Identify and describe one method of divination to which you find yourself attracted, and discuss its relationship to paleo-pagan divination. (minimum 300 words)
Due to my Germanic heritage, I’ve always found myself the most drawn to the runes, especially the Elder Futhark, but I’ve been learning a lot about the Young Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc through my Anglo-Saxon Kindred. It helps that my fiance is also drawn to the runes, as well as my best friend (though she’s also partial to the Ogham). My main two resources for study right now are Diana Paxon’s “Taking up the Runes” and Edred Thorsson’s “Futhark”, because they were easily accessible and Paxon’s book seems to be a great compilation of information of many sources. This gives me a book to cover many sources rather than having to spend the money on the sources themselves individually. I do plan to expand my library here, however.
Runes are a special case, because as Thorsson mentions, they were started as a magical tradition and weren’t just language-oriented. They are multi-functional in this way, with many references throughout texts such as the Havamal and the Sagas. Even though they span across several cultures which contributes to their variations, they are still very similar at their core. This lends itself insight that even though they were spread out over these different cultures such as the Norse and Anglo-Saxon, that their meanings were definitive enough to stay relative to each other.
Tacitus states that it was common practice in the German culture to carve their runes into wood (which would unfortunately rot over time) and cast them onto a white cloth where they are then strictly interpreted (Thorsson, 13). Runic incantations (runagaldrar) and posture were quite popular and mentioned in the Poetic Edda and various other artifacts found throughout history, such as the drinking horns of Gallehus. These horns showed the incantations in the forms of humans taking the shape of the runes. Even children were taught the runic alphabet by posturing into the shape of the rune (Thorsson, 13).
(Word Count: 319)