Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bind-Rune Basics


Bind-Runes are a subject that's been covered in a few rune-books, but most have not covered it well. It seems that somewhere in the process of creating interesting activities for people to replicate, most rune authors seem to lose the aim and intent of bind-runes somewhere along the wooded path.

A bind-rune is simply a combination of runes that are stuck together or overlapped in some way - the term binding referring actually to weaving, as in the old Nordic term Nalbinding, or needle-knitting.

A bind-rune, itself bound onto a woven wool hat, woven in Norse Nalbinding method.
Now how's that for a double (or triple) bind!

The use of bind-runes, however, was probably more common in carving the runes rather than literally binding, or weaving them. The purpose of carving bind-runes could in theory be almost anything, but in historical examples is nearly always for some form of enhancement of one's luck (hamingja) or for protection (ward). The runes would be chosen based on the sort of energies one wished to invoke onto the carved or painted object. However their arrangement was entirely up to the practitioner, and could take many forms even when using the same few runes.

There are primarily three types of bind-rune structures.

1. Linear bind-runes
2. Radial bind-runes
3. Multi-axial bind-runes

These can be understood as different ways of arranging the same message, however it is important to know what they do differently.


1. Linear, or single-stave bind-runes. These are made from several runes with a vertical element, with all the vertical lines merged into one long stave. This type of bind-rune is most common on weapons, tools, and commemorative runestones, implying that they were usually meant as spells of protection or remembrance of a great warrior. They tend to be runes of a strongly directed singular purpose, usually of attacking either a foe or a problem, or to honor a victory.

A linear bind-rune turned on its side. When turned vertical, it reads downward "Runar" or Runes. The "R" is represented as a small hash mark above the Ur-rune, as is common in Norwegian Younger Futhark inscriptions.

2. Radial, or Galdr-stave bind-runes. These are often temporary rune-spells, intended for a specific time and place, and often carved or painted onto temporary substances. Most notable are modified Galdrastafir like the Ægishjálmur and Vegvísir, but there are are others known only from Icelandic medieval grimoires or oral folk traditions, many of which were meant to be carved on food and then eaten, or painted in blood on soil, and in some cases were carved on an object which was then burned to send forth the spell.  The radial arrangement is primarily for defense, as to symbolically deflect energies from various directions.



Although they do not appear to be for long-term use in ancient contexts, it is possible that some far more powerful symbols were concealed as bind-runes. The Sonnenrad, the Fylfot (swastika) and the Thor's Cross can all be interpreted as radial bind-runes, and in those rare-cases where they were made into objects, it was always in a permanent material like stone or metal (such as in rune-stones, medallions, or ceremonial armor and weapons). These are symbols of eternal power, far more sacred than a simple spell for protection of cattle. As a result, it was unusual for those who were not warriors, magicians, or leaders to have such objects made. One can construct custom radial bind-runes with their ends connecting in the center, or crossing over each other at the center. Typically radial bind-runes have four, six or eight spokes, though other arrangements are possible. In Armanen rune-work, it is also common to create a bind-rune using one of the main Hedge-Runes as the central point itself, so that the center is not without its own power (Hagal being the most obvious such rune).


3. Multi-axial bind-runes. This is the most seemingly random arrangement, with possibilities for arranging runes with multiple vertical axes, with runes all upright or with some of them being rotated and bound onto diagonal lines of other runes. One very basic type is the "G-A" or "Gibu Auja" (give luck) bindrune, common in Migration Age (Elder Futhark) artifacts, which consists of a Gebo rune with the upper right arm being merged with a smaller Ansuz rune. More complex bind-runes may have multiple overlapped vertical and diagonal elements. Generally bind-runes, like simple letter-runes, do NOT have horizontal lines (though a few rare exceptions are found in late medieval offshoots of the Younger Futhark).

Probably the simplest multi-axial bind-rune: Gibu Auja. 

The ordering of the runes in the visual structure of these bind-runes generally follows their sequence in the spell, but it may also depend on the central syllable or concept in the rune working. Multi-axial bind-runes generally are not for attack or defense, but for subtle influence of surroundings and manifesting a desire into reality. There are all sorts of these bind-runes, from bind-runes for love spells to peaceful sleep spells to bind-runes for the removal of a specific hex or illness, and even to mitigate the intoxicating effects of ale and make it function as a medicine. This is where the complexity can start to get out of hand, as blending the rune meanings for some of these purposes may require more than just a couple of runes.

