The runes are “letters” of an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for divinatory magic/but also in ritual or commercial.
They have been found in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Iceland, the itali alpina but also in North america.
Already 2000 years ago Tacitus in his De Germany, describing customs and traditions of the Nordic peoples, speaks of rituals of divination by priests affecting or paint signs and launch out of towels to make wishes.
More than any other people respect the wishes and the fate. Forthe latter procedure is simple. Cut a small branch of treefruit into small pieces, distinguish them with certain signs andthrow on a white robe. After that the priest of the tribe,If the consultation is for the community, or the head of the family, if the target hasprivate, invoked the gods look face to the sky, gathering threepieces, one at a time, and interprets them according to the sign imprinted. If theresponse is not, does not reflect more the fate, for that day,on the same subject; in case of favorable signs, we requirefurther confirmation of the auspices. It is also known in Germany the use ofinterrogate the voices and the flights of birds. Is specialty of those peoplebe based on omens and warnings of the horses. They are fed at the expenseof the community, in the forests and in sacred groves first remember,very white and not tainted with work done to man: yoked toHoly chariot, accompanied by the priest, by the King or by the head of apeople, who observe nitrites and tremors. There is no wish toWhat more you trust, not only by the common people, but ofnobles and priests: consider themselves servants of gods andhorses depositories of divine will. There is also another way to drawauspices, used to predict the outcome of major wars. Aprisoner of the people with whom they are at war, however, theopposed to battle against a sample of their people, each with theirtheir weapons: the victory of either has a value of prediction.
Tacito chapter X De Germania.
The word “Rune” means mystery, secret or whisper and each rune has specific properties, as well as its common meanings phonetic value.
Each rune means a symbol a word or phrase important concepts to the first people who used, representing the forces of nature and of mind. Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship with a God.
Tradition has it that Odin, the God of the Aesir, hung the world tree, Yggdrasil, impaled on his spear, for nine days and nights in order to gain knowledge of the runes.
When the runes appeared “under him“, he reached down and picked them up and Runic knowledge. Afterwards it transmitted this knowledge to the Vanir goddess Freya in exchange of Seidr. Heimdall later taught the secrets of the runes to humankind …
"... I know that I was hanging from a tree, lashed by the wind for nine nights, wounded by a spear and consecrated to Odin, offered from myself to myself; Most scholars do not know from where the roots of that tree. I comforted her with the bread, I handed him the drinking Horn; I looked down, I grabbed the runes, shouting the seized; I fell from the tree. Learned nine songs of power from the famous son of Bolthor, father of bestla, and had a SIP of the precious Mead magic mixed with Odrerir. Then I learned, wise, I grew up and prosperai: Word by word they gave me words; action action action gave me ... "