Through documentaries and television series about the Vikings, it has been possible to learn about the rich history of Norse mythology. Approaching how the Germanic Scandinavian peoples lived can be one of the most exciting tasks. One of the facts that allows you to delve into the Nordic culture are the Viking runes.
According to some historians, the Viking runes, which are essentially a set of symbols, served as a means of communication between the natural and the supernatural, but they also had more everyday uses.
These experts in the Nordic culture explain that the Viking runes have a magical and deep origin. “According to mythology, the runes were symbols that came from the Well of Urd, or Urðarbrunnr, one of the three that lay under Yggdrasil, the world tree. Three Norns emerged from this well, mythical creatures that decided the fate of people. For this reason, the Well of Urd is known as the source of destiny,” they point out.
According to historians, “the Norns used the runes to carry fate through the trunk and branches of Yggdrasil to the nine worlds between its branches. Legend has it that the god Odin impaled his own heart on his spear and hung himself.” of the world tree for nine days and nine nights to understand the meaning of the runes.”
Experts point out that “Odin knew that the runes conveyed a deep meaning, and if he managed to understand them, he would obtain an immense amount of knowledge and power. The god was successful in his mission and since then he has been closely associated with knowledge and wisdom.”
The Vikings gave the runes a mystical and magical nature. They were also used in inscriptions of great importance, like the runestones that mark graves.
In addition, they served as a means of communication between the natural and the supernatural. To them they were an ancient oracle system. They were carved on sticks to throw them and be able to predict the future, or also on harder materials, instead of writing them on parchment or other material.
Runes are made up of vertical lines with branches or twigs that run diagonally, up, down, or in a curve. They can be written from left to right or from right to left. Asymmetric runes are reversed, depending on the direction in which they were written.
Historians who have specialized in Nordic culture have established that there were several types of runic alphabets. They are called futharks because of the first 6 letters of the Elder Futhark, which roughly correspond to the letters F, U, Th, A, R, and K. It is the oldest runic system discovered.
According to History on the Net, although a runic alphabet can be used to write a document, that was not its purpose, as the Norse culture was an oral culture. Rather, the futhark was used for commemorative purposes, to identify an object, or for magical reasons, to curse or heal.
History on tne Net adds that runes were believed to be used primarily for commemorative or religious purposes. However, a major excavation carried out in Bergen, Norway in the 1950s revealed that they were also often used for commercial and everyday purposes. There, a large number of runic inscriptions expressing prayers, love letters, jokes, jokes and personal messages were found.