Presented here are the Armanen Runes as they are embraced by Irminists. The Armanen Runes are the revelation of Guido von List in the early 1900s. List was one who had a life-long interest in things mystical. While his eyes were bandaged; recovering from cataract surgerey, these Runes miraculously came to him in a vision ("Secret of the Runes" pgs 10 and 41). While they KIND OF look like Runes they are definitely different than any other Runic system. Just as there are those who totally embrace them there are those who find the Armanic Runes a sham.
I present them here as "The Sacred Eighteen" to make a point. The point is that there are many Runic systems: Elder, Younger, Anglo-Saxon, Frisian, usw. They all parallel a language and/or the progression of a language and can equate to as many as 33 Runes. Yet, lore only speaks of 18. How do we reconcile the differences? What we immediately know of Runes is that they were historically indeed used in writing. There are even Rune poems that speak to and justify specific systems (i.e. Anglo-Saxon Rune poems).
Are the Armanen Runes as developed by List legitimate? I'm thinking yes. What I CAN say is that they at least coincide numerically with the 18 Rune charms/spells as spoken by the All Father and there is further consideration for their validity.
I have struggled with any valid way for me to use this Rune set. Lately, I have discovered a way for them to make sense for me. While the Elder Futhark represent the historical, tangible, physical nature of humankind, the Armanen Runes, with their esoterical nature, represent one’s inner, unseen, spiritual aspects. This has been a real AH-HA moment!
I have also separated the Eighteen Armanen Runes into three Halbdutzend, what I call the three roots of the Irminsul: 1st Halbdutzend (1st half-dozen), Irminsul's Root of Creation 2nd Halbdutzend (2nd half-dozen), Irminsul's Root of Destruction 3rd Halbdutzend (3rd half-dozen), Irminsul's Root of Re-creation
Wodan’s Rune Poem in the Havamal is taken from “Hoch-Zeit der Mencshheit” by John Gorsleben, 1930, Koehler and Amelang, 718 pgs, English translation by Karl Hans Welz. This is coupled with personal insights.
1st Halbdutzend (half-dozen), Irminsul's Root of Creation Fa
Fa: Havamal 146: The first one promises to help generously In sorrow, sickness and pain; In eternal change, man goes forth From death to new creation. Generous help, luck, eternal change, forward motion, binding, life/death/life, new creation, property, to grow, to wander, to destroy, to shred, guidance, Father, potential change reflected in a beginning; preface of that which is becoming, being and passing away; procreation, creative father principle, Alle-Vater principle. primal Fire, the power of spirit and change as well as the power of creativity, the Divine Masculine Principle, success, pure, generated fire that acts creatively in love, will that spares manifestation down to the material levels, necessity of change. “Generate your luck and you will have it” (List, 49). *H1R1
Ur: Havamal 147: Another I name, that all need to have Who officiate as curing healers; Know yourself, and you will know the world, And learn to discern between evil and its causes. Self-knowledge/awareness, all-knowing, discernment, the primordial, eternity, primal fire, primal light, primal, primal bull, recognize the cause of an event, healing. that which is grasped or permanent, medical help, the healing powers of medical drugs, nurturing at the original basis, original cause, origin, root of all material and cosmic phenomena, contact with the transcendent, contact with the dead, life after mortal death, Mother-God, Creative Mother Principle, a physician’s rune and represents resurrection, eternity, and continuity, root of all material and cosmic phenomena, root of eternity, causality; the origin of time, cause and effect in the eternal power of becoming. “Know yourself, then you will know all” (List 50). *H1R2
Thorn: Havamal 148: A third I take, when danger threatens, To bind the enemies through magic: Thus, I dull the steel of the furious opponent. Like the staff, his sword does not cut anymore. Donar, deflecting an opponent, making ineffective, protection from danger, enemies bound through magic, impermeable, an awakening, the power to turn, the divine will to act, the law of eternal reincarnation, power to become, Return, new emergence from what's apparently old and dried-up, formative power of the seed, the thunderbolt, targeting goals, activity and the phallus, mental telepathy, projection of the will, fierce protection, psychic attack & defense, penetrating time & space, a constant renewal of life in rebirth, Rune of opposing polarities and of joining opposites, binding of and victory over the enemy. “Preserve your ego” (List, 51). *H1R3