Elder Futhark bind-rune for sleep by Bjorke Heska.
Note the various rotations and axes, and the unusual arrangement with the square rune Ingwaz at the center.
With Armanen runes this would be far simpler, as there are short runic formulas known for sleep, some quite ancient.
As it stands though, apart from some well-established formulas found in old texts and some of the better-quality rune stones and metal artifacts, there are many possible ways to construct a bind-rune that has no preserved precedent. Also there is the possibility that some of the bind-rune inscriptions on ancient stones, bone combs, and everyday objects, were not necessarily carved by skilled masters, so there may be some mistakes (as in, what the carver intended is not what he ended up carving). So while looking at historical rune-decorated objects is a good place to start, not necessarily everything that survives is equally reliable. Egil's saga recounts that there were bad rune-risters as well as good ones, and perhaps the bad ones were all too common.


METHODS TO THE MADNESS:

As for how to arrange and construct your bind-runes, there are different theories on the subject, but the one I generally go with is simplicity. And at the end of the day this comes down to the concept of the "perfect" being the enemy of the good. Endless detail and "perfection" of making each element stick out is often counterproductive, especially when a far simpler bind-rune was used in ancient times for the exact same effect. Since there are many ways that elements of runes can be merged or overlapped, sometimes there may be some ambiguity in what a bind-rune really means. While overly academic types may complain that this makes interpretation difficult or even meaningless, the reality is that now as in ancient times, there is always an element of mystery to all but the most standard bind-runes, with their ultimate purpose being known only to the practitioner, the Gods (if the rune-spell invokes any) and the universe they send them out into.

As with carving or painting of regular runes, intoning or chanting the runes used in a bind-rune is common if not more or less required during the carving or painting process. As with rune-inlaid swords, where the swordsmith would often invoke Tyr while creating the Tyr-rune twice (usually stacked) on the hilt, as the Volsunga Saga recommends to do. 

In the 6th verse of the Sigrdrífumál, which tells the same story as the Volsunga Saga, the Valkyrie Sigdrifa (Brynhild) instructs the warrior Sigurd:

Winning-runes shall you learn,
if you wish to have victory,
And rist [runes] upon hilt of sword;
Some on the grip,
and some on the guard,
And twice name Tyr. 

Galdr is a big part of bind-rune work. This all involves practice, so too often a beginner will get frustrated their first attempts aren't producing results, and will give up. Often results will come once the basic bind-runes have been tried many times in the right situations. So do not give up. Nobody is a master all at once. Each time, meditate upon the runes you choose, with less distraction. Eradicating all distraction at once is not the goal, but to slowly make it moot.

First– Determine your intent

The first step you should take it sit down and think, really think, about what it is you want to accomplish. Think of it not just in terms of end results, but how you get there, and what you need to do, or need help with to accomplish. To carve and invoke runic energies in a bind-rune, your intent must be clear. You cannot make the effect of a bind-rune any clearer than its intent, but it is possible to do things that will muddy the effect far beneath what you intended! Take your time in choosing your intent. This will help you not only in focusing your energy, but also in picking your runes. Then, visualize and feel the energy of taking that action, of getting there. You want to not just be a thinking runer, but a feeling one as well - feel the energy that success will bring you, and you will find the energy that will bring you success.  If you need to, think a thousand times before taking a decision, but the intent you reach should be so clear that after taking that decision, you never turn back even if you run into a thousand difficulties. 

Second– Choose your rune set and your runes

Decide which rune system you prefer to work with - Elder, Younger, Anglo-Saxon, or Armanen. In terms of actual literature about their meanings, the Armanen and Younger rune rows are the strongest choice, but it's important to be familiar with all four systems and their somewhat different cultural contexts. Once you have a preferred rune system, examine each rune in it, and its meanings, both esoteric and exoteric, and think about whether that rune fits with your goals. Some runes will be obvious "yes" or "no" choices. However there are often ambiguities in the pertinence of other runes, and it helps to meditate on each relevant rune individually, and explore the possibilities.

