The sacred marks of the Viking runic alphabet are one of the earliest forms of writing and were used as carved protective symbols that bring luck and protection as well as a tool for divination.
Travelling with Viking rune symbols as travel charms like rings, necklaces and keyrings are a powerful way to bring luck, good fortune and protection with you on your journey.
In this post you are going to learn what runes are, their history, meaning and why you should travel with them.
What are Runes?
Runes are letters in the ancient Runic alphabet which was developed in Scandinavia. This alphabet was used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. The Runic alphabet was the first system of writing that was ever developed!
Viking runes are not just a means of communication by written and spoken language. The word ‘rune’ literally means secret or mystery. The Latin alphabet replaced the Runic alphabet over 1000 years ago but their use has persisted for other specialised purposes such as divination, decoration and protection. In countries like Sweden, you can still find large ancient stone circles made out of Runic symbols.
The history of the rune is rich and potent, making these some of the most important symbols of our time.
Runes are generally made up of vertical lines with branches or ‘twigs’ jutting out diagonally, upwards, downwards or in a curve. They can be written from left to right and right to left.
The runic alphabet is also called “futhark”. Not all the original names of each rune are known and the names we do know have been reconstructed from Common Germanic and Old English.
The history of Viking Runes
The origin of the runic alphabet is shrouded in mystery.
The mythological origin of Runes has always been associated with the god of magic and wisdom, Odin. He was revered to be the highest magician. Odin was always in search of absolute knowledge but this knowledge could not be attained by the simplistic human senses.
The 24 magical runes were revealed to Odin as his untimely death was drawing near. The images of these runes were spread across the and by Odin. As the cults of Odin rose to power, runes, remained under his magical domain.
The earliest confirmed runic inscription dates back to 160CEin Denmark. Scholars estimate the inscriptions result from at least 100 years of experience of writing in runes.
Runes are presumed to have been derived from one of the many Old Italic alphabets used among the Meditteranean people of the first century CE who lived to the south of Germanic tribes.
Runes were prominently written and read from 160CE onwards.
During the Viking Age, large amounts of inscribed runestones were erected throughout Scandinavia. Runes are found in countries with a history of Germanic-speaking people. This extended from Iceland to Scandinavia, England and Central Europe.
The meaning of Viking runic symbols
Runes were primarily created to function as letters to make up a language. But they were much more than just letters as we understand today. Each rune symbol was an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological principle or power. To write or engrave a runic symbol was to invoke and direct the force it stood for.
There are 24 runes and each one has a name that is almost always based on the first sound of each symbol. The name and look of each rune hinted at it’s philosophical and magical significance. Each rune’s pronunciation carries a specific meaning as well.
Runes are symbols of significance and a visual representation of spoken magic. The words that runes make up contain meaning and intention in the sounds they create when spoken.
Runes were not only a means of communication between humans, they are meaningful symbols that can be read and understood by invisible powers who animate the visible world. This allows runes to be used for magical and mystical purposes.
Runes were used to contact the dead, for protection, good luck and safety. They were used for divination and as a means of contacting other planes of existence.
Runes can be carved into wood, bone, shells, paper and stone. They can also be engraved onto metals such as silver and gold and worn as jewellery. By manually carving runes, a stronger connection is created between the rune and the person who carved it. All jewellery withViking rune symbols made by Off the Map Jewellery has been manually engraved.
Travelling with Viking rune symbols
Runes make the perfect travel charm. Travelling with runes will bring positive energy with you on your journey. There are many special runic symbols related to travel. Travelling with runes can provide you with protection and good luck on your journey. They are perfect for backpackers, adventurers, hikers and frequent fliers alike.
Runes carved into silver necklace pendants, bracelets, rings and keyrings are the perfect travel charm to bring these ancient protective symbols into the modern age of travel.
There are 6 runes most commonly associated with travel. Here is their symbol, name and meaning:
Viking travel rune jewellery
Off The Map Jewellerymakes a range of unique silver jewellery with engraved runic symbols for travel.
Viking Travel Rune Silver band Rings
These rings are fully customisable and hand made to order, so it is also possible to have only one runic symbol or a certain selection of symbols engraved onto each ring.
We also have an epicViking pendantfeaturing all 6 travel runes. The back of this pendant can also be engraved with a personalised message to make this travel charm even more meaningful.
Climbing Carabiner Silver Keyring
Ourrunicsilver keyringis a must for any traveller who doesn’t wear jewellery. The keyring features one runic symbol of your choice carved into an organically shaped silver pebble tag which is attached to a screw-closure carabiner key ring.
You can fix it on your backpack or use it for your keys to carry luck and protection everywhere you go.
Lucky rucksack tag
Our originalOff The Map Lucky Rune Rucksack Tag is another great choice for those who don’t wear jewellery. It is solid sterling silver and carved with 6 lucky Runic symbols. It can be sewn onto your bag or inside your wallet.
Each tag comes hand-stitched to a Runic meaning card.
If you or someone you love is a traveller get the special gift of a runic piece of jewellery so they can benefit from the ancient good luck and protection of Viking runes.