The Ancient Wisdom of the Knights of Runes Runic System


This is the first of several posts concerning the Knights of Runes (KOR). In this post we look at the general background and go over the contents of the system. In follow up posts we have individual interviews with the current Grandmasters of the system looking at their individual paths and their experiences of the system. Huge thanks to all involved in answering my many, many questions.

Knights of Runes
Knights of RnesInterview with Jurgens Pieterse
Interview with Donald van den Andel
Interview with David Wolfheart

Interview – General Information about Knights of Runes

Origins and Lineage

PAA: What is the origin and lineage of this Runic system? How does it relate to or differ from traditional Norse Runes?

The Armanen Futhorkh is a system of 18 runes based on the 16 Younger Futhork runes but arranged in the order we see in the runic calendar’s 19  year cycle. While the first sixteen runes remain identical to the Younger Futhork, the positions of runes 14 and 15 are switched. Additionally, two runes from the Elder Futhark, Ehwaz and Gebo, representing the sounds “e” and “g,” are appended to the end as the runes EH and GIBOR.

The Younger Futhork in the order which mirrors the sequence of the old runic calendars with the two Elder Futhark runes at the end are transposed onto the eighteen charms found in the Rúnatal section of the Hávamál (a book of Norse Wisdom attributed to the Norse god Odin)

In essence, the Armanen Futhorkh draws its inspiration therefore from the Younger Futhork, the Norse runic calendar and the 18 charms in the Hávamál, reflecting the wisdom enshrined in both the Hávamál and the Younger Futhork rune poems.

Karl Hans Welz – Picture courtesy of Knights of Runes website.
Lineage and Development

The initial insight for this mapping is attributed to Guido von List, an Austrian occultist and linguist who experienced a temporary period of blindness during which he envisioned the system. He named the runes based on their Proto-Germanic root sounds and their traditional names found in the rune poems.

Subsequent figures like Marby and Kummer expanded upon von List’s system by incorporating rune postures for personal development. Later, Spiesberger further developed Kummer’s approach, framing  it as a powerful system for spiritual practice and rituals; while purposefully  removing any association with völkisch or Nazi ideology. Karl Hans Welz, a student of Spiesberger, further elaborated the universal and creative potential of the runes, their associated songs and esoteric significance.

While the Knights of Runes (KOR) acknowledges the contributions of these earlier rune masters, its primary focus remains on preserving and building upon the legacy of Karl Hans Welz.

Evolution and Significance

The Armanen Futhorkh, as a runic system, has undergone a continuous process of interpretation and refinement since its initial conception. This refinement evolved the Armanen runes into a modern rune system for personal development and self-mastery. Each rune master has contributed unique cultural nuances and approaches, yet all have consistently referenced the Hávamál as their primary source of inspiration to interpret the Armanen runes. This shared foundation is believed to be the true source of the Armanen runes’ potent magical and transformative nature. As a living tradition the Armanen runes will continue to evolve and expand as human consciousness expands.

The Key Philosophical Principle

PAA: What are the key philosophical principles underpinning this system of magic? How do these principles guide Runic practice?

The following foundational principles guide a Knight of Runes on their journey. While not an exhaustive treatise, it lays the groundwork for understanding the profound power and responsibility inherent in rune magic. This is a path of continuous learning and growth, with each principle offering a stepping stone on the ascent to mastery.

1. The Unseen Source: Runes are not mere symbols; they tap into the primordial energies of creation, existing beyond the limits of our everyday perception.

2. A Map of Realms: Rune symbolism acts as a multi-layered map, revealing the interconnectedness of various realms of existence and offering us tools to navigate them.

3. Beyond Duality:  The true Rune master transcends the limitations of individual and collective consciousness, embracing a unified state of being.

4. The Path of Evolution: Rune practice is a journey towards a higher state of existence, where death is not an ending but a transformation.

5. The Power of True Thought: Only conscious, directed will, fueled by truth, well-managed emotions, and responsible thought, can unlock the true potential of the runes.

6. Mastery of Energy: By establishing a connection with an energy field through runes, you gain control and influence over its flow.

7. Multi-Sensory Ritual: Engaging multiple senses and mental foci simultaneously strengthens the connection to desired energies during rune work.

8. Breath of Odin: Proper control of breath, the essence of Odic energy, is fundamental to channeling and directing the power of the runes.

9. Ritual as a Power Source: Rituals, with their focus and emotional charge, provide potent energy for rune-based practices, while ceremonial tools act as conduits for higher energies.

