Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eihwaz "Enlightenment" Norse Rune Ceramic Pendant

I created this Eihwaz rune from earthenware clay. It has been glazed with a rich blue glaze. No two pieces come out of the kiln the same! If you would like to view more photos of this item, please visit the listing for this item in my Good Dirt Jewelry shop on

The Eihwaz rune symbolizes protection, strength, reliability and enlightenment.

Whether you are a practicing Druid, or just love the art of ancient traditions, this pendant would be a unique addition to your collection.

~What are Runes?~

According to Wikipedia, the runes were introduced to the Germanic peoples in the 1st or 2nd century AD. (The oldest known runic inscription dates to around 150 AD and is found on a comb discovered in the bog of Vimose, Funen,Denmark.[1] The inscription reads harja; a disputed candidate for a 1st century inscription is on the Meldorf fibula in southern Jutland). This period may correspond to the late Proto-Germanic or Common Germanic stage linguistically, with a continuum of dialects not yet clearly separated into the three branches of later centuries; North Germanic, West Germanic, and East Germanic.

~The Runes in Mythology~

In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet is attested to a divine origin (Old Norse: reginkunnr). This is attested as early as on the Noleby Runestone from around 600 CE that reads Runo fahi raginakundo toj[e'k]a...,meaning "I prepare the suitable divine rune..."[2] and in an attestation from the 9th century on the Sparlösa Runestone which reads Ok rað runaR þaR rægi[n]kundu,meaning "And interpret the runes of divine origin".

~History of Runes~

The runes developed centuries after the Mediterranean alphabets from which they are potentially descended. There are some similarities to alphabets of Phoenician origin (Latin, Greek, Italic) that cannot possibly all be due to chance; an Old Italic alphabet, more particularly the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano, is often advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes ( e, ï, j, ?, p) having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet(Mees 2000). This hypothesis is often denied by Scandinavian scholars, who usually favour a Latin origin for most or all of the runic letters (Odenstedt 1990; Williams 1996).[7] An Old Italic or "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC (Markey 2001). This is in a northern Etruscan alphabet, but features a Germanic name, Harigast. New archaeological evidence came from Monte Calvario (Auronzo di Cadore).

~Runic Divination~

The earliest runic inscriptions found on artifacts give the name of either the craftsman or the proprietor, or, sometimes, remain a linguistic mystery. Due to this, it is possible that the early runes were not so much used as a simple writing system, but rather as magical signs to be used for charms.

Although some say the runes were used for divination, there is no direct evidence to suggest they were ever used in this way. The name rune itself, taken to mean "secret, something hidden", seems to indicate that knowledge of the runes was originally considered esoteric, or restricted to an elite.