What Are Gaelic Runes?  

by Craig Malone

 (submitted 2010-04-22)

Gaelic runes are also known as the "runes of the north" or even Norse Scottish rune craft. They are actually based on an old Nordic myth about a figure named Asa-Odhinn, who sacrificed himself on the gallows tree of the worlds to give mankind the knowledge of the Orkney Runes which later mutated into the more contemporary Gaelic Runes.

Vikings brought the simple alphabet that was inscribed on stones and that was also used for fortune telling and magic spells. The Vikings arrived as raiders and many of them interbred with the natives to form a mixed race called Foreigner Gael. They mainly settled in Kilbar on Barra and in Gorvan and also in Orkey, Dublin and York.

There were only sixteen Gaelic Runes so their use was very simple. Usually they were inscribed to describe the ownership of jeweler, swords or other items.

The Isle of Man is a center for Norse Gaelic Kings in the Scottish Isles. In this area there are thirty-six very historically important rune carvings. These Runes have elements of both cultures and as a collection of thirty-six symbols are known as the Gaelic Tree Alphabet.

The Orkney runes consist of the following:

FE the cattle rune stands for wealth (goods and chattels)

UR is the 'melting of ice' and the return of fertility to o the earth after winter, the strength and growth of the earth itself.

THURS is the lustful rune that means sex. It means rough sex and can bode sickness for women

AS is a loch or river outlet and it means marriage and prosperity. Water is prosperous in this Gaelic culture.

REIDH is the rune of riding

Kaun is the rune of sickness and scorge

Hagl is the rune of hail and storm

NAUTHR symbols tough times in which 'the naked are frost frozen'."

IS or ice is the rune of freezing and stillness. It denotes isolation and possible illness.

AR is the rune of sowing and reaping and denotes the rewards of the harvest. SOL is the Sun Goddess, whose rune means success, health, happiness and good sailing.

TYR is the rune of the War God who sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenrir for the good of the gods. It is a warnig not to be bitten.

BJARKAN is the birch rune and symbolizes birth, fruitfulness and love.

MADHR is the rune of mankind and good dealings between folk.

LOGR symbolizes the fish harvest, the magic of the sea gods and the all-potential of the deep.

YR is the rune of the deep death knowledge, evergreen rebirth, and making an accurate shot with an arrow. It means one's goals will be achieved.

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