I have shown how the Peorth-Rune represents the posture used by the players of the Taefl-Board Dice Game. Stan can be the 'stone' used as pieces in various board-games from ancient times. Such games were not just for 'play' and 'fun' but were originally used as the means to determine Wyrd, the workings of 'fate' at various levels, especially according to the rules of warfare. Chess is a clear example of the Eternal Battle between Light (White) and Darkness (Black).
The Stan-Rune is made up of two Peorth-Runes and is thus directly related to Peorth. There are various meanings that can be found in the IE Root *per-
- Forward, through, in front of, before, early, first, chief, near, at, toward, against.
- To lead, to pass over.
- To try, to risk, to lead over, to press forward.
- To strike.
- To sell, to traffic in.
However, as I said before, the 'p' is not used in early Germanic Languages, so I have suggested that the rune-name could have been Weorth since it is clearly associated with Wyrd and with Becoming. We must look at the IE Root *wer- which is the root of Wyrd -
- High raised spot (wen).
- To raise, to lift, to suspend.
- To twist, to turn, to bend, to coil.
- To perceive, to watch out for.
- To cover, to hide.
- To burn.
The basic meaning here is 'to twist', 'to turn' or 'to coil' and this is the root of what we known as 'to become' and 'becoming'. This is where the link to Wyrd comes in. Wyrd is 'becoming', as opposed to 'Being' which is the Immovable Centre. Wyrd moves like water, constantly changing direction when faced with small barriers, yet constantly flowing ever onwards despite all obstacles.
Stan represents the actual 'pieces' on the board; these are the objects that are 'played' rather than the players or the actual board-game. Peorth can be the posture of the players or it can be the 'dice-cup' which is used. This is important because today Taefl is not often played with dice, and yet this is the aim of the game - a game of 'chance'. Yet, beneath that 'chance' is an underlying pattern of order. Played as we do today this becomes down to the skill of the players, but with dice we enter the realm of 'chance' and of 'fate'. Of course, the dice could be made of stone, and this should be added to our ideas on this rune.
The emphasis on the board-game can be seen in the Old English Rune-Poem where the game is played in the 'beer-hall'. Although the term 'board-game' is not used it is inferred through the rest of the lines. The game is played by the wigan or 'warriors', thus relating it to battle and war. The Old English symble is used for 'always', but here we could perhaps see a link to the symble or ritual drinking which is associated with the Wyrd of the Tribe.
The concept of struggle, battle and war was very different in ancient times, and was far more ritualised than we could imagine. Weapons were hallowed and given names, flags and banners were especially made up, hallowed and raised on the battlefield. Over the past one hundred years we have seen such things as flags and banners going out of use in battles, but even so they are still the focal point of street demonstrations and marches. Weapons, flags and banners were once thought to have a life of their own; the idea of ritual hallowing was to give Life-Force to them. Symbols have a life of their own and are very powerful, which is why they are still widely used today even in a 'consumer society'. The board-game was used before battle to try to decide the outcome, and maybe to change the 'luck' of the tribe.