I suppose the one thing that sets the Vitki apart from other shamans are the runes. As a shamanic tool it is remarkable what can be done with them and even when not being a shamanic tool. In the real world they are used as any alphabet would be for writing, but in the world of the Vitki they really come alive. They are a tool for meditation, journeying, ritual, healing, divining the future and even controlling it to some degree.
I was first introduced to the runes as a child, I can’t remember how old though I was still at junior school I can remember that. It wasn’t for the usual divinatory purposes either, it was a practise called passing the runes a rather potentially dark art at best. When someone wants to influence someone without them knowing they would inscribe the runes on paper or parchment and pass it to the person who has to accept it freely. As you can imagine human nature can contrive many ways to camouflage the said items to be passed without suspicion.
What is interesting about this was not the act itself but the reaction of a young child witnessing it. I saw what was happening, I matter of factually accepted it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I just knew what it was all about and then as I learnt more about them I started my life long love affair with them.They have saved my life and my sanity on more than one occasion.
My current set of runes I have used for thirty five years, each rune burnt into a piece of Yew wood. I use the Elder Futhark of 24 runes the oldest complete set we know about. The name Futhark comes from the first six letters of the alphabet. There is a younger Futhark of 16 runes based around the Old Norse language and there is an Anglo Saxon Futhark which has about 31 letters! There are other variants still to be found too.
Each rune usually has a phonetic value attached to it , a spiritual mystery to be understood and an energy to be used. Mythologically the runes originated from a shamanic initiation of the God Odin who hung for 9 days and nights on a tree without food or drink. On the ninth night he saw the runes.