name phonetically, but they are an alphabet and that can be done, with only a small bit of fudging around some letters. Tattoos made with Runes have power of their own, so be careful what you get made permanent on your body!
Rune casting can be done in person or virtually, the energy will work through universal connections.