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(1927) [MARC] Author: Sigurd Agrell - Tema: Runic inscriptions
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arrangement of the fuþark series is the alphabetical order of the old Germans in disguise; the f-rune did not, in fact, stand at the beginning of the rune alphabet, as is believed. That alphabet really began with the following u-rune ᚢ, and the i>f</i>-rune was actually in the last place in the sign-series, and was thus no. 24, not no. 1. (Something analagous to this is found when the ace in games of cards has, not the lowest, but the highest numerical value; and even in our day, the use of cards for occult ends is not unknown.)

The series of the 24 runes was composed at the end of the second century by Germanic soldiers serving in the Roman army. Their teachers in the art of alphabetical magic were the worshippers of Mithra, who at this period, when the Emperor Commodus himself was a devotee of their mysterious religion, were increasing in numbers among the Roman officials and soldiers. (Cf. Cumont’s
investigations.) The author believes that he can show that the names of the runes were composed with reference to the magic numbers in the Mithra cult. The first rune, ᚢ, was named »aurochs» or »bull» and was given the numerical value 1, because the bull was the first living thing created by Ahura Mazda. The second rune, ᚦ, was named »fiend» or »demon» and the third, ᚫ, »god», because in the mystic lore of Mithra (as in the mysticism of the Near East generally) 3 was held to be the heavenly number and 2 the demoniacal. The fourth rune was called »chariot» because among the worshippers of Mithra 4 was the number sacred to the quadriga, the chariot κατ’ ἐξοχἠν, the symbol of the four elements. Of the other runes, no. 7, ᚹ, no. 8, ᚺ, and no. 9, ᚾ, are particularly easy to explain by reference to Mithraic astrology. The ninth rune, ON nauðr, corresponds to the Mithraic Ananke, the fate that ruled over the ninth sphere; cf. the »nine worlds» of the Edda, where nauðr occurs also, in the ninth of the mystical chants of Óðinn. Almost all the runes, from the 15th, the sun rune ᛋ, onwards, have got their names from the Mithraic month. In the Avestan-Persian month the sixteenth was the day sacred to Mithra in his capacity as mediator — ó μεσιτης as he was called. The previous day, the fifteenth, was dedicated to his companion the sun god. Through interpretatio Germana Mithra, the deus invictus, naturally became identified with the god of

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