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Thread: Runes for divination

  1. #21
    Magnificent Bastard ThorsSon's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    Tylluan, you are too quick for my snarkiness.

    I, from time to time, vent by typing something, hitting post, then deleting it before anyone can read it... today I failed.

    You quoted before I deleted... oops.

    However, the gist stands.. you are correct when you say that we have to rely on interpretation... but I do find it hard to embrace when 2 out of 3 Rune Poems do not mention divination, and the one that does is the newest one... that is the reason for my "Later interpretation does not prove former intention," quote.

    I am not against further discussion... I just didn't expect it, because I didn't intend anyone to actually read the post you quoted.

    Because I am petty like that.
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  2. #22
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination


    Oh that's fine - and you're quite right in what you say though I have to admit that there is a lot of controversy about the dating of the rune poems. There are some who believe that the linguistic evidence of the AS poem actually makes it the oldest of the three - although what survives is a much later copy. : The mind boggles.

    Another problem of course is that not all the runes of the Elder Futhark are accounted for outside the AS rune poem. So this does give us all a few headaches.

    I think one of the things that really fascinates me is the extent to which the translations - even accepted 'academic' ones, can vary. I've been doing some work on the AS metrical charms recently and it can turn into a real headache. Even Sweet, who back in my day was normally accepted as having produced a reliable dictionary, is questioned.

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  3. #23
    Magnificent Bastard ThorsSon's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    You raise very valid points.

    I must admit that I have encountered the arguments that the Anglo Saxon Run Poem is the oldest of the Rune Poems. I also must admit that I do not have a rational argument to defend my belief that it is NOT the eldest of the Rune Poems.

    I have built my belief, that the Elder Futhark predates the other Runes, on rational and defensible arguments... but honestly, my knowledge of the Rune Poems is secondary.

    That being said... considering that the Futhorc is undeniably newer than the Futhark, I have a lot of trouble placing the AS Rune Poem chronologically before the Elder OR the Younger Rune Poem... but I could be way off... it is certainly a very real possibility, since the Runes are not a subject that I have studied thoroughly.

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  4. #24
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    I'm not sure whether you would be interested but I do have a fascinating document on the AS metrical charms (a little off-topic I admit) which I could email you if you wished. It's by Grendon, who is normally acknowledged as something of an authority on the subject and contains both the translation and the original OE. It's in a PDF but comes from a reputable site - besides which I've had it in my computer for ages! Do PM me if you would like a copy!
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  5. #25
    Sr. Member Gunnarr's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    There is no historical texts that can explain how rune divination was done, so to me, it can have nothing to do with heathenry as we can't honestly reconstruct how our ancestors used runes in this way, there is a sub section for this subject can it be moved there.

    Runes were used for writing and on rune staves the deaf used with common phrases.

    Modi
    Last edited by Gunnarr; 06 Feb 2011 at 14:12.
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  6. #26
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    Quote Originally Posted by Modi View Post
    There is no historical texts that can explain how rune divination was done, so to me, it can have nothing to do with heathenry as we can't honestly reconstruct how our ancestors used runes in this way, there is a sub section for this subject can it be moved there.

    Runes were used for writing and on rune staves the deaf used with common phrases.

    Modi
    I quite agree that historical texts don't describe how rune divination was done (unless you accept that Tacitus was talking about runes and the jury is still out on that one.)

    However, harking back to the first verse of the AS rune poem and you will see that the word for 'lots' - widely accepted as meaning divination - is actually part of the text. So for me - and I recognise others will feel differently about this - I think that runes were used for divination although the exact method may not be recoverable.

  7. #27
    Sr. Member Maythe's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    That's very interesting TP, thanks I shall have to dig out my copy.
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  8. #28
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    The biggest problem of course is that we have to work with translations and these can vary so wildly that sometimes I don't think I'm working with the same text. Howe3ver if you look in the AS text, you will find the word 'hleotan' which means lots, which in the ancient world meant divination in some shape or form (and there were many!)

  9. #29
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    Re: Runes for divination

    I believe that the OE Rune Poem was written in the eighth or ninth century some time after the conversion. So my thoughts are that the poem is in some sense divinatory, however, not necessarily heathen.

  10. #30
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Runes for divination

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordri View Post
    I believe that the OE Rune Poem was written in the eighth or ninth century some time after the conversion. So my thoughts are that the poem is in some sense divinatory, however, not necessarily heathen.
    The dating of the OE Rune has long been open to debate. So is the dating of the conversion, which was by no means all that straightforward... there was quite a bit of backsliding although by the 8th /9th century, we could reasonably expect England to be mostly Christian. However, it's worth mentioning with regard to the northern traditions that Snorri Sturluson was writing in a period when Iceland was ostensibly Christian, although (and I am treading very warily here) many people accept his writings as relatively accurate accounts of heathen beliefs, rather than literary constructs. I value your opinions in this, Nordri and would like to hear whether you feel that this makes his writings any less (or more!) reliable.

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