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-   -   End of Week One: Exercise (http://www.earthsongforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12645)

SunSister 10-10-11 02:40 PM

End of Week One: Exercise
 
This main exercise of this first week will revolve around familiarising yourself with the Elder Futhark. Some of you may have already taken a sneak peek at these runes before starting the course, or maybe even attempted to write some of the runes before, or have never encountered the runes before now, or will have worked with the runes before and are silently hoping that I'll 'get a move on'. ;) There is nothing quite like a good jog of the memory or like learning a new alphabet, which is why we're spending this first week in the land of history. (And, as in the words of the fabulous Mr Eddie Izzard: I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from. It's the only proper excuse I have for becoming so enthusiastic about Goths and Anglo-Saxons and the like.)

The exercise itself focuses, again, mainly on the keys to understanding runelore: recitation and memorisation. For that purpose, we need the visual reminder of the Elder Futhark (just let the last two runes swap places and you'll be fine:)):

http://i54.tinypic.com/66cj01.jpg

.. and we also need a lot of patience when it comes to getting things wrong. Wrong order, wrong stroke, wrong letter, wrong pronounciation, wrong everything: it happens. You'll grow out of it. It's far more exciting to actually get things right when you've done a million things that made you question your own intelligence before. :) Mistakes are really common when you start out with studies of the runes and you will probably mix some things up in your head from time to time. In order to make things easier for you, I have designed the following exercise:


a) Take a blank piece of paper (or that journal/notepad/etc from your 'supplies'-list!) and practice writing the runes of the Elder Futhark. You may want to take one page or half a page per rune for this purpose. I have also realised it would be really handy to have a ruler or anything else that helps you make straight lines available for use. (I used to make mine with the help of books, magazines, etc. whenever I didn't have a ruler on hand. Be inventive!)

The most important thing during this part of the exercise is training yourself to be mindful of the strokes you're putting on that paper. A lot of runes start out with a straight vertical line. The ones that don't have this line are admittedly a little harder to get right on paper. It is important to really focus on what sets the one rune you are making apart from all the other runes in the alphabet. It could be anything: its shape, the angles you're using, the associations that pop into your head while you make it.. Are some runes familiar to you because they look like certain letters or symbols you already know? Does that familiarity make it easier or harder for you to get their strokes just right? (Sometimes it can be very illuminating to tilt your head to the right or left and look at the runes from that angle. What can you see in runes like Berkana and Perthro when you do this?)

Which runes come easy to you while you're writing? Are there some you struggle with? Why do you think that one rune is 'easier' than another? Are there any that stand out as would-be favourites to you? (Without going into their meaning, if you already know it!) Are there any that make you feel uneasy? Do some maybe inspire visions or other associations in you, perhaps related to nature or specific people?


b) Recite the names of the runes out loud for yourself. I cannot stress enough times how important this is! In some cultures, names and words are intimately tied in with the use of magic. It was said that some of this particular knowledge could give someone power over another living being. (This is also probably the origin of the warnings not to tell anyone the craft name you use during your magical and ritual workings. :)) The evidence for this line of thought is much more prevalent in, among others, Egyptian lore than it is in the Norse. Still, the Norse people were absolute magicians when it came to working with riddles and words and concepts behind the words. It is for this reason that it is important to consider the energetic impact of a runic practice that is largely dependant on speech and recitation.

Experiment with the recitation until you find a rhythm that suits you. I personally elongate the sounds in order to get in touch with the vibrations of each rune, but have also found merit in a fast recitation that sounds rather like speeding up and down a mountain. It can be quite a foreign experience, because you're experimenting with sound patterns in a language that is not your own! There is also quite an interesting side to the recitation when you use whispers instead of your normal voice, or when you raise your voice to become louder than it normally would be. The vibration brought forth in an elongated recitation of the runes is quite similar to the throat-singing employed by people from Tuva (part of Siberia) and Mongolia today. (You may find numerous examples of this technique on Youtube, so I recommend listening to it whenever you've got a spare moment in this week.)

The purpose of this exercise is mainly to explore any feelings or associations that arise in you during the recitation. Does your experience with some runes change now that you've given voice to them? Are your feelings similar to those of the writing experiment, or can you sense any differences? Are there runes that give off an uneasy vibration now, or are there any runes that seemingly vibrate in perfect harmony with you? Are there any runes that maybe use more power from your voice that others? Do some just roll off your tongue, or are there some you stumble over? And, just like in the writing exercise, does their vibration maybe bring forth strong visions, ideas, an underlying sense of purpose, etc?


I realise that it may be a little awkward to try and recite something in a language you don't know. :) If there are any pronounciations that confuse you extremely, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. (The 'uz' part of any rune, for instance, is pronounced pretty much like you'd pronounce the 'ooz' part in 'ooze'. :) Sounds logical enough, doesn't it?)