10. The Weight of the Knight:  With access to the potent tools of the runes comes immense responsibility. As a Knight, you are called upon to use this power for the betterment of the world.

These principles are not merely theoretical; they are the foundation for a transformative journey. By embracing them with dedication and practicing them with diligence Knights of Runes witness the unfolding of their own potential.

Embarking on the Path of Rune initiation

The Knights of Runes offer a structured but open path for those drawn to explore the power and wisdom of the Armanen runes. Initiation marks milestones along this journey, not as exclusive privileges, but as opportunities for reflection and commitment.

Taking the First Steps:

The path begins with open access to foundational knowledge through the Facebook group and the first six lessons of the KOR rune course. These lessons introduce the basic concepts of the runes, including techniques like projection, healing, and visualization. Anyone may choose to engage at this level, regardless of their intent to pursue formal initiation.

Knights of Runes – Embracing Responsibility:

For those drawn deeper, becoming a Knight of Runes marks a commitment to personal growth and responsible use of the runes. This initiation is not shrouded in mystery. Candidates receive the relevant texts beforehand, allowing them to make informed choices. The title itself isn’t an entitlement, but an acknowledgment of self-accountability for how the runes are applied. As Knights, individuals can continue their education through advanced lessons, participate in exclusive training sessions, and contribute to the community by building their own “castles” (sharing their knowledge).

Knights of Thor – Deepening Wisdom and Service:

Upon completing the 12th lesson, a Knight may choose to become a Knight of Thor. This signifies a stronger connection to their higher selves, mastery of thought control, and a desire to serve others. Knights of Thor gain access to specialized monographs fostering critical thinking on esoteric topics. They become more active participants in public forums and discussions, offering guidance and support to fellow Knights.

Rune Masters – Embracing Innovation and Mastery:

The 18th lesson marks a significant hurdle. To become a Rune Master, individuals must present a treatise demonstrating their proficiency in applying the runes and understanding esoteric concepts. This signifies self-mastery and readiness to take full responsibility for their practice. Rune Masters are encouraged to embrace their unique perspectives, innovate in the field, and pursue research projects. Collaboration and sharing of knowledge are key principles at this level.

Rune Grandmasters: Guardians of Wisdom and Legacy:

The final step is reserved for those dedicated to preserving and furthering the understanding of the runes. To become a Rune Grandmaster, a Rune Master must demonstrate profound knowledge of rune history, the Eddas, and the sagas, often specializing in a specific area. Additionally, they must showcase their practical expertise through published works, established forums, or exceptional teaching. Ultimately, the title is bestowed by peers who recognize the individual’s deep understanding and tangible contributions to the community.

Open Path, Shared Journey:

This is not a hierarchy of power, but a path of increasing responsibility and personal fulfillment. Initiations serve as checkpoints for self-reflection and reaffirmation of commitment, not gateways to exclusivity. The emphasis lies on using the runes with integrity, serving others, and continuously learning. Whether drawn to explore casually or dedicate oneself to mastery, the Knights of Runes offer a welcoming and supportive environment for all who seek the wisdom of the ancient runes.

Three Rune Realms Explained

PAA: Can you explain the three Rune Realms and their significance in magical workings? What is the process for accessing the Creative Rune Realm?

Imagine three realms connected like layers of an onion:

  • Outer Rune Realm: This is the physical world we see and touch. It’s like the skin of the onion, the most obvious layer. We connect to it by being present in our bodies and using our senses.
  • Inner Rune Realm: This is the world of our thoughts and feelings. It’s like the inner layers of the onion, less tangible but still shaping our experience. We connect to it through imagination and visualization.
  • Creative Rune Realm:This is the deepest layer, the source of all possibilities. It’s like the empty space at the core of the onion, full of potential but without form. We can’t directly touch it, but we can tap into its power.

Using Runes to Bridge the Realms:

Runes act like keys that unlock connections between these realms. By arranging them in specific ways (like laying out a rune circle), we build bridges for energy to flow.

  • Physical Rune Circle: This grounds us in the outer realm, providing structure and making the bridge stable.
  • Visualization: This activates the inner realm, giving the bridge direction and design.
  • Creative Impulse: This comes from the creative realm, triggering the flow of energy across the bridge.

The Power of Manifestation:

By building these bridges, we can draw things from the creative realm (ideas, inspiration, possibilities) and shape them into the inner realm (thoughts, desires) and eventually manifest them in the outer realm (physical reality).

