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Identify and describe one Indo-European method of divination to which you find yourself attracted, including in the description the source culture and your source of information about the system that you have chosen. (minimum 300 words)

In the Havamal, Ošin calls out to the Runes. Deep in my soul, I hear them calling to me. The call stems from my passing interest in Norse mythology, which later developed into a passion for the lore and the symbols associated with it. I eventually learned a working knowledge of Old Norse so I could read the Sagas and the Rune Poems in their original language, allowing a new level of interpretation that cannot be gained by reading English translations alone.

The Runes appear to come from Northern Germania, in what is now (mainly) Denmark, beginning in the first century C.E. Interestingly, the alphabet appears complete at this point, and quickly spreads. The Futhark is found very late and survives conversion to Christianity, as do several primary sources, such as Egil's Saga, the Havamal, and the Rune Poems (which form the basis of my own interpretations).

Egil's Saga describes the dangers and uses of the Runes very clearly, especially in one episode, where Egil declares that:

"Runes none should grave ever
Who knows not to read them"

This passage drew me to study Old Norse, hoping to fully understand the words and symbols I was engraving.

The Havamal gives explicit instructions on how to carve Runes, and describing the kinds of magic that can be done with the Runes. This poem also describes the sacrifice for the Runes, and explains their genesis.

The Rune Poems are the richest source of information, though. From them we learn what the Runes meant to the people who developed them, and through comparison of stanzas, we can reach back into the past and discover the meanings for ourselves.



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