There are 94 cards in the Runictarot. They are divided in three groups:
There are 25 cards based on the 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark with relations to the Major Arcana of the common tarot. 25? Yes 25. For the Rune Berkano/Beorc there are two completely different cards. You can choose either one and throw away the other. Or you can use both.
There are 49 cards based on the worlds of Yggdrasil. The first is Ginnung-gap, the misleading gap, the origin of everything. Then there are four times twelve cards for each of the four divisions of Yggdrasil: Shields for the worlds of Ice, Drinking-horns for the worlds of Sea, Swords for the worlds of Fire and Spears for the worlds of Wind.
There are 20 court-cards, based on social classes. There are four classes in every society. You have slaves or employees. They are linked to the Shields. You have freemen or the self-employed. They are linked to the Drinking-horns. You have leaders or managers. They are linked to the Swords. And you have those, that refuse to fit in. They are like the wind and they are linked to the Spears. They are the shamans, priests, sacred warriors, artists. A regular job and a regular income is not their first priority.
The 24 Runes are divided in three Ættir. Ættir means: 1. quarter of the heaven, direction; 2. one's family, extraction, pedigree; 3. generation. Ættaðr means: descended. (Geir T. Zoëga, Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic.) The 24 Runic influences are spun by the three norns or Weird-sisters. Each norn spins eight runes.
The first Ættir descends from Úrðr. The dutch name for her is Word. In English it could be Weird. 'Your weird' means: your process of becoming, that what you will become. From the seed of an oak you can get a new oak, but not an ash or a willow. Your DNA is part of your weird. Your environment can influence what you become, but there is no upbringing that can turn you into a goat or a horse.
The second Ættir descends from Róta or Root. With tongue-in-cheek: Tá-Róta means: the path of Róta.
The second norn is named Verðandi in the Poetic Edda. In the Gylfaginning she is named Róta and Úrðr is named Guðr: 'Guðr ok Róta ok norn in yngsta, er Skuld heitir, ríða jaf[nan] at kjósa val ok ráða vígum.' Verða means: to happen, come to pass. Róta means: to stir, throw into disorder. Rót means: 1. root; 2. cause, origin. (Geir T. Zoëga, Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic.) In the Runictarot I have chosen Róta as name for the second norn.
The third Ættir descends from Skuld. Skuld means: 1. debt; 2. tax, due. (Geir T. Zoëga, Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic.) You can also think of karma.
Some writers have stated that the three norns represent Past, Present and Future. I disagree with that idea.
You can compare the three norns also with the three Gunas from India. They are: Tamas (Urðr), Satvas (Róta) and Rajas (Skuld). The universe is woven from these three energies. One can see Tamas as protons, Satvas as neutrons and Rajas as electrons. Each atom is woven from these three energies.
Yggdrasil is the Icelandic tree-of-worlds. Yggdrasil is a correspondence course based on Yggdrasil.
Yggdrasil has three roots and a trunk. They are linked to the four elements: Ice, Fire, Sea and Wind. In the middle there is our physical world, which is called Midgarðr or Middle Earth. In this world the four elements come together.
Yggdrasil has nine layers that are linked to the chakras. There are nine chakras and nine bodies. Each body is connected with a chakra. The first chakra is connected with the physical body, which is connected to the physical world or Middle Earth. The other eight chakras are connected with eight non-physical bodies. Together these eight bodies are the aura, each body is a layer of the aura. The physical body is the smallest and most dense body. Then you have the sensual or etheric body, the emotional or astral body, the mental body, etc.
In the physical body the chakras take the form of nerve centres. In the sensual body they appear as radiant wheels, that transform energy of one frequency to another frequency. In the emotional body they appear as emotional centres.
The physical body is connected to Middle Earth or Midgarðr. The sentimental body is connected to the root of Ice: Niflheimar. The emotional body is connected to the root of Sea: Vanaheimar. The mental body is connected to the root of Fire: Jötunheimar. And the spiritual body is connected to the trunk: Ásaheimar.
