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The Vikings considered Runes to be a great gift from their chief god Odin. Legend has it that Odin hung himself to the cosmic World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine nights, where upon the mysteries of the Runes were revealed to him. The supernatural powers of the Runes were taken seriously by the Vikings. Rune masters, who were Vikings educated in the powers and meanings of the Runes, were often called upon to cast and interpret Runes. The Vikings believed an incorrect interpretation could have disastrous results.
People who wear Runic jewelry such as Rune rings or Rune pendants do so for various reasons. Some people find the runic jewelry beautiful and interesting while others wear it to express things that are important to them such as courage, determination, love, prosperity, health, and power. For example wearing rune jewelry with the Uruz (Pronounced Oor-ooze) symbol represents strength (both physical and mental). For men it also represents virility, and for women femininity and fertility. Another symbol the Algiz represents growth, opportunity and rapid development. It also represents safe refuge and protection. A symbol called Ingwaz represents love, peace, and unity. Rune jewelry with the Fehu symbol represents financial strength and abundance.
As Christianity took over in Scandinavia the use of Runes gradually diminished and almost disappeared. They were considered pagan symbols and the church did all it could to eliminate them.
Today runic jewelry has made a resurgence and has become quite popular in the United States and Europe. There are many stores that have beautiful rune necklaces, pendants, and rings for sale where you can buy an item for yourself or to give as a gift.