Galdr-sound: RRRRR (a rolled R, like the sound of a motor starting)
"Riding is in the hall / to every warrior / eady, but very hard / for the one who sits up / on a powerful horse / over miles of road"
(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)
"Riding is said, is worst for horses / Reginn forged the best sword"
(Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme)
"I know a fifth. If a foe shoots a shaft / into the host, it cannot fly so fast / that I cannot stop it, if I catch the sight of it"
The name of this rune has been interpreted variously as "wagon",
"chariot" and "riding". It is closely tied to the ancient
Indo-European images of a horse-drawn wagon or chariot carrying the sun, and
also the practice of burying the dead with horses, wagons and/or ships. As a
solar rune, raidho writes forth the cycle of the day, the ring of the sun. This
ring was divided into an eight-poked wheel matching the eight points of the
compass and determined equallyby the passage of the sun (midday, midnight, etc.)
and by the daily rhythms of social life (hours of rising and going to bed, mealtimes,
etc.). When solar measurements rule social rhythms, time is always seen as a
relative phenomenon. The legal
measurement of time written forth as the hour in which the sun stands just over the shaft of an upward-pointing spear will point out a different objective time at different places and seasons, but it will always be the same in relationship to the actual length of the hours of daylight. Raidho is not a rune of absolute measurement but of proportionate and appropriate relationships.
Above all, raidho is a rune of ordered movement - movement in space, movement
in time and the relationship between the two. The Norse concepts of directionand
distance were not based on objective points, but on the movement of people between
points. Space was measured in terms of motion and time: the main unit of distance
was the length of a day´s faring on horseback, which may vary wildly in
absolute terms according to the sort of land one crossed but which in fact precisely
indicated the space/time needs of one´s faring.
Raidho rules the rhythms of movement in all ways, melding the temporal and spatia with the personal needs of action.
As the rune of measurement of time and space, raidho is also the rune of social boundaries as reckoned by the movement of the calendar and physical location in regard to other individuals or communities. The chief events of the Norse calendar were the three Things taking place in the Summer half of the year, which was thought of as the best time for dealing out justice and making the greatest social decisions. The Althing, the greatest gathering of justice and government, was also the center of each year´s time-reckoning. It was in the course of this gathering that the calendar for each year was determined and spoken forth. Legal boundares were, like boundaries of measurement, determined by motion rather than objective space: a man using another man´s horse or boat without permission had not committed a major crime until he had passed three farms or more in a given direction; a court of banishment had to be held within a bowshot of the fence around the lands of the accused man, for example.
As the rune of rhythm and faring, raidho may be felt in the beating of the
drum or singing, which carries the shamanka or shaman on the vision quest. The
horse of the rune poem is both the fylgja or fetch, which is spoken of further
under ehwaz and the rhythm of the faring itself, which, if you are acting rightly,
will bear you along on its own. Raidho is also the rune of the final faring,
the faring of death or rebirth in the manner of the sun´s course.
In the personal sphere, raidho makes you aware of both the rhythms of the natural world and the right times for ritual and social action as they fit with the turnings of nature (separation between these not existing in Germanic worldview). The line in the Norwegian Rune Rhyme "Reginn forged the best sword" shows the power of awareness of the right time and setting: the shards of Sigmundr´s sword could only be forged into a weapon of true might when the hour of Sigurdhr´s first great deed had come. Raidho can also be used to bring you the wisdom to pace your efforts so as to be sure of finishing your task.
Raidho is used to bring about justice and harmony as relative things within
a society; it is the rune of judgement according to perspective and mitigating
or incriminating circumstances. Raidho is the Soul, the Spirit of the Law, and
Tiwaz is the letter of the Law. It also works in melding the individual with
the folk within the normal bonds of society.
In ritual work, raidho rules ritual forms, gestures and movements, especially circle-walking and the use of music, dance, etc. It should be used together with ansuz in writing or readying for a ritual and in creative work when rhythm and proportion are needed.
Raidho can be used to ward you while traveling in the realms of either spirit or earth. It may be inscribed on your vehicle to keep the faring smooth and swift. Raidho controls movement of all sorts, as described in the Havamal. It can be used to aid your aim.
A stone to use with Raidho is turquoise, a traditional warder of travelers and also traditionally used to improve marksmanship. Jacinth may also be used with this rune; it, too, is a warder of travelers and it relates to the social order of raidho by supposedly ensuring that the wayfarer will always be treated with fitting hospitality.
