Our High Lord Woden gained the knowledge of the Runes through sacrifice, sacrifice of Himself to Himself on the World Tree as it is written:
"I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.
"No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn, downwards I peered; I took up the runes, screaming I took them, then I fell back from there." (Havamal 138-139, Elder Edda, Larrington translation)
"I know that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree, nine whole nights, with a spear wounded, and to Odin offered, myself to myself; on that tree, of which no one knows from what root it springs.
"Bread no one gave me, nor a horn of drink, downward I peered, to runes applied myself, wailing learnt them, then fell down thence." (Havamal 140-141, Thorpe translation)
This is not the only sacrifice that our Lord Woden made to gain wisdom and spiritual in-sight for He sacrificed an eye to drink from wise Mimir's well:
"'I know everything, Odin, where you hid your eye in the famous well of Mimir.' (Voluspa 28, Elder Edda, Larrington)
"I know all, where thou thine eye didst sink in the pure well of Mim." (Voluspa 22, Thorpe.)
"All-father went there and asked for a single drink from the well, but he did not get one until he placed his eye as a pledge." (Gylfaginning, Younger Edda, Faulkes translation)
"One day All-father came and begged a draught of this water, which he obtained, but was obliged to leave one of his eyes as a pledge for it." (Gylfaginning, Blackwell translation)
The message here is that spiritual wisdom cannot be otained without a price and that price may take many different forms. Yet in this rotten and decaying age in which we find ourselves, the Kali Yuga, the masses think that wisdom may be obtained either freely or very cheaply at least, as if one were to make an online purchase and all one had to do was read a book. From time to time I am pestered by people to give them quick and easy answers to their spiritual questions, mainly because they can not be bothered to take the long, hard and lonely road to self-knowledge themselves. They want someone to wave a wand and in a flash fast-track them on their way to enlightenment. The ancients knew otherwise. Knowledge and then wisdom or the in-sight which knowledge acts as a basis for must be strived for and earned. THIS is the process of initiation.
Very recently on my Armanen blog I was asked to provide information about English translations of the works of Karl Spiesberger on the Armanen Runes. The enquirer must have known that no English translation exists of his work on the Runes (Runenmagie). The only book of Spiesberger's that I have which is also in English is his Reveal the Power of the Pendulum. The enquirer must have known this if he had done his research on the Internet. Thus he gave me heavy hints that he wanted someone (probably me) to translate Spiesberger's work for him! When I suggested that he spend a year or so in intensive study of learning to read German in order that he may enjoy accessing the wealth of Armanist literature himself he was rather taken a back by this! He has no time to do this. I am not sure how I was supposed to find the time to translate a whole book for him! I pointed out that the Gods will not grant the revelation of their secrets without SACRIFICE. This is the essence of the meaning of the Gebo or Gyfu Rune. Those who will not sacrifice their time or resources to obtain access to this wisdom are not worthy to receive it. The study of German would have been an initial step on his spiritual path and a form of sacrifice in itself. His last childish and sarcastic comment I decided not to publish.
Woden is the God of wisdom and sacrifice. If we are to seek the Hanging God's wisdom we must likewise sacrifice myself to myself and if needs be in a literal sense. I bear the mark of Woden, the Valknut on my flesh. I am thus His and will answer His call when He bids me. This is the price we must pay, the sacrifice. Thus He is the God of the Einheriar, the mystical warriors who spend their time preparing themselves to serve Him in this and other realms.