Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Which rune row should I use?

Anyone who has ever looked into runic studies or, for that matter, read one of the better "introduction-to-runes" books on the market, knows that there are four major rune rows used today. Some may also be familiar with the existence of the various medieval runic systems or variations on the major four. These may be used for purposes ranging from artistic decoration to divination and even operative magical work. If used for mundane purposes—decorating drinking horns and so forth—it really does not matter which rune row one uses. One may choose a particular row simply because it is in sync with the national tradition one follows (i.e., Anglo-Frisian Futhorc for Dutch traditions or Younger Futhork for Icelandic traditions). Or one may use the Elder Futhark simply because this row has become “industry standard” in the USA, just as the Armanen Futharkh has become the standard in Germany. 

But for esoteric and magickal purposes, which is the most effective rune row? The answers to such a question are, of course, debatable. It really depends on what you are trying to do. The following is some some food for thought on the topic using history of the various rows to shed some proverbial light.


Elder Futhark




The Gothic Futhark has become the rune row of choice for most would-be runenmeisteren (rune masters) in the USA. It is widely considered the oldest known rune row based on the current archaeology (hence its popular nickname, “Elder Futhark,” among modern rune enthusiasts), although there is some evidence that the Common Germanic Futhark may be of similar age. The two rows however, are so similar that most people today would consider them to be interchangeable. One difference that would most likely prove significant to the runenmeister using this tradition is the fact that the thirteenth (Uuaer/Eihwaz) and fouteenth (Pertra/Perthrô) staves, as well as the twenty-third (Daaz/Dagaz) and twenty-fourth (Utal/Ôthala) are reversed in the two rows.[1]

Many people find the antiquity of this row to be its greatest asset. This is supported by the idea that states: “The older it is, the better/more valid it is.” This is not, however, necessarily true. If we applied this logic to all the aspects of our lives, this article would never be read by most, as it would require too much work to copy and distribute it using the old-fashioned methods (hand-written calligraphy, grinding your own ink from iron or insect galls - think Gutenberg, only without the printing press!). One must also realize that most of the doctrines taught today in association with the runes (their esoteric meanings, numerical usage, Stodhr or rune-yoga) are based on watered-down versions of  the Armanen texts and adapted to the Elder Futhark—they are not ancient Viking-age secrets preserved for our benefit.


Another difficulty presented by the antiquity of this row is the fact that there remains absolutely no surviving lore. Any rune poems assigned to this row are only reconstructions based on the Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme, the Old Icelandic Rune Poem, and the Old English Rune Rhyme. Even the very names of the Elder runes are naught but reconstructions. [2]

Add to this the fact that one must put oneself in the position of manifesting the theoretical mindset of a long-dead (and thanks to Christianity, largely wiped-out) culture to even understand what this reconstructed lore means, and one is dealing with some very sketchy ideas to say the least!

On the other hand, the Elder/Common Germanic Futhark is the only surviving rune row that might be considered somewhat historically universal among the Germanic peoples at some ancient point in time, serving very nicely the needs of the mixed-ethnicity citizens of modern America and the pan-Germanic approach to Norse lore that most modern rune masters (and most Asatruars) prefer.


Also in support of the Elder runes is the wide body of modern lore that has come into existence developed by modern runenmeisteren. If one approaches the Elder Futhark runes in a modern mindset rather than to attempt to revivify an ancient magickal system that we honestly know next-to-nothing about, one may find this row very useful indeed. If you want only the naked ancient meanings of the Elder Futhark (such as survives of them today almost entirely through later tertiary sources), I suggest buying a copy of The Rune Primer by Sweyn Plowright. While it briefly covers all four runic systems and many modern runic authors, the primary concentration is on the Elder Futhark and the bare bones of what's known about them from historical and archaeological sources.


Younger Futhark



The Younger Futhark—or, as it is known to the academic community, the Standard Nordic Futhork—has preserved the most comprehensive and complete body of historical texts of all the ancient systems. This corpus has been developed in a variety of directions over the centuries, ranging from the esoteric thoughts of Johannes Bureus within the context of Storgoticism[5] to the more modern, exoteric tradition of Stáv.

