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Bibliography for Runes
Are you ready? Here come the first of the Runes! Don't try and learn this all word for word, just read it through first and get a general gist of things before you worry about how much is here! if you're really chomping at the bit, then grab a pen and paper and make notes (not forgetting to put which book the information is from), or print the page out and start your own files of information off...
To understand the entries better, each seperate entry has a roman numeral after it. This should refer to a bibliography list I'll put up in a bit. The bits in bold are my original comments on the research. You will note that my interpretation of each rune is not listed. That is because I use a mixture of the different interpretations listed here. Listing only my interpretation, would give no flexibility to the system and no scope for personal intuitiveness. The alternate entries will be in italics, so that it's easy to see who said what. The first two entries will be two seperate translations of the Anglo Saxon Rune Poem One of which has a Christian influence, the other hasn't.
FEHU = Wealth
Wealth is a comfort to everyone/Yet each must give freely/ If he will the Glory in Heaven I
Money may console you/ though to get any credit / you have to give it away II
Possessions, Nourishment, Cattle:
Rune of material wealth, riches and fulfilment rewards received. Think within yourself of the meaning of profit and gain - what do these words mean to you personally. Look with care to know weather it is wealth and possessions you require for your well being or rather self rule and the growth of a will. Look to what you already have - make sure you conserve, use vigilance and continual mindfulness. Remember you are the same with wealth as without it, be careful not to change, become greedy or drunk on your success. Enjoy your good fortune and remember to share it. The mark of a balanced person is the willingness to think of others at a time of joy. III
Job, House, Car, Money - modern equivalents to cattle!
Honesty:The mirror of truth lies in front of you, pick it up in the silence and without fear look at your present situation. Ask if you are being honest with yourself and others. Take a moment to remember the first time you admitted to yourself or another the depth and truth of your feelings. Be grateful for the relief you felt and the wisdom you gained by laying your burden down that you had carried for so long. Shakespeare said "This above all, to thine own self be true" in Hamlet. Honesty opens locked cupboards in the heart. Being honest is one way of relieving the pain. If you find that speaking the truth is difficult, perhaps the rune is a signal that you how have the courage to try again. IV
Origin: Hallristingor carving
Refers to cattle as a domestic beast, hence to property, money and creative value. The good things of life. Cattle where slaughtered during feasts for religious holidays. In Zoroastrianism one of the holy books is devoted to a dialogue between the group soul of domesticated cattle and Ahura Mazda the deity of light. In this the soul asks where it shall find the 'good shepherd' the one who will treat the cattle well. The rune is a pictograph of the top of a yoke through which the cow's horns are protruding. The art of sacrifice was part of the pagan concept of responsibility. Those with wealth where though who provided meat at the time of feasting. This was not confiscation but the earning of a social and religious merit. The rune represents wealth and plenty but also the distribution of that wealth. It is a sign of hope, but carries some responsibility for those at the top. V
The first letter of the Germanic alphabet, worldly wealth and possessions. Ancient times = the number of livestock a person owned. Livestock was more important than land as the Germanic's where a nomadic people. This implies that wealth was gained through hard work. Cattle require a great deal of time and attention. This is reinforced by the fact that as the Germanic tribes gave up their nomadic existence and settled, cattle played a pivotal role in being used as plough pullers. The cow is a female symbol representing nourishment and continuity, in ancient times this would have been essential for survival through the winter. Gain is being achieved through hard work. Success may be achieved in the face of opposition as long as a cautious approach is assumed. II
Germanic Name: Fehu
1 of 1
Old Norse: Fe
Traditional meaning: cattle, wealth. Moveable wealth, cattle represented chieftain's status. Cattle where a livelihood and a barter medium used as money is now. The modern English word 'Fee' is derived from this association.
'Wealth is a comfort to all men/ yet everyone must give it away freely/ if he wants to gain favour in the Lords sight' - Anglo Saxon Rune Poem Trans. RI Page
Wealth causes strife amongst kinsmen/ The wolf lurks in the forest - The Norwegian Rune Poem
Both of these deal with the attitude of the individual towards wealth. In the first poem you are advised not to be attached to wealth, but to give it away freely, to create positive Karma or find favour with the Gods. The Norwegian Rune Poem warns against the misery wealth can cause in a family. The identity of the Wolf lurking in the forest is easy to place as envy and greed. One of Freya's nicknames is Syr, which means 'sow'. In the Northern Tradition pigs are sacred. Frey has a golden boar, Gullinbursti, on whose back he travels. Freya has a battle swine called Hildisvin. The rune has a predominantly female polarity. Relevant to Fehu is this passage from the Havamal.:-Cattle die, kindred die/ Every man is mortal / But the good name never dies / Of one who has done well and it's second verse: Cattle die, kindred die / Every man is mortal / But I know one thing that never dies / The glory of a great deed - Trans. WH Auden and P B Taylor
Here is the idea of wealth conveyed in a non-materialistic sense, that of the reputation after death. In Teutonic ethics a persons reputation was his or her most precious commodity. Great store was placed on the regard which one was held after one's death. Generally it represents the ability of the individual to create and maintain wealth. VI
"…Money is like muck, not good unless spread…" Francis Bacon
Planetary Rulerships: Venus and the moon The primary meaning of this is wealth. Before the creation of money, cattle where the measure of wealth so that cattle became linked with the idea of wealth on the Teutonic mind. This rune generally indicates earned income, which is expected or anticipated. This parallels with the looking after and breeding of cattle. Translating 'cattle make cattle' into 'money makes money' this rune can be translated as a successful financial investment. Something gained through the expenditure of energy: not a gift. Because of Venus (Goddess of Love) this can be further taken to mean a romantic gain. 'Faint heart never won fair lady'. The moon represents the Great Mother. Many cultures represent the moon as a cow and cows milk was sacred to her. Symbolising the nourisher of mankind in her maternal role. In her protective influence as part of the mothering instinct to nourish and protect. It can indicate a period to conserve resources as there will be few available. Will indicate eventual success even though a period of withdrawal may be at hand. VII
Signifies the Month of May, which the Anglo Saxons called 'Trimilci' or 'three milkings' because at that time of year the cattle, gorging themselves on new grass, needed to be milked three times a day. VII
This rune has the meaning of cattle or measure of status. A symbol of earned income or material gain. A rune of fulfilment what it takes to win out over the opposing forces. A fortunate new career opportunity or financial investment. Bad circumstances may be current but the dawn follows the dark. This rune signals the start of the sunrise. VIII
Divinatory: Spiritual Richness
Spiritual richness to be used for everyone's benefit. Unselfish abundance, although do not waste it on those who would abuse it. Discernment is important.
