|Ancient Slavic runes|
Monday, 12 October 2015
Alphabets of life
Following one of my recent blog posts, a friend contacted me with a suggestion to look at the book, Alphabets of Life by Kim H. Veltman. The book is about origins of alphabet and stories of the skies. Kim H. Veltman explores the origins of alphabets and characters in terms of five world languages. A theme of the book is to show that alphabet letters, now considered abstract signs, began as cosmograms and elements to explain stories of the skies, creation and life.
'It begins with an examination of marks, signs and symbols associated with the first three stages of writing.In Russia, these include Slavic petrogylphs, tamgas, glyphs, runes. They marked eternal cycles, primal forces and key moments of the annual cycle: solstices and equinoxes. Some of these became letters. Often parts or subsets became letters. They also became linked with early calendars.
Sanskrit is the first documented, systematic approach linking sounds in the mouth with letters. It introduced eight divisions of the alphabet, and matrices of letters. Letters are linked with principles and elements in nature (tattvas). Letters are also linked with energy points in the body (chakras), with the mansions (nakshatras) of the moon and zodiac signs (rasis) of the sun. This approach becomes a starting point for chakra figures, temples, sacred cities and sacred landscapes.
Sanskrit is much more than a simple ordering of letters and sounds that we write, read, speak and hear: it provides a system for bringing order to the cosmos. The author explains how this integration involves breathing and yoga, which become an important factor in the structuring of early alphabets.
Scandinavian runes are linked with movements of the human body in a form of runic yoga that has roots in Bulgaria, Turkey and the Russian Federation. Scandivanian runes typically use 9 sticks or glory twigs in a relatively informal system. Slavic runes are inspired by a series of matrices and grids, which become models for runes and alphabets.
Early cultures typically linked letters of the alphabet with their astronomy and cosmology: e.g. stars, constellations, zodiac signs (of the sun), mansions (of the moon), planets. These arrangements are linked with stories of the skies.'