Rune Dictionary

written by Professor Wessex

An introduction to the interpretation and usage of Germanic runes.

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Chapter 2
Welcome to the premier introductory text on runology for future runic scholars! The written word is one of the greatest links between past and present; it gives us unique insight into that which we ourselves cannot experience. Despite the Muggle view that the study of runes belongs in distant past, it may surprise you to find out that runes and their modern incarnations are still used all around us— why, I remember during my time at Hogwarts it was not unusual to find Slytherins passing notes written in the futhark, Ravenclaws staging poetry competitions in Latin or Greek, Gryffindors casting the Ogham rods to see their fate, or Hufflepuffs reading books in modern Chinese or Hindi to better understand their cultures.

So, what is runology? In short, runology is the study of runes. This can include their history, usage, meaning, and magical significance, whether it’s alone or in conjunction with other branches of magic including transfiguration, alchemy, divination, and even herbology. What makes runes special— even magical — is not only their shape or design, but rather their ability to reach across time. Recall the various curses laid upon the pyramids in Egypt thousands of years ago. Curse-breakers are still struggling to dispel them today, and it is because of those magically-imbued hieroglyphics that they have remained so potent. As the famous 18th century thief-taker Marcus Moliere liked to say, “Impedimenta lasts an hour, while Isa lasts a millennium.”

This edition has been specifically prepared to compliment the Ministry’s Ancient Runes syllabus according to the O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. Educational Standards Act (ONESA) of 1997. This volume primarily covers the Elder Futhark, with additional portions on other writing and runic systems such as the Anglo-Saxon Futhork and Old Irish Ogham script. In addition, there are portions on basic information surrounding the use of runes in divination, as well as the principles of linguistics and philology. Chapter One introduces the usage of runes, including the basic principles of working with runes and creating your own rune set. Chapter Two delves into the origins and history of the futhark as well as providing a general introduction to the alphabet. Chapters Three through Five further develop the symbolism of each individual rune.

It is my greatest hope that you, future student, will enjoy this tome and watching the secrets of ancient scripts unfurl before your eyes.
~Bjargar Eld
Author and magiarchaeologist
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