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About Runes . . .

Item AEI02 for sale here is a set of stone runes, (stones sandcarved with rune glyphs), and a wooden display/storage chest decorated with ancient Norse designs to store and display the runes.  


First a little background on runes.  Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E.  They were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialized  purposes thereafter.  Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.  Runes have been used in Britain since the Dark Ages.  When the Romans abandoned Britain around 450AD, waves of immigrants from Europe came and settled  there.  The Friesians from the Netherlands, the Angles and Saxons from Germany, then the Jutes and Norsemen (Vikings) from Scandinavia.  They brought with them their set of ancient symbols known as the runes. 


Originally,  the Scandinavian variants had 24 runes. They are collectively known as "The ELDER FUTHARK".  The name is derived from the first six letters of the alphabet (F, U, Þ, A, R, and K).  Other variants of runic alphabets evolved later.  The set of rune stones included in this item are from the ELDER FUTHARK.  Since these ancient times people have used runes for writing messages, inscriptions and epitaphs; as amulets and charms; as well as an oracle for use in divination; and for rituals, magic and spells.  The word "rune" actually means mystery, secret or whisper.  Each rune has esoteric meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its mundane meaning and phonetic value.  The runes all have names that were significant to the ancient Germanic tribes, Norsemen and Anglo-Saxon pagans who used them.  Each translates into a word or a phrase signifying concepts important to these early peoples, representing the forces of nature and mind.  Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship to a Norse god. Some were named for gods, like Ing and Tiw; some for animals and plants such as the Ox or a Birch twig; some for natural features - a lake, or hail; some for everyday objects that they used like a carriage and an archer's bow; and some for timeless concepts such as joy, a gift, and humanity.  


The rune meanings are augmented by further interpretations for their orientation when viewed at a given moment such as upright as written like a letter, reverse (upside down) and converse (face down) presentation. The runes are also traditionally each associated with gemstones or crystals, trees, plants or herbs, colors, and the elements. You'll notice that although there are 24 letters, or runes, in the Elder Futharc there is a 25th space shown, the “Blank”.  Some people consider this a 25th rune but more traditional runeologists consider it only a spare in case one of the other runes is lost.  


Runes are sometimes used as an oracle from which one seeks advice. This “runic divination” or "rune casting" is not "fortunetelling" in the sense that one actually sees the future.  Instead, runes give one a means of analyzing the path that one is on and a likely outcome.  To use a rune set for “divination”, a traditionalist would say that the rune set should be “empowered”.  


For more information on runes, rune casting, and a lot of other runic stuff, visit 

“runes” on Wikipedia.com, and www.sunnyway.com/runes/.  Much of the  information included in this summary came from these websites, as well as an e-book by  Mr. Bob Oswald, AKA The Runemaker.  


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