The Younger Futhark is the only rune row that actually dates from around the Viking Age, and thus when "Viking Runes" are being discussed, this is the relevant system. It comes in two main forms: the long-stem "Danish" variant and the short-stem "Norwegian" variant (which is less commonly seen today in runemagick). Paradoxically despite their nicknames, "Danish" rune inscriptions have turned up in Norway and Norwegian-colonized areas (such as Iceland) and "Norwegian" runes also have been found in Denmark and Danish-colonized areas. Like the Elder/Common Germanic and Anglo-Frisian systems, the Younger Futhark and its derivatives may prove to be rather clumsy form modern, urbanized individuals to learn at first. But because the historical literature has been maintained (although in fragmented form due to the agendas of the various schools of thought) to some degree, it is still very functional. We also have a greater number of transcriptions than the aforementioned rows surviving to teach us how the Icelanders and Danes have worked - and continue to work- with the Younger runes.

The Younger Futhark does bear the limitation of possessing a smaller number of staves (only 16 runes in total), and, thus, is a less precise means of defining the worlds around and within us. It also originated from an almost exclusively Viking worldview which may not be applicable for many uses for modern people today. However it is the system most commonly used by Scandinavian Asatruars, for whom the preference of American runers for the comparatively lore-less "Elder" Futhark must seem bizarre.


Anglo-Saxon (and Anglo-Frisian) Futhorc



The Anglo-Saxon and Frisian tradition is virtually useless for esoteric purposes as it stands. This is not to imply that it may not be preserved as a proud and viable tradition for exoteric uses, and is certainly not intended to insult those who maintain an interest in this innovation. But the available lore with regards to it is so sparse that, unless the Anglo-Saxon system is completely re-vamped by modern authors like the Elder tradition has been, its esoterica must be considered lost in time.
           
Much controversy exists regarding the origins of this tradition. The most common theory is that the Frisians expanded the Common Germanic row to 26 staves, and the Anglo-Saxons further expanded this row to 29 and later to 33 staves.[3] Other theories suggest that the Frisian runes may, in fact, exist only as a jumble derived from neighboring regions somewhat independent of Anglo-Saxon influence; or that the Anglo-Saxons expanded the Common Germanic row and the Frisians adapted it to suit their own uses.

Whatever the origins, the surviving corpus is limited at best. While Frisian archaeological finds appear to indicate a rich magico-religious tradition, interpretation has proved to be next-to impossible. And the finds are so rare that there really is very little for runologists to build on.[4] However, there is a body of work by the 20th Century German runologist Friedrich Bernhard Marby using the Frisian form of the Futhorc, some of which relates to the practice of Stodhr or Rune-Yoga, which is essentially a modern re-integration of western and eastern Aryan spiritual practices using Runes as the basis of yoga postures and breathing exercises. Marby's Stodhr-work in Frisian runes parallels that of Siegfried Adolf Kummer and Peryt Shou working in the Armanen rune system, which is generally better known.


Anglo-Saxon relics by contrast, are much more plentiful than Anglo-Saxon or Frisian runelore. However, there is a conspicuous lack of esoterica in Anglo-Saxon finds. Most of the Anglo-Saxon finds dating before the seventh century are near-impossible to interpret. And those dating from the seventh century onwards are generally used for mundane purposes such as texts on coins and so forth. A few pieces do suggest that a magico-religious tradition was significant in the early use of this row (e.g.: why would anyone learn a script in a generally illiterate society just to inscribe a name on a comb?), but knowledge of the means and purposes has been lost. Anglo-Saxon runes appear to have been developed more for orthographic reasons than esoteric ones. Not surprisingly then, this is the same system that J.R.R. Tolkien used (almost verbatim, though with altered sounds) for his fictional Dwarf-runes in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Its large number of runes and variations makes it the most  convenient rune row for transcribing names from modern English as well as any of a host of other languages.

Medieval Runes




Included in this category are a variety of rune rows ranging from non-alphabetic runes to King Wladamar’s runes. Technically these runes are no longer used, because they are considered too "corrupted" and "tainted" by medieval christianity from the point of view of modern rune practitioners, so they are not on the same level of popularity as the other "Big Four" runic systems in use today. Medieval runes are in fact not one rune row, but many - perhaps hundreds across many regions and local clan traditions throughout Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Some of these systems may have also influenced Slavic runes, due to the Gothic influence in much of Eastern Europe. There are too many of these systems to deal with them individually in an article of this scope. Suffice it to say for convenience that most of these systems are variants on the Younger rune row, although a few may be based on the Anglo-Saxon.

