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Author Topic: Rune Casting Question  (Read 1271 times)

EboLikeRambo247

Rune Casting Question
« on: January 16, 2017, 05:16:25 pm »
So, I've been studying runes for about 6 months now. I feel comfortable enough to buy a rune set and start practicing while I work on making my set.

The reading that I've been doing is pretty decent but I haven't found much on the Runes coming up sideways. The majority of what I've read just talks about upright and reversals. My intuition tells me to somehow mix both meanings but then again I don't want to feel like I'm missing something.

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 09:46:23 am »
Quote from: EboLikeRambo247;201497
So, I've been studying runes for about 6 months now. I feel comfortable enough to buy a rune set and start practicing while I work on making my set.

The reading that I've been doing is pretty decent but I haven't found much on the Runes coming up sideways. The majority of what I've read just talks about upright and reversals. My intuition tells me to somehow mix both meanings but then again I don't want to feel like I'm missing something.

 
I have several rune sets I use personally, some are stones, one is on dice and one is staves.  My preferred method for casting is to cast (to toss the whole lot and read what comes up).  So for me, reversals/sideways aren't a thing I do...because my runes can come up in any direction.  What I do look at is how they fall in relation to other stones/staves and the patterns that form.

If you interpret reversed as the inverse/opposite of the rune, then a sideways rune might combine both qualities or represent something that is sort of inbetween the two opposites.  If you interpret reversed runes as a blocked energy, then sideways might be the rune energy moving in a strange direction (think wind:  it can be blowing with you, against you or sideways).
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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 09:43:35 pm »
Quote from: EboLikeRambo247;201497

The reading that I've been doing is pretty decent but I haven't found much on the Runes coming up sideways.

 
Be advised there is very little historical evidence the runes were used for divination.  They were a writing system, they had prosaic and esoteric purposes (the esoteric amulets and such found by archaeologists are actually quite fascinating).  But divination?  Not as far as we know.

Now, can you use runes for divination as  a modern tool?  Certainly. I do. And they work.  But it's all a modern conceit.   And that "runes reversed or sideways" stuff seems to come from ceremonial magick or tarot or some such.   I think you are free to ignore it.  A rune is a rune no mater how it lands!    In the historical inscriptions, runes could be written backwards or inverted, and it did not seem to change the meaning!  :)

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 02:30:54 pm »
Quote from: hraefngar;201551
Be advised there is very little historical evidence the runes were used for divination.  They were a writing system, they had prosaic and esoteric purposes (the esoteric amulets and such found by archaeologists are actually quite fascinating).  But divination?  Not as far as we know.

Now, can you use runes for divination as  a modern tool?  Certainly. I do. And they work.  But it's all a modern conceit.   And that "runes reversed or sideways" stuff seems to come from ceremonial magick or tarot or some such.   I think you are free to ignore it.  A rune is a rune no mater how it lands!    In the historical inscriptions, runes could be written backwards or inverted, and it did not seem to change the meaning!  :)


:thup:

Aethiriel

Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 06:10:50 pm »
Quote from: hraefngar;201551
Be advised there is very little historical evidence the runes were used for divination.  They were a writing system, they had prosaic and esoteric purposes (the esoteric amulets and such found by archaeologists are actually quite fascinating).  But divination?  Not as far as we know.

Now, can you use runes for divination as  a modern tool?  Certainly. I do. And they work.  But it's all a modern conceit.   And that "runes reversed or sideways" stuff seems to come from ceremonial magick or tarot or some such.   I think you are free to ignore it.  A rune is a rune no mater how it lands!    In the historical inscriptions, runes could be written backwards or inverted, and it did not seem to change the meaning!  :)

 
I would not say that "a rune is a rune no matter how it lands"...Firstly, regardless of the historical evidence, runes have evolved as a divination system and just because there is no evidence to suggest that it was ever used as such, well that is not proof that they never were! That is the beauty of magic and such systems anyway, things do evolve and things do often have inherent meanings or take on new ones.

I think calling it "conceit" is a little unfair too...it's just a different and valid perspective, that's all. The point is, it HAS evolved and the positions do matter as much as the runes themselves, otherwise why bother with any of it? Granted it's pretty subjective and of course one can read them as they feel intuitively, but I don't think that aspect is worthy of being dismissed.

If you are going to use the runes as a divination system, I don't see much point in touting the fact that "there is no historical evidence for this or that". How much modern pagan/magic practice would there even be if we all needed proven historical foundations for all we do and believe?

