Runelore is the body of knowledge and experience that the Vitki use to carry out their work. It contains the practises and techniques used in healing, divination and spiritual evolution.
This is a body of knowledge that has been developed over thousands of years, originally it was passed on as an oral tradition but when European culture was changing a thousand years ago much of the source knowledge was written down so as not to be lost and to a lesser extent the knowledge became embedded in our folklore and the traditions were passed down quietly family to family.
At the centre of all Runelore are The Runes.
There are Beech runes,
There are Birth Runes,
And all the ale runes,
Precious runes of power,
Unspoiled they are unspoiled they are,
Learn them and use them long,
Till the high powers perish.
(The Lay of Sigrdrifa)
To many people the runes are just a way of fortune telling based on an old alphabet. How wrong can you be. As you read through the Edda’s you begin to realise the influence that the runes had on the culture of the time by the large proportion of the text in the Edda’s that refers to them.
Yes the runes on the face of it are an alphabet, but that is only the small tip of an extremely large iceberg. Each of the rune symbols refers to an archetypal energy form. The runes give us the ability to tap into these energies (Healing), manipulate them (Web shifting) and even see them manifesting (Divination).
To fully understand the runes you have to go back to the beginning of creation even before the creation of Ymir. The Eddas tell us that in the beginning there was nothing, but in this nothing was a void called the Ginnungagap. On the north side of the void was a land called Niflheim a dark region of rime and ice, on the southern side was a land called Muspellheimr a region of fire. It is from a meeting of these two energies of fire and the ice across the Ginnungagap that all creation comes. These then are the two primal energies from which every other energy form emanates, all the energies that make up creation are a combination or manifestation of these two energies.
As we said earlier, each rune symbol represents a manifestation of energy. In the case of the two primal energies the runes are Fehu representing the primal fire and Isa representing the primal ice, the two most basic positive and negative energies in life. Many people will see these represented in the same way that the Oriental Yin and Yang are.
To understand the true nature of the runes and to be able to handle them effectively we need to think of them purely as energy, not concepts or letters of an alphabet. Their true nature is that of pure energy; the energy from which these worlds manifests and of course from which you manifest. The runes are part of you, this is the beauty of them they are not some external thing we have to try and understand or control. Because they are part of us once we have tuned into them and understood their nature our relationship with them becomes very natural and intuitive. Remember the same energy that runs through you runs through the rest of creation, that is the reason our relationship with the runes is so powerful and enduring.
The best way to get to know the runes is to use them, let them become part of your daily life. The more you use them the more they will teach you for they are already within you, you just need to reawaken them. In the early days it is best just to get to know the basic meanings and symbols and of course their names, meditate on them for a while each day until you get familiar with the whole set. In our tradition we use the Elder Futhark that contains 24 runes and are considered to be the oldest complete set.
Once you are familiar with all of them start using them, whether it be for divination, healing or whatever, start simply don’t complicate things at first. For divination just choose three runes in relation to a question and let them show you what has led up to the situation you are in now, the current situation and the outcome of the situation. This is a very common three runes spread each rune representing past, present and future. Select a rune such as Uruz for basic healing or the rune Thurisaz for when you need a burst of energy. The way to do this is to focus on the rune symbol in your mind and draw the energy into yourself or another recipient to bring about the desired effect. You’ll be surprised how little practise it takes to be able to channel the Rune energies where you want them.
After you’ve been doing this for a while you’ll see the runes start take on a life of their own, the basic concepts which you learned of the beginning begin to grow and develop as your understanding of the runes grows and develops within you. Many people after they have been using the runes for a few years look back at their early notes and see a big difference in how they perceived the runes then and how they do now.