(pronounced RYE-though) was used to
represent the r sound in runic writing in
all the Germanic languages. The name means
riding. The Icelandic Rune Poem
joy of the horsemen
and speedy journey
and toil of the steed.
powered transportation, a rider on a fast horse was
unsurpassable for speed when traveling overland.
Today, people ride mostly for recreation or sport,
and we are losing touch with the central importance
of horseback riding as transportation. Riding
carried warriors to battle, carried urgent messages
from place to place, and carried travelers to their
destination with greater speed and ease than
this possible, of course, was the cooperation of
horses. Horses are willful creatures, without the
pack-oriented social order of dogs to facilitate
their service to humans. A rider's relationship
with his horse was personal, hard-won, and
the raidho rune echoes the Chariot card of the
tarot, suggesting motion, travel, control, focus,
and purpose. There is a sense of goal or
destination and purposeful, physical pursuit of the
goal. It is a journey, yes, but not a wandering or
horse-and-rider parternership also evokes the image
of the centaur, in particular the astrological
imagery for Sagittarius. Sagittarius is
fast-moving, goal-seeking, and optimistic,
qualities shared with the raidho rune.
rune appears in your divination work, ask yourself
the following questions:
is my goal?
will I get there?
will be my companion and
route is the fastest? The safest? The
is my strength and stamina?
spiritual work, we seek to be receptive, open, and
intuitive. But our insight and wisdom must
ultimately be put into practice: we must set goals
and intentions, and follow through physically if we
are to manifest the changes we envision. Raidho
speaks to this part of the process, setting goals
and taking tangible action focused on achieving
them. This can be tiring, demanding work. the
horse's strength and stamina are excellent symbols
of qualities needed to succeed in this phase of
mythology, the greatest of horses was Odin's
eight-legged steed, Sleipnir. He could carry the
god not only across land, but over water and
through air, and even to the land of the dead. Odin
was a wizard-god with many shamanic qualities.
Sleipnir gave him a mobility and physicality that
complemented his more mental, mystical
You can use
the raidho rune magically, too. It can strengthen
your resolve in the pursuit of your goals, help you
keep focus, and speed the process of change. Use it
in a morning ritual to give you a push of energy to
start off your day. In a more literal sense, it can
be used to help overcome transportation problems,
such as car trouble or schedule delays.