Now, to the main point...in my use of the runes and of those with whom I learned, I consider a rune landing on its side to represent some unknown element involved, some decision that has yet to be made perhaps. It is neither face-up, which usually indicates the presence or importance of that rune's energy in some way or another, nor face-down, which can mean "no", "not yet", "this hasn't manifested", "this isn't important", etc. It is something of a limbo and I have seen it make perfect sense in readings and have seen the results of exactly what the rune on it's side was talking about.

That being said there is still no rule that says you have to interpret side-landing runes, but really...why not? Why wouldn't you? Again if you are going to use them for divinatory purposes, why not be open to all possible interpretations or aspects TO interpret?
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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 07:33:02 pm »
Quote from: Aethiriel;205058
If you are going to use the runes as a divination system, I don't see much point in touting the fact that "there is no historical evidence for this or that". How much modern pagan/magic practice would there even be if we all needed proven historical foundations for all we do and believe?

 
Well, if one has already decided that one doesn't care about the historicity of practice, then of course one doesn't care that the practice is wholly modern.  But those people who do care about the historicity of practices - of whom there are quite a few - do care, and do care to note that in case they are dealing with someone else who might care.

Generally speaking, when dealing with recons, it's rather a waste of cycles to be surprised when they care about historicity. ;)
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Hildeburh

Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 07:56:27 am »
Quote from: Aethiriel;205058
I would not say that "a rune is a rune no matter how it lands"...Firstly, regardless of the historical evidence, runes have evolved as a divination system and just because there is no evidence to suggest that it was ever used as such, well that is not proof that they never were! That is the beauty of magic and such systems anyway, things do evolve and things do often have inherent meanings or take on new ones.


The logic is invalid in two of your premises and it's not your fault these two particular examples are repeated ad nauseam in neopagan runic literature:

1. " I would not say a rune is a rune no matter how it lands" If it's not a rune what else is it? The rune is the inscribed symbol not the esoteric interpretation or the medium on which it is inscribed; ergo no such thing as a blank rune and a rune is always a rune.

2. "Just because there is no evidence to suggest it was ever used as such, well that's not proof they never were" This is a particular fallacy of informal logic, called Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, it is an unwarranted assumption not a logical argument. This type of logical fallacy is commonly employed in rhetoric,  and seen quite often in neo pagan rune books. The site below contains an explanation of and a few examples of this type of flawed logic:

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/56/Argument-from-Ignorance


The other issue often overlooked, or just not understood, by those who use the Elder futhark     for divinatory purposes (which is the common set used) is that we have absolutely no idea what, if any ‘inherent value’ these runes had outside their individual sound values. Why? Because the elder futhark represents proto Germanic, there very few elder futhark inscriptions and there is no rune poem for the elder futhark,  even the names of these runes have been reconstructed by linguists.

Quote from: Aethiriel;205058
I think calling it "conceit" is a little unfair too...it's just a different and valid perspective, that's all. The point is, it HAS evolved and the positions do matter as much as the runes themselves, otherwise why bother with any of it? Granted it's pretty subjective and of course one can read them as they feel intuitively, but I don't think that aspect is worthy of being dismissed

Modern rune divination did not evolve from the pre-Christian Germanic tribes it has had quite a separate trajectory, it is the product of 19th-20th esoteric occultism. The first form of runic divination was the 19th century 18 rune system called the Armanen runes. This system was based on the younger futhark and futhorc and had strong ties to the völkisch, anti semitic, national socialist symbolism of nazi Germany.  

Subsequent to Von List (inventor of the Armanen runes) a few authors tried to purge rune divination of its association with nazi fascist occultism; not with much success. The modern form of rune divination is largely the result of Howard Blum's The Book of Runes, written in 1982.  We also have Blum to "thank" for the oxymoron that a blank rune somehow has meaning, the marketing of Blum's book was masterful in that it included a free bag of runes.

Since there is now a thriving market for rune divination books, sets, cards and exercises publishing houses have and are making a killing, unfortunately the vast majority of these authors don't have much of a clue (or care less) about the history of the runes and repeat the same historical fluff and fallacious logic.  

The position of the runes only matters to modern rune diviners, in runic inscriptions the runes were written in any direction; left to right, right to left, upside down, beginning at the bottom of the object or at the top or cryptographic (encoded). They were written with spaces between words or without spaces, there are also local variations of standard futhark characters. Decorative letter forms were also created such as combining the staves of two runes to form a bindrune or mirror images, called mirror runes, neither of which changed the sound value or had a purpose other than the mundane.

