Lessons from the Runes, Lessons on the Runes

Monday night I went into New York City and met up with NYC Heathens for a lore chat on the Runes. I’ve been a student of the Runes since shortly after Odin found me…so roughly 7 years now? Though I went through a spiritual drought where I didn’t do anything for about two years, so I’m going to say around 5 years. I’m still a total beginner I feel like. The Runes have so much to teach that I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself a master or to know all there is know about them. There’s just too much. Saying you KNOW each Rune after only working with them for a handful of years is like saying you know everything there is to know about Odin after working with Him for a week. Sorry, but no. There’s just too much to ever learn in that short amount of time. And this Rune chat proved my point. In all honesty I wish I had taken more notes than I did, but I was trying to pay attention to what all was being said and also trying to participate in conversation as opposed to just being my normal quiet self. Regardless, I wanted to type up everything that was mentioned that hadn’t occurred to me yet so that I could look back, research, and/or meditate upon these different interpretations.

I didn’t take notes on all 24 Runes, just the ones that gave me a different interpretation than what I’d previously known. In no particular order:

Raidho – I’d never heard of this as “ride though”, but that was definitely something talked about Monday night. Typically I associate Raidho with communication, not necessarily of movement, but I can’t unhear “ride though” and all of it’s implications.

Ansuz – during the chat it was mentioned that this was the Rune most associated with Odin. That’s not necessarily the case for me (I more strongly associate Eiwaz with Odin), but this is definitely thought provoking. I can see how that would be as Ansuz does have close ties with words and the ways they can effect people, and Odin is a god of poetry after all.

Perthro – this is a Rune that has actually been coming up a lot for me recently, and that I personally feel has some sort of message for me. Though I’ve been mistakenly referring to it as Othala. Normally I think of things being revealed, or truths and mysteries coming to light when this Rune comes up. But a few other people in the group mentioned that if you have the opening of Perthro facing down it represents a woman’s womb and vagina. Which I thought was a very interesting way to see this Rune. It brings to mind childbirth, time to gestate in the dark, and other such things like that. More work is most definitely needed with this Rune on my part. Oh, an association with Urd’s Well was also mentioned.

Berkano – have the points pointing down and it looks like a woman’s breasts. This is not a thing I’d ever thought about, but once pointed out I can’t unsee it. It with Perthro could be a depiction of a mother goddess type figure, and I may use them together in that context in my own journals and writings.

Inguz – I can’t say anything “new” really came to light for me when it comes to this Rune, but I did find it interesting to note that I am more familiar with the Anglo-Saxon depiction of this Rune than the typical Elder Futhark depiction.

Isa – the overwhelming association with this Rune seems to be “ice”, as in glacial ice. But when discussing it another meaning came to my own mind. That of go forward on the path you are on, don’t deviate. Go slow, don’t rush, but keep moving down the path you are. This is another Rune that I could stand to work with more and learn more about.

Hagalaz – I don’t usually think of the Runes in terms of tarot associations, but it was mentioned that Hagalaz was probably most closely related to the Tower in the tarot. When I stop and think about the meaning of Hagalaz I can totally see that association.

I had stepped out for a bathroom break when Laguz was discussed, and I really wish I hadn’t missed that one as it’s the one Rune I struggle with a bit. Flow and water come to mind when I think of Laguz, but that’s about it. So I have my work cut out with it, but that’s okay. A little bit of work never hurt me.

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