The Runes were the letters with which the ancient Norse wrote until approximately 1000 A.D., and they can be seen carved on Runestones across Scandinavia to this day. They also had oracular, mythological or psychological import. The chief Norse god, Odin, was said to have been voluntarily wounded with a spear and hung for nine nights on the nine worlds of Norse cosmology's axle-tree, Yggdrasil, in order to obtain knowledge of the Runes' meanings and magical uses--a kind of Norse shamanic initiation.
Many historians, mythologists, occultists and modern pagans have studied the Runes. One good place to start reading about them is Freya Aswynn's book Leaves of Yggdrasil, Llewellyn, St. Paul, MN 1994. The following interpretations were researched and elaborated by Jodie and Steven Forrest. They are not the definitions of a Norse scholar, nor a modern day godhi or gytha (Norse priest or priestess) but those of a novelist and an astrologer. As in Jodie's Nordic-Celtic historical fantasy novels , which feature the Runes, some poetic license has been taken! Still, we think you'll find them interesting.