The Rûniâs is a divination tool that is inspired by the Norse/Germanic Runes, Greek letter oracle systems, and somewhat with the Insular Celtic Ogham, and was designed to be used specifically within a Gaulish Polytheistic framework. The word rûniâs is the plural form of the word rûnâ (secret, mystery, justice) and is composed of 18 different Lepontic letters.
The Lepontic Letters
The Lepontic letter system is a writing system that was used in the northern Italian regions south of the Alps and has its roots in proto-Greek writing systems. As Greek letters spread across the Mediterranean regions, the writing system divided into eastern and western variations. The Greek letters we know today is a byproduct of the evolution of the eastern variation and the western variation evolved into the writing systems of Latin, Etruscan, and Old Italian (Lepontic). Variations in the sound and letters also split between east and west. For example, San and Sigma (which were used interchangeably in the proto-Greek letters) each took precedent in their specific regions (ex. San for the west, Sigma for the East) and in turn each of these continued to evolve in relation to the languages spoken in their specific regions. As time went on, the Lepontic letters migrated and were adapted by more northern cultures and eventually evolved into the letters used by the ancient Norse (runes) and the letters we use today in English.
There are certain characteristics that applied to the Lepontic letters. For starters, there was no “standard system”. Each region had its own variations and these changed over time. Because of that, some of the letters were written inverted to each other (like looking in a mirror). Certain sounds may have multiple letters, and some letters were used for various sounds. P/B, T/D, F/V, and K/G were cases where the sounds were either used interchangeably for the letter or in some cases, the person pronounced the letter with a hyphenated sound where it would sound like both sounds. One thing that seems to be consistent is that the alphabet across the board seemed to start with A, E, and F/V.
Using Lepontic Letters in this Divination System
To the best of our knowledge, the Lepontic letters were not used as a divination system by the ancient continental Celts. Any attempt to use them as such is a modern construction. In regards to this, the approach I used comes from the assumption that these oracles would have moved and migrated throughout Europe, originating in the Mediterranean area and moving north and west. As they migrated, many of the meanings were either changed or modified to fit the cultures they were used in. Because of that, the interpretations of each rûnâ is based on the assumption of these similar roots. This method did not always line up, but a good majority of them did, which reinforced this assumption. There are a few other characteristics I used with regards to each of these letters:
- No reversals: The idea of the reversal of an oracle is a new concept that has been adopted into systems like the Norse Runes by way of tarot card readings. If you look at these older systems, there was no such thing as a reverse meaning. Each one had both positive and negative meanings to them and how each one expressed itself depended more on its relationship with the other Rûniâs within the reading. In the spirit of that principle, I have done the same.
- Hybrid sounds: some of the letters within the system could be pronounced differently depending on how it was used. I have tried to accommodate this idea within the work when it seemed appropriate to how the language worked.
- Variations in letters: When looking at the letters used for the rûnâ, one will see that there are around 5 or so different variations in how the letters are written. Some are structured differently while others are just written backward (like in a mirror reflection). Since there was no “standard” way of writing these things at the time, we are taking the position that these are just different variations on how each rûnâ would be written up. Their meaning would remain the same, more or less.
- 17 rûnâ instead of 18: This is a work in progress and you will see that some of the letters are missing. It is not because I am deliberately trying to leave them out. I am working to see how the missing letters work their way into the system as a whole. They will be in there eventually……..
With that, we will get into the specific Rûnâ.
Admetiu: (a/â; Voice of the Gods, Birth of Wisdom and Truth)
– This relationship brings illumination and your actions, especially your words, bring strength, vitality, and passion to yourself and others. In doing so, one is reborn into a new life and a new way of being, gifted by the protection and the prosperity of the gods.
– Word Meaning: Invocation, Hymn, Holy Song
– Greek equivalent: Alpha (Α/α)
– Ogham equivalent: Ailm ()
– Futhark equivalent: Ansuz (ᚨ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Ogmios
Epos: (e/ê; Dynamics of Relationships)
– Focus on proper relationships that lead to trust and cooperation are called for here. A righteous union to take care of those within your charge. Discernment in your actions regarding how your actions affect others and to have the ability to tell true friendship from false relations.
– Word Meaning: Horse
– Greek equivalent: Epsilon (Ε/ε)
– Ogham equivalent: Edad ()
– Futhark equivalent: Ehwaz (ᛖ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Eponâ
Ulidiâs: (f/fu/v; Favorable Luck, High Esteem, Honor)
– Favorable luck and the blessings of the gods are with you. Events are moving in ways that will bring the benefit of prosperity into your life and these blessings will bring joy to you and your community. Sharing in these blessings and service to your community is the highest honor, as well as the greatest gratitude for what has come to you. Do not squander what you have been blessed with.
– Word Meaning: Feast, Banquet, Celebration
– Greek equivalent: Gamma (ɤ)
– Ogham equivalent: Fern ()
– Futhark equivalent: Fehu ( f)
– Possible Deity Associations: Rosmertâ and the Dêwâs Matres
I̭agis: (i/î/i̭[y]; Standstill, Reflection, and Guidance, Ice)
– Outside forces are moving on their own accord and any work you do at this time will be difficult. Turning inward and self-reflection is advised here. Doing so will bring forth wisdom and carelessness will hamper what you do. Drawing on the wisdom of your ancestors for council may bring clarity to the situation.
