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Divination, or “to be inspired by a god”, is the practice of seeking knowledge and insight about an unknown question or situation by way of a ritual and spiritual channel.
This “sacred seeking” comes in many forms - tarot, symbols, psychic messages, tea leaves, or omens - all of which are designed to offer spiritual direction and connection to Self.
The Gift of Odin
No one knows exactly how old the Runes are. Rune-like symbols have been discovered in caves with inscriptions being traced back as early as the late Bronze Age (circa 1300 BC), Runes and their symbols have been painted on the shields of warriors bent on conquest, and references of Runes have been mentioned in earlier testaments of the Bible. Eminent scientific Runologist, Dr R.I. Page of Cambridge University, acknowledges that the Runic symbols were well established forms of communication, and suggests that they had been used for some centuries before the time or need of written language. Page implies that the Runes, found wide-spread across Northern Europe and Britain, were used in both ritual and as an Oracle for consultation (An Introduction to English Runes 1973 & 1999, and Reading the Past - Runes 1987).
According to the perspective of the Germanic peoples themselves, the Runes came from no such source as mundane as the Old Italic Alphabet. Oh no! And what’s more, they command that the Runes were not thought up nor invented. Instead, the tale goes on to spin the story of Odin - a widely revered Nordic God, father of Thor, and seeker of great knowledge - hanging upside down from the Yggdrasil, or World Tree, peering into the wise waters of the Well of Urd. For nine long nights, Odin hung on this tree with no food or drink. And in this state of sacrifice he withered, until he peered into the depths below and spied the Runes! With this, he seized them up and then overcome with dizziness, he fainted and fell. Once he awoke, he spoke of a renowned wisdom which brought him joy and sustenance for self growing.