Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Ar-Kan Runes and the Tree of Life

Figure 1.

The above shows what we usually call the Nine Glory-Twigs of Woden; Hamasson drew a variant of this which has the upright staves the same width apart as the cross-staves. I have now developed this even further and produced a design that should fit our needs.

Figure 2.

This retains the Nine Glory-Twigs design but puts the whole thing into a hexagon. All of the 33 runes can still be taken from this design, but it now further continues the development of the Ar-Kan Runes from the Armanen Runes of Guido von List. If you look carefully at the pattern seven hexagrams emerge from the whole; this represents the Seven Worlds of the Saxons (the Norse had Nine Worlds). The whole design can be fitted into a circle. This is the Wheel of Wr.Alda - the Yule-Wheel.

Figure 3.

This is called the 'Seed of Life', this and the 'Flower of Life' being names used in the 'New Age Movement'. Note here that the circles are seven in number, with the Hagal-Rune in the centre. This is the same as the seven hexagons in Figure 2. What I have done is to substitute the name 'Tree of Life' which seems less 'New-Agey' and more akin to our own Northern Tradition. Like the Armanen Runes, the Ar-Kan Runes all stem from the hexagon-shaped form, but here the Nine Glory-Twigs are used within the Ur-Hexagon.

It is interesting to note here what Edred Thorsson has to say about the Hagal-Rune -

"...involves the projection from above or beyond of a hard and dangerous substance which is also the 'Seed of Becoming', new creation and transformation - sometimes through crisis. This is a transformation within the framework of cosmos, and the re-unification of opposites in a productive way.'

The Hagal-Rune/Haegl-Rune is a rune of transformation, being the snowflake (ice)  that turns into water. As 'hail' it is destructive; as 'heil' it represents wholeness and health. Here Thorsson tells us that this is 'a projection from above or beyond', i.e. it is from another world/dimension; it is a 'new creation and transformation' as the 'Seed of Becoming' (the rune has the meaning of a 'cold grain', i.e. a 'seed'). Today we live through a massive crisis, and this is perhaps needed in order for this change to take place - this is the meaning of the Hagal-Rune. The rune also shows the 'Union of Opposites' within the whole/heil in either the Hagal (snowflake) or Haegl-Rune.

The Haegl-Rune is the rune of opposites, with its 'snowflake' form being the most obvious: this has the 'Life-Rune' and 'Death-Rune' in balance in the same glyph. The Elder Futhark Hagal and Anglo-Saxon Haegl-Rune also have this same balance but using the Ur-Rune. This is where the difference of rune-sound comes into play -

Heil - wholeness, health, heal, holy etc.

Hail - disruption, change, destruction (to recreation). 

I am now reminded of the strange circumstances around a set of runes that I was asked to interpret at the Wayland's Smithy some years ago. Two different peoples, wives of both Hamasson and myself, had dreams of a youth with long black hair, accompanied by a black dog, coming to the Smithy when we were there. A young chap with a black dog did turn up and he asked me to interpret a set of runes, those shown on the stave above. At the time such a request is difficult in view of the varied meanings of the runes, and invariably the answers come much later, and here seemed meant for WF due to the circumstances.

I did give him a rough idea, relating to change through destruction, and a rebirth into a New Dawn. The central rune relating to Ingwe, the English and to England. I am going to develop this in light of new revelations -

Haegl (reversed) - This is obviously a negative rune because it is reversed; it means change through disaster or catastrophe in any case ('Hail'). Here the catastrophic change is even more negative due to the rune being reversed. In view of the meaning given to this rune by Edred Thorsson this change is even more important today than it was then. It is interesting to note that the Haegl-Rune is used here rather than Hagal (the runes are Saxon). The Hagal-Rune does feature in the bind-rune below this.

The central rune is a bind-rune of Isa and Ing; it also contains the Germanic Ing-Rune between the Eolhls-Rune and Calc-Rune, Ingwe between life and death! This is Ingwe 'sacrificed' upon the World Pillar, sacrificed 'himself to himself' on the Tree of Life & Death. That the bind-rune can also be seen as two Edel-Runes upright and reversed is interesting since this relates to the 'homeland' - England. This rune also featured on a staff I made at the time of the Hale-Bopp Comet; unconsciously I used this rune on the staff. The Ing-Rune here is of the Ken-Fusion type, thus representing Fire. In the one bind-rune we have the fusion of opposites - Ice and Fire.

This is further underlined by the next rune, Daeg, which has the meaning of 'Light and Darkness' within the same stave. It can also refer to the time of this balance - dawn - and thus the New Dawn. This version is made up of a Thorn-Rune and its reflection, so once again it relates to destruction, and as 'Thor's Hammer' as the destruction of our enemies. It relates to the destruction of the Old Order since we are ruled by the enemies of Gods and Folk.

The two other runes that this young chap saw, and which he stated were not part of this formula, were Eolhs and Beorc. These two take the formula a step further since they hint at a complete rebirth (Beorc) and new life (Eolhs). The totally destructive nature of this is necessary in order that new life can emerge out of the destruction of the old.

The Tree of Life is made up of cubes, the 'building-blocks' of life itself; the figure is a mandala which, when concentrated on, shows us differing patterns as the eyes focus differently. The runes can be found within the Tree of Life, which is where Woden discovered them (since they were already there, already existing). They are thus facets of the whole, parts of the one-ness that we call the Wyrd, that which is Becoming. 

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