The Viking run witnessed the discovery of runes and runestones by the Scandinavian ancestors. Runes are alphabets or characters used by the Nordic Vikings for several purposes. The Viking runes are no ordinary alphabets as they harbor some mysteries. They give solid insights into the character and The values of the Vikings. Runes are so mysterious that they are often referred to as the most powerful forces in the universe.
Runs were discovered by great Odin, the king of Vikings. Odin is the great god of the Vikings; he is the god of wisdom and war. He had a flair for getting more knowledge. His interest in acquiring knowledge led to the discovery of runes Which in turn saved him from death. The great tree Yggdrasil stands at the center of the Norse cosmos as an outgrowth from the well of Urd with its branches well spread over Asgard, the shelter of Odin. Odin would watch the Norns (the deities in Charge of the destiny of all) and how they used runes to convey their fates with so much interest. He would sit all day full of envy for their powers and wisdom. The thought of getting more wisdom just like them overwhelmed him and he made a Decision to know the runes.
Odin knew that the runes dwell in the well of Urd and wouldn't just reveal themselves to anyone who doesn't prove to be worthy or deserving. He decided to make a sacrifice of anguish and pain by hanging himself from a branch of the great Tree hangs from gaining extraordinary wisdom and power through the runes. While hanging from Yggdrasil, Odin pierced himself with his spear. He told the other gods not to try to come to his aid. He persisted till the end of the ninth The nights the pain. He had proved himself worthy and deserving of the runes, and they showed themselves to him. The runes didn't only come to Odin in form; the secrets that lie with them were also revealed to him. Sacrifice were worth it after all.
Runes Are Beyond Mere Alphabets
Runes have a potent virtue within them. They are beyond just letters. Odin saw this and was willing to pay the sacrifice which almost cost him his life. Runes are metaphysical and magical because they have some more inherent meaning beyond what they sound or look like. They could be used as a channel of communication between the natural and the supernatural. They could be used as spells or chants for success or protection. For instance, Odin became one of the mightiest beings in the cosmos after discovering the runes. He could recite and chants runes to heal the sick, wake the dead, bind his enemies, put out a fire, expose the wicked, protect himself and the people around him when in battle, cast love spells, and perform every other thing he wished.
After making a breakthrough and learning the runes, Odin passed the knowledge to all other Vikings. The runic alphabets then became a system of writing before the Latin alphabets. The runic alphabet is known as 'futhark,' a name derived from the first 6 letters - f, u, þ, a, r, k.
Futhark was categorized in three forms which are the Elder Futhark, Younger Futhark, and Anglo-Saxon Futhark. The eldest futhark has 24 characters and was mainly in use between 100 AD and 800 AD. The younger futhark, also known as the Scandinavian runes has 16 characters and was in use between the 8th and 12th centuries. It was predominantly used in the Viking age before it became latinize. The last one which is the Anglo-Saxon Futhark has 33 characters and was used in England.
Runic alphabets have variations in names, shapes, uses, and inherent meanings which could be confused when mixed together. Runes are therefore broken into a group of eight (aett), in which the name is given followed by the phonetic value, symbolic image, And its esoteric meaning just as it used in divination. Some runes fall into a reversed or inverted position while some look right up and upside down. The position is usually not reversed to avoid a dark meaning from what was intended.