Key Takeaways:

  • We don’t manifest what we want, we manifest what we are in our inner being.
  • The three rune realms work together: creativity sparks ideas, thoughts give them form, and actions bring them to life.
  • Runes are tools to activate this flow of energy between the realms.

Benefits of this Approach:

  • This framework makes complex metaphysical concepts more relatable by using everyday imagery.
  • It emphasizes the importance of inner alignment and intention before taking action.
  • It shows how runes can be used as a practical tool for manifesting desired outcomes.

Example: Manifesting Project Funding with FA:

Let’s say you’re using the rune FA to attract funding for a creative project. You wouldn’t simply focus on wanting money. Instead, you’d engage all three rune realms:

  • Outer Rune Realm: Arrange the runes, including FA prominently, in a physical rune circle to anchor your intention in the world.
  • Inner Rune Realm: Visualize the project’s successful completion, not just stacks of cash. Imagine the joy of seeing your vision come to life, all the senses engaged. Feel the excitement of launching your work into the world.
  • Creative Rune Realm: Place your focus on FA within the rune circle, recognizing it as a symbol of abundance and potential. This triggers the flow of creative energy, the “original fire” needed to spark your project’s manifestation.

Remain conscious that you don’t manifest what you want, you become what you want.By aligning your inner being with the successful outcome (not just the money), you create a powerful magnet that draws resources and opportunities from the infinite potential of the creative realm. The physical cash becomes a natural consequence of your aligned intention and action.

Group Practice in Castles Empowers Knights of Runes

PAA: Why is group practice in Castles considered more empowering than solo practice?

In the Knights of Runes, group practice within our castles isn’t just about getting together; it’s about empowering both individual growth and a deep sense of belonging. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader squad cheering you on while you explore your own unique path. And all of this happens within a framework of strong ethical principles, so you know you’re in a safe and respectful space to explore.

Here’s the thing: we believe that our well-being is intertwined, like a big web. Each member carries their own spirit (Fylgja) and social standing (Hamingja), reminding us that we’re all connected. It’s not just about “me,” it’s about “we.” And the concept of Wyrd (collective fate) balanced with Orlog (individual destiny) shows how our actions impact not just ourselves, but the whole community. Pretty cool, right?

That’s why our group practice is designed to be a holarchy, where everyone brings their unique talents and perspectives to the table. It’s like a giant puzzle, and each piece makes the picture complete. But we don’t pressure anyone to lose themselves in the group. Belonging doesn’t mean sacrificing your individuality; it’s about having a supportive network cheering you on as you explore your own path.

So, what are the benefits of this group practice you ask? Well, it’s like magic! Imagine amplifying your intentions and experiences through shared focus and energy. That’s what happens in our rituals. It can push you beyond your perceived limits, leading to breakthroughs in creativity, problem-solving, or even just letting go of emotional baggage.

But it’s not just about pushing limits. It’s also about sharing knowledge, perspectives, and emotions. Imagine learning from different viewpoints, sparking new ideas, and feeling a deeper sense of connection through shared joy, awe, or even catharsis. You can’t quite replicate that alone in your room, can you?

And let’s not forget the support system! Group practice is like having your own personal cheerleaders. Witnessing others’ dedication motivates you, while their encouragement keeps you going even when things get tough. Plus, you get valuable feedback and accountability, helping you stay on track and reach your goals.

But it’s not just about blind conformity. We encourage healthy debate and critical thinking, challenging each other’s perspectives to spark creativity and growth. And of course, belonging to a community means feeling like you truly belong, free from isolation and judgment.

The runes represent aspects of our shared values, and interpreting them together connects us to this shared meaning. It’s like a secret language that strengthens our bond. And while we strive for personal growth (individuation), we never forget the collective unconscious that binds us all. We use shared symbols and rituals to connect to this deeper layer, passing on values and traditions to future generations.

But striking a balance is key. We design rituals that offer both individual reflection and shared action, allowing you to explore your own path while feeling connected to the group. And we encourage flexible participation, respecting your comfort level and preferences. Open and respectful dialogue is essential, ensuring everyone feels heard and valued.

It’s all about finding that sweet spot where individual needs and collective goals dance in harmony. We adapt our approach to different groups and contexts, because what works for one might not work for another.

So, if you’re looking for a community that empowers you to grow as an individual while feeling deeply connected to something larger than yourself, then a KOR castle is a potential solution.

PAA: Thank you very much for such a detailed look at the system.

Further Information

Knights of Runes
Knights of RnesInterview with Jurgens Pieterse
Interview with Donald van den Andel
Interview with David Wolfheart


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