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Author Topic: Confused With Runes  (Read 692 times)

Melissa

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Confused With Runes
« on: February 26, 2018, 11:53:01 am »
So, since my last post, I have bought a set of runes and started learning and reading about it. It doesn't seem like it would be hard since it only has 24 symbols/alphabets. But when I started looking up the meaning online on rune-related websites, I was in for a headache. Many of the meanings overlap between the runes and a lot of runes seem to carry the same 'advice'. Besides, some sites contradict each other when it comes to rune meanings while others just have different meanings. I am so confused. Please help! Anyone...  :-[ What are the 'true' meaning of the 24 runes?

Jainarayan

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Re: Confused With Runes
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 12:54:30 pm »
What are the 'true' meaning of the 24 runes?

The true meanings are as you found... highly subjective. For example, if you do a three-rune casting and come up with isa, uruz and dagaz what could it mean? Well... isa=ice, uruz=endurance, dagaz=dawn/awakening. If there is a block of some kind in your life (symbolized by isa... maybe a wall of ice), you may have an awakening or inspiration to charge through and break through that wall. On the other hand! because ice is so dangerous to walk or travel over, this may be a cautionary casting, and you will have to think hard how to get past the obstacle or danger. The runes don't foretell the future as commonly believed, rather, they give insight into what's going on in your life or in your environment. It's up to the individual to examine what's going on to see what the casting could mean.

Here is a site that may help, if you have not already seen it and been thrown for a loop by it. http://runesecrets.com/

śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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Re: Confused With Runes
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 09:38:08 am »
So, since my last post, I have bought a set of runes and started learning and reading about it. It doesn't seem like it would be hard since it only has 24 symbols/alphabets. But when I started looking up the meaning online on rune-related websites, I was in for a headache. Many of the meanings overlap between the runes and a lot of runes seem to carry the same 'advice'. Besides, some sites contradict each other when it comes to rune meanings while others just have different meanings. I am so confused. Please help! Anyone...  :-[ What are the 'true' meaning of the 24 runes?

I am not a reconstructionist, so while I may look to historical sources for inspiration, what was done in the past is not the major force that drives my personal practice.  Historically speaking, most people agree that runes weren't used for divination..that is a modern thing.  The runes were originally an alphabet, and as such I am not sure there is a True (with a capital T!) meaning for each of them (besides the letter correspondence).

Having said that, I think there is what I would call a 'commonly accepted' meaning for each, typically given as the major keyword.  Fehu is cattle, Isa is ice, Dagaz is day.  From there, most sources often list a whole slew of different associations, and as you have found out, they may overlap, be confusing, contradict each other or seem to not be connected at all.

As symbols, runes can represent a quite wide range of attributes.  What I think is important to remember is that a single symbol can mean different things depending on who is observing it, the overall situation or the specific circumstances.  Take rain for example.  Many people really dislike rainy days, while I personally tend to love them.  A farmer appreciates rain, unless it's been raining too much and then rain becomes a problem.  In a drought, everyone wants rain.  A gentle rain on a super hot day can feel nice, but a stinging cold rain can hurt.  So rain ends up 'meaning' a dozen different things, depending on when and how the rain happened and who is thinking about the rain.

Runes are the same way.  When I find new sources, that talk about runes, I add any information that I feel fits my understanding of a particular rune to my own bank of connections (typically making myself some notes, in a binder I have set aside for rune stuff...so each rune has a page, and it has many notes from different sources).  I go back through, from time to time, and read over what I have written, often adding in my own thoughts and reflections to deepen my understanding of each rune.

When I draw runes for divination, I either think about what the rune means to me in that situation, or I read over my notes, and see what stands out and seems most applicable.  Not every note I have will apply to a particular rune in any given reading.  I may read Hagalaz as quite destructive one day, and another day it will be a necessary clearing out of old junk in order to make room for new stuff.

I would suggest starting small.  Find one source that you like, and work with their meanings for the runes.  If you still feel overwhelmed, just work with the one basic keyword for each rune.  Let that one meaning be the basis for your understanding of the rune, and when you are comfortable with that, you can go back, read some more, and expand your understanding of each rune, a little at a time.
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Jenett

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Re: Confused With Runes
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 09:49:16 am »
As symbols, runes can represent a quite wide range of attributes.  What I think is important to remember is that a single symbol can mean different things depending on who is observing it, the overall situation or the specific circumstances.  Take rain for example.  Many people really dislike rainy days, while I personally tend to love them.  A farmer appreciates rain, unless it's been raining too much and then rain becomes a problem.  In a drought, everyone wants rain.  A gentle rain on a super hot day can feel nice, but a stinging cold rain can hurt.  So rain ends up 'meaning' a dozen different things, depending on when and how the rain happened and who is thinking about the rain.

Definitely this. There's also the complication that is more present in the runes than in some other place, which is that our understanding of some things has changed.

Most of us don't see cattle as key to our continued existence in the same way that the people who developed the runes did - sources of food, materials, and fundamentally comfort and life or misery and death. So when we're looking at the meanings, we often need to do some digging into what the people who developed that symbol or used it widely would have understood about it.

(The same thing comes up with some of the older forms of Tarot, and with things like colour symbology or terminology: different languages often have very different ways of going at colour and visual appearance and which things matter. One of the classics is 'wine dark sea' likely having a lot more to do with the quality of the light and reflection than what hue the colour is.)

One other thought on the runes is that different specific communities went some different places - one of the reasons you may be seeing differences is that the Icelandic take is a bit different than the Anglo-Saxon take, is a bit different than other places.

Picking one set of rune poems to work with (i.e. just working with Anglo-Saxon or whatever makes the most sense for you), looking at a couple of translations (even if you do read the original language, and especially if you don't), and then branching out from there can be a good way to reduce the different things you're seeing. And it makes it a bit easier to put the thing in a more specific cultural context. Once you get a better grip on one set, then you can go look at how other related uses worked.
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