A wooden statue of Freyja overlooks baltic amber runes as incense burns in a marble bowl

The Mystical Origins and Modern Uses of Nordic Runes

Runes have been fascinating people for centuries due to their perceived mystical powers and deep symbolism. They have been used in divination and spell-casting, as well as for decorative purposes. Despite their ancient roots, runes continue to be popular in modern times, and many people use them to gain insights into their lives and to connect with their spiritual selves.

There are 24 runes in the Elder Futhark, each with its own unique symbol and letter. The development of the runes can be traced back to 200 BCE, when they were used as part of the original magical practices of the ancient Germanic peoples. The word "rune" itself means "secret" or "mystery", and the runes were believed to hold tremendous power.

Baltic Amber runes strewn about on a fleece throw.

The Origins of Runes 

The mythological origin of the runes is tied to the figure of Odin, the chief god of the Norse pantheon. According to legend, Odin hung himself upside down from the world tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights in order to gain wisdom and knowledge of the runes. This initiatory ceremony allowed him to pass through the nine realms and access the power of the runes, which he then passed on to humans.

How to Use Runes for Divination 

Each rune has a specific meaning and symbolism, which can be interpreted in various ways depending on the context. For example, the rune Fehu represents wealth and abundance, while the rune Hagalaz signifies destruction and chaos. When used in divination, runes are typically drawn from a bag or scattered on a cloth, and their placement and orientation can reveal insights into the querent's question or situation.

In addition to their use in divination, runes are also used for spell-casting and ritual work. The symbols can be inscribed on candles, amulets, or other objects to imbue them with the power of the runes. Some people also use runes in meditation or as a tool for personal growth and self-discovery.

The Innate Power of the Runes 

While the true origin of the runes may be lost to time, their power and symbolism continue to captivate people to this day. Whether used for divination, magic, or personal growth, the runes offer a powerful tool for connecting with the spiritual realm and accessing the wisdom of the ages.

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