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Author Topic: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?  (Read 1457 times)

Aster Breo

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Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« on: May 25, 2014, 05:15:00 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148453
Yes, all writing should be approached with a critical eye. Regardless of the author.

Very true, for any subject.

Thank you all for the recommendations.  They've been very helpful.

Now I want to ask a follow- up question inspired by a conversation with a friend, but I'm not sure how to articulate it.

I'm interested in whether and how people have used symbols from other cultures and combined or integrated them with symbols from different cultures.***

What do you think of using runes as symbols, but outside the context of any Norse spirituality? Many people who are not spiritually connected to Norse culture use runes for various purposes, like divination, magic, etc.  F'ex, let's say hypothetically that there are a couple of runes that resonate very strongly with me symbolically (partly because of their own meanings and partly because of what they evoke for me personally and/or how that specific symbol -- f'ex, the rune that looks like an arrow -- could be interpreted other than as a rune), but I have little interest in Norse spirituality or in runes as a system.  Is there any reason I shouldn't use symbols that work for me, just because they're outside my own spiritual/cultural frame of reference? What are the potential pitfalls?

Just curious about people's opinions on this.

*** About cultural appropriation: What I'm talking about here is purely and completely private uses of symbols, not any kind of public or commercial use.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 08:01:37 am by RandallS »
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Redfaery

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Re: Source for Rune Interpretations?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 05:53:12 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148470
What do you think of using runes as symbols, but outside the context of any Norse spirituality? Many people who are not spiritually connected to Norse culture use runes for various purposes, like divination, magic, etc.  F'ex, let's say hypothetically that there are a couple of runes that resonate very strongly with me symbolically (partly because of their own meanings and partly because of what they evoke for me personally and/or how that specific symbol -- f'ex, the rune that looks like an arrow -- could be interpreted other than as a rune), but I have little interest in Norse spirituality or in runes as a system.  Is there any reason I shouldn't use symbols that work for me, just because they're outside my own spiritual/cultural frame of reference? What are the potential pitfalls?

I....hope it's not a problem. I made a bindrune from Ing and Beorc that I use as my general good luck/creativity/health symbol. My choice of the two was based on my own interpretations of them.

Ing (inguz) is usually described as the male fertility (virility?) rune, and I've heard it said to be a representation of the tip of a phallus. This just never clicked with me, because instead of seeing the little spot as a protrusion, I saw it as a space. Thus, it reminded me far more of the vaginal opening, especially since most of the rune sets I had used the younger futhark version, with the intersecting, crisscrossy lines that were even less penisy and more vaginy. Beorc (Berkana) is the female fertility rune, and I never had a problem with that. It's supposed to represent breasts, and it does look like breasts, so there.

But I use them together to mean the emergence of creative energies from the generative state, as well as the more prosaic good-health juju one would get from fertility/virility energy. I also try to tap into the protective properties ascribed to phallic/kteic imagery by many cultures.

Aaaaand...very little of that seems particularly Norse or Germanic. But it works for me.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 05:54:46 am by Redfaery »
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Kyndyl

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 01:15:31 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148470
Very true, for any subject.

Thank you all for the recommendations.  They've been very helpful.

Now I want to ask a follow- up question inspired by a conversation with a friend, but I'm not sure how to articulate it.

I'm interested in whether and how people have used symbols from other cultures and combined or integrated them with symbols from different cultures.***

What do you think of using runes as symbols, but outside the context of any Norse spirituality? Many people who are not spiritually connected to Norse culture use runes for various purposes, like divination, magic, etc.  F'ex, let's say hypothetically that there are a couple of runes that resonate very strongly with me symbolically (partly because of their own meanings and partly because of what they evoke for me personally and/or how that specific symbol -- f'ex, the rune that looks like an arrow -- could be interpreted other than as a rune), but I have little interest in Norse spirituality or in runes as a system.  Is there any reason I shouldn't use symbols that work for me, just because they're outside my own spiritual/cultural frame of reference? What are the potential pitfalls?

Just curious about people's opinions on this.

*** About cultural appropriation: What I'm talking about here is purely and completely private uses of symbols, not any kind of public or commercial use.

 
I have a few concerns with using the runes outside of a norse/anglo-saxon context but as long as you're working the spirits of the symbols themselves. and they are intelligent spirits. If THEY don't have a problem with you using the symbols and you are respectful towards them.. then my concerns are lesser not gone, but lesser.

To give an example. There are a lot sites/pictures of the "helm of awe" rune/symbol and it's interpreted usually as being unconquerable, or unbeatable. So a lot of people think that's great, and go out and get the symbol tatooed on themselves.  without any work with the symbol or research and then wonder why they have issues with dating or personal relationships.

does that answer?

Allaya

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 01:41:36 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148556
I have a few concerns with using the runes outside of a norse/anglo-saxon context but as long as you're working the spirits of the symbols themselves. and they are intelligent spirits. If THEY don't have a problem with you using the symbols and you are respectful towards them.. then my concerns are lesser not gone, but lesser.

