Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crafting the Runes: Sigel

From the Runic Tarot
by Caroline Smith and John Astrop

The sun is ever a joy in the hopes of seafarers
when they journey away over the fishes' bath,
until the courser of the deep bears them to land.

Sigel, the sun, "is ever a joy".  The Anglo-Saxon rune poem above talks specifically about the sun being helpful to seafarers, but we know that the sun was very important in many aspects of life for the various Germanic tribes.  The Icelandic rune poem calls the sun "shield of the clouds, and shining ray, and destroyer of ice," and the Norwegian rune poem states that "sun is the light of the world".  In addition, we know from Caesar's Commentaries, authored by Julius Caesar in the first century BC, that the Germanic tribes "rank in the number of the gods those alone whom they behold, and by whose instrumentality they are obviously benefited, namely, the sun, fire, and the moon".  So not only is the sun praised as a great benefit to humankind, but it was also beheld as a deity - which could refer to an early iteration of the Germanic Goddess Sunna (Sunne for the Anglo-Saxons).

In divination, I would see this rune as very positive, bringing with it warmth and light; and perhaps specifically good guidance or advice, as referenced in the AS poem.  In magic it could be used to promote positive outcomes, or the light that is necessary for growth.  Naturally, I also think of it as a rune representing Sunne, and is a fitting representation of Her on an altar or shrine.

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