The study of historical fuÞark runes is a study of wisdom poetry and the religious mysteries associated with them, not merely a study of an ancient “alphabet” as academics would see it. So, in essence, a delicate balance has to be found between sounds, meanings of words but especially the variance’s of possibly huge timelines between the many various proses. The meters are not all from the same time periods and we have to allow for how the runes evolved during those periods. The problem with modern interpretations of the runes remains that many Asatruers simply choose to ignore the complexities that the rune poems presents, from whence they gather those meanings are vast and varied for runes do not transliterate into modern English, German, Russian or any other later day languages. They each have their own unique sound and value created at the time of their first inception by whosoever wielded them first centuries ago; carrying with them an original understanding or set of meanings along with the concepts of using those first generation elders runes in Old Norse Magic and Religion as attested in the sagas within their original distinct magical values and sounds.

Ref: She had a small flat surface cut on its smooth side; then she took a knife, cut runes upon it, reddened them with her blood and muttered some spells over it. After that, she walked backwards against the sun around it and spoke many potent words. Then she made them push the tree into the sea, and said that it should go to Drangey and that Grettir should suffer hurt from it.
—Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar, ch. 79

The Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem is taken from the Cottonian MS.Otho B X, which perished in the fire of 1731. It had, however, been printed by Hickes in his Linguarum Veterum Septentrionalium Thesaurus, I.135 (London, 1705), from which the present text is derived. It consists of short stanzas, 29 in all, of two to five lines each. At the beginning of which stand the runic characters described, preceded by their equivalents in an ordinary script and followed by their names. Most of what we consider the meaning of the runes is taken from here although The Norwegian and Icelandic Rune Poems also add their own unique distinctions.


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