The etymology from rune takes us to the Nordic term rūn, linked to mysteries and secrets. The concept is used with reference to characters that the ancient Scandinavians used to write in Germanic languages.
The tongues Germanic belong to the Indo-European family and are used primarily by the Germanic peoples, a group of peoples that emerged in the north of the European continent. The letters called runes were also used in the British Isles; on the other hand, throughout classical antiquity and the Middle Ages and even before and during the phenomenon known as Christianization (in which many Europeans were converted to the Christian religion), runic alphabets were also used in Eastern and Central Europe.
In the runic alphabets therefore each character It was known as rune. The different runes, in this way, allowed to form words. The variants of the Scandinavian alphabets that used runes are called futhark (young futhark, old futhark, etc.).
The word futhark, which is pronounced as if it were a serious word with a 'z' instead of the "th", originated from the first six runes (which can be seen in the second image), whose transliteration approaches the following letters of our alphabet : F, U, Z (with the pronunciation typically used in Spain, which differs from the 's'), A, R and K. Since these letters went through changes between old and modern English, the Anglo-Saxon variant of futhark receives the name of futhorc .
It is possible to find testimonials of runic alphabets in the Noleby Stone (recorded around the year 600 ) and in the Rök Stone (year 800 ), to name two examples . Both are in Sweden and present texts written with runes.
However, the inscriptions of more remote origin may come from the year 150. In a nutshell, this alphabet was gradually replaced by the Latin through the conversion to Christianity, approximately in the eighth century in central Europe and, four centuries later in Scandinavia , when the Viking era ended. Despite this phenomenon, Scandinavia continued to use the runes until the early 1900s, mainly in rural areas of Sweden for decorative purposes and in the elaboration of runic calendars .
The runic calendar (also called runic staff) is a writing that can be found carved in sticks of various materials (such as wood, horn, stone or bone) or in scrolls and is considered a Swedish medieval creation. It's about a Perpetual calendar , that is, it gives the user the possibility to know which day of the week corresponds to any date, which is in a range of several centuries.
When the runic alphabet is encrypted by replacing the runes with others symbols , these characters are called cryptic runes or encrypted runes .
The ancient Scandinavians maintained that the runes had a divine origin. For that reason, the runes also have an esoteric connotation and are used for fortune telling .
They are called runic stones or simply runes to elements that have runes engraved on their surface. The fortune teller throws the runes on a table, causing the stones to be randomly ordered. The person , thus, read the runes and can predict the future .
It is important to note that the rune reading in an esoteric sense it is not endorsed by the science . It is a practice that appeals to mysticism and the supernatural to anticipate future events: there is no scientific or rational criterion that supports the possibility of knowing what will happen in the future by reading the runes.