Stav Runes (Rei)

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Meaning: A road, a ride
Symbolises: A wild hunt, Death, Transformation, Travel
Mythology: Hel – The Goddess of Death
Fylgja: Red rooster
Tree: Elder
Plant: Coltsfoot
Class: Trell
Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme:
Riding it is said worst for horses; Regin forged the best sword

Hel is the goddess of death and begins life half alive and half dead. She never leaves the land of lost souls except to lead the wild hunt with Odin. Even the wild hunt can be seen as the meeting point between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Hel is always associated with death, or a state of non living. Rei can be seen as the counterpoint to As.

Odin knows all things and sees all that happens in the nine worlds. He rules the hall, Valhalla, where the fallen heroes come for their reward. Hel on the other hand rules the underworld where there is always darkness and she takes in those who have achieved little in life and can make no claim of heroism.

As suggests a sensible journey, Rei suggests the hard journey over trackless wastes where horses break down with exhaustion and the rider does not even notice. For As the sword may be the best but if handled wrongly or if it breaks will bring disaster, as did the sword forged by Regin in the Volsung saga. This rune suggests a difficult and fruitless journey, or a situation a long way from where it should be.

It also suggests the wrong course and bad, misguided, decisions. It also suggest that the journey is still important, if the journey is avoided just because there may be a problem then nothing can be gained. Every thing we gain must be done so at a proportionate risk for it to be worth anything.