Runes are an ancient form of oracle used for ritual purposes by those seeking advice. Runes have a long history, dating back to ancient use by Germanic and Nordic tribes, and are still widely used today. Runes are an ancient writing system where letters were carved into wood, bone, metal or stones and often stored in a little drawstring pouch or box. With the root word referring to “speech”, “secret whisper” or “secret writing”, runes each have a meaning, as well as their own consciousness. Runes are considered a secret language—the letters in a set known as runic alphabets. Each rune is inscribed with a symbol or cryptic message and represents an alphabetic letter that is pronounced as a sound. Each rune also possesses a mystical or symbolic meaning.

The alphabetic script was used to communicate in symbolic form, to predict potential future events and to guard against undesirable events. The runes are also magical symbols and each runic character has its own name and symbolic meaning in riddles, messages, symbols, or magical incantation. Rune casting was used as a way for ancient people to foretell the future; as a form of protection; to cast spells; to cure illness; to bestow love. Runes were used during rituals to invoke powerful forces, long before they were used for writing.

Elder Futhark is thought to be the oldest version of the Runic alphabet. The Elder Futhark runes can be put together to spell words and pronounce words. There were two main types of runic alphabet: The elder Futhark and the younger Futhark. The elder Futhark has 24 characters or symbols. These were in use from approximately 100 to 800 AD at the beginning of the Viking Age. These runes were first used by Germanic tribes in Northern Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The younger Futhark consists of 16 characters or symbols. These were in use from approximately 800 AD to 1100 AD.

Elder Futhark/Norse runic alphabets are named after the first six runes F, U, TH, A, R, and K. The remaining include, (f u þ a r k) g w; h n i j ï p z s; t b e m l ŋ o d. While serving as letters, each of the runes also have their own names: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido Kenaz, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Eihwaz, Perthro, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Berkano, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Dagaz, Othala, with one blank 25 rune called Wyrd or the Odin Rune. Wyrd is an invitation to go deep within, to look within.

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