Third– Decide on your arrangement

After you’ve gone through your runes, look at what you’ve got. Do you have too many? (generally more than 4-5 is too many for a clear goal), or too few? If you have too many, your thoughts and follow-through may be unfocused. If you have too few, its possible you aren’t considering all the possibilities in terms of achieving your goal. Then, combine them in the arrangement that best fits your goal (linear for attacking a problem, radial for protection, or a multi-axial or overlapping bind-rune for manifesting a reality). At this point you also have to choose your material (wood, metal, stone, paper?), your tools (knife, gouge, brush?) and your method of invocation after Galdr and risting (i.e. staining carved wood or stone bind-runes with ochre, or burning wood or paper ones as an offering).

Finally - DO IT. Carve, chant, paint, and send. If the sending is not by burning, it can be by placing the bind-rune object in a sacred place - be it a forest, a river, a Ve (enclosed grove), a Horgr (outdoor stone altar) or a home altar. Call on the runes for power and guidance. If the runes you use include the name or attribute of a God, that is one more possible invocation you can add, though it's usually not required in rune magick. Then conclude the ritual with a closing line, to declare that it is done. There are various ones you can use (denn so ist gemacht in German), (og svo er thadh in Icelandic) though my preferred one is the Armanen closing "Iey Sar, Iey Sey, Iey Fyor, Peyrow Kvan Ike Iser" (I see, I say, I know, for Now It Is) - which references ancient pan-Aryan root words of both the east and west branches, and is far better than the sappy "so mote it be" used by... well... unwitting new-age sheep blindly imitating certain people.


GENERAL TIPS:

Usually with bind-runes it is considered best to follow the templates used by ancient runers. Like it or not, they had reached these particular formulas over thousands of years, and as Karl Spiesberger says, it's best to use what works. Some bind-runes (such as Gibu-Auja if you're using Elder Futhark) are repeated so often in artifacts or Lore from multiple periods in Heathen history, that the inevitable answer is that they worked, for people to be using them so often over so many centuries. So it's a good idea to find pictures of such artifacts and look for common patterns in bind-runes.

That said, we know that the runic path is not a dogma, and is very possible for the practitioner to test out new bind-runes and find new ways of manifesting runic power - but one must be experienced in the old established rune formulas, in whatever system, to do this safely - as both Egil and Kummer warn us, it's best to avoid using runes or rune combinations you do not understand:

"Runes none should carve, who knows not how to read them,
for it befalls many a man, to stumble [into disaster] upon a murk-stave"

- The Saga of Egil Skallagrimsson, chapter 75

"[these are] rune-formulas passed down from ancient times, but I advise every Runer who may perhaps utilize them to approach such work most carefully; everyone is personally responsible for his own actions. The conscious and noble Runer will never reject laws or utilize powers whose effect he docs not understand and has not sufficiently tested. Let no one misuse unknown magical formulas on his blood-brothers and sisters—he could not escape the avenging might of the Runes. Whosoever carves Runes, let him carve them in wood; whoever writes them, let him write them on paper, so they can be burned at any time. Spiritual meditation is always important for the carving and writing of Runes."

 -Siegfried Adolf Kummer, Runen-Magie




When constructing basic bind-runes (those with three or fewer runic elements), the simplest combination using the fewest lines is usually the best. With more complex rune-work there is no one fixed roadmap, however you can get inspiration from some of the Sagas including Egil's saga, which mentions several times this famous rune-master used bind-rune magick to survive murder attempts, heal the sick, and defeat his enemies. Again here it is best to consult what has worked before, as Egil warns that carving and invoking runes without understanding them well can lead to disaster. However you do it, the meanings and powers of each rune should be understood, which in my view requires knowledge of all four major systems, especially the Armanen system for esoteric work.

The best bind-runes, in my view, are the most concise, even if this apparently causes ambiguity in terms of how many runes (and which) are in a bind-rune. Generally they should have the minimum amount of detail needed to tell the presence of the different runes used. For example, the simple monogram for Harald Bluetooth, which is also the modern symbol of "bluetooth" wireless technology in cellphones and other devices. It is simply "HB" or Hagal and Bjarkan from the Younger Futhark, overlapped along their vertical lines. Hagal's diagonals overlap with the two central diagonals of Bjarkan perfectly. Yet you can still tell this is Hagal and Bjarkan without having to turn them into a vertical linear bind-rune with Hagal completely above Bjarkan with all the diagonals exposed. 