– Word Meaning: Ice
– Greek equivalent: Iota (ᛁ/ι)
– Ogham equivalent: Idad ()
– Futhark equivalent: Isaz (ᛁ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Perchta an the Perchten
Calonnâ: (k/g; Perseverance, Wisdom, Growth)
– Courage, perseverance, and heart are called for here. The fates of the world ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea. At times, this flow works in our favor and other times, it it pushes against us, making things difficult and straining. No matter which way the tides of the world flow, we must keep heart and carry forward. Doing so will guide you through difficult times, provide new avenues and opportunities, and bring forth the resolve to keep moving forward.
– Word Meaning: Resolve, Courage, Spirit, Heart
– Greek equivalent: Kappa (Κ/κ)
– Ogham equivalent: Coll (ᚉ) or Ceirt (ᚉ)
– Futhark equivalent: Kauna (ᚲ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Cathuboduâ
Locu: (L; Deep Mysteries, Rebirth, Underworld Powers)
– The waters of the subconscious flow into the collective unconscious (Well of Wisdom) to be distilled into the Waters of Life. These waters are the source of wisdom, inspiration, and healing and the path to them have been laid out by our ancestors and the gods themselves. The events before you may be leading you down a path of healing and rebirth. Dive deep into the waters to gain wisdom and insight. If your fear rises or the situation seems troublesome, it might be a blessing in disguise. Let go and let the waters purify you into new life.
– Word Meaning: Lake
– Greek equivalent: Lambda (Λ/λ)
– Ogham equivalent: Lus (ᚌ)
– Futhark equivalent: Laukaz (ᛚ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Aerecurâ, Nantosueltâ, or Carnonos
Mênon: (m; Deepest Desires, Self-Awareness, Excellence of Man,)
– With the truth in our hearts, the strength of our actions, and the integrity of the words we speak, we express the best of our nature and we become masters of our own fate. Through our labor and the strength of our will, we have the power to bring admiral change in our lives and the lives of others. This is rooted in our own inner truth and how we apply that truth to the world. You may be called to hold true to yourself or you may be called to look deeper into how you are applying yourself to the current situation. If you are unsure, look to your deepest desires.
– Word Meaning: Wish, Desire
– Greek equivalent: Mu (Μ/μ)
– Ogham equivalent: Muin (ᚋ)
– Futhark equivalent: Mannaz (ᛗ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Lugus or the Toutatîs
Naudon: (n; Necessity, Constraint, Breakthrough)
– You may feel that options are limited, which leads to frustrations and exposes fears, but the options presented in the situation are needed for new growth and opportunity. Self-reliance, taking effective action, and approaching your needs practically are called for here. The situation may be difficult to embrace, but it is necessary in order to continue the journey.
– Word Meaning: Need, Require
– Greek equivalent: Nu (Ν/ν)
– Ogham equivalent: Nin ()
– Futhark equivalent: Naudiz (ᚾ)
– Possible Deity Associations: TBD
Parios: (p/pa/b; Cauldron of Celebration)
– Perseverance through times of hard work and adversary has brought you to the time of joy, beauty, and celebration. The hardship is behind you and now is the time to reap the fruits of your labor. If you are still in a time of strife, this may indicate that that time is coming to an end and your work is almost complete. The gods will favor a strong and steady hand to victory. May also bring healing and purification from difficulty.
– Word Meaning: Cauldron, Pot
– Greek equivalent: Pi (Π/π)
– Ogham equivalent: Pin/Iphin () or Beith ()
– Futhark equivalent: Pertho (ᛈ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Sucellos
Đirâ: (st/ss/sth; New Journeys, Bright Future)
– A revelation will bring transformation and change your life, sending you on a new path. Vibrancy and brightness in all things will add new life to what you do. This new path is under the protection and guidance of the gods.
– Word Meaning: Star
– Greek equivalent: Theta (Θ/θ)
– Ogham equivalent: Straif (ᚎ)
– Futhark equivalent: Dagaz (ᛞ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Brigandu, Sironâ, or Carnonos
Rudîtos: (r; Temperament of Passions, Movement, and Action)
– Passion is the spark that ignites movement and action. It can manifest as a great joy to create, or anger to incite desired change. What is called for is proper action and not to let your passions direct you towards actions that are unjust. If you act too hatsful, you may cause problems with what you are doing, possibly bringing shame to yourself and others. But if you temper your passion and act with proper timing, you will bring goodness and integrity/honor to yourself and others.
– Word Meaning: To turn red, blush
– Greek equivalent: Rho (Ρ/ρ)
– Ogham equivalent: Ruis (ᚏ)
– Futhark equivalent: Raidō (ᚱ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Camulus, Taranis, or Brigandu
Sonnos: (s/ps; Energy, Vitality, Celestial Powers)
– The light of the sun and the blessings of the day are with you. Success, health, energy, and vitality (life-force) brings optimism and invigoration. Celestial powers are strong at this time, may bringing psychic awareness and a connection between higher self and unconscious. The protection of the gods are with you in what is right and good.
