The Elder Futhark Runes
Even though the runes once served as an alphabet, they were also used for something more powerful and magical. In fact, the word "rune" means "secret" or "mystery". Historians actually believe that this meaning indicates that the real power of the runes was kept a secret and that only an elite few could unlock these mysteries. Those few people were called rune masters. They often performed rune castings and were called upon to harness the talismanic properties of the runes. The Germanic people believed that the runes could be used to ward off evil, heal the sick, and bless people.
The common misconception is that rune masters practices fortunetelling with them-that is not the case. When the ancients wanted advice on something, they called upon a rune master to do a rune casting. However, the runes didn't provide a prediction of the future, in stead they gave an analysis of the path that one was on and the outcome that was likely. Though because they believed that the future wasn't fixed, if a person didn't like their likely outcome, he or she could change paths, and in turn, change the outcome. Runes are seen as a tool of self-knowledge-guiding you to the answer that is already within you. They help you to discover more about yourself and the mysteries that lie within you.
The Elder Futhark runic alphabet gets its name from its first six letters: f, u, th, a, r, k. The entire alphabet consists of 24 letters, each having its own symbol, meaning, and pronunciation. It is divided into three groups of eight: Freyr's Aett, Hagal's Aett, and Tyr's Aett-named for the Norse gods. Each group also has specific significance for magical uses.
Meaning: cattle, wealth
Associations: wealth, success, abundance, increased income, possession, happiness, financial gain
Meaning: aurochs (wild bison), brute strength
Associations: strength, vitality, good health, power, healing
Meaning: thorn, giant
Associations: will, resistance, luck, protection, Thor (god of thunder), defense, breaking down of boundaries, force
Meaning: God, chieftain, reference to the god Odin
Associations: mind, voice within, signals, inspiration, true vision, self-knowledge
Meaning: ride, journey
Associations: progress, riding, the right order or right way to proceed, rationality, growth
Meaning: beacon, torch
Associations: creativity, awakening, growth, opening, illumination, self-knowledge, vision
Associations: sharing, hospitality, blessings, exchange of oaths, generosity, personal relationships
Associations: harmony, joy of life, prosperity, well-being, fellowship, self-worth
Meaning: hail, stone
Associations: disruption, wild power, change, disruptive weather, storms, wrath of nature, uncontrolled forces
Associations: constraint, resistance, need, caution, delays, conflict (and the will to overcome)
Associations: frozen in time, concentration, stasis, non-action, psychological blocks, standstill
Meaning: Harvest, the cycle of one year
Associations: reward, gain, fruition, fruitful season, plenty, cycles of nature, peace and happiness
Meaning: yew tree
Associations: stability, patience, perseverance, endurance, personal power, strength, initiation
Meaning: vessel, cup
Associations: change, hidden information, truths, secrets
Associations: protection, awakening, shield, defense, higher life, connection with the gods
Associations: good guidance, wholeness, awareness, hope, goals achieved, individual victory, honor
Meaning: Tyr (the sky god)
Associations: leadership, warrior, balance, self-sacrifice, logical thought, rationality, victory
Meaning: birch goddess
Associations: growth, new beginnings, renewal, birth and rebirth, spring, fertility
Associations: balance, stability, harmony, teamwork, trust, loyalty
Meaning: humanity, mankind
Associations: awareness, the self, knowledge, collective conscience of humanity
Associations: flow, emotions, water, renewal, life, energy
Meaning: Ing (the earth god)
Associations: fertility, gestation, internal growth, new life
Meaning: day, dawn
Associations: breakthrough, awakening, awareness, prosperity, the power to change the self
Associations: inherited property/possessions, aid in physical and spiritual journeys, ancestral homeland
The Witch's Pyramid
The Witch's Pyramid, also known as the four Cornerstones of Witchcraft is a basic set of four principles followed by many Pagans and Wiccans today. Those principles are as following
- To know
- To dare
- To will
- To keep silent
You must know the exact outcome desired of your work, the exact reaction you are looking for. You must know what and who you will effect. Know how to execute the ritual properly, know which words to use. Knowledge is power.
You must be daring enough to step outside of your element, daring enough to try new things. You must have the courage to perform the task, and the determination to withstand all consequences. Be daring enough to face your fears.
Everything you do has to come directly from you, you must want it, will it. It cannot be carried out correctly if it does not come from within you. "So mote it be" is you ending you ritual or spell with strength, saying that it will be done the way that you want it to be done. Your desire is what drives your work.
As witches we must keep our practices, rituals, spells, prayers, etc., silent. Simply stating: power shared is power lost. This does not however mean that you can not help to instruct others, it merely means do not boast about your practices.
The number five has always been regarded as mystical or magical, yet essentially "human"; we have five fingers and toes on each limb extremity, we
commonly note five senses-sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, and we perceive five stages in our lives-birth, adolescence, coitus(sexual intercourse), parenthood, and death.
In Christianity the pentagram is used as a symbol for the five senses. In medieval Christianity the "pentalpha" symbolizes the five wounds of the Christ. It was believed to protect people against demons. The Pentagram figured in a heavily symbolic Arthurian romance, appearing on the shield of Sir Gawain in the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. As the poet explains the five points of the star each have meanings of their own. They represent the five senses, the five fingers, the five wounds of the Christ, the five joys that Mary had of Jesus (the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Assumption), and the five virtues of knighthood-noble generosity, fellowship, purity, courtesy, and compassion.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began using both upright and inverted five point stars in temple architecture. Temples decorated with the star include theNauvoo Illinois Temple, the Salt Lake Temple, and the Logan Temple. The symbols derived from the Morning Star pentagrams that are no longer used by Christian denominations.
Many Neopagans, mainly Wiccans use the pentagram as symbol of faith, just like the Jewish Star of David and the Christian cross. It's symbolism is explained as representing the four elements with the addition of the Spirit. It is involved in the Wiccan practice of summoning the elemental spirits of the four directions (North, East, South, and West) at the beginning of rituals. The outer circle of the pentagram is seen as binding the elements together. For Neopagans it is displayed with one point up, because of the inverted goat's head pentagram having been associated with Satanism.
"The circle around a pentagram (transforming it in to a pentacle) is a symbol of "unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and protection. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualism Mother Earth, and a sacred space. The five-pointed star is representative of the four primal elements (earth, air, fire and water,) and traditionally a fifth, called spirit. The circle binds them together to create life. When pointing up, the pentagram can represent spirituality's dominance over the material (pentagram) bound inside the laws of the cosmos (circle). The upside-down facing pentagram, meanwhile, represents the physical world ruling over the spiritual, and has therefore been associated with dark magic. Other sources point to its origin in Chinese five-element philosophy, as the natural balance between fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. This theory states that the direction it is pointing has nothing to do with good or evil, but rather the upside-down facing circle is for banishing. The circle is again for the concept the power within is bound by, this time for the circle of life."
Satanists use the pentagram with two of the points facing upwards, usually seen in a double circle with the head of a goat inside the pentagram itself, often called the Sigil of Baphomet. It is used as a symbol of rebellion or religious identification. The three downward points symbolize the rejection of the holy Trinity.