What are Runes?

Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magick. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from
about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have
even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings
arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.

Tacitus, in Chapter X of his Germania, describes a form of divination used by Germanic tribes:

"To divination and casting of lots, they pay attention beyond any other people. Their method of casting lots is a simple one: they cut a branch from a
fruit-bearing tree and divide it into small pieces which they mark
with certain distinctive signs and scatter at random onto a white
cloth. Then, the priest of the community if the lots are consulted
publicly, or the father of the family if it is done privately,
after invoking the gods and with eyes raised to heaven, picks up
three pieces, one at a time, and interprets them according to the
signs previously marked upon them."

I've been working with Runes since 1994, when I was introduced to their use at a family reunion. I'm of Norse heritage. I believe that this is why I found a natural affinity to
runes, although one certainly does not need to be Scandinavian to use

Runes are an oracle from which one seeks advice. They work best if you detail your current circumstances and then ask a specific question. Rune readings are sometimes obscure.
They hint toward answers, but you have to figure out the details.
This is when the rune casters intuition becomes paramount. Some times
the Runes "sing" to me, and their meaning becomes instantly

Runic divination or "rune casting" is not "fortunetelling" in the sense that one actually sees the future. Instead, runes give one a means of analyzing the path that one is on
and a likely outcome. The future is not fixed. It changes with
everything one does. If one does not like the prediction, one can
always change paths.

Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and magic, in addition to writing. The word "rune" actually means mystery, secret or whisper. Each rune has esoteric
meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its mundane
meaning and phonetic value. Each translates into a word or a phrase
signifying concepts important to the early peoples who used them,
representing the forces of nature and mind. Each rune has a story
attached to it, a relationship to a Norse God.

Odin, the Norse High God of the Aesir, hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, impaled on his own spear, for nine days and nights in order to gain the knowledge of runes. When the
runes appeared below him, he reached down and took them up, and the
runic knowledge gave him power . He later passed on this knowledge to
the Vanir goddess Freya. She, in turn, taught him the magic of seidr.
Heimdall, the god who guarded the Rainbow Bridge, taught the runes to

Runic alphabets first appeared among German tribes in central and eastern Europe. Some runes symbols are likely to have been acquired from other alphabets, such as the Greek,
Etruscan, and the Early Roman. The runes were made of straight lines
to make the characters suitable for cutting into wood or stone. The
earliest runic inscriptions on stone are dated to the late 3rd
century AD, although it is probable that runic alphabets had been in
use for some centuries before.

The Old Germanic Runic alphabet or "Elder Futhark" contains 24 runes. The first six runes of the alphabet spell
out the word "FUTHARK". As the runes spread northwards into
Scandinavia, some rune symbols were dropped and the alphabet was
reduced to only 16 runes. Between 400 and 600 AD, three Germanic
tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, invaded Britain. They
brought the runes with them. The forms of several of the runes
changed, notably the runes for A/O, C/K, H, J, S, and Ng. Also,
changes in the language led to nine runes being added to the alphabet
to compensate for the extra sounds, and several runes were given
different corresponding letters. This alphabet, expanded to 33
symbols, has become known as the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. The rune names
themselves have been passed down relatively intact. Although no
manuscript exists listing the names of the older, Germanic runes, the
Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian rune poems agree to such an extent that
their common origin can be deduced.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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