Within the vast expanse of medieval rune systems there is also one particular (and rather short) rune row which was in common use in the forests of southern Germany, commonly known today as the Runes of Healing. These "runes" include a few derived from the "Elder" and "Younger" Futharks, as well as more obscure signs from Germanic folklore suck as the Wendehorn and the Wolf's Hook.


These runes are unusual in that we know from medieval accounts that they were not used for divination at all, but rather strictly for healing and as protective spells. They were, judging by some of their names, supposedly associated with Gods and Goddesses that were honored in secret during Christian times. They were apparently used by secret shamans or "witches" living deep in the woods, who out of necessity had little contact with the Christian world but could always be sought out by those in need of traditional medicine or psychic healing - if you knew where to look. There have also been many local systems of medieval runes further derived from this set as well as the Gothic/"Elder" row, some with allegedly long-established family traditions behind them. The medieval runeswere among the first to be researched by German scholars in the 19th century, and as a result there was a great deal of Romantic-era literature attaching them to medieval tales such as the Niebelunglied and Tristan und Isolde. It is actually from these sorts of medieval rune rows (and not the Armanen system, as often wrongly believed) that Karl Maria Wiligut, and later the SS, derived their infamous "Third Reich Runes".

There is one major advantage to using any of the medieval systems: these systems came into existence in a predominantly christian world although maintaining their Heathen meanings—at least to some degree. While this may, superficially, appear to be a detraction from the “purity” of the runes, one must realize that confused forms can still be used meaningfully and powerfully by the skilled runenmeister. It is also important to recognize that as twenty-first century Americans, we are living in a predominantly christian culture. The vast majority of individuals that make up the current heathenish community and the rune magick community come from christian or christian-influenced backgrounds. And despite our rants to the contrary, this has greatly affected the worldviews and attitudes of all but a few. When dealing with things esoteric, we need to be honest with ourselves, and this may very well include recognizing that we have all been influenced by foreign cults--most commonly by christianism.

The obvious disadvantages to utilizing one of these are (1) that they are strongly influenced by an exotic creed that is contrary to authentic Germanic spirituality, and (2) very little available lore exists for the modern support of any of these rows. They are basically divorced step-children of the original Elder and Younger systems.

Armanen Futharkh




While the Armanen Futharkh (often misspelled “futhorc”[6]) has become the standard for the German runenmeister, it tends to be frowned upon in the United States, for preconceived reasons that are not all that logical. Therefore, its use is not common there, though many American runers unknowingly apply modern Armanen-based methods to their practice of the Elder Futhark.


The Armanen system is the youngest of the four “big name” systems, having appeared in Germany’s early twentieth century, largely due to the work of Guido von List (1848-1919), the most towering figure in German occultism and folk-revivalism. List promoted the Armanen Futharkh as a modern reconstruction of the original 18 runes discovered by Odin himself, as narrated in the 
Hávamál, one of the core parts of the Poetic Edda and still the most important text in all of Norse Rune-lore. 

One of the advantages of List's Armanen system (both the rune-row and its modern lore) is this young age, having been developed in a world very similar to our own modern, urbanized, technological world. It is also a system that was developed and presented specifically for esoteric and magickal purposes. It comes in two main variants: the traditional "stave" form, which resembles the Younger Futhark and is most common in German Wotanist/Odinist circles, and the hexagonal radial form, which is more common among non-denominational occultists and rune magicians involved in metaphysical or alchemical work. The Armanen Futharkh possesses the added advantages of being the only system that both draws on ancient sources (the Hávamál as well as elements of the Elder and Younger Futharks) and a modern worldview, and possesses a complete body of lore from which the aspiring runenmeister may build.