– Word Meaning: Sun
– Greek equivalent: Sigma (Σ/σ) or Psi (ψ)
– Ogham equivalent: Sail ()
– Futhark equivalent: Sōwilō (ᛋ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Grannus
Trexos: (t/d; Victory in Skill, Integrity, and Strength in Action)
– Mastery of skill and craft, as well as your discernment in its use, allows you to stand against the forces of chaos and disorder. Order serves justice, not the other way round. Using your skills with creativity and efficiency will bring strength and victory to your endeavors and deliver you from your enemies, both within and without.
– Word Meaning: Victorious, Strong, Vanquisher
– Greek equivalent: Tau (Τ/τ) or Delta (Δ)
– Ogham equivalent: Tinne (ᚈ) or Dair ()
– Futhark equivalent: Tīwaz (ᛏ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Camulus, Taranis, or Lugus
Uros: (u/û/ṷ[w]; Bold Action, Transformation, Path to Prosperity)
– Bold and righteous action is called for at this time. Events are moving in a way that may lead you to great prosperity and nobility or they might overcome you and knock you down. How you respond to these events are key and no matter what choice you make, these events will cause you to no longer live your life as you have. By directing your power and strength to great change, you will strip away any sense of weakness and fear you might have and overcome any adversary, within and without.
– Word Meaning: Wild Bull (Aurochs)
– Greek equivalent: Ypsilon (Υ/υ)
– Ogham equivalent: Úr ()
– Futhark equivalent: Ūruz (ᚢ)
– Possible Deity Associations: Camulus or Lugus
Gnâtos: (g/gn; Customary Rituals, Hospitality, *ghosti)
– Participating in normal and expected social customs, especially of the host/guest relationship and the exchange of gifts, will build fellowship and trust among your community. Fostering friendship and alliances between people will further strengthen the community and provides a place for future growth and prosperity for yourself and others.
– Word Meaning: Known, Customary, Normal, Usual
– Greek equivalent: Chi (X)
– Ogham equivalent: Gort ()
– Futhark equivalent: Gebo (X)
– Possible Deity Associations: Brigandu or Genii Cucullatus
Orbion: (o/ô; Inheritance, Heritage of the Family, Estate)
– To reap what has been sown assures that if you are just and accountable, the estate will grow and the family will prosper. To squander your inheritance and gifts will bring despair and hardship to your family and community.
– Word Meaning: Inheritance
– Greek equivalent: Omicron (Ο/ο)
– Ogham equivalent: Or ()
– Futhark equivalent: Othalan (ᛟ)
– Possible Deity Associations: The Toutatîs and the Dêwâs Matres
Stlatus: (*ts/*s/z/; Secret Knowledge, Deep Wisdom, Spiritual Protection)
– Discretion is called for here. There may be hidden things at play and you may need to dig deeper into what is happening to reassess the situation or get a fresh perspective from trusted counsel. It is possible that you may need a deeper understanding of the situation or that you missed something important. It is also possible that you may need to be more discerning on who you are sharing information with and those around you may not be as trustful as you once thought. Deep knowledge and wisdom of yourself and the world will assist in your endeavors and help keep yourself and others protected from falsehoods and lies.
– Word Meaning: Deception, Lie, Cover-up
– Greek equivalent: Zeta (Z,ζ)
– Ogham equivalent: Straif (ᚎ)
– Futhark equivalent: Algiz ()
– Possible Deity Associations: Rosmertâ and Carnonos
- Ager, Simon. “Lepontic” Omniglot: The Online Encyclopedia of Writing Systems and Language, https://www.omniglot.com/writing/lepontic.htm
- Brigantici filius, Viducus. “Lepontic Grammatomancy” Deo Mercurio: A little space in honor of Mercury and Rosmertâ https://deomercurio.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/lepontic-grammatomancy/
- Green, Miranda. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend Thames and Hudson. London, 1997
- Laurie, Erynn Rowan. Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom Megalithica Books. Stafford, 2007
- McCoy, Daniel. “The Meaning of the Runes” Norse Mythology for Smart People, https://norse-mythology.org/runes/the-meanings-of-the-runes/
- Nickolaisen, Michelle. “Notes on Perchta: the Wild Goddess” Michelle Nickolaisen: Collected Works and Writing, https://michellenickolaisen.com/2018/12/09/notes-on-perchta-the-wild-goddess/
- Pagan and Viking Merch. “Rune Guide” Honor the Roots, http://honortheroots.com/symbols-2/what-are-the-runes/
- Sophistes, Apollonius. “A Greek Alphabet Oracle” Biblioteca Arcana, http://opsopaus.com/OM/BA/GAO.html
- Stifter, David. “Chapter 4: Gaulish; Old Celtic Languages”, Discord, https://discordapp.com/
- Toutâ Galation. “Gaulish Dictionary: Labarish Ethymological Dictionary” Toutâ Galation, https://touta-galation-official.tumblr.com/dictionairy
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