Quote from: Aethiriel;205058
If you are going to use the runes as a divination system, I don't see much point in touting the fact that "there is no historical evidence for this or that". How much modern pagan/magic practice would there even be if we all needed proven historical foundations for all we do and believe?

This is true and most reconstructionists have no issue with any form of divination (at least I don't). Historically there has always been intuitive individuals that are able to divine orlog but what most of us don't understand is the need to support the modern practice of rune divination with pseudo-history or fallacious logic, it is what it is.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 07:58:55 am by Hildeburh »

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 01:46:09 am »
Quote from: Hildeburh;205288
2. "Just because there is no evidence to suggest it was ever used as such, well that's not proof they never were" This is a particular fallacy of informal logic, called Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, it is an unwarranted assumption not a logical argument. This type of logical fallacy is commonly employed in rhetoric,  and seen quite often in neo pagan rune books. The site below contains an explanation of and a few examples of this type of flawed logic:

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/56/Argument-from-Ignorance

 
This nit needs picking, IMO, because calling 'logical fallacy!' inaccurately or unnecessarily cheapens discourse: 'that's not proof they never were' is not, in itself, an example of Argument from Ignorance, since it doesn't attempt to frame the absence of evidence as evidence in favor of the proposition (in this case, use of the runes for divinatory purposes in antiquity). It's often used as part of an Argument from Ignorance, either explicitly or implicitly, but the presence of the phrase isn't in itself an indication that the fallacious argument is being made.

Rather, Aethiriel sticks to saying, 'But they could have been used for divinatory purposes back then; we don't know for sure!' - which is quite true as far as it goes: there is no evidence either way. But, as you go on to point out, it's irrelevant (trivially true); the things we do know render it highly unlikely that, even if the runes were used divinatorily in antiquity, there is any connection or resemblance to modern divinatory use, and that such a connection or resemblance is not necessary.

Quote
The first form of runic divination was the 19th century 18 rune system called the Armanen runes. This system was based on the younger futhark and futhorc and had strong ties to the völkisch, anti semitic, national socialist symbolism of nazi Germany.


I call Godwin :).

Or to put it more seriously: I'm not sure what purpose is served by invoking Nazi Germany, with which the Armanen runes cannot possibly have had strong ties before 1920 (the year NSDAP, the Nazi Party, was founded - and the year after von List's death), when citing the ties the Armanen runes had from their inception (which, incidentally, was 1902 according to Guido von List's claim of when he had the revelation of the runes, so technically 20th rather than 19th century, though I'd certainly call von List himself a 19th century figure) to Romantic Nationalism and the völkisch movement is ample evidence of the unsavoriness  of the philosophic milieu in which they were developed.

While I'm picking nits, I'll note that the Blum who inflicted us with the nonsensical 'blank rune' is Ralph H. Blum. The 'H' might well stand for 'Howard' for all I know, but he's not 'Howard Blum'.

I'll reiterate, in case it wasn't clear, that I'm entirely in agreement with what seems to be your main point, that rune divination cannot, but also need not (and thus should not) look to ancient provenance to justify its existence, and appreciate the details you've supplied about modern runology.

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 01:59:30 am »
Quote from: Aethiriel;205058
I think calling it "conceit" is a little unfair too...

 
I'm not Hraefngar, and thus could be mistaken, but based on the context, I believe he was using the word 'conceit' not in the sense of 'vanity, arrogance, excessive pride', but in a way more akin to its sense as a literary device.

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Hildeburh

Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 08:06:40 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;205317
I'll reiterate, in case it wasn't clear, that I'm entirely in agreement with what seems to be your main point, that rune divination cannot, but also need not (and thus should not) look to ancient provenance to justify its existence, and appreciate the details you've supplied about modern runology.

Sunflower

Glad we agree and that you enjoyed the history of rune divination 101 but perhaps in your next reply  you could give us some actual evidence that runes were used in divination by the pre Christian  Germanic peoples, rather than indulging in “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”(ad ignorantiam).


Quote from: SunflowerP;205317
Or to put it more seriously: I'm not sure what purpose is served by invoking Nazi Germany, with which the Armanen runes cannot possibly have had strong ties before 1920 (the year NSDAP, the Nazi Party, was founded - and the year after von List's death), when citing the ties the Armanen runes had from their inception (which, incidentally, was 1902 according to Guido von List's claim of when he had the revelation of the runes, so technically 20th rather than 19th century, though I'd certainly call von List himself a 19th century figure) to Romantic Nationalism and the völkisch movement is ample evidence of the unsavoriness of the philosophic milieu in which they were developed

Possibly reread my last reply I didn't say, the Armanen runes had strong ties before 1920 (the year NSDAP, the Nazi Party, was founded - and the year after von List's death). But you did!

