The runes were born as sacred magical symbols for a preliterate culture with a rich oral tradition. Over the many centuries of their use tribes separated, languages divided, writing evolved, and the use and meanings of the runes reflected these changes. Even their names vary according to when they were used and by whom.

The only contemporary source of meanings and suggestions of use are the Eddas of the 5th century, and a group of rune poems written in the 13th century. These writings, from very late in the runeís history, left lots of room for interpretation.

The exact meaning of each of the runes is a riddle. Their historic lifespan and use by a broad cultural base preclude simple direct translation. How ever there is a great deal of continuity to their themes and general meanings.

The runes are divided into three groups of eight, the Aettir. The first Aett belonged to Freya, goddess of peace and prosperity, who watched over the concerns of businessmen, merchants, and farmers. The second Aett was ascribed to Heimdall, god of rulers and warriors. The final group was Tyr's, whose domain was that of lawyers, poets, priests, and magicians.

We would love to say that the definitions below are absolute, to us they are, but thatís not to say there aren't other valid interpretations. A search through the volumes of conflicting evidence may yield variations that work better for you. We encourage your personal exploration of the runic traditions.



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