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Runes Using the runes as a divinatory tool

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Old 04-09-13   #1
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Default HAGALAZ Illustrated

Copyright Benjamin Gitchel, 2013.
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Old 04-10-13   #2
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Default Re: HAGALAZ Illustrated

Old Norwegian
Hagall er kaldastr korna;
Kristr skp himenn forna.

"Hail is the coldest of grain;
Christ created the world of old."

Old Icelandic
Hagall er kaldakorn
ok krapadrfa
ok snka stt.

"Hail is cold grain
and shower of sleet
and sickness of serpents."

Hgl by hwitust corna;
hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte,
wealca hit windes scura;
weore hit to wtere syan.

"Hail is the whitest of grain;
it is whirled from the vault of heaven
and is tossed about by gusts of wind
and then it melts into water."
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Old 04-10-13   #3
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Default Re: HAGALAZ Illustrated

Leben - I also really like this one... There is a balance and symmetry to it that resonates for me. Again, I will preface this by saying that I am only a runic dabbler, at best, or perhaps a dilettante (in terms of amateur interest)...

Hagalaz often seemed to have a chaos element that seemed to be emphasized, and yet here, you have depicted symmetry and balance.

Again, I would enjoy reading your reflections here. At this rate, you might get me hooked back into the runes again (!).
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Old 04-11-13   #4
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Default Re: HAGALAZ Illustrated

Thanks for the interest, Fabienne good questions as always.

Again, we only have the rune poems to fall back on for definitive rune lore, as well as some veiled references throughout the Poetic Edda. What we see in all three of the rune poems is that Hagalaz (or Hagal) is the coldest 'grain.' We can take this as a pretty clear metaphor that within the destructive/chaotic effect of hail, is also a 'seed,' the ordering principle for new life. We see from the Old Norwegian how this rune is connected to world-creation "Christ created the world of old." Very often "The High One" or Odin, was replaced with "The High One" Christ, remember both of whom hung in self-sacrifice from a tree, wounded by a spear in the side. So Christ we can also take as Odin, and this makes much more sense when you look to the Norse creation myth; Ymir the primal giant, who was formed by melting ice (re anglo-saxon poem "and then melts into water"), was killed by Odin and his two brothers Ville and Ve, who then used Ymir's body to create the world. So "Christ" is also part of a triune deity (father/son/holy spirit), much like Odin/Ville/Ve, who truly "created the world of old" from Ymir's body -- destruction and creation at once.

This echoes very much the creation myth of the ancient Mesopotamian religions; that of Marduk and Tiamat, or the storm god and the primordial serpent of Chaos. Marduk slayed Tiamat and used the serpent's body to create the world. Without this bit of comparative study, the Old Icelandic "sickness of serpent" makes little sense -- save hail literally killing snakes in the field.

So Hagalaz is a rune of destruction, but it's also a rune of creation. We see such a small cross-section of reality; we look at a forest fire for instance and see destruction, but we don't see the forest being brought into balance, the soil be corrected, invasive species being cut back, etc. We look back and see the hard spots in our lives, but we can also see how those moments contained the seeds of what followed.

The 'Flower of Life' pattern, besides conveying this ordering/creative principle, also encodes the Hagal rune of the Younger Futhark series (which looks like an astrix *) within the center, the 'Seed of Life.'

What better rune to begin the second aett?
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Old 04-11-13   #5
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The word "hagal" is very similar and probably the origin word for the Swedish word "hagel" which means hail.

Damn, thanks to this thread, this made me realize that I really need to start digging more into Nordic mythology, I have only read about the basics so far. It is so immensely fascinating, and a way for me to learn more about my ancestry. I have both ancestry from Sweden and Finland, some speculate that Swedish-speaking Finns (which I am) have viking ancestry because our dialect have many similarities with old-Swedish (not that viking is actually a real historical group or anything to be proud of as they were brutal), but we sometimes joke about it as it would explain a lot

Isn't it funny how things that are most close are the ones we so easily are not interested in, or at least in my case. Back in school when we had courses about Finnish and Nordic mythology I just found the thing so immensely boring that I don't remember a thing that we were taught. I was more interested in far away cultures, like South American Indians and Siberian shamans.

But now as I am older and starting to realize how important it is to know about our ancestors and respect them, I'm starting to realize how lucky I am to be able to still get information about our ancient religion and stories and how much of it is still alive and well kept. Off to the library!
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Old 04-11-13   #6
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Yes, it is the same etymological root! Though I will note, that the Vikings are actually a 'real historical group,' as you say, and they are QUITE something to be proud of -- brutality aside Epic poetry, master craftsmanship, artistic contributions ... the Vikings were really something, there's a lot to be admired, in my opinion.

When I was a young lad, first learning to read, I would check the same book on Vikings out from the library time and time again. I loved the runes and their magical connection, the epic stories and grand battles, the adventures ... I think something was resonating on a deep level. For me, I became interested in Siberian shamans only much later in life

I encourage your learning more! Any threads you want to start?
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