Cattle where a sign of status and wealth. Spiritual wealth is permanent no matter how many times it is shared. If you are unaware of your gifts, it does not mean you have none, rather you have not discovered them yet. Having the capacity for compassion is sharing the gift of love. Wealth should never be hoarded, but used for the benefit of all. XI
-To share material or spiritual wealth between those less fortunate
-By this to gain good 'karma'
The possession of wealth as a sign of status and power was, one may guess, the driving force behind the social aspirations of the rune using culture. In this archaic society a man's wealth is measured by the number of cattle he owns. By the time the Rune poem was composed, wealth could reside in other things, ships and gold for example. This shifted the meaning to a more abstract level. This abstraction allows for a wider interpretation of the concept of wealth to include moral values and the gift of foresight. The verse contains a moral dimension as is warns that material wealth must be shared to bring maximum benefit. In some translations the phrase 'domes weotan' is translated as 'to gain judgement' or 'to gain honour' may also be translated as 'to cast lots'. This reference may hint at the divinatory role that was, according to Tacitus, taken on by the King or Overlord, the interpreter of the 'notae' written on sticks as lots. This role may have been part of his elevated office and indicative of his higher wealth, which he then shares back among his people. The same verse, however, can be interpreted equally in Christian terms as a warning, the miser had much to fear when it comes to judgement. In the Hebrew alphabet the first letter is 'aelph' meaning 'an ox'. The initial position of ox in the Hebrew alphabet could indicate that cattle where the primary indicator of wealth and power at the time when the Hebrew script was developed. In this first rune the domestic ox is veiled under the broader concept of wealth, suggesting that the invention of the Futhark occurred afterwards, when wealth was measured in more than cattle. IX
Means: cattle. All kinds of beginings. Like the Hebrew, Greek and Gothic alphabets in putting cattle first. The Norse myth of Creation has the primal cow licking a block of salt from which comes the father of the human race. Symbolically then, this is the primal origin of us all (moveable wealth). To the herdspeople of ancient Europe wealth was measured in cattle. In modern times it refers to money, Fee, a payment is the name meaning of this rune. The power to gain worldly success, greater wealth and to keep it. The Norweigan rune poem states that wealth can easily lead to greed or envy, which brings society's downfall. XII
Cattle in replace of money. Material gain. Norweigan and Icelandic poems more cynical: wealth = discord amongst kinsmen. Linked to Frey or Freya. Oxen sacrificed to Frey. eg. Gislis saga and Viga - glum's saga. Icelandic poem glosses gold for this rune. Both gold and amber are mentioned by Tacitus as a trade commodity, which fetched a good price from the Romans, are reffered to in Norse myth as 'the tears of Freya'. Freyas symbol = wild boar. Frey = Freya's brother. Brisingamen = Freya's amber necklace. She slept with four dwarf craftsmen to obtain it. Symbol of wealth. Freya found missing husband Od, beneath a myrtle tree. Myrtle wreaths worn by Northern brides possibly to symbolise defloration of the first night. The butterfly was Freya's hen. Cats where sacred and drew her chariot. Although the cat is not a particularly old domestic animal in Scandinavia. Ermine has been suggested. These could have provided the white catskin gloves for the Volva in Erik the Reds Saga. The main qualification for being a Kottr, a cat, was the ability shared by both cats and ermine to catch mice. Advent of Christianity, Norse Gods denoted to common demons and Freya = patron of witches. Her sacred animal, cat, became witched familiar. Connection between Norse paganism with later witchcraft. Witch persecutions chiefly in Northern Europe. XIV
Represents wealth that can be easily won or lost. Initiation and energetic motivation that moves the acquisition or creation of wealth. Normally it stands for something for which you have worked hard, and expect to receive. It's material meaning is that of earned income and earthly gain that can be won or lost depending in circumstance. Financial gain or loss is most likely the issue. The spirit power of this rune is the firedrake. XVII
Phew! that's a lot for a beginner! I'd rather this be comprehensive at first go, than have to go over the information twice and confuse people! It's taken me just under an hour to write the first rune up as I want it, so it may take me a while to get all of them on here! Think I may spread the Aettir over the three pages, then theres not so much to go through on one page!