I said " (This system) was based on the younger futhark and futhorc and had strong ties to the völkisch, anti semitic, national socialist (symbolism) of nazi Germany"  

Here is an article outlining the use of Armanen rune symbolism by the Nazi Party:

https://www.academia.edu/6240698/Nazi_use_of_Norse_runes

It can be unplatable to some that runic divination has a past intricately linked to the völkisch ideology of Nazi Germany, but it is what it is. I guess its nicer to assert that it harks back to pre Christian ideas than to truely understand it origin. A bit revisionist for my taste, but thanks for correcting my dates, its been a while since I've discussed the origin of rune divination.

Quote from:
I'm picking nits, I'll note that the Blum who inflicted us with the nonsensical 'blank rune' is Ralph H. Blum. The 'H' might well stand for 'Howard' for all I know, but he's not 'Howard Blum

It's not nitpicking to correct inacurracies, I for one appreciate that but I would have appreciated your reply more if you had added something original to the discussion.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 08:08:16 am by Hildeburh »

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 09:17:43 am »
Quote from: Hildeburh;205328
Glad we agree and that you enjoyed the history of rune divination 101 but perhaps in your next reply  you could give us some actual evidence that runes were used in divination by the pre Christian  Germanic peoples, rather than indulging in “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”(ad ignorantiam).

Why would I attempt to provide evidence for a thing I am not claiming?

The claim I am making regarding 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' is solely that it is not *in and of itself* argumentum ad ignorantiam; all it is in and of itself is a trivially true statement. An absence of evidence is not evidence of anything. It is often used by people who are making an argumentum ad ignorantiam, but it is not itself that fallacy.

Quote
Possibly reread my last reply I didn't say, the Armanen runes had strong ties before 1920 (the year NSDAP, the Nazi Party, was founded - and the year after von List's death). But you did!

I said " (This system) was based on the younger futhark and futhorc and had strong ties to the völkisch, anti semitic, national socialist (symbolism) of nazi Germany"

Yes, that's exactly what you said. But, simply because the Nazis took up a thing that pre-existed them, does not make that thing inherently problematic. The Armanen runes were tied to the body of ideas from which Nazism eventually emerged, and that makes them shady from the get-go.

Quote
It can be unplatable to some that runic divination has a past intricately linked to the völkisch ideology of Nazi Germany, but it is what it is. I guess its nicer to assert that it harks back to pre Christian ideas than to truely understand it origin.

Please point out exactly where I made that assertion. Perhaps you need to reread my post.

My assertion was simply that it was intricately linked to völkisch ideology well before Nazi Germany was a thing.

The only thing I have to say about divination among Germanic peoples in antiquity is, 'So Tacitus very briefly and with no detail mentioned some divination thing he observed, which could conceivably have involved runes, but could just as easily not.'

Quote
It's not nitpicking to correct inacurracies, I for one appreciate that but I would have appreciated your reply more if you had added something original to the discussion.

That's okay; I don't post to please you.

Sunflower
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 09:18:47 am by SunflowerP »
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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 06:43:24 pm »
Quote from: Hildeburh;205288

1. " I would not say a rune is a rune no matter how it lands" If it's not a rune what else is it? The rune is the inscribed symbol not the esoteric interpretation or the medium on which it is inscribed; ergo no such thing as a blank rune and a rune is always a rune.


I am not sure if you misunderstood what Aethiriel wrote, or are deliberately using a straw man argument.

It seems clear to me that Aethiriel did not mean that the way a rune lands could cause it to be something other than a rune, but rather that the way a rune lands could cause it to be a different rune (ie have a different meaning.) Aethiriel, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Hildeburh, you've stated clearly that a rune's orientation does not influence its meaning in the system that you use. However, this is not true of every system of rune divination.

Also, historical provenance has no bearing on whether a divination system works, nor on whether it should be used. Customs evolve, and so do technologies; I don't see why divination couldn't be open to new discoveries just like every other field of human knowledge.

Hildeburh

Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 08:20:37 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;205494
I am not sure if you misunderstood what Aethiriel wrote, or are deliberately using a straw man argument.

