The Rûniâs: A Gaulish Divination System

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.

Runa AAdmetiu: (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 (Ogham_A)
– Futhark equivalent: Ansuz (ᚨ)
– Deity: Ogmios

Runa EEpos: (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 (Ogham_E)
– Futhark equivalent: Ehwaz (ᛖ)
– Deity: Eponâ

Runa FUlidiâs: (f/fu/v; Favorable Luck, High Esteem, Honor)

– Events are moving in ways that will bring benefit and prosperity into your life for the blessings of the gods are with you.  Through their blessings, you and your community share in the fortunes.  Make sure not to squander the luck you have been blessed in.  Service to your community is the highest honor as well as the greatest gratitude.

– Word Meaning: Feast, Banquet, Celebration
– Greek equivalent: Gamma (ɤ)
– Ogham equivalent: Fern (Ogham_F)
– Futhark equivalent: Fehu ( f)
– Deity: Rosmertâ and the Dêwâs Matres

Runa II̭agis: (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 (Ogham_I)
– Futhark equivalent: Isaz (ᛁ)
– Deity: Perchta an the Perchten

Runa KCatumagos: (k/g; Growth through Struggle)

– Ill luck and confusion can wear down an individual’s resolve. However, this conflict can be the birthplace of wisdom and new growth like the tilling of soil before the planting of new seeds. Clarity, clear intent, and focus are called for here. Doing so will guide you through the difficulty, provide new avenues, and bring new wisdom and resolve.

– Word Meaning: Battle, Confusion, Disorder, Insurrection
– Greek equivalent: Kappa (Κ/κ)
– Ogham equivalent: Coll (ᚉ) or Ceirt (ᚉ)
– Futhark equivalent: Kauna (ᚲ)
– Deity: Cathuboduâ

Runa LLocu: (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. Dive deeper into the situation at hand to gain wisdom and insight. This process may bring healing and eventually lead to rebirth to a new way of living. The path of death and rebirth through the waters has been laid out by the ancestors and the gods.  Do not be fooled by appearances.  If the situation you are in seems troublesome, it might be a blessing in disguise. Let the waters purify you to bring new life.

– Word Meaning: Lake
– Greek equivalent: Lambda (Λ/λ)
– Ogham equivalent: Lus (ᚌ)
– Futhark equivalent: Laukaz (ᛚ)
– Deity: Aerecurâ, Nantosueltâ, or Carnonos

Runa MMênon: (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)
– Deity: Lugus or the Toutatîs

Runa NNaudon: (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 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 (Ogham_N)
– Futhark equivalent: Naudiz (ᚾ)
– Deity: TBD

Runa PParios: (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 (Ogham Pi) or Beith (Ogham_B)
– Futhark equivalent: Pertho (ᛈ)
– Deity: Sucellos

Runa STĐirâ: (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)
– Deity: Brigandu, Sironâ, or Carnonos

Runa RRudîtos: (r; Temperament and Justice in Action)

– Do not let your passions determine your actions. What is called for is a clear head and a sense of rightness and justice. If you let your anger or passions get the better of you, you may act too hatsful which will cause problems with what you are doing and may bring shame to yourself and others. Proper timing in what you do will bring goodness and acting with integrity will bring prestige/honor.

– Word Meaning: To turn red, blush
– Greek equivalent: Rho (Ρ/ρ)
– Ogham equivalent: Ruis (ᚏ)
– Futhark equivalent: Raidō (ᚱ)
– Deity: Camulus, Taranis, or Brigandu

Runa SunnosSonnos: (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 (Ogham_S)
– Futhark equivalent: Sōwilō (ᛋ)
– Deity: Grannus

Runa TTrexos: (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 (Ogham_D)
– Futhark equivalent: Tīwaz (ᛏ)
– Deity: Camulus, Taranis, or Lugus

Runa UUros: (u/û/ṷ[w]; Great Challenge, Path to Prosperity)

– A difficult challenge or adversary to overcome. The occurring of this challenge will change you in ways that you will not be able to live life in the same way. Events will either lead to a noble and prosperous end or to ruin. Direct your power towards great change.

– Word Meaning: Wild Bull (Aurochs)
– Greek equivalent: Ypsilon (Υ/υ)
– Ogham equivalent: Úr (Ogham_U)
– Futhark equivalent: Ūruz (ᚢ)
– Deity: Camulus or Lugus

Runa GGnâtos: (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 (Ogham_G)
– Futhark equivalent: Gebo (X)
– Deity: Brigandu or Genii Cucullatus

Runa OOrbion: (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 (Ogham Oi)
– Futhark equivalent: Othalan (ᛟ)
– Deity: The Toutatîs and the Dêwâs Matres

Runa ZStlatus: (*ts/*s/z/; Knowledge of Trickery, Spiritual Protection, Transformation)

– Protection and wise counsel are called for here. There is secret work and possible trickery, either self induced or by others.  You may need to reassess the situation and get a fresh perspective from a trusted council.  Possible that forces of the Otherworld are at work.  Deep knowledge and wisdom of yourself and the world will assist in your travels and help keep yourself and others protected from falsehood.

– Word Meaning: Deception, Lie, Cover-up
– Greek equivalent: Zeta (Z,ζ)
– Ogham equivalent: Straif (ᚎ)
– Futhark equivalent: Algiz (NordicRunes-algiz-bold-400w)
– Deity: Rosmertâ and Carnonos


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