Why runes of the ancient Germans are considered magical and how they can help
Runes carry information not only about the past, but also about the future – so the ancient tribes believed, and modern followers of occultism also proclaim this. What is the reason for the influence of these signs on human consciousness, and why for many hundreds of years runes retain such an important place in culture?
Runes are the alphabet of Germanic tribes that inhabited Scandinavia and the surrounding lands at the beginning of the era, and later settled over most of Europe. According to the most popular version, the runes are derived from the Etruscan language. They are sharp, angular icons that were carved on wood, bone, or stone. In addition, many round gold plates – bracteates – were found with runic inscriptions carved on them.
The former names of runes were not preserved, they were reconstructed, including based on the similarity of runic symbols with the Latin alphabet. The alphabet was named “Futhark” – after the first letters of the names of the first six characters. Initially, 24 characters were used, but later their number and appearance changed, including depending on the area where the runic script was used. In most cases, runes were carved on funeral stones, sometimes the inscription consisted only of specifying the name, sometimes a description of battles and victories was given, and quite often-appeals to higher powers, which gave runic inscriptions a ritual, magical meaning. To enlist the support of the gods, runes were applied to the details of weapons and armor, amulets.
The longest runic inscription, dated to the 9th century, is carved on a stone that was found near the Swedish city of Reka. It contains 762 runes that tell both about the deceased – “Varin put them (runes) in honor of the fallen son”, and about the myths that enveloped the events of the battle. And in the Danish Jelling discovered boulders, on one of which the king left runic records in honor of his wife Tyra. The” big ” stone in Jelling contains a dedication to the father and mother of king Harald I, the one under whom Denmark converted to Christianity.
The spread of runic writing was facilitated by the travels and conquests of the Vikings – so the runes became known to many European tribes, including the Slavs. Attempts to prove the existence of pre-Christian Slavic writing have not stopped for a long time – apparently, runic writing could not but affect the culture of individual Slavic peoples, and perhaps lead to some borrowing. Anyway, there are rare confirmed traces of runic writing on the territory of Russia and a number of forgeries, such as the” Veles book”, whose purpose was to prove the existence of the Slavs independent of the Christian Church of the ancient letter.
There are many fake monuments of runic writing, a number of them are still being studied by scientists, such as the Kensington stone. It was discovered in 1898 in the United States by a farmer of Swedish origin. The discovery carried an important meaning – thus could confirm the fact of the arrival of the Vikings in North America long before the expedition of Columbus. But the authenticity of the artifact remains in question – perhaps it was created along with other fakes in the Wake of interest in Scandinavian magic.
Runic writing, which appeared as a prototype of the alphabet, did not accidentally get the fame of magic writing. At a time when the life of the tribes, especially those who inhabited the Northern lands, was constantly dependent on the forces of nature, the need to find a language to communicate with various kinds of deities was very strong. The ancient Icelandic epic “the Elder Edda” describes the history of the appearance of runes. The Supreme God Odin, a wise man and sorcerer who spent nine days and nine nights on the World tree Yggdrasil, heard the sound of runes and drew their designations with his own blood; “three goddesses (URD, Verdandi, Skuld) cut runes on the mystical ash tree Yggdrasil, determining the fate of people.”
According to the beliefs of the Germans, the rune inscribed on the object gave it magical properties and special power. It is difficult to say for sure what was the main reason for the appearance of runic signs – the need for writing or the desire to communicate with forces beyond the control of man through visible signs.
Among other things, runic writing was also associated with cryptic writing – indeed, when writing runes using certain encryption methods, symbols and messages were obtained that were understandable only to those who had the key to them. And the word runa itself in translation from ancient German meant “secret”. Runes were intertwined in a knot, supplemented with extra lines or removed the necessary ones, placed in the opposite direction – from right to left.
A special type of runic writing became galdrastavy-rune-like images, where the signs were a single indivisible symbol and were allegedly endowed with a special magical power. Galdrastavy were common in Iceland, where runic writing came with the Vikings. Preserved Icelandic magic book “Galdrabok” containing galdralag and magical conspiracies.
It is interesting that despite the fact that the spread of Christianity in Europe gradually replaced the runic script, which gave way to the Latin alphabet, the runes did not go into the past, playing important roles in the history of the world. It is not even that in some countries, in particular, in some regions of Sweden, this type of writing was used until the XIX century. Runes had a great influence on the development of the ideology of nationalism, in fact, they became the Foundation for justifying the superiority of the Aryan-Germans over other races and peoples.
At the end of the 19th century, the Austrian runologist Guido von List created and tried to justify the concept that runes appeared specifically to establish a connection with the Aryan gods. Von List founded armanism – an esoteric system that explained the racial superiority of the “ariogermans” over other peoples. During the first world war, this idea was already so popular that List received letters from soldiers from the front, and then met around them runic “signs of the gods” and therefore confident in the support of higher forces. No wonder-pointed, angular, simple in form single signs to see in the drawing of a stone or cracks in trees is not difficult – would be a desire. With the development of ideas about the mystical Third Reich, the Germans generally tended to turn to the occult Sciences, as well as launch projects like the search for Shambhala, the Grail. The works of von List laid the Foundation for the ideology of Nazism, linking the existing German traditions with the culture of ancestors who possessed secret knowledge and passed their wisdom to descendants through runic writing. Runes were widely used in Nazi symbols, in particular by SS formations.
Runes were encoded for simple and important concepts for a person – the way, the harvest, the sun, cattle, people, day, joy, need, and others. Do not underestimate the impact that they had on people who first felt like participants in a dialogue with a world full of dangers, enemies and uncertainty. Runic inscriptions are attributed to the ability to control some unknown forces of nature, and in this sense, modern divination is essentially not so far from the Icelandic rituals that were performed centuries ago.