The Runic alphabet remained in common use into the 17th century, being consulted for matter of both public and private concern. They were officially banned in 1639 as part of the Church's efforts to *cleanse* Europe of evil.
They were revived in the 1920's and 30's by the Nazi movement - which led to their going into disfavor again after the war because of their (then) political associations.
Perhaps the largest controversey in regards to Runes today has to do with one of the most popular Runic books on the market - "The Book of Runes" by Ralph H. Blum. (To his credit, he does state in the book that his interpretation and presentation of the Runes is non-traditional.)He introduced the concept of the "Blank Rune" (sometimes called the Odin or Wyrd Rune). There is no historical evidence for this Rune, which is defined by Blum as being The Unknowable or The Divine. This Rune speaks of the symbolic shamanic death and rebirth, a concept not unusual in other current divinatory systems. While not historically accurate, I do find that it has a place in Rune readings.
As with any divinatory oracle, the Runes are the connection between ourselves and the Universe, or self and Self. For those on the shamanic path, Runes take their place along with Tarot (which some people feel can be aligned with the Runes symbolically) and other systems of self discovery.
If the Runes are whispering to you, check out my Rune links page for further information and sites that facilitate interactive Rune readings.May you enjoy your journey.
Thank you for listening to the whispers of the Runes. May your day be Blesssed.
As of December, 2003, I will no linger be updating these pages. I hope that you continue to enjoy the material that is already here.
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