Havamal 149: The fourth one I know, when a foe has tied up My arms and hands; The fetters fall from my leg, when I chant that song, And off my hands the ropes come. Freedom from bondage, the power of speech/song, mouth, arising, ashes, that which is offered, Wodanic energies, leadership, mouth, speech, the effort to convince, deed following the word, the Divine Breath, kingship, discussion, idea of that which is given/evolving, the spiritual power that is gained through speech, it is the breath of the world, its voice, strength that a person needs to rise-up in power, freedom from the bondage of the material world. “Your spiritual force makes you free” (List, 51). *H1R4
Havamal 150: That I know as the fifth, should an enemy’s Arrow come flying into the throng; As bright as it might clash, I stem its power Once I firmly fix my eye on it. The exalted, the strength of Will, external power/strength squelched, introspective awareness, that which is passing, council, right, wheel, movement, rhythm, law, correctness, judgment, victory over the lower ego, holding, right order, the judge, advice, salvation, money, original law, that which flows away, religious feeling, ritual action/primal laws, orderliness in the world, the ritual, primal law/Urlag, things that are done correctly, spiritual feeling, ritual action, journey, Divine law, All justice, Rune of the cosmic rhythm of the worlds, wheels, personal empowerment. “I am my rod (right), this rod (right) is indestructible, therefore, I am myself indestructible, because I am my rod (right)” (List, 53). *H1R5
Havamal 151: A sixth one is mine, if a man wounds me With the root of a trunk still with juice; Then I am unscathed, the man himself is consumed By the evil with which he threatened me. Imperviousness, a reversal of fortune, the world tree, preservation of tribe or race, ancestors/ancestry, loyalty, that which is existing, defense, the polarity of the male/female principle in the Universe, opposing energies, earthly love, as executive power of balancing justice, art, capability, artist, genius, being favored, procreation, the child, force, that which is established, World Tree/the Irminsul/the All, power, generation, ability and artfulness, sensuality, higher consciousness, return. “Your blood, your highest possession” (List, 53). *H1R6
2nd Halbdutzend, Irminsul's Root of Destruction Hagal
Havamal 152: A seventh I learned, if the hall is burning With fire around bench and comrades; However bright it burns, I will banish the blaze, As soon I sing the magic chant. To enclose/destroy, danger brought under control, introspection, awareness, eternal change, the Mother of all Runes, the cohesion of the world, die (pronounced ‘dee’ German for ‘the’) Alle Mutter, Frija, that which cares and maintains, protects, and preserves; that which is motherly; wisdom, harmony, salvation, blessing, protects from hail and fire, eternal change, caring and maintaining principle in the Universe, Higher Self, the perfect human being, Divine within, the Rune of humanity, married to the World, Rune of enclosure but contains a potential for growth, builder/architect of the worlds, the macrocosm of the world itself. “Harbor the All in yourself, and you will control the All” (List, 54). *H2R1
Havamal 153: An eighth is mine, to all the Folk Useful to know in their suffering; Where hatred rises-up between man and man, This I can settle fast. Distress, suffering, compulsion of fate, separation, confrontation, strife settled, understanding suffering, settled calm, mind over matter, necessity of fate, misery and death, change of luck as necessity, decision of the Wurtâ, Wurt/Urlag paid-for, cause-effect relations, capability to restructure Wurt/Urlag, That which cannot be averted, the Ur-law that is active in every creature, stress, karmic debt, karmic need, but with outlook for change of karma, banishing ill fortune by means of accepting karma and karmic law, Skuld, Divine justice that balances. “Use your fate, do not strive against it” (List, 55). *H2R2
Havamal 154: A ninth one I sing, when dangers at sea forces me To protect my ship from the stormy waves; The storm I calm down, no matter how billowing the sea, And I cradle the waves to sleep. Calm in the face of distress, comfort, hypnotic power of the forceful will, course of affairs, Rest, Ego, das Ich, Positivity, activity, personal will, self-domination, self-control, confidence, determination, extension of the Divine center, the upright human being, the awakened Self, influence, personal power, magical power, power to banish evil, unity in the Universe, duration, action in the Cosmos, activity, will, self-domination, influence, personal power, self-discipline, unity in the Universe, duration, magical powers, axis/column/Irminsul of the world, action in the Cosmos, elimination of that which is unnecessary, calm. “Win power over yourself and you will have power over everything in the spiritual and physical worlds that strive against you” (List, 56). H2R3
