10+ Facts About The Viking Runes That You Should Know
If you are a Norse reader or a Viking lover, you are likely to have heard of "runes". Generally, rune is the Viking alphabet that survives the test of time and makes it to us in this day and age. Below are 10+ facts about the Viking runes that anyone should know.
1. In the Viking belief, the figure who first introduced runes to the universe was Odin the Allfather.
Yes, the Vikings believed Odin was the first to introduce runes to the universe. Norse mythology had it that Odin was the first to have the ability to read runes. Later, he introduced runes to the world.
Odin hanging himself to acquire the ability to decipher runes
2. There was no official source showing the origin of runes or how the runes came into being.
Some sources said that the Norns (Norse fate creators) created runes and carved them onto the trunks of Yggdrasil. But this was a part of the tales. In fact, there has been no official conclusion upon the origin of runes. Many even doubt whether the Vikings were the first to use runes or not. Because they believe the Vikings learnt runes from somewhere else during their voyages.
3. Odin had to sacrifice by hanging himself for nine days and nights to know how to decipher runes.
In Norse mythology, Odin was a nonstop wisdom seeker. He would venture a lot to gain the wisdom he wanted. He once made a sacrifice himself by hanging on Yggdrasil Tree of Life for nine days and nights. This was a sacrifice made by himself to himself. After the sacrifice, Odin finally knew how to decipher runes.
4. "Rune" means "secret wisdom" or "secret letter"
5. There are 24 letters in the runic alphabet which we can call the Elder Futhark.
24 letters from Elder Futhark
6. Many accounts said runes were used to communicate. Rather, they were used to written and carved onto the stones.
What left to us are the runestones with the carving of runes on the surface telling the history or simply the daily habit of the Vikings in their time.
7. Many stone inscriptions with runic letters were found in the Viking hot spots.
Runestone in Sunnerängastenen, Sweden
8. The Vikings used runes to call for the Norse Gods' help.
9. Even after the domination of the Christianity, runes were still carved onto the coffins.
The Hammarby Coffin with runic inscription and the symbol of Mjolnir hammer
10. Each rune carries a meaning and each meaning is associated with a power and a value that the Vikings wished to have in their life.
See more: Rune Meaning (Part 1)
11. Runes have become favorite Viking patterns for the design of Viking Jewelry and Viking Clothes.
Indeed, one of the common ways to express the respect toward Norse Pantheon in this day and age is to wear things that remind us of the Norse gods. Runes have come in many forms for Viking Jewelry Design. People are now wearing Rune bead, rune bracelet, rune ring, etc. With the Viking Rune Jewelry, the wearers hope to get the blessing of the gods and to express their faith in Norse gods. The Runic circle is also believed to be the wheel of the universe carrying the philosophy of the cosmos within themselves