rune symbols

pinkdolphin12  asked:

I see a lot of heathens (and non heathens) wearing Thor's hammer around their neck. Does that represent anything in particular? Or is it more similar to a cross or star of David where it's kinda more a general symbol of the faith?

Chiefly, it’s a symbol of protection. Thor is the god who protects Midgard (Earth) and humanity, so wearing his weapon pays a kind of homage to that. It’s also a relatively well-known symbol of the religion as a whole–it’s a recognized emblem of belief by the US military, for example–so it is used by a lot of people to identify themselves as Heathen, as one might wear a cross. Up to this point at least, it has not been commonly appropriated by white supremacists in the way that some runes and other symbols (such as the valknut and sun wheel) have, so it’s a fairly safe identifier.

I can’t really speak to its use by non-Heathens, but I imagine that it’s often a case of people seeing the pendant and being told it’s a symbol of protection, then wearing it without knowledge of the religious context. There are other reasons a non-Heathen might wear one as well, such as an enthusiasm for Viking history, but I imagine that’s the most common explanation.

Thanks for asking, and let me know if you want to know more!

2

Bind Runes.

A Bind Rune (Icelandic: bandrún) is created by combining two or more ancient Viking Runes into a single symbol. What this combination is believed to do is create a more powerful Rune, than the individual Runes used to make it. How the Bind Rune is created is very important. Bind Runes should be kept as simple as possible so that each Rune is clearly distinguishable. Using more than five is usually not advisable. When a bind rune is too complex it will be less powerful than a simpler symbol. Bind Runes were rare in Viking days; there are not many examples of the ancient Norse writing them. They became more common among the Scandinavian people later in the Middle Ages.

Icelandic magical staves (sigils) are symbols credited with magical effect preserved in various grimoires dating from the 17th century and later. According to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, the effects credited to most of the staves were very relevant to the average Icelanders of the time, who were mostly substitence farmers and had to deal with harsh climatic conditions.

Pagans and witches against Nazis

As nationalist parties are on the rise in many Western countries, it is important that we as pagans and witches are cautious. Nazis have appropriated pagan religions (Norse and Germanic paganism in particular) in the past, for example by using runes as their symbols.

Let’s show them that Nazis, fascists, the “alt-right”, racism, anti-Semitism and islamophobia are not welcome in our spaces. If you see a blog posting Nazi ideology, unfollow, block and report it.

Make the pagan and witchcraft community a place where all people feel safe and welcome.

Ægishjálmur  - The Helm of Awe.

Ægishjálmur (pronounced aye-yiss-hchyawl-mer) etymologically means the Helm of Ægir. Ægir is an Old Norse word meaning terror. It is also the name of a destructive giant associated with the sea. It is now usually defined as Helm of Awe and reference to it occurs often in the Poetic Edda, a part of the Icelandic medieval Codex Regius (Royal Manuscript).

The power of an Ægishjálmur could be invoked through the use of a special kind of magic called Seiðr (a Nordic Wizardry practiced well before the advent of Vikings). Seiðr could be used to affect the mind with forgetfulness, delusion, illusion, or fear. The Ægishjálmur is a special subset of Seiðr Magic called Sjónhverfing, the magical delusion or deceiving of the sight where the Seið-Witch affects the minds of others so that they cannot see things as they truly are.

Some suggest the center circle most likely represents one’s Self surrounded by protective Energy. Crowfoot describes all Ægishjálmar as having three zones: an outer ring (for the subjective Universe), a middle range (the objective Universe) and a centre region (the Inner Being). They all represent the basic cosmological blueprint of the Yggdrasil with nine Worlds. This is especially true of the eight-spoke wheel sigils. Each spoke is one of the eight worlds that lie to the north, south, east, west and upper and lower worlds. The ninth world is in the center where all the spokes come together (Midgard).

Ostara

Ostara, the vernal equinox, is the first day of spring. Many modern religious and secular traditions, including the name “Easter”, come from Pagan origins. Ostara is the Germanic goddess of spring. This is when Persephone returns to the Earth after ruling the underworld. A time of great promise and new growth, Ostara is a time for personal change.

Ostara eggs can be a great tool for this guidance. Simply mark eggs, before or after dyeing with bright spring colors, with runes or other divinatory symbols, and then hide them among your home for your friends to find. Advise the seekers to keep their minds focused on their question while engaging in a fun and challenging Ostara egg hunt (solitaries can do a similar divination by closing their eyes and drawing them like tarot cards). Note how the symbols fall together as the hunt (or drawing) progresses. You can then charge the symbols with bright spring energy by saying a simple spring goddess name chant over them (”Eos, Eostre, Ostre, Eostar, Ostara!”) before eating the eggs, to “plant” the energies within, blessing yourself with the energies of spring and new beginnings!

Source: Thuri Calafia, Witch’s Datebook 2017

DIY Glass Runes

Willow here! I’ve long admired the beautiful runes at my local metaphysical shop but can’t afford them. I know there are a lot of witches out there like me who don’t have a lot of money, so I thought I’d show how I make my own.

Materials:
* Glass beads: $1 at Dollar Tree
* Sharpie: ~$1 at most drugstores like CVS
* List of runes: found online

Steps:

1. Pick your runes. You can go with what I’ve found to be most popular among witches, the Elder Futhark, or a more idiosyncratic set, like the Witches’ Runes. I chose the Witches’ Runes because they resonated with me more than the Elder Futhark.

2. Find a reference online for the shapes and meanings. This is what I used for the Witches’ Runes I made:

3. Select as many gems as you need for your set. The Witches’ Runes are thirteen symbols, so I pulled out thirteen gems that were the least scratched and most smooth.

4. Draw the symbols on each gem.

That’s it! Draw each symbol on a gem and then you’re ready to read them.

For more information on runes (particularly the Elder Futhark), check out our masterpost on the topic!

- Willow