Word of caution for the wise: do not break off your recitation! Always complete the full cycle of fehu to dagaz before you stop. The runic recitation is something that builds up the energies of the runes. Breaking this build-up off disrupts the flow of energy and may cause the energy itself to go pretty haywire. We'll be working with the individual runic energies in weeks to come, which will teach you how to handle them individually and how to incorporate their flow into your life. For now, however, please work with the full recitation from fehu to dagaz each time. :)

Sacred 10-10-11 03:56 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Interesting first assignment. This is what I made myself do last summer when I was studying my book. I felt a great connection with the runes when I recited them. I drew the words out (syllables, not literal writing) and whispered them and it felt very powerful. It was actually last summer that I had an impromptu spell done at work by whispering a certain rune over and over. The visualization and energy flow that accompanied it was amazing!

DonelleBeira 10-10-11 07:11 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
The correct pronunciation of the runes - I have the phonetic spellings for each one but not where the syllable emphasis should be. ie - Fehu = fay-who, but is the emphasis on "fay" or on "who"? I have tried to listen to several recordings online but they are either in a sort of monotone, no infections at all, or the different speakers have emphasized different syllables. Is there some place to find the inflection emphasis of each rune as it should be spoken? Or is there one?

Sacred 10-10-11 09:17 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Oh my I think you may have 2 additional students, my little witchlets were fascinated with what I was writing tonight so they repeated each of them every time I wrote one :heart:

LarkWahya 10-11-11 02:23 AM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sacred (Post 258963)
Oh my I think you may have 2 additional students, my little witchlets were fascinated with what I was writing tonight so they repeated each of them every time I wrote one :heart:

that is beyond adorable O.O

SunSister 10-11-11 02:29 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the seeker (Post 258955)
The correct pronunciation of the runes - I have the phonetic spellings for each one but not where the syllable emphasis should be. ie - Fehu = fay-who, but is the emphasis on "fay" or on "who"? I have tried to listen to several recordings online but they are either in a sort of monotone, no infections at all, or the different speakers have emphasized different syllables. Is there some place to find the inflection emphasis of each rune as it should be spoken? Or is there one?

Good question! :) Linguistically speaking, the Old Norse language usually seemed to place the emphasis on the first syllable of a word. I think it changes when there are three syllables or more, but in those cases the emphasis still always lies on the first or second syllable. Never the last! :) (I first learned the runes out of Dutch books, in which the syllable emphasis was always like the Norse. I guess my language still sometimes retains the old speaking manner of the Germanic and Scandinavian languages that influenced it. :)) You may find that they roll off your tongue with far more ease when you don't stress the last syllable. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sacred
Interesting first assignment. This is what I made myself do last summer when I was studying my book. I felt a great connection with the runes when I recited them. I drew the words out (syllables, not literal writing) and whispered them and it felt very powerful. It was actually last summer that I had an impromptu spell done at work by whispering a certain rune over and over. The visualization and energy flow that accompanied it was amazing!

It's really something! :) I always ask everyone to recite them sooner or later for this reason. Some people have no click with the runes right until they recite them! It's no wonder -- the spoken word held a lot more power in those past times than the written ever did. Even now, most runic energies and 'spellcrafts' with runes don't work until they're claimed out loud. Just a whisper is enough to create the flow. :)

Quote:

Oh my I think you may have 2 additional students, my little witchlets were fascinated with what I was writing tonight so they repeated each of them every time I wrote one :heart:
That is beautiful!! :) Such a heartwarming thing to hear. I used to work with children a lot, so I know all too well how they can take to certain energies like.. well.. magic. They're most welcome to 'join' you at any time you feel is right. :)

Frater SCS 10-11-11 09:47 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SunSister (Post 259021)
Good question! :) Linguistically speaking, the Old Norse language usually seemed to place the emphasis on the first syllable of a word. I think it changes when there are three syllables or more, but in those cases the emphasis still always lies on the first or second syllable. Never the last! :) (I first learned the runes out of Dutch books, in which the syllable emphasis was always like the Norse. I guess my language still sometimes retains the old speaking manner of the Germanic and Scandinavian languages that influenced it.

That's interesting. I'm currently trying to teach myself Icelandic in preparation for a trip I hope to take early next year. My grammar text has stated that the first syllable is normally accented, and I've heard that Icelandic is very close to old Norse.

Best,
Kevin

DonelleBeira 10-14-11 07:21 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
I am having a difficult time writing the runes using a ruler or straight edge. Is this precision required or is free-hand acceptable?

DonelleBeira 10-14-11 08:52 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Never mind....perhaps not seeing is important. Seriously.

SunSister 10-15-11 02:04 PM

Re: End of Week One: Exercise
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the seeker (Post 259352)
I am having a difficult time writing the runes using a ruler or straight edge. Is this precision required or is free-hand acceptable?

By all means: do what feels right to you. :) I found it easier to use a ruler at first, but free-hand has some advantages as well.

Now that we're nearing the end of week: how's everybody getting on? :) Any specific things that really stand out for you? Anything giving you trouble?


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