Friday, May 28, 2010

Runes - Northern Mysteries & Magic by Freya Aswynn

A couple of weeks ago my sister Jaimie sent me some books on Runology and I've been reading almost nonstop. This book, Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn, has really impressed me. It's a very positive and beautifully written book. Ms. Aswynn goes into the deeper meanings of the runes (and the various levels of meaning that each one represents) and does it in a way that's easy to understand.

Like many people, when I began my study of runes, I thought they were just an alphabetic divining tool, but they are much more than that. They encompass the whole esoteric belief system of the Northern Peoples before the age of Christianity. This belief system is as complicated as any other religion or philosophy - including the Hindu religion.

Runology is a fascinating study one that will have a prominent part in my next novel.


Pauline said...

Wow, that is so cool! had no idea! love the look of your blog, too! gorgeous!

Diana said...

Thanks Pauline!

The pic of the horse is one of my favorites and I'm glad I'm able to use it.


Cherri Galbiati said...

Love the horse! I like the idea that you're doing deep meaning research so when you write your Fantasy, it'll have depth. And since, that's what you do and write with the understated love of words--this book will be fantastic.

Happy thoughts on your travels through writing this wonderful book!

Corneia Amiri said...

Your post about the runes is fascinating. I never researched them and I had no idea that the Runes had layers or levels of meaning. I'm intrigued. Great Post.

Anonymous said...

Careful around those books. In most places (all that I've seen), runes were simply a way of writing. Like the hieroglyphics of Egypt, or even modern Mandarin. Each symbol doesn't stand for a letter but rather a word, an idea. They're used a lot by the wiccan groups because they look mysterious, but personally I get the same effect using Cyrillic.

Post Christianity. Well.. That's debatable, some places it was Catholicism and that's not even close to Christianity. But in most areas, post-Christianity, Roman conquering, etc, they changed to the Latin alphabet. Unfortunate since so many systems of writing are now lost to us. Even Cyrillic is generally considered to have been developed around 10th century AD and replaced the surrounding alphabets. Runes are pretty cool, and the way of writing that some had, placing each rune on top of the other, is quite fun. You can have very complex paragraphs in a small area.

Not all runes are free from esotericism of course, sure that at one point or another some northern priest would have decided that a rune stands for a particular magical symbol which is a blessing from the gods if you have it on your shield. Like African tribes eating the heart of an enemy to grant them health, but not all runes are like that. To be honest, you'd be better off looking up Norse mythology rather than their writing language, I recommend starting with the Völuspá if you're interested. There's English translations floating around, even some online. No idea as to the integrity of them. Learning Old Norse just to find out if what I'm reading is authentic is.. Just what I'd do actually, but working on a few other languages first. Norse will have to wait.

If you're interested.