There are, however, a few disadvantages to this system. The most obvious is that it does not originate from a purely “traditional”  (i.e.; “ancient and archaeological) source. List’s powerful emphasis on Wihinei/Wuotanismus (today manifested as Odinism or "Armanenschaft"), however, indicates that this reconstructed rune row is based on the most authentic ancient lore, namely the 18 rune verses of the Hávamál, and was intended to be utilized for a reconstructed Germanic Heathenry - which is precisely what modern Odinists/Asatruars are practicing today. From this point of view, employing "Elder" runes simply because they are ancient is a bit misleading - especially when their meanings are far more speculative and incomplete than what you get with Armanen. 

To be fair, the Armanen rune row does include many runes common to the Elder and Younger Futharks - yet it's a modern and unambiguous rune system for a modern and evolving Nordic spirituality. You cannot truly reconstruct the exact spiritual and runelore system of the ancient pre-Viking Norse no matter how hard you try. Too much is lost or destroyed. Too much will always be modern speculation, be it ever so well-meaning or well-guided. Too much has been altered by Christianity. Even the names of the "Elder" Futhark runes are speculative reconstructions, and yet that system has not been fully restored/refined back to Odin's original 18-rune row. Armanen's clarity in this sense solves all of these problems and makes it superior to "Elder" systems, whose original pre-Viking esoteric meanings, corpus of literature, and even correct pronunciations are all but completely lost (most having been filtered through the later "Younger" and "Medieval" runes and the all-pervasive influence of Christianity). This makes the Armanen rune row clearly preferable in terms of its consistency and unambiguous preservation/integrity of meaning to be properly understood in our modern age. On the other hand, the related esoteric philosophy of Armanism is (or was) also very closely tied to Ariosophy, an eclectic occult discipline which is about as foreign to most modern Asatruars as Christianity.

Armanen rune lore employs a variety of techniques claiming to be derived from ancient Germanic or in some cases more general Indo-European sources, the authenticity of which is at times debatable (e.g., Stodhr or rune yoga). If one is a fanatical purist, searching for “100% academic ancient ways” (or what little evidence remains of them) at all costs, Armanen is certainly not the way to go. But if one is seeking a viable and practical modern magickal/esoteric system with grounding in ancient traditions (understanding that culture often speaks louder than individual accounts, and that what little academic history does survive was often doctored or censored by the enemies of Germanic paganism) the Armanen system works very well, indeed better than any other rune system. For the esoteric sciences such as numerology, meditation, manifesting energy, and yes, divination, it is unmatched, particularly in its "crystalline" hexagonal variant, which is advocated by modern mystic Karl Hans Welz.

Another major (though misplaced) concern among some would-be runenmeisteren regarding the Armanen Futharkh is its alleged historical association with the Third Reich in Germany. While it is true that Armanism developed in a time and climate of romantic, quasi-Wagnerian cultural ideals, and may have influenced some Volkisch and even a few proto-National Socialist thinkers, the system does not actually promote any particular political view, nor was it widely used by any German National Socialist groups. The most infamous users of "runes" in wartime Germany were certain officers in the Schutzstaffel (SS). But these individuals rarely, if ever, used the actual Armanen Futharkh; instead preferring the smaller and more recent rune row developed from medieval rune rows by Karl Maria Wiligut, the mentally unstable inventor of "Irmin-Christianity" (another ideology that has no real connection to List or the Armanen). Further, it was Wiligut—under the approval of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler—who persecuted and even sent many of the better-known Armanists (e.g.; Siegfried Adolf Kummer, Ernst Lauterer) to concentration camps! 

In Germany this historical distinction is well known; thus while openly praising Hitler, Himmler, or the SS is highly controversial and even illegal in Germany today, using the Armanen runes is perfectly acceptable and carries no such controversy, since its origins and practitioners were non-political and it originated well before the NSDAP existed; indeed the roots of List's rune research stretch well back into the late 1800s. This combined with List's almost singular esteem as the penultimate esoteric teacher and the first and most influential rune-master in modern German history, has ensured that Armanen is still THE rune system of choice in Germany. And it interestingly, it appears to be becoming so in much of the Spanish-speaking world as well, where it is simply known as "Las Runas" (The Runes).

