Day 327: Freya’s Aett, Raidho


As I’ve mentioned before, all the information below comes not from Roderick’s book, but from Diana L. Paxson’s Taking Up the Runes.

Pronunciation:  “Rah-EED-ho”
Meaning:  Ride (Cart)
Supporting Meanings:  Journey, passing of time, personal responsibility, organizations that ‘carry’ large groups of people, anything that is “carried.”

Ancient Meanings:  According to Diana Paxson, all the old sources agree that the primary meaning of this rune is horse transportation or riding.  The Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems focus on riding astride and both verses are more sympathetic to the horse than tot he rider.  The Anglo-Saxon poem elaborates more on the idea of glorifying the warrior and showing how much more power (and more varied power) he has when astride.  It especially conveys swift motion and a sense of purpose.

Modern Meanings:  Raidho is both the act of moving and the vehicle that contains what is moved.  Its turning wheels govern all rhythmic, cyclical actions.  Edred Thorsson focused more on raidho as the vehicle and the path it takes and said it governed rhythmic action and organized activity (including nations and religions) and is therefore the rune of logic, proportion and cognition–the roadways one travels between the worlds.  James Peterson saw it as the sun’s chariot and especially speedy communication (like modern e-mail).  Freya Aswynn suggests that it shows the correct and just way to go and interprets associations of personal responsibility and the obligation to decide what is right and to control the path one follows.  Kveldulf Gundarsson integrates the sunwheel and divine order by focusing on the function of solar measurement in defining the order of the year.  In his concept, the correct functioning of earthly life depends upon the journey of the sun.

My Take-Away of the Meanings:  With the ancient verses focusing so much upon the horse rather than the rider, my impulse is to give raidho associations with carrying rather than a journey.  You carry the obligation of personal responsibility, and organizations carry the burden of taking all the people within them collectively to a different state.  Anything that carries a figurative burden, such as justice or a teacher’s obligation to help her students learn (and take them to a new mental state) would be part of raidho.  I think, though, that physical carrying isn’t to be ignored:  moving house would be within raidho’s realm, as would all tools that carry others:  cars, bikes, planes, trains, trucks, etc.

Paxson’s Interpretation and Use:  Raidho is useful as a journey rune.  It can be chanted for protection while traveling or inscribed on car charms, luggage, or on letters and packages.  For Tony Willis, it is primarily a rune of travel.  However, it may refer to any organization of people working together.  There is an implication of communication, since messengers rode upon horseback.  In readings, it could mean going into a new situation or having something new come to you.  Other implications have to do with giving or receiving counsel or following direction or plans.  It can indicate bringing order to chaos or simply changing direction.

Paxson’s Guide to Appreciating the Journey:  Raidho is a rune that can be experience physically as well as magically.  It can simply refer to traveling.  When you go somewhere, even commuting to work, pay attention to the journey.  What do you see from a bus that you don’t from a car, and how is the experience of driving different from that of being driven?  What kinds of skills and awareness are required to move safely through the world?  What adjustments do you have to make as you enter a different environment?  Are yo the same person at work as at home? 


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