Even though the overlapped bind-rune could also theoretically contain the runes Rit/Rad, Laf/Logr, and Not/Nodh, it doesn't, and there's no point in worrying over it. If it did, they could be arranged so as to be more visible, at least halfway visible rather than totally merged and overlapped with Hagal and Bjarkan - perhaps merged onto a side diagonal rather than the main vertical axis. Thus, simple without being confusing. Alternately, they could be stacked as linear bind-rune (for focus) or as spokes on a radial bind-rune (for defense) or linear stacks inside of radial spokes.That said, if you are trying to make a bind-rune out of more than three runes, the choice of runes and the intent of combining their energies must be clear, and not just done "because they look good". Arguably one of the esoteric reasons why Icelandic rune-magick declined from a powerful and often deadly rite of warrior-skalds in the days of Egil, to a quaint system of charms to keep the cows calm or to keep mice away from the grain barn in latter years, is that it became far too crowded and complicated, used non-runic elements like curved lines, circles and various Hermetic symbols, and thus diluted the potency of Rune magick by taking it outside its context. 

It's true that Christianity also played a role in the suppression and eventual weakening of transmission of Runic practices and methods, but this on its own does not explain the extreme change in bind-runes from things like this...

Bind-rune by Graham Butcher, Stav master

...to things like this:

The Veldismagn, a late Medieval Icelandic Galdr-stave


And yes, before anyone starts nitpicking, Galdrstafir are bind-runes, at least they originally started out that way. Runes were arranged radially for defense in various situations in early Galdrastafir, and the Ægishjálmur is essentially a runic shield for protection in battle, composed of eight Algiz runes, which are a Migration-Age rune of protection. But by the Medieval era, Icelandic bind-runes were using so many curved lines, right angles, horizontals and circles that many of the more complex ones had ceased to be recognizably runic. And most oddly of all, they had become maddeningly complicated, with so many elements merged that the overall meaning became indecipherable, and so one had to say "well, this is for protection" (very generic), or "this is for happiness" (again, very generic and undirected). They had become far too much like hermetic or kabbalistic symbols, which were also suppressed by the Church, though they had evolved for centuries among court mystics, astrologers, and royal "wizards" as well as common village mystics, with its tacit approval. 

Bizarre as it may sound today, in the early Middle ages the Roman Church had actually only considered believing in "witches" or "sorcery" as real to be a heresy, as opposed to the practice of magick itself being heresy - thereby leaving occult groups and folk magicians more or less free to carry on their rituals in private, and discouraging all potential informers and spies from reporting them - in fact, even as late as 1258 CE, Pope Alexander IV declared that church officials should ignore diviners, soothsayers, witches and the like as nothing more than madmen or petty charlatans, and instead focus their time and efforts on "manifest" heretics who openly criticized Catholic doctrine, as well as the possibly wavering loyalties of the Papal chivalric orders amid the ever-present threat of invasion by the Mongols. This strangely secular "look the other way" attitude persisted in Rome for centuries, at least up until Pope John XXII made a dramatic about-face in 1320, declaring all forms of magick to be not only real, but also a potent threat to the Church, and ordered the Inquisition to specifically persecute "witchcraft and sorcery" in 1320 CE, though repeat famines and plague outbreaks delayed the order's implementation by local bishops and secular authorities. In Germanic lands, it was not until 1484, when Pope Innocent VIII commissioned the Malleus Malificarum ("Hammer against Curse-workers") and hired the first professional witch-hunters, that this effort to sweep away "sorcery" actually got off the ground (pardon the pun). The Malleus, a manual for witch-hunters, reversed the Church's old position and claimed (with Pope Innocent's blessing) that not believing witches and sorcery to be real was now heresy.

His crime was theological dissent, not sorcery.