It seems clear to me that Aethiriel did not mean that the way a rune lands could cause it to be something other than a rune, but rather that the way a rune lands could cause it to be a different rune (ie have a different meaning.) Aethiriel, please correct me if I'm wrong.


I can only refute the statement not the unknown intent, I am not psychic.

It will be the same rune no matter how it lands that was my point, in modern divination there may be a different interpretation of its meaning connected to its orientation, but it is still the same rune. The meanings of runes in modern divination are derived largely from the rune poems rather than the rune itself, the rune represents a sound value, they are in essence a linguistic script..

Quote from:
Hildeburh, you've stated clearly that a rune's orientation does not influence its meaning in the system that you use. However, this is not true of every system of rune divination


No I didn't, I dont divine with runes, I was discussing the historical use of runes in runic inscriptions.  

Quote from:
Also, historical provenance has no bearing on whether a divination system works, nor on whether it should be used. Customs evolve, and so do technologies; I don't see why divination couldn't be open to new discoveries just like every other field of human knowledge.

 
Yes I made that point:

"Historically there has always been intuitive individuals that are able to divine orlog but what most of us don't understand is the need to support the modern practice of rune divination with pseudo-history or fallacious logic, it is what it is"

Hildeburh

Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 09:24:21 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;205332
The only thing I have to say about divination among Germanic peoples in antiquity is, 'So Tacitus very briefly and with no detail mentioned some divination thing he observed, which could conceivably have involved runes, but could just as easily not.'



Tacitus is rarely used as evidence of anything to do with the runes these days for the following reasons:

1. Tacitus never visited Germania his information for his ethnography on Germania, is from unknown sources. Not only is Tacitus' information second and third hand but the observations on the Germanic tribes was filtered through the process called interpretatio romana. Interpretatio Romana is the name given to the process whereby the Romans compared religions and deities unfamiliar to them with their own religion, thereby distorting them through the lenses of their own culture.

An example of interpretatio romana is present within the link to the passage that deals with divination among the Germanic (link below), Tacitus states, "the priest of the particular state" but the Germanic tribes had neither priests nor states.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/g01010.htm

For those not familiar with the process of interpretatio Romana, there is a link below


http://www.interpretatio.uos.de/zielsetzung_e.html

2. Tacitus book Germania was written in 98 CE but the earliest inscription written in the elder futhark dates  from 160 CE. Often in rune books and websites the inscription on the Meldorf fibula dated at 25 CE will be used as evidence to assert that Tacitus was referring to the elder futhark. Unfortunately the inscription on the Meldorf fibulae is disputed among linguists and not accepted as runic, it has variously been cited as Latin, Greek, Etruscan or proto runic. There is an interesting discussion in the link below on the inscription on the Meldorf fibulae:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/20658917?sid=21104944414381&uid=2473971537&uid=3&uid=60&uid=2129&uid=70&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=2473971547&uid=3737536

3.Tacitus use of the word notae/notis rather than letter indicates that the marks observed by Tacitus source was unfamiliar. As states by Ferioli (2010), "Tacitus reports that the lots were distinguished by certain notae, which can be translated as ‘signs’. Interestingly though, he does not mention any runes or signs being used in a way that could remind him of his own Roman script. In brief, given the similarity between runic and Roman script (not to mention other alphabets, like the Greek and the Etruscan, which the Romans were definetly acquainted with), a litterate Roman should have noticed it and possibly referred to it as litterae, ‘letters’, rather than mere signs or marks". We simply have no idea what the marks Tacitus mentions are.

The last point to be made is that in 98 CE, at the time Tacitus wrote Germania, the Germanic tribes consisted of many different often warring tribes spread over a large geographical area. Coupled with the fact that there was never a pan Germanic religion any one act of divination mentioned by Tacitus cannot be presumed to be a Germanic phenomenon but rather a form of divination used by a specific Germanic tribe.

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Re: Rune Casting Question
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2017, 09:39:28 am »
Quote from: Hildeburh;205641
Tacitus is rarely used as evidence of anything to do with the runes these days for the following reasons:

 
Thank you for all the detail on the issues with Tacitus.. I've mostly relied on, 'too vague to be reliable/meaningful' (which was part of the point I was making previously), which is usually sufficient, but I do like being able to be more specific. In particular, I appreciate the confirmation of something I've long had as an impression, but hadn't verified or fleshed out, that he, like many other Greek and Roman writers speaking of cultures not their own, is recounting travellers' tales of exotic (to the audience) places and peoples - ultimately an entertainment, and ultimately saying more about its audience than its subject.

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