The origin of Rune casting is lost in the mist of time. It is not known which ancient culture created the runes, but runic symbols have been found as carvings on rocks considered as old as 8000 BC to 2000 BC. However, they cannot be dated with conviction to before 200 AD.

Creation Of Runes
Though the creation of runes is not clear, it is thought that the Goths and similar Germanic tribes around the Black Sea, probably inspired by Latin and Greek languages, created the runes about 100 to 200 AD.

A number of European peoples, such as the Goths, the Herulers, the Germans, the Frisisans, the Saxons, the Norwegians, the Swedish and the Danish people, along with the people from Iceland, Greenland, and Lapland were known to have used runes.

Other theories about the origin of runes abound:

• Sometimes from 1800 to 400 BC, they were introduced to Scandinavia from Crete
• The Norwegian runes were identical to those of the Semitic languages of Asia Minor and Canaan from as far back as 2000 BC
• They have the same origin as the Gokturk alphabet of the ancient Turkish inscriptions
• Inspired by Latin, they were created in South Scandinavia in 300 AD

The Magical Runes

Since the ancient times, in addition to writing, runes have been used for divination and magic. The word ‘rune’ means mystery, secret or whisper. Runes are considered to have originated from two very distinct sources – literate and magical.

As the legends have it, Odin, the Norse High God of the Aesir, impaled on his own spear, hung for nine days and nights from the world tree, Yggdrasil, in order to gain the knowledge of the runes. The runes appeared below him, and when he took them up, the runic knowledge gave him power. Later, he passed on this knowledge to goddess Freya, who in turn, taught him the magic of seidr. Heimdall, the god who guarded the Rainbow Bridge, taught the runes to mankind.

Rune casting is not ‘fortune telling’ per se, but is a way of seeking advice. The best way of using the runes is by stating your circumstances and asking a specific question. At times, the answers are obscure, and one has to figure out the details. This is so as the future is not ‘fixed’ and can change, depending on what you do. Here, the intuition of the rune casters becomes very important, and at times, the meaning becomes very clear to them.

Methods Of Runes

Runes, an ancient oracle, have no valid methods of divination. Many people, interested in rune casting devise their own methods, or choose from the many rune-casting methods. You start by memorizing the literal meanings of the runes.

A look at some of the methods of rune casting:

• One Rune Method – Used when you are looking for a quick answer to a single question.
• Three Runes Method – This method provides an overall response to a given situation. The first rune represents the past, the second represents the present, and the third the inevitable fate.
• The Roman Method – This is a variation of the three runes method.

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