For nine days and nine nights, Odin hung from the world tree pierced by his own spear. He sacrificed himself onto himself – the highest of the Gods. He did this to learn the wisdom that would give him power in the nine worlds. Nine is a magical number in Norse Mythology, after all there are nine realms of existence in the Norse Cosmos. Odin learned 18 magical runes. (Source: Rúnatal, a section of the Hávamál)
So what are the Runes? They are a gift to mankind. These sacred letters originally were carved into stone. Each letter has a metaphorical meaning as well as divination abilities. I suggest doing much research to completely know the runes. Reading this page alone won’t help you learn everything. After all, Odin had to hang from a tree for nine days pierced by a spear. He never said learning everything there is to know about the runes would be easy.
The graphic below may be helpful:
A Facebook Source for Heathenry and Germanic Lore
One Rode to Asa Bay ~ Bathory
The following lyrics below struck a bell inside my heart.
Just outside the circle of the crowd
One old man did stand
He looked across the waters
And blotted the sun out of his eyes with one hand
And his old eyes could almost see
The dragon ships set sail
And his old ears could almost hear
Men of great numbers call out Oden’s hail
And though he did know already
Though he turned face towards sky
And whispered silent words forgotten
Spoken only way up high
Now this house of a foreign God does stand
Now must they leave us alone
Still he heard from somewhere in the woods
Old crow of wisdom say
…people of Asa land, it’s only just begun…
This video was found from the Norse Mythology facebook page.