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Divination >> Rune Stones
norse gods and goddesses, rune poem, german monk, anglo saxon


Author: Jordsvin
Reprinted from "Rainbow Wind" Magazine

Raidho, the "r-rune", is the fifth rune of the first aett of the Elder Futhark. The Old English Rune Poem, Old Norse Rune Rhyme and Old Icelandic Rune Poem all refer to horses in their verses on Raidho. Horses are how people got around back then, and Raidho (known as Rad in Anglo-Saxon and Reid in Old Norse) is the rune of travel!

Raidho's meanings include travel, riding, communication at a distance, transportation, messages, speed, vehicles both ancient and modern, roads, bridges (President Clinton's bridge to the 21st century?), all the media as means of communication (radio, television, the Internet, even movies), cargo, freight, passengers, the postal service, bypassing obstacles, and even raids (RAIDS were often carried out by people who were RIDING). It can indicate an unexpected journey or being MOVED by forces or circumstances beyond your control, as well as right action, increase in activity, or the breaking of a deadlock. Riding, travel and transportation are its core meanings.

Raidho has to do with those Norse Gods and Goddesses riding in chariots. These include Thor, Freya, Frey, Nerthus, and according to Thorr Sheil, Tyr. Note the majority of these (Nerthus, Freya, and Frey) are Vanir Deities. By the way, in Norse and many other mythologies, the Sun and Moon also ride in wagons across the sky. A Sun-chariot model, complete with bronze horses was found in, I believe, Denmark. An old name for the Milky Way is "Odin's Wagon". The Germanic "chariot" was really more of a cart or wagon. A number of these have been dug up. According to Tacitus, Nerthus' wagon carried her cloaked image and made a yearly round of the villages, and great celebration attended its arrival at each one. This went on well into the time when Christianity had been forced on the Germanic peoples. In Late Heathen Sweden, Frey's wagon made the rounds. Thorr Sheil mentions a German monk who was horribly upset when some youths in his country fitted a boat (like the wagon, a Vanir symbol) with wheels, put on it a statue of Hertha (Whom Sheil identifies with Frigga, although I would tend to identify Her with Nerthus), and went from village to village. Outdoor sexual activity was a part of the revels the poor monk (no doubt green with envy) was forced to witness. Think of what Wiccans do on Beltaine. These are celebrations dedicated to the Vanir, remember! Ing(vi) Frey's verse in the Old English Rune poem mentions both a boat and a wagon, so we can be sure such things went on in Merry Heathen England as well.

Not only the folks with the God-carts were "circuit riders". Vitkis (wizards) and seidhfolk (seers and seeresses) also made the rounds of Heathen settlements. According to Sheil, if Raidho is the journey, the rune Jera relates to the cycle or circuit, especially an annual one. Eihwaz/Yr, the yew-rune, refers to Yggdrasil. It is the stable point or axis (remember the German Irminsul, or "Columna Universalis") around which Raidho rides its circuit. Think of a wheel and axle.

Raidho connects with the element of Air. Speed is both its greatest strength and most difficult point. It is less likely to backfire than most runes (think of Thurisaz for a good contrast)!

Magickal uses of Raidho include helping cause changes and improvements, locating things, or for any matter involving travel, transportation or communication. You can use it for finding things, and to plan the best way to take a trip, look for something, or carry out transactions. Thorr Sheil identifies the prefix "trans-" as the Latin equivalent for Raidho. Thus, words beginning with "trans-" are things which can be brought about by Raidho! Enjoy your work with this rune!

Works consulted (and which you really should buy, as both of these, as well as any others by these authors, are well worth owning):

At the Well of Wyrd by Edred Thorsson, published by: Samuel Weiser, Inc., PO Box 612, York Beach ME 03910 USA. Weiser publishes two other books by Thorsson, with many others being published by Llewellyn Press: call 1-800-THE-MOON for a free catalogue.

The Road to Bifrost Volume III: The Runes and Holy Signs by Thorr and Audrey Sheil

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