The Vikings left us witnesses of their cultures: the runes. It is found on objects, on stones, on tattoos, etc. Used both by the Vikings and in Celtic languages, they form a communication system made up of 24 Scandinavian signs or constellations.
It is the Viking alphabet, an alphabet to which fate seems to grant enigmatic origins. Moreover, the rune or the "futhark" as it is often called comes from the word "rûn" which, in Gothic Norse, means "secret writing". We therefore discover that this alphabet is not just a set of letters. It takes on a very mysterious dimension.
The Vikings and their alphabet
Divided into three families which are the aet of Tyr, the aet of Hagall and the aet of Freyr, each family being composed of 8 runes each, the runic alphabet is similar to an adaptation of the Etruscan, Rhaetian alphabet , Camunian, Italic or Latin. On the other hand, the names of certain letters have led researchers to establish a direct filiation of this system of symbols with the archaic Greek alphabet.
The runic inscriptions are read from left to right, but also in the opposite direction. The alphabet is composed of vertical and oblique marks, the runes having almost no horizontal and curved strokes. This would be due to the fact that the pieces of bark on which they were engraved did not make horizontal lines possible. The writing would have been illegible given the lines of the wood and because the backing too would split and be damaged.
Over the years, the world has seen many variations of the runic alphabet passing by. The oldest version of the runes , "the old futhark" consisted of 24 letters and was used between the 2nd and the 8th century.
As soon as Old English appeared, another form of runic alphabet made up of 36 runes and known as futhorc appeared. Other forms from the Old English alphabet such as the "thorn" and "wynn" runes have been added. The old futhark then simplified into a new version consisting of 16 runes and known as "the new futhark".
This last variant was later simplified to give rise to Halsing's futhark. Around the 1100s, all its variants disappeared and the medieval runes composed of 27 letters replaced them. The most recent versions of the futhark are two: the Danish version with short twigs and the Norwegian-Swedish variant which is distinguished by its long short twigs. In some isolated regions, runes continue to be used until the beginning of the 20th century.
The use of runes among the Vikings
According to Viking mythology, runes were first discovered by the god Odin. The latter would have spent 9 days and 9 nights, suspended by the feet from a tree, without eating or drinking , torture after which the knowledge of the runes would have been transmitted to him. In all cases, the runes have a divinatory scope.
In magic, it's not just letters of some alphabet. Don't forget that Viking runes helped Loki in his quest for power against Thor. They are symbols each with their own name, sound, meaning and story. Their mysterious character is surely not the product of a fantasy composed over time. The Vikings used to carve runes into wooden objects or medallions to protect themselves from the gods. They gave a central place to religion in their lives.
Because for them, it was a huge honor to die in battle. They were often quick to go to the Viking seers for reassurance about the battles to come. It was even a custom among the chiefs, for whom the analysis of the runes served to reveal the perfect will of the gods.
The runes in clairvoyance
Runes are usually inscribed on small stones which are sold by clairvoyants for raffles. When fired by an individual, they can reveal information inaccessible to humans. The seer creates the right environment with candles , incense, soft music, etc. The draw of the rune stones is done more or less like the draws of the clairvoyance cards.
They reveal information about the past , present and future. In any case, only a seer, a person with extrasensory gifts, a person able to associate the elements with each other, can analyze and give the correct interpretation of the runes.
They were attributed the power to establish the connection between the dead and the living, because they were associated with the god Odin. They illustrate either the divine, or the imaginary, or the natural, or the meteorological , or the plant, or the human. On the other hand, a close analysis of their order in the alphabet makes it possible to realize that the runes reflect a spiritual evolution.
They were used by the Vikings not only to communicate among other things, but also to converse with the supernatural world. The rune stones served as a passageway from the natural world to the supernatural world. You will notice that it is used in literature to halo a fact of mystery. An example would be that of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Vernes which begins with a secret code composed with runes.