Havamal 154: A tenth one I sing, when dangers at sea forces me To protect my ship from the stormy waves; The storm I calm down, no matter how billowing the sea, And I cradle the waves to sleep. Dangers calmed, protection, challenges eased, comfort/stillness, primal fire, nobles, destruction of physical darkness reborn into spiritual light, confidence, Ing-Frô, the Sun, the path to the Light, will, leadership, all that which is beautiful and Sun-like, change to good, virtues, honor, glory, rewarding work, completion, light, Divine spirit, power contained in light that washes away darkness, wisdom, beauty, virtue, trust, honor, fame, Rune of the initiate, Symbolism of the Lord of the Light-elves that returns home from darkness, Rune of peace and good seasons. “Respect the primal fire” (List, 56). *H2R4
Havamal 156: This I know as an eleventh, when I accompany my dear friend into combat; I sing it into the shield, so that he triumphs in battle And that luck and happiness surrounds him always. Triumph, surrounded with luck and happiness, victory, success, gain, well-being, victorious and happy, into the fray, blessing from above, successful fight, achieved goal, school, and salvation by light, inspiration, soul, and power of the sun, inspiration, soul, life force, wholeness, reliable success, healing, good luck, spiritual completion, and the path of the soul, Rune of the spiritual ray of inspiration, wisdom, and illumination. “The creative spirit must conquer” (List, 57). *H2R5
Havamal 157: A twelfth one I sing, when I see through the brush The hanged one swinging from the hemp; He climbs down from the trunk, must tell me his tale When I carve the Runes right. Rebirth, renewal, rising from the ashes, excitation, revelation, mysteries revealed, sacrifice, rebirth of the Sun god, fertility and/or destruction, generation, power, success, wisdom, duties fulfilled, art of concealment and hiding, rebirth into the light - life of the soul, the power to make situations turn completely around, spiritual understanding, the power of regeneration, warrior strength, justice, balance, personal sacrifice of the father, resurrection/reincarnation/born again; “Do not fear anything, even dying cannot kill you. Better to die than to be dead alive” (Gorsleben). “Fear not death - it cannot kill you (List, 58). H2R6
3rd Halbdutzend, Irminsul's Root of Re-Creation Bar
Havamal 158: A thirteenth I mention, when I sprinkle the son, The young one, with holy water, If once he faces the foe, then he cannot fall, No sword can wound him so he collapses in the dust. Blessing, shielding, inspiration, encouragement, security, impending accidents that effect fate, life, birth: birth of the future life that is preordained for us, becoming, being projected, help in birth, son, bread, song, fountain, mountains, meaning of life on this planet/in this world, the power of becoming, reconstruction, Rune of continuous transformation, death and rebirth metamorphosis, return to the Mothers; the fountain as female symbol, the eternal spring of humans. “Thy life strands in the hand of God, trust it in you” (List, 60). H3R1
Havamal 159: A fourteenth I sing to the assembled Folk When naming the divine names; The Aesir and Alves and their various kinds No one can spell out without learning. Determination, learned knowledge, singing before the All, presentation, Urlag; life fate and destiny, life as law, life following the law, experience, test, temptations by life-circumstances, water, sea, good management, test of life, school of the lives, relations, defeat and the laws of nature, life and primal law, psychic & spiritual awareness, cosmic flow, seeds of thought, the etheric part of the body, initiation that experiences life on earth as a continuous process of initiation, The Cosmic Ocean. “First learn to steer, then dare the sea-journey” (List, 60). H3R2
