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Traditional Forms

There are a number of traditional designs that are very popular for decoration or for combination with other runic forms. These include the Sheildknot, the Valknut and the Helm of Awe. Many of these forms are very ancient - pre-runes - in origin.

I am very fond of referring visitors to other Runemaker Group websites, but you really should visit my colleague Sunny's site at for a different viewpoint on runes and their use. She has some fascinating and authoritative articles, brilliant graphics, several albums full of bindrunes, charms, etc., and a definitive collection of links.

The Shieldknot
A shieldknot is a pleasing design to combine with a bindrune. The shieldknot is not a runic motif, it appears to be Celtic in origin, but it was adopted by Scandinavian monument builders from c. 9th Century.

The shieldknot is a symbol of warding off or protection. It was used by early Christian monument builders in Britain and Scandinavia.

Rune Compass
This is a simple method of combining 4, 5 or 6 runes or bindrunes in a single design.

The 4 branch version (left) is commonly used as a "lovebind" by placing the initials or bindrunes of two partners at opposite ends of the staves.

On the right is a 6-branch compass featuring personal runes to enhance certain qualities

The Valknut
The Valknut or Walk-Knot is also known as "Knot of the Slain" or "Knot of Death". It is a symbol of protection associated with Odin. Its origin is rather obscure, but death and the afterlife are the most obvious connotations.

You can read the most definitive article on the Vaknut by Alby Stone on the Internet Book of Shadows website on this page The Book of Shadows home page is at: They also have a CD-ROM containing all the text articles.



The Helm of Awe
The Aegishjalmur or Helm of Awe originated in old Norse mythology and is referenced in several sagas.

It was believed to protect in battle by making the user appear more fearsome, or to make a stealthy approach invisible.

An Aegishjalmur can be designed to enhance different attributes, but the terminations of the branches have to be constructed carefully to let some energy move freely and to keep other forms within the compass of the design.

The Viking Answer Lady has written an excellent piece on the subject that you can read on this page:


The 4-page Traditional Forms section in the Members Area features more traditional runic designs, explanations of their significance, and recommendations for their use.


Important Note


Please visit these sites for more information on runes and runic designs:

runes - oswald the runemaker          runes information          rune fonts         celtic runes