This was originally for a coven, but I left the coven for personal reasons:
This class will cover the basics of the Elder Futhark, an ancient magickal alphabet
You will learn:
the brief history of the written language of the ancient Norse people,
some of the ancient Norse tale regarding Odin taking up the runes
the ?Aetts? and their purposes
A Brief History
The Elder Futhark is a magickal language comprised of rigid, angular phonetic symbols. The reason for their sharp angles is the writing medium that was used in Northern Eurasia at the time: stone and wood carvings
The alphabet was used from about years 100 to 800, subsequently adapting when the land was invaded by the Anglo-Saxons. They made the runes more rounded and added several more. Yet, that newer version is not the topic for today's class.
The Mythology Behind the Runes
There is an epic poem that details the meaning behind many Norse traditions including the Runes... it is called the Havamal (I can't write accents). In a certain section of the poem, called the Runatal, Odin, one of the primary Norse gods, hung from the world tree, yggdrasil nailed to it by his own spear. He noticed the runes in the mystical waters below, and took them into his life as well as spread their knowledge to those who study them. This was viewed by scholars as a metaphorical self-sacrificial death and rebirth, not unlike that in the New Testament. Now, I won't go into it, because many people on SoM have strong opinions about religion, but there is definitely a similarity between the two.
How this Applies to Runelore
The runes themselves involve a process, which I will discuss more in a second. The process of taking up the runes is spiritual, and is one path towards spiritual realization. Specifically in three steps... taking up the runes initially, withdrawing to isolation to focus on them, and returning to society to help the word with the newfound knowledge.
The Three Aetts of the Elder Futhark
Aetts are basically groups of letters. There are three Aetts in the Elder Futhark, each consisting of eight runes. Each Aett involves part of the spiritual process of taking up the runes, as discussed in the previous section.
The first Aett is connected to the Goddess Freyr, who represents the nurturer, and the merchant. This Aett involves the initial taking of the runes, a process beginning with the mindless following of society and ending with the acceptance of the responsibility of the path
The second Aett is connected to the God Hagal, who represents silence, and a balance to the Trickster, Loki. This Aett involves the isolation, and focus on one's self-path. It begins with sacrifice, the giving up of the unneeded and ends with salvation, the rebirth of one's self.
The third Aett is connected to the God Tyr, who resembles the sky and the divine. This Aett is the final Aett, consisting of fulfilling one's path by aiding the universe. The first rune in the set of eight is the sacrifice of one's wants, the promise of victory and dissolving the boundaries between self and Self (the ego and the higher self) while the last is full spiritual realization.
More on the Connections Between Runes
Runes within each Aett are connected, as are runes in the same position within each Aett, like the first of an Aett, or the third and so forth.
It is somewhat similar to tarot as each Aett is like a suit, while the position is similar to a card within the suit. They are, however more like the trump cards in how they relate more to divine path and intervention than to personal influences.
Runes hold their own energy and can be used to meditate with. They can be used to aid almost any type of energy working. They are powerful and deserve respect. Taking them up is a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly.
That said, they are a powerful tool to realize your path and to help aid you along the way!
There may be more classes on runes in the future... So stay tuned!