Conclusions

While all the runic systems work more-or-less equally as well for exoteric functions, each rune row has certain inherent advantages and disadvantages for those interested in esoteric runology and runemagick. Much of one’s choice must be based on the particular needs of the individual. Speaking on general terms, however, the Younger Futhark and the Armanen Futharkh seem to be the most practical for aspiring runenmeisteren as they stand today - the Armanen being more so because of having 18 runes rather than the more limiting 16 of the Younger Futhark, as well as a more complete body of literature regarding its uses. On the other hand a modern approach to the Common Germanic/Elder Futhark or the Anglo-Frisian Futhorc—that does not delude its users into believing that they are discovering secrets preserved from ancient times—could prove to be just as viable. The potential contributions that could be made in modern runelore via the various medieval rows, however, ought not to be underestimated.

In short:


Elder futhark = best for pre-Viking ceremony (although the rituals and meanings of the time are long-gone)

Younger Fuhark = best for Viking-age ceremony (rituals and meanings a bit better preserved)
Anglo-saxon Futhorc = best for orthography, inventing languages, writing one's name in runes (literature for this system is almost nil).
Armanen Futharkh = best for ritual magic, numerology, geomancy, clear rune castings, and all practical esoteric uses (the literature is complete, undamaged, and suited to modern times).

Alaf sig runa!


Works for Reference

Amsterdamer Beiträge Zur Älteren Germanistik [Frisian Runes and Neighbouring Traditions: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Frisian Runes at the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden 26-29 January 1994
-- Bammesberger, Alfred Frisian and Anglo-Saxon Runes: From the Linguistic Angle
--Hills, Catherine Frisia and England: The Archaeological Evidence for Connections
--Page, Ray I On the baffling Nature of Frisian Runes
  • Flowers, Stephen. The Galdrabók: A 16th Century Icelandic Grimoire. 1989 Samuel Weiser, Inc.
  • Kummer, Siegfried Adolf. Runen-Magie; translated by Edred Thorsson. 1993 Rûna-Raven Press
  • List, Guido von. Das Geheimnis der Runen. 1908
  • Thorsson, Edred. Green Rûna. 1996 Rûna-Raven Press
  • Thorsson, Edred. Runelore. 1987 Samuel Weiser, Inc.


Armanen Rune Sounds and their Derivatives in the Alleged Elder Futhark 
(Followed by Historical Gothic Names as Described by Wulfila)


Fa
Fehu

Fe

Ur
Ûruz
Uraz
Thorn
Þurisaz
Thyth
Os (Othil)
Ansuz;  Ôþila (Ôþala)
Aza; Utal
Rit
Raiðô
Reda
Ka
Kênaz
Chosma
Hagal
Hagalaz; Dagaz; Wunjô
Haal; Daaz; Uuinne
Not
Nauðiz
Noicz
Is
Îsa
Iiz
Ar
Jêra
Gaar
Sig
Sowilô (Sówuló)
Sugil
Tyr
Tiwaz (Teiwaz)

Tyz

Bar
Berkanô (Berkana); Perþrô; Inguz (Ingwaz)
Bercna; Pertra; Enguz
Laf
Laguz (Laukaz)
Laaz
Man
Mannaz (Algiz); Elhaz (Eihwaz) [+ aspects]
Ezec; Uuær [+ aspects]
Yr
Ingwaz; Eihwaz (- aspects)
Enguz; Uuær [- aspects]
Eh
Ehwaz
Eyz
Gibor (Ge)
Gebô

Giuua





[1] Thorsson, Edred. Runelore. 1987
[2] ibid.
[3] Bammesberger, Alfred. Frisian and Anglo-Saxon Runes: From the Linguistic Angle. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur Ältern Germanistik 1996
[4] Page, Ray I. On the Baffling Nature of Frisian Runes. Amsterdamer Beiträge zur Ältern Germanistik 1996
[5] Bureus referred to his system as Adalruna.
[6] List, Guido von. Das Geheimnis der Runen. 1908

7 comments:

  1. Just found your blog on this morning of 11/2/15. Having covered this ground in yesteryears, I still find the article inspiring. I feel, however, that although certain rows appear more, what is the word, tidy, integral, conducive, one over the other is rather moot outside utilitarian aims. There are no vacuums and everything is influenced by something prior or tangent.

