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The Book of Runes

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Since the runes are a vital part of the pre-Christian northern European mythology, worldview, and spiritual practice, I thought it would be fitting and helpful to provide some recommendations in this field. This list assumes no prior knowledge of the runes, just a willingness to understand them on their own terms. life, because it is ceaselessly changing, inevitably outgrows every form, which in turn must die so that life can be released into a new birth, and into a new form ( Greene, p. 48).

Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference Runelore is divided into two parts, both of which occupy roughly half of the book: “Historical Lore” and “Hidden Lore.” The section on “Historical Lore” gives a history of the origins, development, and use of the runes from before the Viking Age up through the modern runic revival. This section relies heavily on the author’s excellent Runes and Magic, his Ph.D. thesis in runology published under his real name, Stephen Flowers (see #9 below). A particularly delightful chapter in this section is “Rune Poems,” where Thorsson provides translations and discussions of the Rune Poems, one of the foremost primary sources for our knowledge of the runes today. Rix, Robert W. (2011). "Runes and Roman: Germanic literacy and the significance of runic writing". Textual Cultures. 6: 114–144. doi: 10.2979/textcult.6.1.114. The Younger Futhark, also called Scandinavian Futhark, is a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, consisting of only 16 characters. The reduction correlates with phonetic changes when Proto-Norse evolved into Old Norse. They are found in Scandinavia and Viking Age settlements abroad, probably in use from the 9th century onward. They are divided into long-branch (Danish) and short-twig (Swedish and Norwegian) runes. The difference between the two versions is a matter of controversy. A general opinion is that the difference between them was functional (viz., the long-branch runes were used for documentation on stone, whereas the short-twig runes were in everyday use for private or official messages on wood).This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. ( December 2021) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message) According to Carl-Gustav Werner, "In the isolated province of Dalarna in Sweden a mix of runes and Latin letters developed." [51] The Dalecarlian runes came into use in the early 16th century and remained in some use up to the 20th century. [52] Some discussion remains on whether their use was an unbroken tradition throughout this period or whether people in the 19th and 20th centuries learned runes from books written on the subject. The character inventory was used mainly for transcribing Swedish in areas where Elfdalian was predominant. Books on the runes, especially those of the “how-to” guidebook variety, vary greatly in quality and in the approach they take to studying and working with the runes. As with anything else in life, different approaches are appropriate for different people. This list reflects that necessary diversity, and includes works from several different perspectives that all have something to contribute to the modern study of the runes and practice of runic magic (last updated November 2018). Lysiane, Lasausse (2018). "Norse mythology in video games: part of immanent Nordic regional branding". University of Helsinki. Dictionary of the Middle Ages (under preparation). Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2007-06-23.

Penzl & Hall 1994a assume a period of "Proto-Nordic-Westgermanic" unity down to the 5th century and the Gallehus horns inscription. [27]

Learning Runes for Beginners

The exact development of the early runic alphabet remains unclear but the script ultimately stems from the Phoenician alphabet. Early runes may have developed from the Raetic, Venetic, Etruscan, or Old Latin as candidates. At the time, all of these scripts had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy, which would become characteristic of the runes and related scripts in the region. Nevertheless, it has proven difficult to find unambiguous traces of runic "oracles": although Norse literature is full of references to runes, it nowhere contains specific instructions on divination. There are at least three sources on divination with rather vague descriptions that may, or may not, refer to runes: Tacitus's 1st-century Germania, Snorri Sturluson's 13th-century Ynglinga saga, and Rimbert's 9th-century Vita Ansgari. The earliest secure runic inscriptions date from around AD 150, with a potentially earlier inscription dating to AD 50 and Tacitus's potential description of rune use from around AD 98. The Svingerud Runestone dates from between AD 1 to 250. Runes were generally replaced by the Latin alphabet as the cultures that had used runes underwent Christianisation, by approximately AD 700 in central Europe and 1100 in northern Europe. However, the use of runes persisted for specialized purposes beyond this period. Up until the early 20th century, runes were still used in rural Sweden for decorative purposes in Dalarna and on runic calendars.

As Proto-Germanic evolved into its later language groups, the words assigned to the runes and the sounds represented by the runes themselves began to diverge somewhat and each culture would create new runes, rename or rearrange its rune names slightly, or stop using obsolete runes completely, to accommodate these changes. Thus, the Anglo-Saxon futhorc has several runes peculiar to itself to represent diphthongs unique to (or at least prevalent in) the Anglo-Saxon dialect. Inscriptions such as wagnija, niþijo, and harija are supposed to represent tribe names, tentatively proposed to be Vangiones, the Nidensis, and the Harii tribes located in the Rhineland. [23] Since names ending in -io reflect Germanic morphology representing the Latin ending -ius, and the suffix -inius was reflected by Germanic -inio-, [24] [25] the question of the problematic ending -ijo in masculine Proto-Norse would be resolved by assuming Roman (Rhineland) influences, while "the awkward ending -a of laguþewa [26] may be solved by accepting the fact that the name may indeed be West Germanic". [23] The Finnish word runo, meaning 'poem', is an early borrowing from Proto-Germanic, [12] and the source of the term for rune, riimukirjain, meaning 'scratched letter'. [13] The root may also be found in the Baltic languages, where Lithuanian runoti means both 'to cut (with a knife)' and 'to speak'. [14]

In the book’s words, “I do not believe in any tradition except ‘Find out for yourself!’… Instead of asking you to believe in my interpretations, I ask you to examine them critically. I do not want you to adhere to my dogma… but to explore with an open mind in the joy of self discovery.”

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