A young doctor died a sudden death in Sweden lately. He quickly succumbed to cancer. The circumstances of his death are still enshrouded in mystery. He is said to have found a treasure-trove several months prior to his demise. One of the coins was engraved with an ancient rune meaning “need.” The doctor did not believe his friends who had repeatedly warned him that the coin with the rune was in fact a curse against a finder.
“Paganism has again become hugely popular in Western Europe,” says Anton Platov, an author of a book on the runic magic. “The whole thing sprang from a mystical event on a nationwide scale. A mighty thunderstorm broke out in Iceland shortly after the Icelandic government refused to grant an official registration to a neo-pagan community. It was a third refusal. Then the thunderstorm started to rage across the sky. The thunderbolts were hitting the Parliament building. Before long the government apparently took the hint from above and issued a decree proclaiming paganism one of the three state religions of Iceland. In today’s Europe, a person is regarded as a well-mannered individual if he or she shows knowledge of the runes or the alphabet used by Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon peoples from around 1,500 years ago. The runes are also a powerful divinatory and magical system. You can even see walls and windows painted with runes in some European respectable companies these days,” says Platov.
Runes are equivalent to the Roman, Greek, Cyrillic, or Hebrew alphabets. But they are much more than an alphabet. “Rune” means “secret”, “mystery”, or “hidden”, and is related to the German raunen, meaning “to whisper”, and the Irish run, meaning “a secret.”
To a certain extent, even the Chinese hieroglyphs resemble the runic variations. The same applies to some characters of Turk written languages which were believed to have developed independently from European languages.
According to a theory, even the Cyrillic alphabet in its earlier form is a runic system. The art of the runes was in use up till the end of 19th century. The Swedes used the runes for making the most important inscriptions in the 1950s. In Karelia , in some villages of the White Sea coastal area, you can notice strange symbols carved in timber walls of the houses.
“It is thought that a rune becomes able to have an impact on the world once it is written or carved. A rune can protect, enhance or slow down certain events,” says Platov. “The runes have been known for 4,000 years already. They were carved in bone or wooden cubes and painted in blood. Casting runes could be used for describing any situation. As with other forms of divination, by casting runes you are seeking answers to important questions about your own life, or to other people’s questions.
It is not typical of officially certified scientists to discuss the magic powers of the runes. However, several years ago a team of Scandinavian scientists conducted an experiment aimed at proving or disproving the reputed magic powers of the mysterious symbols. The experiment was a simple gardening procedure involving seeds of oats and three pots. The seeds were sown in those pots. The rune Is meaning “ice” was placed onto the bottom of one pots to delay the growth. Another pot contained the rune Beorc that refers to renewal, regeneration, fertility, and birth. The third pot was a control pot that had nothing but earth and seeds. The results did not vary during the entire course of experimentation. The shoots would appear first in the second pot, then in the control, and finally in the first one, which had the rune of ice inside.
“Looks like a wave of runic enthusiasm is about to sweep across Russia, just like it did in Europe,” say Anton Platov.
“People from different places in Russia, even such remote areas as the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk call me every time there’s another bout of instability in this country. They want me to teach them how ‘to take advice’ from the runes. I saw many people sporting runic symbols tattooed on their shoulders in the summertime. I doubt those people knew the exact meaning of some of the symbols, otherwise they would have erased them straightaway,” says Platov.
Germany was the first European country that started to restore the knowledge of the runes back in the 19th century. A number of secret societies emerged. For example, Hitler and Himmler were the members of the Thule Brotherhood. Later the two Nazi leaders set up a network of research institutions Ananerbe (“Heritage of the Ancestors”) for the study of magic. Swastika, a runic symbol of the Sun became the official emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.
“Every military unit had a magus of its own. The SS structure was originally formed as a magic order. Up until 1940, every SS commissioned officer was to take a special course in the runic magic,” says Platov. “By the way, the emblem “SS” is a double rune Sigel which is well known as a victory symbol. The mystics say that it was the runic magic that paved the way for Nazism. But all the magi were sent into concentration camps in 1940. And Hitler was doomed from that time onward. One of the reasons being his choice of a swastika whose arms were bent at right angles in a uniformly counterclockwise direction as opposed to the symbol of Ananerbe – a swastika with arms bent in a clockwise direction,” says Platov.