Raido Galdr

Raido is the rune of journeys, roads, and movement. The sound of the rolling “R” mimics the rolling wheel on the road; the fast rhythmic roar of the chariot in motion. The proto-Germanic word raido means “ride/journey” and expresses a sacred tone in reference to travel. The journey can be mirrored in the grand experience of life itself, as our life is a great journey. Through concrete travel and exploration of the world (and the spectrum of possibilities within it), one gains invaluable experience, wisdom, and modesty. Travel is a teacher, full of initiatory rites and trials to overcome.

Raido is the great rhythm of the cosmos as the seasons represent the tempo of the year; a metaphysical drum that keeps beating eternally to the heartbeat of the universe. The macrocosmic rhythm is something that can be reflected internally, rooting oneself into the very fabric of reality. A musician does this while playing a song, finding “rhythm” within the chaos of sound. The goal of many ritual practices is wrapped up in this idea, as by carrying out certain rituals at certain times, we give reverence to patterns and rhythms. Raido moves us forward in balance and steady motion, locked into the all-pervading “beat.”

The Old Norse reið also means “ride”, but further can refer to “vehicles, chariots, and wagons.” The wagon is a recurring theme in many folk customs and ancient traditions of the Europeans. Many tribes of Germans, Celts, and others would “cart” their fertility gods/goddesses through the fields, villages, and countryside to bless the land, animals and crops. In this way, we can attribute this rune to aspects of Freyja and Ostara, who are also connected with the wagon, fertility, and cycles. We can also see a clear connection to the god Thor, as he is known for his goat-drawn chariot as well as for his role in the natural order, cycle, and rhythm of the seasons. Raido, in this way, is a rune of control, representing order against chaos. We see related words in the Old Irish réidid meaning to “ride/drive” and in the Finnish/Estonian ratsu meaning “riding horse” or the “knight” of the chess board.

May all beings be safe on their journeys.

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