Additional notes on the divinatory nature of raidho:
1) Raidho is linked to issueing good and sound judgement, the symbols of leadership and nobility. Remember that true nobility is a position earned by right of moral responsibility and integrity. Think of the Justified Warriors and Knights.
2) Magickally, Raidho also lends the ability to travel into other realms of consciousness. Sometimes in a reading, it brings a warning about the right course of action and timing for a certain deed or question.
The Paths of the Soul take you to a deserted campfire, for no one is to be seen, just a tent and the fire on the ground burning high and happy. A stew is being cooked and the feeling is of homecoming, however you feel a bit anxious. Who had prepared all this and what for?
You decide to wait to see whether someone was going to show up, mindful of
not imposing your presence without getting to know the camper or campers first.
So you sit crosslegged on the ground, and start examining the Magickal Journeying
with the Elder Futhark so far. All of a sudden the images of days past come
strong and true, as if you were in a motion picture or play of some sort. Days
and nights past are brought to your awareness, and it is both exciting and slightly
unsettling to see yourself as the person in the picture and analyse your moves:
from introspection to action and deeds through your days in the Mysteries and
in the Physical World.
The question that strikes you me dumb is "How did you fare through these days in the Magickal Journeying?". As so many times before, you brace myself for the emotional and spiritual hit that would bring change and its own wisdom... despite the tears that invariably accompany the process of unveiling inner truths.
Strange to contemplate your track so far as somebody else´s quest. Time,
event, space are yours and yet detached from you, but the markings of the passage
of time were clearly shown within in my soul, without in that strange screen
that revealed the cycle you had started to experience since the Runic Journeyes
had started. And somehow the timing is so right, because the rune you are calling
upon to invite its mystery within your very being is Raidho, the rune of faring,
riding forth in one´s life, assessing the patterns and changes as
the Path unfolds. What you are witnessing though is a different way of assessing time. A view of it as rhythm and tempo, a time for everything and for everything her/his/its own time, even when it is so hard to figure out the whys and wherefores of existence´s inner reasoning.
What a magickal ride that was, and you could never say how long it lasted. How many winters and springs, summers or falls we experience in a day´s time? How many garments of the gods or of devious beings we meet in an hour? Difficult to say. Harder still, the realisation that to ride through life is to be also accompanied by the presence of death. How many times do we die within for the loss of a friend or relative, or the irretrievable farewell to ideals and ideas?
A sob interrupted thoughts that were straying to other paths and suddenly a
desire to ride for real summoned from the land of Dreams an Eight-Legged white
mare. You pet and mount on her, taking time to find a comfortable position for
Her and you, to choose wisely where to go. "Holding your... Inner Horses?"
You hear the Mare´s amused question in your mind.
"Sort of. Raidho is about balance and finding the right rhythm for the journey. One that is comfortable and that can be maintained for long, not to be thrown off your back and..."
"Not to be thrown off life´s back too?", completes the Magickal Mare for you.
The realisation strikes you hard, and you brace yourself for balance on Her
back. For there is an Inner Logics in one´s life and it is up to us to
find the right rhythm to pursue our destinies and not to deviate from our deepest
longings and ideals. Steady, constant and true, never too fast not to tire ahead
of time, never too slow or cautious not to take calculated risks.
"Now look", She commanded, and the strange life-sized screen opened up again and you see a hall of times past, when the Germanic peoples met at the height of Summer to celebrate and apply Rightful Justice to the land and the living. This was the time to decide on the coming year´s calendar, to deal out justice and make the greatest social decisions. With the Inner Vision you see a mighty figure from the Heights Above bless the procedures tracing the stave of Raidho in the air.
"Forseti, I lend you graces", You say and bow my head in honor and
respect to the god of Righteousness.
Forseti looks down and smiles at you and you raise a prayer so that the Spirit of Justice could be made more present on earth at this very moment. You are only one, but had come on behalf of the many who could not do so. You close your eyes and project a beam of light to the glowing globe that represent the Living Earth this very moment, and taking a ritual stance, you dismount and gather the Globe to place on the feet of the shrine to Forseti.
And for a brief moment, you are the Riding Harmony of the Universe, for the Universe rides in harmony deep within you.
You are a being of Honour and Merit conquered by Deeds
Your Law is Balance, Balance that is mine to find
You ride the Chariot of Life guided by Integrity, Enthusiasm, Passion and Strength following the Path of Perennial Wisdom
Life is a ritual you take full participation of
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