    I've spent ages trying to discern something of a Perennial (Wisdom) nature with the Elder Futhark and have found a few curiosities but nothing demanding a published record as of yet. I wonder at List's choice of term gibor as that to me smacks of something Hebraic (Elohim Gibor...). But it certainly makes sense to fashion a row around the Havamal's 18 Charms. This along with Welz' idea of the crystal's terminal as originating pattern provides a conducive substrate for magical work, or philosophy-ing. The postures are understood as another medium for focus and or connection. Having typed that, the idea seems a bit preposterous.

    Having typed all that... I must add that I think we need to determine, for ourselves, whether we are dealing with a rune row as a fully exclusive system unto itself, or a construct which is essentially based on something more ubiquitous and or long standing. Ie., The Alphabet (subsequent to Hieroglyphs - yet there was Cuneiform. But I refer to the trend subsequent to Egyptian glyphs via Coptic etc). What I am saying is, for example, a U is a U where ever you (hint hint) go. That the Norse tweaked the U; Sound... into Uruz with the concepts of, well, drizzle or aurochs, appears to be a cultural exclusivity. To me, this turns the entire affair into a Rorschach Test sort of thing. Seems to me it's all about Style, if you understand.

    So we are, inevitably, back to the magical square one; where it is all in the operator's mind. Still, we could offer arguments either way and so ends my comment on the lovely overview above.

    I'm glad to have found your blog and it's bookmarked. Thanks for your effort and interest. I actually joined the AFA about two months back but haven't attempted a thing therein so may let my membership expire (much on my plate). My heart is there however. I think I'd rather join the Icelandic group! But it appears they cater to their own kin alas.

    And last but not least, I've so many in your face, billion to one, synchronicity based events from involving myself with runes I cannot help but be satisfied. No won lotteries or loves but more the metaphysical, depth psychological type of experiencing. This includes North West European deities as well, such as the Dagda.

    Cripes, how could I forget. I am in love with godly, or rather heathenish, Black Metal and play the tremolo riffing myself. Tree worshiping, atmospheric black metal and thank you Scandinavia. France has some good stuff too. Curious phenomenon there as most other countries, with a few exceptions, simply cannot do it right.

    Tschuss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some interesting points you bring up.

      Firstly, as far as the "Elder" Futhark goes, keep in mind that it dates from the Migration Age and essentially could be called an assimilative rune row as it exceeds the Odinic count of 18 and some of the runes are not based around central hexagonal staves (consider Ingwaz, Dagaz, Perthro, etc.) and are ultimately phonetic and morphological derivations of other runes (Perthro is like an opened-up Bar ("Par") rune, Dagaz resembles two Thorn ("Dhorn") runes joined at the tip). Essentially from a Listian standpoint the "Elder" runes were derived from Odin's runes and added some primarily agricultural or seasonal symbols (i.e. Perthro, Jera, Dagaz) as new lands were settled, drained and farmed, so this could be called the rune-row of the farmer class or "Ingvonen", people of Ing-Fo or Yngwi-Freyr, whom Tacitus called Ingaevones.

      The Saxon rune row, with even more added symbols - pertaining to chalices, spears, tree woods (ash, oak, i.e. materials for arrow shafts, shields and axe handles) and so forth - was generally used by warriors and thus would be associated with the warrior class "Ostivanen", the people of Os-Tivar or the god Tyr (i.e. Istaevones).

      Lastly the core Odinic 18-rune row itself, which the Vikings tried to reconstruct with the "Younger" futhark (being in doubt about the last 2 Havamal runes) is described in Havamal as a system of deep esoteric power, would have been used by the priest class or "Armanen" as described by List (i.e. the Irminons mentioned by Tacitus). They were people of Arman or "Irmin" in low german, which was a German nickname for Odin/Wotan meaning "ascended" or "ideal". Interestingly "Arman" also means "the ideal" in many other Aryan-derived languages including Persian and Armenian (likewise "Ostivar" means "soldier" in these languages, as "Farr" or "Fravar" means radiant or virile...).

      So we have 3 runic systems, 3 classes in ancient Indo-European societies, and 3 associated Gods symbolically linked to them.