The first card is Ginnunga-gap, the misleading gap, the universe before the Big Bang, the womb before conception, the Great Young Chaos. Yggdrasil grew inside this misleading void.
The world in the center is Middle Earth or Midgarðr. In Midgarðr the four elements come together. So there are four cards connected with Midgarðr: 0 of Shields for the solid matter, 0 of Drinking-horns for fluid matter, 0 of Swords for plasma and 0 of Spears for gaseous matter. Psychologically the symbolism on these cards are:
0 of Drinking-horns: Jörð or Nerthus, Mother Earth.
0 of Swords: Ymir, the first giant, the ancestor of all. Ymir was a dreadful tyrant. Óðinn, Vílir and Vé slew him and created the earth and the sky from his remains.
0 of Spears: Yggr / Yggdrasil. Yggr is your lower self and guardian of the tree-of-worlds. Before you can climb Yggdrasil, you have to slay Yggr and eat it's heart. By doing this, you become the new Yggr, the guardian of the tree-of-worlds.
The root of Ice is Nilfheimar. The cards 1 to 11 of Shields symbolize eleven different worlds of Ice. The inhabitants are dark-elves and Hrim-thursar.
The root of Fire is Jötunheimar. The cards 1 to 11 of Swords symbolize eleven different worlds of Fire. The inhabitants are the Jötun.
The root of Sea is Vanaheimar. The cards 1 to 11 of Drinking-horns symbolize eleven different worlds of Sea and Water. The inhabitants are Vanir, Light-elves and Dísir.
The trunk is in the Wind and the name is Ásaheimar. The cards 1 to 11 of Spears symbolize eleven different worlds of Wind. The inhabitants are Æsir and Valkyrie.
The eleven worlds are linked to eight chakras. There are two worlds for the stomach-chakra, for the throat-chakra and for the third eye.
There are four social classes in every society.
Slaves or employees, connected with Shields.
Freemen or the self-employed, connected with Drinking-horns.
Leaders or managers, connected with Swords.
Those that can not fit in ordinary society: shamans, priests, sacred warriors, artists, connected with Spears.
Since there are four classes, you can be born in one of these four classes. If your parents are slaves, you are from slaves or Shields. If your parents are leaders, you are from leaders or Swords.
You have your own identity. You can be a slave, someone who needs a leader to follow, to obey. Suppose your parents are leaders. Then you are a Slave of Leaders or a Slave of swords.
Suppose you draw a card for a person and it is the Warrior of Leaders (Warrior of swords). Then you know something about that persons heritage (leaders) and about that persons character: a warrior.
There are four classes. So you can be a slave, a freeman or freewoman, a leader or a warrior. But some people rise above any class. They excel. They are called Aces. If someone calls you an Ace, consider it a compliment.
The 'gods' of the Germanic people are divided in Vanir and Æsir. Óðinn, Þór, Loki and Týr are some of the Æsir. Ás is the singluar form, Æsir is the plural form. As I wrote earlier (with tongue-in-cheek): Tá-Róta means: the path of Róta. And the word Ace is of course derived from Ás. So the Aces of Tá-Róta are of course the Æsir.
The Ás of slaves is Loki, who is completely without status, completely irresponsible. The Ás of freemen and especially of farmers is Þór. He is also the Ás of thunder and of fertility. The Ás of leaders and lords is Týr. Social status is very important for Týr. The Ás of warriors is Óðinn. Óðinn is the god of the sky, of the wind and of the Runes. One of his names is Runartyr: lord of the runes. He has one flaming eye, the sun, which he hides every night in the well of Mímir (the sea).
With Light and Love, Andreas Firewolf
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25 cards for the 24 Runes of the elder Futhark
49 cards Ginnungagap and the worlds of Yggdrasil
20 cards for the four classes
And we start with Ginnunga-gap.