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Runic Inscriptions

52 53 The angular shape of the runes primarily arose because the runes were a script designed to be inscribed upon staves of wood. The old English charm above, from the Nine Herbs Charm or Lacnunga in Harley manuscript 585 in the British Museum may mention a dual function of the runes. The first is that the nine glory twigs may have had runes etched upon them a continuation of this oldest use. The second meaning lies in the fact that nine twigs can be arranged symmetrically to form a grid from which all runes can geometrically arise. The hail rune, described by the rune poem as the frozen seed, bears an alternative sixfold shape in the Danish fuark, echoing the symmetry of the grid, and led this rune to become modernly known as the mother rune. A symmetrIcAl hyPothesIs nine twigs, nine worlds ... for Woden took nine glorytwigs. He smote then the adder that it flew apart into nine parts.
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