Odin and the Runes T-Shirt - The Story behind the DesignBy Chiara
Today we want to tell you a bit more about the story behind our newest T-shirt, Odin and the Runes:
In Norse mythology, it is told that Yggdrasil, the world-tree that holds all known nine worlds, grows out of the Well of Urd, often referred to as the Well of Destiny. In this well live three norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld), who carve the destiny of all people into the base of the tree. These carvings are the first account of the use of runes.
According to the Old Norse poem Hávamál, Odin, in his quest for more and more wisdom, comes across these norns and their runes, and sacrifices himself on the world-tree in order prove himself worthy of receiving the knowledge associated with the runes. After nine days and nights of teetering on the precipice of death, he is finally able to glimpse the runes in the depth of the well, and gain their wisdom and power.
Here is a translation of the poem:
I know that I hung on a windswept tree.
Nine long nights.
Pierced with a spear, sacrificed to Odin, myself to myself.
On that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.
No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn, downwards I peered;
I took up the Runes, screaming I took them,
Then I fell back from there.
Did you know there are several different types of runic alphabets? They were used to write various Germanic languages before the Latin alphabet became more widely adopted, and referred to as Futhark or Futhorc. The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and the Younger Futhark.
Our own Asgard Futhark is inspired by all three alphabets, as we wanted to be able to express all letters of the English alphabet, and therefore had to create an adjusted version. Below you can see an overview of our futhark and the correspondent English letters: