Perhaps the most notable difference between modern thought-patterns and those of the ancient Norse people relates to the concept of time and being in relation to time. Modern Western culture has adopted the Greco-Roman view of time as past (that which has gone before), present (that which is) and future (that which will be). The Norse/Teutonic way of seing time is not threefold, but twofold: time is divided into "THAT-WHICH-IS", a concept encompassing everything that has ever happened - not as a linear progression, but as a unity of interwoven layers - and "THAT-WHICH-IS-BECOMING", the active chaning of the present as it grows from the patterns set in THAT-WHICH-IS. For the Norse mind, all that has been is still immediate and alive; the present only exists as it has been shaped by the great mass of what is, and the future only as the pattern of that which is becoming now should shape and turn in. Without this understanding, reading and writing the runes will be at best limited, at worst in error and unpredictable in result.
The Norse conception of time and being is fully represented by the evergreen tree with a well at its foot, Yggdrasil. The Tree upholds the Nine Worlds and is tended by the Norns, the Divine Maidens who also rule the fates of all there is. The Norns are three, Urdhr (that-which-has-become), Verdhandi (that-which-is-becoming) and Skuld (that-which-should-become).
Remember: much of the power of the runes lies in the fact that we can write around Wyrd (fate, destiny) at need. For this reason it is good to read the runes several times in a working so as to avoid unknowingly writing one´s own doom. One should read the runes before acting to see what is likely to happen if you do nothing, again if you do as planned, and a third time after the work has been done to see what is now written.
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