Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth
In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.
Teach Us Those Runes
Geriht us þat geruni.
“Teach us those runes.”
(Old Saxon Heliand, circa 850)
Writing is a magical act.
The old North Sea ancestors had two words meaning “write.”
One was to scribe. That meant “to write with pen and ink,” as the Romans did. This was the newfangled way to write, with a newfangled Latin name.
But the old word, the ancestral word, was to write. This originally meant “to carve.” The first writing that the ancestors knew was the carving ("risting") of runes into wood.
Note which method they favored.
In our hyper-literate society, in which most of us write with light rather than with ink or with lead, we tend to take writing for granted.
Every act of writing is an act of magic: a spell.
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