Havamal 160: A fourteenth know I Volkrast, the dwarf, Sings early at the gates of dawn, To strengthen the Aesir, to empower the Alves, But to myself, All-Father, to gain wisdom. Strength, magical empowerment, acquisition of Divine wisdom, propagation of the human race, encompasses both the exoteric and the esoteric concepts of humanity, great gain, male mysteries/leadership, manly actions, pulling down the spiritual into material form, human/humanity, increase, masculinity, health, plenty, magic, spirit, truth, God-Man, male principle in Cosmos, birth, health, increase, maleness and man, Divine man, male principle in Cosmos, magic power, thaumaturgy, true self, the resurrected god, the upper part of the world tree, Irminsul, Rune of spiritual powers, of directing Manna powers; the sacred Rune of humankind encouraging us to be human. “Be a man” (List, 61). H3R3
Havamal 161: A sixteenth I speak if a maid is reluctant, To wake her lust and desire; I change the heart of the delightful woman, Then to me her wishes turn. Lust/desire, seduction, reluctance, influence, second thoughts, a change of heart, the waxing and waning moon, lunar-like mutability of the feminine essence, the error-rune, conquering resistance through confusion, eventual perfection, Female mysteries, roots of the World Column, the carrier of genetic material, God-woman, femininity, desire, sensual love, passion, perfection, Mother, chaos from which creation emerges, female principle in the Cosmos, the night, death and instinct, anger, falsehood, error and the oppositions found in humankind, mystical union, night, moon, well grounded, roots of Irminsul from which all life springs, woman as the opposite/balance to man, the descending Divine Feminine being. “Think about the end” (List, 63). *H3R4
Havamal 162: A seventeenth I know, through a wise law To join two lives in love; And everyone is willing, no virginal woman Will leave me lightly after this. Warns against frivolous, transient love affairs, the legal bond between man and woman, lasting love, two bound together by the primal law of life, unification, sanctity of marriage, the cross of wedlock, fulfillment, maintaining strict morals within the bonds of legal marriage, love, duality, bound by primal law, love, trust and marriage. Soul-mates, wedding, partnership, permanent bond, binding decision, hope, duration, horse, permanence and marriage as a law, unity of ego and you, sister souls, soul-love, God-Man-Woman, ideal love, twin souls, two made one, success, increase. “Marriage is the raw-root of the Aryans” (List, 63). *H3R5
Havamal 163: An eighteenth I learned, yet I would never Let a woman or maid know it, For everyone knows what’s best for himself- This leads me to the conclusion of the songs- The one it shall be then, that lies in my arms As betrothed wife and as sister. The scald, awakening, passion, mystery, comprehension of the diving from below upward; from humanity outward, secrecy, gift/giver, gift of life, that which is best for the individual, fulfillment, sacred marriage, being ONE with the sister soul, protection against evil forces, being/seeing the Divine, the cosmic consciousness and the divine principle, two forces having a singular origin, the spiritual ego, death-life cycle, protection against evil forces, union of the gods and the World, the uninterrupted chain in the cycle of eternal returns, the Creator and the Created, the deepest mysteries of the Universe, the end. “Man, be one with God” (List, 67). *H3R6 Now I have sung the high song Here in the hall of the High One, Useful to the Aryans but not the Jotunar! Hail to him that learns it! Hail to him that teaches it! So take it to your advantage and use The blessing, as you have heard it!
Are the Armanen Runes THE Sacred Eighteen? I will never say definitively anything when it comes to the Runes, but I am leaning toward a "yes" on this one. Personally, I have only begun working with the Armanen Runes. I have coupled the use of the Elder Futhark Runes as a means to gain insight into the physical man, and use the Armanen Runes as a means to gain insight into the Spirit Man. As Odin's Rune Song is completely esoteric, and the Armanic Runes are completely esoteric in nature, in that way they do compliment each other. It's probably BECAUSE of their esoteric nature that I have never before worked with them. There are, however, some who ABSOLUTELY adhere to them. It pretty much comes down to whatever works for you. This coupled effort is working for me!
2/27/2016 As per my personal journal entries, I have been using the combination of Elder and Arman Rune system since Jan 25th 2012. I AM FIRMLY convinced they work well together. The Elder Runes look into the physical, and the Armanen Runes look into the Spiritual. This has been a PHENOMENAL experience, and I look forward to their continued use together.
They say, "never say never". I have come to realize, YES, the Armanen Runes, as revealed to Guido von List, ARE INDEED the Sacred 18!