      Second, List's use of the rune "Gibor" (which corresponds to the "Elder" rune Gebo or Gibu) is not in any way hebraic. Gibor means "giver" in List's southern rendition of Old Germanic (the modern German pronunciation is Geber). Gibor = Giver, just as Gebo = gift or to give. List's interpretation of this rune (which is essentially a semi-concealed Fylfot) is not merely of the gift itself as passive object (the way that modern academics reconstruct the "Elder" rune Gebo) but rather that of the active giver and the one who receives the gift achieving spiritual unity, unity of Gods and Men, or creator and created, and the shared consciousness of that union is the real great Gift of the All.

      This rune is one of three associated with Odin since it is essentially two Os-runes inverted and bound to each other (much like Odal, sometimes used in place of Os by Armanists, is two Os-runes mirrored and crossed). Gibor represents the Odinic capacity of Allfather as the All-giver, whose gifts of wisdom only the ascended ("arman") personality will be able to grasp and receive in full, though all people ultimately benefit from their effects unknowingly.

      Also keep in mind that just as the rune Gibor with its complex symbolic meanings has no connection to the hebrew "Gibor" (a reductionist and utilitarian term meaning simply "strong"), similarly other languages have an unrelated work "gibor" with no relation to the Germanic word. For example in Turkish "gibor" is a conjunction meaning "it is like....." which clearly has no relation to Givers or Gifts. Just because a similar sounding word pops up in a different language it doesn't mean the word is derived from that external language. The runic Gibor is Germanic, nothing else.

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    2. Indeed you could even potentially make the case that some hebraic words were not hebraic at all. A good example is the term "din" which also appears in Arabic. Originally it was actually an ancient Iranian Avestan (translation: Aryan) term pronounced "Deyn" or "Daena" which meant inspiration, revelation or epiphany. Its original meaning was deep, soul-shaking, and only properly experienced through meditation on the solar cycles of nature. By contrast, when the hebrews encountered Persia and came across this term, they reduced it to a purely materialistic and fear-based definition of "law", "judgment" or "commandments", things that must be obeyed, rather than inspiration which is never forced. The Arabs, at least, maintained a smidgen of the word's original depth by using "din" to refer to faith or spirituality itself, which is what it still means in Islam today, as opposed to mere commandments ("fara'id") or judgments ("hukaamah") or even religious denomination ("madh'ab").

      Honestly I don't think that all languages, written or otherwise, are variations of the same theme. Even if all humanity evolved language from non-language only once with a single common ancestor inventing the first one (with the influx of Neanderthal, Denisovan and other near-human populations in the Ice Ages I take the view that some different families of languages evolved convergently, not from the same root) you still run into the problem of trying to make one symbol mean the same thing to different cultures at different times.

      I don't think the Norse "tweaked" the "U" into drizzle and Aurochs. Those are just the meanings that the Icelanders and the Anglo-Saxons of much later years attributed to the Ur-rune, and even then, only according to post-christian sources. It must be remembered that runes were initially NOT an alphabet for Germanic or Indo-European peoples, but rather a magickal symbolism. It was only in later times (i.e. Gothic migration age and after) that they were used as a writing system, and even then, often more cryptically and mystically than in a modern utility sense. It is pretty much the exact opposite of how language scripts went in semitic and pelasgian societies, where pictographs evolved into utilitarian letters without deeper individual meaning, only later to be configured and crunched into some sort of numerological or letter-value code for magick spells. For the Norse, the runes and bind-runes themselves WERE the spells. The symbols of might. far more than mere letters.

      So rather than a Rorshach Test, imagine runes as keys to runic ENERGIES, i.e. the primal energies of the universe and natural law. More about culture than style, which culture's values and ethics you resonate best with. For example you could lecture on and on to me about mongolian shamanism or kabbalah and none of it would sync with me at all because it's all herder-archetype cosmology of a utilitarian type and I am of Indo-European descent and culturally and values-wise very much in the farmer-archetype mold, hence things like summoning spirits and compelling them to do your bidding, or thinking you can force mere numbers to do such, does not appeal to me in the least. Indo-European magick of all forms generally focused on being in tune with nature, not exploiting it, and on self-empowerment and self-actualization, rather than the use of other beings or energies for mere self-gratification. Essentially it is tapping into active principles, not invoking reluctant entities by hook or crook.

