There is still in many runic and so-called 'Asatru' circles a great deal of lingering prejudice against the Armanen Futhork but in German lands it still remains the prevailing Rune row and it is the only Rune row which can be equated to the 18 stanza Havamal-Sayings of the High One in which Wodan imparts His Rune wisdom to us, His children.
Most of this system's critics point out to us repeatedly that it is not 'historic' whatever that may mean! All things at some point are new and over time obviously become 'historic' so this argument has little merit. There is a clear and tangible relationship between the Armanen Runes and the Elder, Younger and Anglo-Saxon Rune rows and unlike the surviving Rune Poems the lore attached to each of these Runes is untainted by the alien judaic religion of xtianity. When studying the Rune Poems it is essential that all three are used in conjunction and comparison in order that we may derive the original lore regarding them. The Old English Rune Poem which provides details about 29 off the 33 Northumbrian/Anglo-Saxons Runes is the longest poem but it is the most contaminated by xtianity.
An example of such contamination is:
"(Tir) is a token, it keeps troth well with noble-men always on its course over the mists of night, it never fails." (Edred Thorsson-Rune-Song)
No mention is made of our most ancient Germanic deity *Tiwaz in this version and yet the other Rune Poems do mention Him:
"(Tyr) is the one-handed among the Aesir; the smith has to blow often." (Old Norwegian Rune Poem, Thorsson)
Tyr is also mentioned in the Icelandic Rune Poem:
"(Tyr) is the one-handed god and the leavings of the wolf and the ruler of the temple." (Thorsson)
Likewise Wodan is not directly referred to in the Old English Rune Poem:
"(God) is the chieftain of all speech, the mainstay of wisdom and comfort to the wise, for every noble warrior hope and happiness." (Thorsson)
The Old Norwegian Rune Poem is also a little vague in regards to who this deity may be:
(A god) is the way of most journeys, but the sheath is (that way for) swords." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem is much more specific:
"(Ase) is the olden-father and Asgard's chieftain and the leader of Valhalla." (Thorsson)
The Old Norwegian Rune Poem is not free from contamination either:
"(Hail) is the coldest of grains; Christ shaped the world in ancient times." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem which is closely related to it is rather different:
"(Hail) is a cold grain and a shower of sleet and the sickness of snakes." (Thorsson)
The Old English Rune Poem is rather sound in this particular comparison:
"(Hail) is the whitest of grains, it comes from high in heaven. A shower of wind hurls it, then it turns to water." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem is the most faithful to our ancient traditions than the other two and this must always be borne in mind. There may indeed be a case for a rewriting of the Rune Poems in order than their original heathen meanings be restored. In fact this has already been attempted by Edred Thorsson in the 'Fifth Door' of his The Nine Doors of Midgard, a book which is more than a book. It is a complete curiculum for the aspiring Rune Magician and an esoteric work which I highly recommend. This poem is simply titled A New Rune Poem and in my opinion is a valiant effort in restoring the meaning and lore of the 24 Rune Elder Futhark. Strangely he does not include the last five Runes of the Old English Rune Poem.
It is quite clear to me that Guido von List recognised that much of our ancient lore had been either lost or contaminated by xtian scribes. Clearly his 18 stave Armanen Rune row was an effort to restore and cleanse our Germanic lore and by equating it to the Havamal he succeeded in this respect. The Armanen Futhork is also a very folkish Rune row and would therefore appeal to those of us who are folkish and in particular of German descent. I see no reason though why we should not make use of all four systems and the mediaeval Runes as well which do not belong to a specific Rune row which I intend to discuss in a future article.