In all that time, all over Europe, the proliferation of newly available Hermetic, Arabic, and quasi-Judaic occult systems spread to every corner, from Spain to Iceland. And in Iceland, there seemed to be a marked transition from the height of Runic mastery, to a sort of "witches' brew" of various Mediterranean systems whose spread into the North was made possible by the Church's conquest of Europe and its general apathy to all forms of occult practices until 1484. Indeed, the Church did not compile the Index of Prohibited books until 1559, by which time a plethora of Hermetic, Kabbalistic and proto-Rosicrucian books had spread all over the continent, most of which made use of symbols involving curved lines, astrological circles and "daemonic" dot markers. One may wonder why bind-runes seemingly melded with these hermetic sigils in Iceland, or why simplicity was abandoned for complexity and excess. The fact is simply that these traditions were part of the "dark underbelly" of a cosmopolitan Christian society. Though the Church condemned all "pagan" traditions as bad, there was a sense that those which drew on some sort of Greco-Roman or Levantine background were "less bad" because they were a known quantity to the upper echelons of Christian society, and quasi-Judaic systems were even less persecuted than that due to their alleged Solomonic/biblical connection. It may, in the end, be a question of will - was the will of Iceland's intellectuals to be part of this new Europe greater than their will to preserve their culture intact? Or were they simply preserving what they could of their ancient magick system by disguising it in a more "acceptable" Mediterranean garb, hoping to avoid its near-total loss as in mainland Scandinavia?

The irony is that, from a magickal standpoint, too many runes (not to mention other, extraneous symbols) stuck into a bind-rune can cause energetic ambiguity even when they are distinct enough as to all be clearly visible. This isn't kabbalism where huge complex nets of inexplicable lines and dots are required to reach some effect. And it also is not a parliament or senate legislative process, where various pet projects and earmark bills for special lobbies are simply tacked onto totally unrelated laws as a condition for majority approval by an assembly composed of far too many professional litigators, and far too little common sense. Simplicity is the key to bind-rune magick, not excess noise. Too much complexity chokes a bind-rune, often with too many elements and energies canceling each other out. I shall elaborate more on this simplicity ethic in a later article.








17 comments:

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    1. You're welcome. I hope this helps people with making better Bind-runes. Honestly you could write a whole book on this subject, but I try to keep it simple here.

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  2. Through this article I got to know about Mr. Graham Butcher and his work! I recently purchased the extremely affordable e-books that he wrote, they are truly a source of (balanced) optimism and health. I had no idea the Younger Futhark could pack such a concentrated and so mysterious a punch!! Not to mention the discipline of Stav - pure joy!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!

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    1. You're very welcome. Mr. Butcher definitely knows his stuff, and the Younger Futhark are indeed very powerful runes, in some ways they even rival the Armanen system because they are so similar. After all, the Viking skalds developed Younger Futhark in order to purify the Elder Futhark back to its origins and re-discover the 18 primal Odinic runes of the Havamal, a project that was left unfinished because they could not agree on the last 2 runes - but this endeavor was completed by Meister Guido von List, along with input from clan traditions of Tarnhari, Peryt Shou and others, resulting in the Armanen runes. Stav is a very good art to study, in fact it related to Rune-Yoga and the founder of Stav, Ivar Hafskjold, had his own clan tradition to draw on, similar to the Armanen rune-yoga postures used by Shou and Tarnhari, which they taught to people like Kummer. Which tells us that there was once a single common ancestral runic martial art/exercise system, probably in the Bronze Age. Stav supposedly goes back 44 generations, so well into the Viking age and before - so if you're wondering whether Vikings had anything similar to Armanen Rune-Yoga, Hafskjold's story at least says they did. Some super-academic heathens poke fun at rune-yoga, but I think it's a real ancient discipline with very old roots, and Stav is probably a Scandinavian variant of the ancient Armanen yoga.

      I hope to someday write a book on rune-yoga, not just poses but also the Armanen galdr or mantras, including some that Kummer, List and Gorsleben didn't reveal. Already I have a lot of source material.

      The best thing about the Younger Futhark is that there is a lot of lore still surviving about Viking runemasters and their rituals which used Younger Futhark runes. Many of the original rune-spells are preserved or at least alluded to in the Lore. And most of these powerful spells transfer over perfectly to the Armanen runes too (in fact, S.A. Kummer's book Heiligen Runenmacht uses many of these spells taken directly from Viking skalds and runeworkers, such as Alu, Ulf, Fus, and so on, and in some cases these spells are even older than Viking age).

