Rad means riding on horseback, the ride itself. Sometimes it will mean the road, especially when found in a compound word. This stanza specifies it’s going to be a long ride ofer milpaþas. Mile paths. Long distances. These aren’t the paths between local settlements, this is a ride on the Roman roads built to take you somewhere far. The Roman roads had cylindrical mile stones set out every 1000 paces (mille in Latin means thousand, Roman numeral M). At these points the mile stones would tell the traveler how far to the next place, who’s the local boss, and sometimes the name of a person in charge of road repair. The Romans took their roads seriously.
The stanza points out that it’s easy to talk smack about the ride in a nice cushy recyde (a building) sitting somewhere sefte (soft) but when you are actually out there on a horse and … More
The Ac stanza is a bad riddle because the answer to the riddle is right there in the wording. Since when does an Old English riddle include its answer? I’ll tell you when. Never. That’s when.
The Ac stanza is a good riddle because if it’s not Ac, then what is it? Hwæt? And if it does mean oak why does this riddle get to be so transparent? Let’s see if we can shine a light on it.
Clue: A line of Old English poetry starts with three alliterating stresses, three words that start with the same letter, and ends with a fourth stress that does not alliterate. The answer to the Rune Poem’s riddles is always the missing first word, so the first clue is always to be found in the beginnings of the next two stressed words: eorþan (earth) and elda (age). The answer to this riddle must be a word … More
The Ogam alphabet uses bríatharogam to describe each letter name. These are two word descriptions that act as riddles or metaphors and work in a similar way to Old English kennings, which are either compound … More
So your gannet colony stinks of ammonia, guano, and a bit like fish, well what did you expect, they are gannets. Thousands crowding together. Eliminating. If your gannets are befouling the place and you wish to change their objectionable odor, your best route to success is via a good luxurious scented bath, into which a new fragrance might be introduced. Your task may feel a Herculean one for they do enjoy their own smell, it’s their signature scent, and if you know anybody who has a signature scent, you know they can be quite resistant to change. Ascertain if your gannets are determined to smell like a birdy pile of pee soaked herring or if they are amenable to a modernizing update. Inform the gannets one must not become too attached to a signature scent at risk of becoming predictable or seeming out of date when the fashion moves on. Woody, spicy, or musky notes … More
The medieval world was on the move. They traveled, all over the place and farther than you think. The Romans did it prior, they set up the whole show. They covered the lands around the entire Mediterranean with roads and sea routes, west and east of Rome, down the length of the Middle East, up the Nile, back down the Nile, all across North Africa and into Spain, all of Spain, France, across the channel and right up into Britain. This whole massive area is filled with people of infinite variety, their languages, their gods, their customs, their food, their everything, their all of it. And what are they doing? What are the people doing? They’re circulating. It’s all in motion, the whole place. Commerce and trade requires movement and the roads were busy, there’s a silk road to the east linking up to another massive trade structure, there’s ships sailing in all directions, traveling … More
First you must gather your materials. You will need an an iron plow and a field, but not a square one. Long and skinny. And a pair of oxen yoked together. Try to find oxen who like each other and can tolerate you well enough. Some cows are just mean. Be wary of oxen who say they are intrinsically motivated self starters who have a passion for teamwork and excellent organizational skills, as this means nothing anymore. Treat your team well, bring treats, but don’t let them bully you — give some oxen an inch and they’ll take a mile.
Start plowing in a straight line. This can prove difficult if your oxen don’t want to move, but this problem is not insurmountable. Persuade them. Good cows. Once they decide to get on with it they’ll stop themselves for a break when they’ve had enough. Lazy cows. And once they stop they will sit … More
Provision yourself, because Ac says you are going on a journey and it won’t be smooth sailing. You’re already gone, you know that? Warning: these choppy waters might shatter you into matchwood. You’re about to find out what you’re made of. What were you made for? This. You were made for this so hold true.
You’ve been discussing it forever, but here it is, the Rad rune telling you it is time to get back in the saddle and get the show on the road. Big talk is one thing, now is the time for you to be going places so get going. It’s a long trip and a bumpy ride, but you’ll get there.
Probably the R in Old English was trilled or rolled. They’d travel along with the R for an extra beat before moving on to the next letter. Put your tongue near the roof of your mouth and vibrate the air. For a trilled or rolled sound, touch the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth and do it again. Drumroll please. Faster!
Carve a straight path up. Now send a crooked road traveling back down the side.
In the Old English Rune Poem the letter A means oak. This was the most sacred tree in most Celtic societies and to the Baltic cultures living east of the Rune Poem’s people, where Ing went. In the Ogam alphabet, the earliest form of writing in Ireland, Oak is the letter D. D comes right before A in the Rune Poem alphabetic sequence, it’s adjacent, and the next letter after that is the another one of the sacred world trees, the Ash, Æ. The Old English Rune Poem plants the oak next to family and its own sacred tree.
A is an older sound in Old English than Æ or O. A became both of these letters, vowels are slippery like that. They pass through your mouth unrestricted by teeth or tongue or closed lips, so with all that out of the way, it’s only mouth shape and air flow that makes the … More