The runic system of writing may have been developed as early as 200 BCE. It is certain that the religious practices of the Ancient Germanic people were aided by the use of many runic or rune like signs. Along with general everyday writings, they are etched into stones all over Scandinavia.
Exercise the body is one of the Thirteen Goals of a Witch. Various forms of Stadhagaldr are still practiced as folk customs in Iceland and parts of Scandinavia. Stadhagaldr or Runic Yoga is an active system that consists of the runes into postures or gestures. Gestures and postures form some part of almost every religious school. They can be seen from the simple folding of hands in prayer to the extremely complex system of asanas. Stadhagaldr is balanced in this respect.
The practice of both ceremonially and informally meditating on the runes is a source of wisdom and guidance. The number and intricacy of the postures are varied enough to be expressive but none require extensive training. (see your physician first) With practice you should be able to control your body, control your thoughts, control your breath, control your emotions and control your will. You will become aware of the runes, yourself and the World.
The intent of these exercises is to allow total identification with the runes that will reawaken the Ancestral blood memory and improve the physical overall health. During a particular runic posture, you should visualize and actually feel ourselves becoming embodied and completely united with the runes. You are visualizing the rune with your inner eye, as its form is being represented by your body and the energies are flowing through your body.
Stadhagaldr can be practiced at any location and time. Runic yoga is more powerful outside in the fields or forests then in closed rooms. But find a quiet place and wear comfortable clothing. You could place your mat facing North, home of the Ancestors.
Stand relaxed, feel your roots to the Earth and adopt an attitude of feeling open. Keep a slight space under your arms as if holding eggs in your armpits. Breathe in slowly as you enter the rune posture, breathe out slowly as you come out of it. Imagine a slight resistance to your movements, as if you are swimming. Do the movements slowly enough for you to feel the energy flowing through your body. Imagine you are forming the runes for the Gods to watch. Allow no thoughts of limitation.
You should learn to pronounce each letter and chant them during the practice, similar to the word 'om' used by the Eastern cultures. Allow the names of the runes to vibrate throughout your entire body, losing complete awareness of your surroundings. The same deep and controlled breathing techniques used in Vedic Yoga should be implemented in Stadhagaldr. Try practicing these different postures until you become proficient with the basics and attempt to hold them for as long as possible. Start with just one rune a day. Each day a different rune is dominant and studied in as much ways as possible.
Once you know the runes and practiced the postures, you can find your own personal way of Runic Yoga; a way of moving, visualizing and mantra-speaking.
I 1. Turn on music, listen for a bird or other animals and shake your knees. u 2. Bend down and touch the Earth. x 3. Stretch out your arms to the sky. f 4. Move a hand and send light: "May all people be happy." E 5. Make large circles with your arms. i 6. Relax in standing for a few moments. Think the mantra into the Earth, your body and your belly. j 7. Forward with power. j And twirl in success.
A mantra is a word or combination of words that are chanted or sung as a prayer or incantation. Forming your own will be more powerful but there are several examples to help you start your own:
Thurisaz "thoor-ee-saws" T, even good people sometimes cause good people harm.
Ansuz "awn-sooze" A, wisdom and tradition give comfort in times of great changes.
Raido "rye-though" r, to walk in another's shoes and do better, that is the most difficult path.
Cenaz "cen-awze" c, brighten the dark weary world.
Gebo "gay-boe" g, for one can give too much.
Wunjo "woon-yo" w, it is bliss to reach the state of happiness.
Hagalaz "haw-gaw-laws" h, even a good life has its days but bad times don't last.
Nauthiz "now-these" n, need is the manifestation of desire.
Peortho "perth-row" p, no one can be excluded from the Gods except those who exclude themselves.
Sowulo "soe-wee-low" s, the Sun points the way and gives us energy.
Teiwaz "tea-wawz" t, the Gods guide us and never abandon us.
Berkana "bear-kawn-ah" b, give us knowledge that new life has come again.
Mannaz "mawn-nawz" m, be happy in life yet aware that death is waiting.
Laguz "law-gooze" l, the sea of chaos can be a creative matrix.
Dagaz "thaw-gauze" d, we shine in the light of the deities.
Your body is a temple. Pick a rune a day. Or follow a video guide. Or just start with a bunch and mix it up. Some even blend rune casting with rune yoga. It is your mind, body, spirit practice. Play around with a few options and use what works. Go peacefully and happily your way.
Know how to cut them, know how to read them,
Know how to stain them, know how to prove them,
Know how to evoke them, know how to score them,
Know how to send them.