Original Meaning: Wagon
A journey or change is indicated, perhaps spiritual, perhaps physicial. Progress is made. The time is right for trade. Unexpected news coming.
Raed symbolizes a journey, either a physical one or a spiritual one. The ancient Europeans saw the universe not as space but as action, for them where action was not taking place, there was a void where nothing existed. This action or movement is reflected in Rae. This action was also reflected in the metaphysical realm by the movement of the dew dripping down from the World Tree into Wyrd’s Well, only to become dew again. This action was symbolic of the flow of time itself. It is the rune of ordered movement and as such also is the rune of the dance and the rhythm to the dance. It is the rune of time keeping and travel. It is also symbolic of the sun’s course across the sky as well as that of the moon. This being so Raed is tied to the passage of the day, the months, and the seasons.
As can be seen by the “Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem” verse, any journey seems easy to the one not taking it. The ancient Northern Europeans saw action as necessary to the maintenance of the universe, non-action was seen as evil or detrimental. Therefore, it was desirable to take the long hard journey, to be constantly in movement. Yet, anything seems easy to one that does not do it. Raed is related to the other “journey” runes Lagu and Sigel, as well as Eh which also implies movement.
Raed can also represent the hard journey, the difficult road to travel in life. The “Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem” verse could refer to the refusal of the hero to take that journey, a part of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth. Refusal indicates a loss of what could have been a great reward, while acceptance can mean great benefits will be received after a hard time of travel.
In divination Raed means a journey that should be or has been taken. In magic, it can be used to send one on a journey or to keep ordered movement.
To learn more about other runes, select from the list below: