Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rocking the Runes

In the last post, I mentioned the Runes. This is one of the lesser known metaphysical tools, which I found appealing as soon as I was introduced to them. They are simple symbols, all made of staves and chevrons. As far back as the 5th century, they are found carved on stone. They have also been found designed into jewelry, furniture and tools.

Runes were a development of the Germanic and Norse people. Some people say that they are an ancient alphabet. This is true, but they also contain more meaning than that, in the same way that Chinese characters or the Hebrew alphabet do. So while a character could stand for a letter of the alphabet, it could also stand for home, and another could represent, wealth, health or justice.

There are 24 signs in the most commonly used set. People who read with them can get answers to the same kinds of questions as you would with a Tarot deck. Using 24 pieces of wood, stone, metal clay or other material, the set is held in the hands while focusing on your question, and then cast. The reading is done from the way the set lands on the table or ground.

Since there are only 24 signs in the set, there are less different individual parts to learn than a person learning Tarot, which has 78 cards. The signs all have layers of meanings and lore that go with them. Plus there is another advantage to the student, and that is that the signs are so simple that anyone can draw them and make their own set.

The signs can be used in many ways, from feeling the energy in your body from making the shapes and holding them, similar to what you would do in Tai Chi or Yoga. The signs are also easy to incorporate into other media, from candles to markings on jars of herbs or oils, to jewelry or just about anything else you would like.

You can draw one a day to meditate on as a way to learn them, and as a good way to draw on a bit of wisdom to help guide you through your day.

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