Spiritual Reflections

Pagan Witchcraft


Who Is Starweaver?

Archive of Past Issues

Site Index

Blog: Starweaver's Corner


Raidho (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 reads

Riding is
joy of the horsemen
and speedy journey
and toil of the steed.

Before 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 walking allowed.

What made 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 crucial.

Symbolically, 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 exploratory one.

The 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.

When this rune appears in your divination work, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my goal?
  • How will I get there?
  • Who will be my companion and collaborator?
  • Which route is the fastest? The safest? The surest?
  • How is my strength and stamina?

In much 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 work.

In Norse 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 orientation.

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.

Rune Lore is a regular feature of Starweaver's Gems from Earth and Sky

Copyright © 2007 Tom Waters