The Runes in Depth: Raido

Raido (pronounced Rye-doh) is the fifth rune of the Futhark and of Freya's Aett. It is equivalent to the letter R in the Roman alphabet. In old Norse the name is Reid and in Anglo-Saxon it is Rad.

Literally translated Raido means "riding" and in later usage this came to mean a wagon or carriage, as well as the original concept of riding on horseback.

In this modern era, you may equate Raido to any form of vehicle or any type of journey because the primary import of Raido is transportation in the sense of movement from one position to another. So travel of all kinds, journeys, vehicles, roads, cargos and travellers may all be represented by Raido in the right context. It can also indicate an unexpected or enforced journey or indeed the change #n circumstances that breaks a deadlock, because that, too, is a kind of journey in itself.

You will also see Raido translated as "wheel" or "rotation" because of the root part of the Anglo-Saxon word rad-. But that is in truth a misconception. Modern words such as radius and radial referring to wheels actually derive from the Latin word radius meaning a spoke for a wheel, so they are not related to the Germanic words Raido, reid or rad.

The Icelandic Rune Poem describes Raido (riding) in simple terms:

Riding is the joy of the horsemen
and speedy journey
and toil of the steed.

In the Norse Rune Poem the first line also refers to riding from the horse's point of view:

Riding is said to be the worse thing for horses,
Reginn forged the finest sword.

The second line is only related to Raido insofar as the name Reginn begins with the letter R. Reginn is a character in Sigurd's Tales, a portion of the Prose Edda. He made the sharpest sword, capable of cutting through an anvil. This verse of the Norse poem may have had a mnemonic (memory aid) value in the original old Norwegian that is lost in translation.

The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem is - as usual - pretty clear:

Riding - to the warrior in the hall - is easy,
But very strenuous for one who sits on top,
Of a powerful horse over long miles.

In other words, it looks easy until you have to do it for real. Having fallen off a horse or two in my time I can vouch for the truth of that!

In divination Raido can be taken as moving, motion, travel, change, communication, the progression of fate, searching, or progress. It may also indicate a visit from someone who has travelled to meet you, communication from or about someone who is far away, a vacation or sojourn away from home.

When occurring in the upright position you may interpret the rune to mean a journey is imminent, and that could be a physical movement of your person from one place to another, or indeed a spiritual progression from one level to another.

The reverse position means lack of movement or failure to progress, failed travel plans, losing contact with someone, or even unexpected or unwelcome news.<

Spiritually, Raido means  a quest for fulfilment, or maybe a search for spiritual knowledge. The concept of transportation in the spiritual world my a magical conveyance is very ancient and pre-dates the runes by many centuries. In rune lore you will find this idea ascribed to Frey, Freya, Nerthus and Thor.

But Raido warns us that there is no shortcut to your journey's end. Taking the easy way out will not lead to the goal, or provide a total solution to the problem. The hard road must be travelled to gain the rewards at the end of the quest.

One must also be prepared to embrace new experiences in life, not to become too far removed from the material world where lessons must be learned before embarking on the great spiritual quest. It is held by many that life on earth is no more than preparation for the next life and it is important to travel widely, learn and understand what you can of our earthly world while there is time.

In Rune Magick, Raido is primarily used as protection for travellers and vehicles. It is perhaps the least ambiguous of runes and the easiest to invoke in charms, amulets and spells. It is the safest of runes for use in bindrunes, and I frequently include Raido in binds designed to help with change, improvement or progression.

Raido may be used to find lost possessions or people, to transfer attributes from one person to another, or to speed the course of any proceedings - such as legal wrangles, long-running disputes, and negotiations that just seem to drag on without ever reaching a conclusion. Buying a house in the middle of a long chain is a good example of the latter. Invoking Raido with suitable runes to represent others in the buying chain can often remove the deadlock and lead to a satisfactory result.

And finally, in case you wondered why I called Raido "my great favourite" in an earlier article, I will explain. First, it is the initial of my given name. Second, I have always been a keen traveller - I spent 30 years of my working life in the tourism industry -  and Raido has protected me on many a journey.

For a comprehensive guide to all the rune meanings visit .
Or you can have "The Rune Reminder" eBook at US$5.95 delivered right away to your email address, to order. The 40 page e-book is designed as a memory aid for rune diviners. The full color illustrated pages give the meanings, interpretations and associations with colors, gemstones, trees and herbs etc. for each rune. The eBook also includes 11 original single-page articles on various points of interest that are not available on the website.
Author Bob Oswald
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Copyright 1994-2015 Bob Oswald

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