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    3. It's good that you found my blog thanks for the compliments! I too wish there was a group like the Icelandic Asatruarfelagid in North America, but yes they do seem to be only concerned with Iceland. They seem to be a pretty level-headed group, the only flaws I can find are that they view the Aesir as basically cultural constructs rather than independent entities, and don't properly understand the Armanen system or Guido von List's actual views on it.

      As for the AFA, while I don't deny there are many good people in it, the leadership and especially Stephen McNallen have increasingly become hardline "white nationalists" (to put it politely) and seem to be more about pushing the extreme anti-immigrant agenda of the zionist-Christian far-right, disguised in heathen clothing, than about actually delving into Germanic spirituality. Now some people may not have a problem with that, but I think it's fair to know where your membership dues are going - when a group's leader continues to push debunked pseudoscience racial theories like "metagenetics" or claims that Mexican immigration (into states that were originally part of Mexico before 1848!) amounts to an organized "invasion" or a "white genocide" directed by the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl himself, I have to start really questioning the man's sanity not to mention his ethics. He also appears to revel in a rabid Huntingtonian Islamophobia and even tries to use modern conflicts to justify the crusades, despite the fact that the Frankish crusaders initially made their bones in Europe killing Saxons and Cathars for "heresy", and conveniently forgetting that it was Muslims alone who extended a lifeline of trade to the pagan Norse when all of Christian "western civilization" had placed them under a strangling economic interdict and put a price on their heads.

      Like you I have also found some good atmospheric metal, and dark ambient music with heathen themes, that has proven very useful in runic meditations. Vali and Nebelung are two very good artists, ambient guitar. Also Forndom (formerly Heathen Harnow) is pure genius, he picks up thematically where Wardruna leaves off, and then goes even deeper into the mists of time and myth in Scandinavia's dark forests. But none of them are tree-worshippers. Germanic heathens don't worship or pray to trees. Trees are simply respected as living things far more in heathenry than in herder-archetype nomadic faiths that arose in barren grasslands and see trees as merely a resource to be exploited for profit.

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  3. Thanks for the replies. I'll have to admit I typed, in places, somewhat loosely. I do not, and don't know anyone who literally worships trees. It's more like a coined phrase in black metal... Otoh, I love them.

    Ok so now I will tell you where (the hell) I'm coming from. I should have typed this but others seem to have nothing to say about it so I leave it out. In my other recent reply I mentioned the B...

    So now, consider the human's mouth cavity, vocal apparatus. I find it interesting that the human can make all those *Distinct* sounds.
    To me, Nature (Intel Design etc) herself enabled this. This and or we as a Collective Mind. So All humans can make this BBBbeee sound. Was there An original language?

    So it seems to me, that on the other side in timespace, or the realm of Spirit/Mind whatever (or maybe it involves the Process of creation), that Some kinda phenomenon Brought us into Being aBle to say that particular sound (note the clear, recurring usage of the b Motif which is similar twixt ie berkano and today's English usages). That it's more than coincidence or convenience that I can say B, Distinctly.

    Hope this makes me sense out of my ravings. We can all say b in whatever context. So I'm guessing there is some ultimate goings on with this, going beyond cultural veneer. This is what Stan Tenen as well as Dan Winter address in so many ways. Dan has admitted to fabrication but there is still some meat therein. These guys and others have found archetypal significance to the Letters, individually.

    I am talking a kind of Cymatics. Each has it's own signature as it were.... Could be my bad for projecting this stuff onto rows far removed. But then we need to ask Why (the hell) did the rune rows (etc etc) all Have that bbbBeee?

    That kinda thing.

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    1. They also all had FFFFF UUUUU THTHTHTH AAAAA RRRRR KKKKKK and most of the other runes the same between them too... you're really making a big fuss over nothing. Yes humans can say "B". And the letter looks similar to the Bar rune. So what? All humans can click but it doesn't mean we all know how to speak Khoisan. Latin alphabet is descended from old Ind-European letters so that's not a surprise. Is that proof of higher consciousness, just because we can all make the same noise? Your reading WAY too much into things. Once again, please get some help. The true symbolism of the runes is just flying way over your head, you're obsessed over mere vocal capabilities as if that's somehow a sign of culture.

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