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  • Writer's pictureLauri Wild

Ancient Origins of Runes and Tarot

Updated: Dec 25, 2018

My initial connection with the runes took place around 21st December 2012 (read more from here) around the time the Maya calendar had its restart. I had tried to work with runes for three years previously with not much luck. The experience in 2012 triggered a quest in me that has taken several years of journeying and research in trying to understand runes in a much deeper way. This journey has been a real quest both for more profound spiritual insights and personal growth.

As part of my journey with the runes and the Great Spirit, a specific view of cosmology has been emerging seeming to have its roots all the way in Atlantean times. And not just the cosmology but also the whole creation story which is shared sacred knowledge in various mystery school teachings around the world.

Most runologists agree that runes originated from old Italian scripts (they look very similar as you can see from Wikipedia) and were introduced as written alphabet through Germany to Northern parts of Europe after 120 AD. Runes were in active use until Christianisation when most Northern European languages started using Latin-based alphabets. In Sweden, runes were still used in late 1800 in rural areas for calendars and decorations.

The Norse Odin tale talks about the spiritual or magical aspect of the runes. Odin or Woðanaz in Norse mythology was a god of war and death, as well as a sky god and the god of wisdom and poetry. According to the legend he received runes in a vision after hanging in the World tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights.

After the awakening experience he received magical powers:

Equipped with the knowledge of how to wield the runes, he became one of the mightiest and most accomplished beings in the cosmos. He learned chants that enabled him to heal emotional and bodily wounds, to bind his enemies and render their weapons worthless, to free himself from constraints, to put out fires, to expose and banish practitioners of malevolent magic, to protect his friends in battle, to wake the dead, to win and keep a lover, and to perform many other feats like these.

The story of Odin is compelling and resonates well with the Northern people. However what Odin discovered is much more ancient and something all mystery school teachings share. He found the Secrets of the Universe. These secrets were already known to many Ancient Masters around the world. One group of people who knew those secrets were the original Pyramid Builders from Atlantis.

After the destruction of Atlantis, the knowledge was transferred to Egyptian Mystery schools and from there slowly to Italy and then to Northern Europe. Various mystery schools, stone masons, druids and other seekers of the knowledge carried this knowledge within them and transmitted it within the cultural context of the times using the language and tools available. This knowledge often had to be disguised and kept secret as the common society would not have accepted such beliefs and the keepers of the knowledge could have been tortured or killed as witches.

Tarot cards and runes seem to have the same common ancestor in the Atlantean mystery school teachings. One physical evidence of this is the Bembine tablet. Although the tablet is not of Egyptian origin, it has been made by someone who had in-depth knowledge of Egyptian mystery school teachings which originated from Atlantean knowledge.

The Bembine Tablet of Isis
The Bembine Tablet of Isis

Based on a quick look, and without understanding Egyptian symbology it is difficult to understand the connection. However, this tablet has been analysed by many occultists, and a clear link to Tarot cards has been made. From Egypt, this knowledge then started spreading through as more easily understandable Tarot cards and as Runes around Europe. The Knights of Templar disguised Tarot cards as a “standard” deck of playing cards to make this information more widely accessible and acceptable.

The Major Arcana in the Tarot cards resonates well with a set of 24 runes, although there are only 22 Major Arcana tarot cards. Interestingly when we look more closely into the Bembine tablet, especially to William Wynn Westcott‘s key, we do find that at the top row we have 24 kings or demi-gods or goddesses linking them with the seasons of the year similarly to runes. There is one Central element, IYNX, in this chart which can match with the central GAR rune in the full 33 rune Northumbria set. The surrounding eight areas can match to the eight additional runes on the Northumbria set. The similarity is too close to call it a random occurrence.

William Wynn Westcott’s key to the Bembine Tablet
William Wynn Westcott’s key to the Bembine Tablet

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