The first writing systems used by the Germanic people were runic alphabets. Like Egyptian hieroglyphics, runes were more like letters — each was an ideographic or pictographic symbol. To the Ancients, they were associated with the principles of power and write a rune was to invoke the force for which it stood. The word rune means ‘letter,’ ‘secret’ or ‘mystery.’ Its original meaning may have been ‘hushed message.’
Runes, tied to the principles of power, had magical significance and were used to create spells and foretell the future.
In folklore, the runes were given to mankind by the Odin, the Norse God of mythology. He died and passed on to the afterlife where he gained wisdom and passed his new wisdom to his people in the form of Runes.
Runes date back to the first century c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. The Roman alphabet became the preferred script in most of Europe.
We’ve learned that the runic alphabet is an outgrowth of two distinct sources—one magical and the other literate. Many Bronze Age rock carvings, primarily in Sweden, have pre-runic symbols. Some of these symbols are alphabetic letters, while others represent ideas and concepts, sigils. These concepts were incorporated into the names of runes (sun, horse, etc.) and, unfortunately the meaning of these sigils and their purpose are lost to us. They were, however, believed to have been used for divination or lot casting. It’s believed that sigils contributed to the magical aspects of the later runic alphabets.
The name "futhark", like the word "alphabet", is derived from the first few letters in the runic sequence. The futhark originally consisted of 24 letters, beginning with F and ending with O, and was used by the northern Germanic tribes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Northern Germany. This is knows as the Elder, or Germanic Futhark forms of the runic alphabet.
Runes were used well into the 17th Century and were known by the common people who used them for simple runic spells. They also consulted them (like Tarot cards). Runes and the magical arts were banned in 1639 as part of the Church's efforts to "drive the devil out of with Europe". The rune masters were either executed or went underground, and the knowledge of the runes appears to have died with them. Some had the knowledge passed on in secret, but it is almost impossible to separate ancient traditions from more modern esoteric philosophies in such cases.
In my new story, Knight of Rapture, magical runes play a large part in the story. Rebeka must decode the runes and the ancient prophecy it hides to save all she loves.
For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.
Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.
Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.
The Druid Knight Tale - a Short Story is FREE on Amazon, B&N and iBook. Knight of Rapture releases March 30. For more information please visit my website at www.RuthACasie.com