runic charm

letwhatyoulove-killyou  asked:

Do you think it would be okay to have the wave rune tattooed onto my body? I know it is for purity and often used in healing, so I was wondering if having it tattooed would aid in my depression?

So, I’ve been a Norse pagan for years now and have never heard of a wave rune. I’m not sure if you mean ᛚ (laguz), which actually translates to “water” or “waterfall” instead of “wave”, or some pop culture thing I’m not aware of and isn’t in the top Google results. .

If you’re talking about the nordic rune, then I can offer my personal opinion as a Heathen and the devotee of a sea god. I won’t say whether or not you should do it, since it’s your skin and your decision, but I can bring up a few points I’d want to consider before going ahead.

In terms of not getting mistaken for a neo-nazi,  ᛚ is one of the safer runes to get tattooed. It hasn’t been as co-opted by white nationalists in the same way as Sowilo or Algiz. Most people aren’t going to recognize it as a rune at all.

I do however, have concerns about how well the meanings assigned to the rune in the rune poems actually match your purposes. Because while a lot of people add in their own associations with water in their rune readings, the historical sources aren’t nearly as positive as most modern books.

For example, here’s the Anglo-Saxon take:

The ocean seems interminable to men,
if they venture on the rolling bark
and the waves of the sea terrify them
and the stallion of the deep heed not its bridle. 

Water is healing and nourishing, but it’s rarely still and not always predictable. If you look at Norse myth, it’s clear that they were keenly aware that the forces of nature that keep us alive can also be destructive and deadly. Is calling upon the vastness and power of the ocean going to leave you in awe, or just overwhelm you? If you’re prone to anxiety or existential crises, that might be reason to give pause.

You do have the option of testing the rune out less permanently before you commit, with henna or makeup or marker. I’d recommend that if at all possible, both to see if you like it and to see what, if any, magical effects you get.

Another thing I feel obligated to bring up is the fact that many (though not all) Heathens view tattoos as a blood oath. In Heathenry, blood has a lot of symbolism in regards to making oaths and empowering runic charms. And Odin, the god generally considered responsible for runic stuff, is very pushy and loves to exploit loopholes. Again, a lot of this is dependent on your own situation and beliefs, but I would strongly consider whether that’s a risk you’re willing to run.

Finally, it’s important to remember that magic is never a substitute for actual medical treatment. Mundane stuff is going to help more than a tattoo is, even an enchanted one. 

Best of luck!

- edderkopper