 
Letters of an alphabet have intelligent spirits associated with them? The spirits must have been pretty entertained with all the poop jokes that were written in the aforementioned letters. I really wish I hadn't misplaced that one article about Norse humor, but it was in Norwegian anyways so eh.

Also, the Norse had no problem with yoinking Roman letters to use for their magic workings because, at the time, they were brand new and mysterious and cool-looking. So, it's not like they had a problem with using Roman letters outside of their context.
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Aster Breo

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 02:18:35 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148556
I have a few concerns with using the runes outside of a norse/anglo-saxon context but as long as you're working the spirits of the symbols themselves. and they are intelligent spirits. If THEY don't have a problem with you using the symbols and you are respectful towards them.. then my concerns are lesser not gone, but lesser.

I'm curious about this point, too.  What do you mean when you refer to the intelligent spirits of the symbols themselves?
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Tom

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 03:45:26 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148562
I'm curious about this point, too.  What do you mean when you refer to the intelligent spirits of the symbols themselves?

Kyndyl is likely referring to the UPG that seems to be shared by a certain group of people that is shared in books such as Wyrdwalkers by Raven Kaldera (the information in that book can also be found here) and in Galina Krasskova's book on runes.

Considering that there are many people who are able to successfully use runes without seeing them as spirits, I would probably suggest that this belief is something don't need to have to have to work with them.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 03:46:35 pm by Tom »

Kyndyl

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 07:47:31 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148562
I'm curious about this point, too.  What do you mean when you refer to the intelligent spirits of the symbols themselves?

 
well rudeness aside. yes it's something I believe. The biggest thing is the respect.. If you don't see them as spirits.. then you don't

Aster Breo

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 08:04:00 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148585
well rudeness aside. yes it's something I believe. The biggest thing is the respect.. If you don't see them as spirits.. then you don't

I want questioning your belief.  I was asking for clarification because this isn't an idea I'm very familiar with, and I'd like to try to understand it better.
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Kyndyl

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 08:30:41 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148588
I want questioning your belief.  I was asking for clarification because this isn't an idea I'm very familiar with, and I'd like to try to understand it better.

 
*grins* no worries. the rudeness wasn't yours. if you want to hear more. I'm more than glad to explain my beliefs. Yes, some of it has come from reading Raven and Galina's books but it's something I had thoughts about prior to encountering their writings.

Here's how I look at it. Everytime that you perform a ritual the same way, use items that were used by people before you. it's linking into a groove /path that others have also marked out and the more people that work along similar lines. the groove gets wider/deeper. It's one reason I think tradition is so important to BTW and other groups.because the groove isn't only external it's something internal. One reason, that the Path of Ritual can be so powerful. The same, I believe applies to magickal alphabets.Yes, runes were used for everyday writing and other things, and that doesn't discount that they were used for other Workings.

Aster Breo

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 09:03:42 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148592
Here's how I look at it. Everytime that you perform a ritual the same way, use items that were used by people before you. it's linking into a groove /path that others have also marked out and the more people that work along similar lines. the groove gets wider/deeper.

OK, I think I get that.  How does that fit with the idea of intelligent spirits of symbols?
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Jack

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 10:41:39 pm »
Quote from: Kyndyl;148592
The same, I believe applies to magickal alphabets.Yes, runes were used for everyday writing and other things, and that doesn't discount that they were used for other Workings.

 
Do you believe this is true for the Latin alphabet? What about, say, Sanskrit? I'm curious what alphabets fall under this distinction for you?

I believe that certain kinds of writing are magical, but I've never encountered spirits of the letters themselves, and it wasn't something I came across when Odin had me poking at runes.
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Kyndyl

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 11:02:20 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;148595
OK, I think I get that.  How does that fit with the idea of intelligent spirits of symbols?

 
My Opinion. People have been using the runes with similar intent/uses for a very long time. just like the ritual idea. over time that "groove" can widen and expand in that way. and you can find many treasures along the way. For me, one of those treasures are the Spirits of the Runes. I'm not explaining it very well, but I hope this gives you some idea.

Aster Breo

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2014, 03:35:30 am »
Quote from: Tom;148570
Kyndyl is likely referring to the UPG that seems to be shared by a certain group of people that is shared in books such as Wyrdwalkers by Raven Kaldera (the information in that book can also be found here) and in Galina Krasskova's book on runes.

I've been thinking about this idea of the spirits of the runes.  I have no direct experience with this, so I can't say whether it's literally true or not.  

However, reading the descriptions of the rune spirits in this article was extremely helpful to me in understanding the interpretations of the runes and how they differ from and relate to each other.

FWIW...
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Kyndyl

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Re: Using Runes as Symbols Outside of Norse Spirituality?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2014, 12:23:26 pm »
Quote from: Jack;148603
Do you believe this is true for the Latin alphabet? What about, say, Sanskrit? I'm curious what alphabets fall under this distinction for you?

I believe that certain kinds of writing are magical, but I've never encountered spirits of the letters themselves, and it wasn't something I came across when Odin had me poking at runes.

 
Don't know.. I wouldn't discount it.. Runes are so far the only ones that I've encountered  this with. I can only speak from my own thoughts and experiences.

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