Writing and Magic: The Power of Inscription
The word “rune” comes from the Norse and means not only an alphabetic signary, but also “mystery.” Runes, unlike ordinary letters, such as those in the Roman alphabet, are designed to represent magical powers and to convey those powers when written. The Futhark are the principal Norse runes and it is to these that many recent writers have turned to restore the ancient magical systems of the Norsemen and other Germanic-speaking peoples.
Among the other major linguistic groups in ancient Europe, we may look to the Celtic languages and their speakers for another system of magical writing. This is called Ogham. Ogham is a system of correspondences and symbols, and is unrelated to the Greek and Roman alphabet. It uses combinations of tally marks instead of unique individual letters as alphabetic systems do. It appears to have been adapted for use as an…
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