It all began for me at a crucial time in my life. I was working on issue three of my own local publication, but had set it aside to help a friend get her own publication off of the ground. I had also just survived my Saturn Return, and passed on to the grade of Zelator in the Golden Dawn Order with whom I was a member. As is usual for me, it all started with a dream…
I was outside of my house (within the dreamscape) when I was approached by two people. They were trying to get me to follow them, to do something. I could tell something wasn’t right about them, though. They weren’t human, but had human form. I just felt they were not human, and sensed they were deceptive. I turned around to face my house, and upon the outside wall were these three large runes. I don’t recall which ones, but I do remember Raidho was one of them (the R rune, a rune of travel, and journeys). I was able to get the two “people” away from me and my home, then awoke from the dream.
Now, around this time I was aware of the runes. My knowledge of them was limited, and my attitude toward them a bit snobbish. If I saw runes I knew they were runes, mostly. I knew they were used for divination. At that time, however, I thought they were something taken from Tolkien’s work, and passed off as ancient or legit. I blame this attitude on the Western Esoteric Tradition, and the Victorian occultists of the original Golden Dawn era who were obsessed with Kabbalah, Hebrew, and anything Egyptian (which was trending at that time). This was my foundation in magical theory and praxis, yet, they seemed to ignore most of Germanic and Celtic ancient traditions. In other words, I had no exposure to the runes, thought they were illegitimate, and certainly didn’t understand why I would be dreaming of them. This latter point being especially true considering I had been recording my dreams for over ten years at that time, and was well aware of my dream symbol set. The runes being in the dream was not only new, but definitely out of the ordinary. So, my journey began.
Over the following days, and weeks, I had several more dreams featuring the runes. Not only the symbols themselves, but a few dreams featured actual rune stones, like the ones found in Sweden, and other areas, with runes and other images carved upon large stones marking the explorations of the Vikings. It was clear something was trying to get my attention…
I began to do research. I soon learned that my knowledge of the runes was all wrong, my attitude unfounded, and that I had been a jerk about it up to that point. I read somewhere that the runes sometimes call to certain people. I remember reading that statement, and getting chills all over, because that is exactly what had happened to me: the runes came to me, they called to me. It wasn’t long before I took up the runes myself, just as Woden, and many before me.
The idea of the runes calling to me, or anyone, made me curious. Why would they call to anyone? I came to learn that the runes were more than some mere alphabet for writing. Sure, they were used as such, but the runes are much more than this. They represent mysteries, as that is what the word ‘rune’ means, and represent part of the mysteries of the Germanic traditions. They also made up a large part of the magic of the Germanic people. The Runic alphabet was a magical alphabet! The research opened up a door to a vast world of myth and magic that I had no idea even existed, yet, was strangely familiar to me. A world steeped in magic, with Elves, Giants, and monsters. Stories of murder, mischief, and betrayal. Epic poems like Beowulf, a crazy end times scenario, and a pantheon lead by a mad wizard god named Woden. Somehow it felt like home.
This whole experience culminated in me learning of my ancestry, and then actively, and magically, seeking out my ancestors. Through another series of dreams I did just that, making contact and connections with my ancestors. After some more research, and a DNA test, it turns out I am of Celtic and Germanic origins, mostly Germanic (especially, Anglo-Saxon). It all began to make sense. The runes called to me because among my family, I am the more spiritually, magically inclined. They were present in me this whole time. They were present in all of my family, only I was the one to heed their call. They chose me.
I am a fairly eclectic practitioner. I am a Thelemite, Hermeticist, Left-Hand Pather, Chaos Magician, with a dash of Gnosticism and Buddhism, who practices yoga, and I am a professional Astrologer. For years I felt like there was something missing. It turned out to be the runes, and the traditions of my ancestors. I have now found solace in the magical and spiritual traditions of the Celtic and Germanic peoples, my ancestors, and these traditions make up the foundation of my practices.
How about you? Have the runes, or the Gods, called to you? Maybe it isn’t the runes, but some other magical tradition of your ancestors that calls to you. Are you heeding that call? All you need to do is answer.