HomeIndexthe runesHistory and Rune Origins

 

« Veit ek, at ek hekk
vindgameiði á
nætr allar níu,
geiri undaðr
ok gefinn Óðni,
sjalfur sjalfum mér,
á þeim meiði
er manngi veit
hvers af rótum renn.

Við hleifi mik sældu
né við hornigi,
nýsta ek niðr,
nam ek upp rúnar,
æpandi nam,
fell ek aftr þaðan. »

(I know, I was hung on the trunk lashed by the wind for nine whole nights, wounded by spear and delivered to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree that no one knows where from the roots he rose.  With bread they didn’t sate me or with horns [they quered me apart]. I looked down, I went up the runes, called them I did, and I fell over there.)

Rune Origins
Odin take the knowledge of the runes

Origins

According to Nordic mythology, it was the same Odin who gained knowledge of The Rune, knowledge then transmitted to Freya, and by Heimdall to humanity.
However, the first findings suggest that the origins of the runes are to be searched in Italy, dividing the historical between the Greek-Etruscan origin or the Finnica origin; Historical findings then reflect on the probable origins of northern Italy where Celtic alphabets have runic-like characters as in the case of the famous Prestino stele.
A strand of enthusiasts, on the other hand, would argue that the origins would be to be researched in the Indo-European strains, unfortunately this thesis finds no findings and documentation in support of it.

stele di prestino
prestino stele

From the origins to now

It is not known how from the Italian peninsula the runes then spread throughout Europe, however following the two logical strands (Etruscan origin and Finnica origin) and easy to assume that in the case of the Etruscan origin to the successive Celtic passage, the Celts in turn they contaminated the nomadic Germanic tribes and that these spread the knowledge of runes to northern Europe.
Following the line of Finnica evolution, it is possible that the skilled Phoenician navigators spread an evolution of their alphabet in all commercial stops.
(note how some runic finds in northern Europe refer precisely to business practices).
After the subsequent spread of the runic system, some distinct alphabets evolved: ancient futhark (elder futhark), the Scandinavian futhark – futhark short – recent futhark, Anglo-Saxon futhark, with addition a much more recent variant of origin Medieval.
With the advent of Christianity the runic system fell into decline, probably surviving as a vulgar language in the submissive peoples, however some authors would report that in some traditions of Renaissance witchcraft, even in Italy, was widespread the divination with runes and the death penalty of those who were discovered to know rune knowledge…

modern and post-modern era

In the modern era it is not yet known, how and when the runes came back in vogue (especially for divinity purposes), but it is easy to assume that it was during the National German Socialism that with the exhumation of ancient German culture, even runic knowledge knew a new birth.
There are documented cases of rune experiments conducted by the SS and Himmler Ad Extersteine using Lo “Stadhagaldr” (runic yoga) with the aim of obtaining or creating a super-man…
In the Nazi era, runes were also studied by the new-age culture and often unfortunately enriched with meanings to them alien, however thanks to numerous historical studies conducted throughout Europe today they are still appreciable throughout their ancient splendor without excessive superstructures…


 

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