Rune, Runa [from Swedish runa, Icelandic run] Originally a mystery, equivalent to the Greek theo-sophia (divine wisdom), which is the goal of human existence and the aim of evolution; later used for a sign or character which, inscribed on a stick, stone, or even furniture, was believed to have magical properties. A grammarian or one versed in the art of language was called runa-meistari (rune-master), one who knew how to read and write runes correctly.
In Havamal -- a long poem of the Elder Edda -- Odin relates how he "hung nine nights in the windtorn tree" (of life), seeking runes of wisdom (in the material worlds), and that he "raised them with song." It is said that Odin first invented runes and carved them on various beneficent agencies that safeguard human life on earth. One is carved on the shield Grimnismal that "stands before the shining god; mountain and billion would burn away should he fall aside." Another rune is inscribed on the ear of Arvakrand one on the hoof of Allsvinn (the horses that draw the solar disk across the sky); one is on the reins of Sleipnir, Odin's steed, one on the paw of the bear, another on the tongue of Bragi (poetic inspiration), on the claws of the wolf and on the eagle's beak, on the rainbow bridge (Bifrost); on glass, on gold, on wine, on herb; on Vili's heart and Odin's spear, on the nails of the Norns, etc. All were later scraped off, mixed with the holy mead of wisdom, and distributed throughout the three worlds for the benefit of gods and men.