      It would be nice if some of the amazing rune magick practices described in Egil's Saga or the Volsunga Saga were better-explained though... but I guess the skalds who sang and recorded these sagas probably intended those spells to remain mysterious, so that only the worthy seekers could unlock and learn them, and there are probably linguistic keys to their content hidden all over these sagas, just like clues to the meanings of the Odinic (Armanen) runes were hidden throughout the Poetic Edda, and List, Kummer, Gorsleben, etc. rediscovered them. The ways of the runes were probably well-known to most of the skalds, even in different times and places many of the rituals were basically the same... so it's possible that the same runelore was already known by heart to all the different poets who composed the various parts of the Edda, even if they lived far apart and in different ages - so we simply have to find bits and pieces of this same continuous Odinic wisdom stream all over the Sagas to reverse-engineer the great rune-spells and bind-runes of Egil and Sigurd, among others - just like List did with the meanings of the Odinic letter-runes and the Edda.

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    2. The moment the Runers realized the Elder Futhark needs purification must have been a truly peculiar moment. I try to fathom it but -how? When exactly does one begin to feel the Runic row is inadequate?
      Major political upheavals must have played a part in the "purge" - if the Runes were a gift that somehow belonged to everybody (just not in an equal manner).
      But if only the Runemasters were tasked with guarding the Runes, then I can imagine some sort of a "Nicean Council for Runers," lol.
      I think it is obvious, somehow, that the Armanen 18 are the Essence, the Root, the Radix of Runic forces "at work throughout the cosmogonic processes" that took place in an unmanifested state outside time.

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    3. Yes, the "Nicean council" is an interesting way of thinking about it - except that at Nicea, the Christian bishops couldn't agree on anything and Constantine had to basically lock the door, dump out most of the books, and force them to accept what was left on the table the next morning as "miraculously chosen to remain". This isn't really how the Viking purification of the runes happened.

      I imagine the way the they did it was more like the "Uthmanic council" in Islam's early days, i.e. all the poets and reciters compared agreed on nearly everything, but disagreed on the margin notes or what the most esoteric bits meant. There was no need for an emperor to change everything or lock people out of the room, because they already agreed on most of it. All the later civil wars came about because of political reasons that took on a quasi-religious dimension (same thing happened with the Vikings to some extent, though this often gets obscured because one faction sold out to the Christians), but the actual disagreement over the meaning of the text, or what it should contain, was minimal.

      Eh and Gibor were the runes the skalds could not agree on, because the last two rune verses in the Havamal are so cryptic, and so different from what Eh and Gibor had been turned into by the Farmers and Warriors (Ehwaz, the "horse" and Gebo, the "gift" rather than "giver"). Another problem was that there really weren't any Armanen left in Scandinavia in the Viking Age (they seem to have died out during the Vendel era, and Nordic metallurgy and craftsmanship also declined after that).

      While rune-masters were indeed tasked with guarding the runes, one thing few people know is that there were different types of rune-masters as well! In Scandinavia one could be a Mystic (Vitki), a Priest (Gothi), or a Lawspeaker (Thyle), and all three of them had to be well-versed in the Runes. Male Seidhr-masters were usually rune-masters as well. It was rarer for female Seidhrkonas to use runes, but the story of Katla and the Aegishjalmur shows that they did know some powerful bind-rune spells.

      In mainland Germany, you had Armanen but also other groups that knew runes. Farmers often had their own rune-masters, as did the warriors. The thing is, not being Armanen, they ended up gradually developing variant systems. The farmers' system gradually became the Gothic or Elder Futhark, and its meanings (which only survive indirectly in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem as its first 24 stanzas) are mostly related to farming, crops, animals, the weather, etc... things that farmers would need to know. Then the warriors, as they conquered new lands, absorbed some of the sounds and ideas of surrounding tribes. The Saxon Futhorc was the result, with anywhere from 29 to 34 runes, and it had Frisian, Anglo-Saxon, and eastern Teutonic variants. The later runes pertain to warrior themes (Gar, the spear; Calc, the chalice; Asc, the ash-stave; Stan, the stone). The Armanen Futhark remained unchanged and was indeed guarded by brotherhoods of rune-masters, from which the clans of Lauterer and others in Guido von List's circle descended. But this is why it didn't spread as far, because it was kept secret to prevent it from distortion.

      We know the Armanen runes are the original, and the deepest, for as Odin explains, they are the songs which neither sons of men nor queen in a king's court knows - a cryptic way of saying, among other things, that neither the farmers (sons of ordinary men) nor the warriors (younger sons of queens and kings, who are first raised by their mothers) know the runes in their pure form; but those considered spiritual sons of Odin (and possibly some spiritual daughters too, in the mold of Brynhild) would come to learn them. And since Odin is also the Irmin, or the Arman, the Ideal One, thus a spiritual child of Odin, one blessed with his ideal trait of wisdom-craving, is also called an Arman (or Arkona) in the general sense, thus as a group they are Armanen.

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    1. LOL... a second Ljubo studying runes... just how many of you are there?!

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  7. I’m a bit new to this the one question I have is that there is quite an emphasis when educating myself that you must be careful not to reverse a rune which I’m also a bit confused as to some referring to a mirror image vs. let’s say turning it upside down but that isn’t my primary concern or question but would love for that to also be answered... my main concern is the strong emphasis on reversing so I seem to have what are called hidden runes show up which seems to sometimes be a good thing but what if through intersecting a design you find a hidden rune that was not intentional yet it shows up in reverse does this need to be re designed because it seems to happen a lot just through the randomness well I don’t really believe in random but you know what I mean is this a problem or no because there was never any intent in putting my energy into it from the start... Yet as I look at it and as I have educated myself on runes I can’t help but notice them and then I worry and don’t end up using something I really like...

    Thank You for the time in reading my novel I like to ramble I guess that’s my gift of communication :)

    T

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    1. Well THAT was one huge run-on sentence! From what I can understand, it looks like you are concerned about flipping or mirroring a rune sideways when constructing bind-runes around a central vertical stave-line. That's fine, as long as flipping it doesn't result in looking like a negative position of another rune. For example, the bind-rune for Raduz (which can mean "Root" among other meanings esoterically related to roots) has the Rit rune mirrored, facing left instead of right, combined with the Ur-rune in normal position. They share the central vertical stave. But the Rit rune is still pointing up, it's not upside-down (only flipped sideways like the pages of a book). That's still a good way to make a bind-rune.

      "Reversing" a rune in the negative sense, refers to rotating it upside-down (180 degrees form its normal position). Mirroring or flipping it sideways it NOT Reversing, so mirroring is fine in a Bind-Rune, but if you're not making Bind-rune then there is no real reason to mirror a Rune (some Viking Rune-stone carvers still did it though, apparently later on the the Viking age the standards of Rune-knowledge declined a lot, some Rune-stones have these odd "backward" Runes probably because some Rune-carvers of the late Viking age didn't learn to read or carve Runes properly - which Egil's Saga mentions was actually a common problem at the time!)

      Maybe you can give a specific example of a Bind-Rune where a reversed Rune "randomly" shows up that was not intentional. This is not so common with reversible Runes, at least in the Armanen system (though I don't know of many cases with "Elder" Futhark Bind-Runes doing this either).

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  8. All of your articles I've read have been very detailed and informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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    1. Thank you for the compliments! I look forward to writing more of even better quality.

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  9. Hey, so first off I'm so thankful for the work you put into your posts! They're very useful and detailed, and as a novice to all this it's incredibly helpful to have a solid resource to learn from. Anyway, I was wondering what the bindrune on the knitted beanie represents, or what its component runes are? If I had to guess, and it's more of a guess than anything else considering my lack of knowledge or experience, but I see Tyr, Rit, Hagal, and Bar. Given the beanie, which looks like it's sized for a newborn, I would think that it's a protective rune for a newborn, given Bar and Tyr for the birth aspect, Bar and Hagal for the protective part, with Rit possibly acting as a guidance for the child to develop and grow in a just and noble direction?

    Again, I'm just a noob, but I thought it would be helpful to hear from you what the bindrune's purpose is and compare that to how I've interpreted it and see what I could work on. I'm much more familiar with knitting, which my Oma taught me after my Opa passed away, and so seeing rune binding connected to knitting just sort of struck a chord for me. I've already worked with Norwegian/Fair Isle knitting which seems like it'd be a nice way of incorporating runes, and I've also done some celtic braids on a sweater since my father's side is British/Irish/French, and even my mother's side is Austrian which historically was celtic. Like, Hallstatt was a celtic focal point and so it all just sort of ties together I guess. Sorry for rambling, I'm just getting out some thoughts in my mind and maybe helping give you a sense that there are real people out there who truly appreciate your efforts. I'm also fairly tired, so instead of boring you with more incessant yapping I think I'll get some shut eye.

    Thanks again, and hope you have a great day!

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