or “Lønskrift and Lønruner”
By Ræveðis, June, 2015

Note from Author: This is a quick translation to English, from an article I wrote for the Danish magazine “Skyggebladet” (Shadowpages) – It’s a members magazine for the Danish association for practitioners of witchcraft and magic: Hekse.

Lønskrift is an early ancestral form of encryption. It’s funny to think, that encryption is an almost invisible part of our digital life on the web today, but it’s far from a new invention. Opposite today, where most people hardly know that they are using encryption when they communicate, it was very much a conscious decision in the past.

The oldest forms of lønskrift that we know here in the north, is called lønruner. Many historical finds, from stone monuments, jewelry findings and simple wood and bone pieces, can be found containing inscriptions in lønruner. All the way up to the Middle Ages, there are traces of this secret form of communication. A form of communication that can only be read by the few initiates who knew the key to understanding them. This is how cryptography has worked since it first appeared, and is still the basic principle today – although quantum cryptography has begun to change this fact over the last couple of years.

The word “løn” means “secret”, and quite literally explains the use of Lønruner: to communicate secrets! So obviously the purpose of this practice has often been to hide meanings, or write secret messages, often even containing taboos. Often lønruner is even seen communicating quite mundane meanings, opposed to the poplar belief that it’s all about occult magic writings – for the most part, it’s actually not.

There are many different types of lønruner, and the largest historical collection of codes and keys can be found in the historical manuscript “In Lebor Ogaim”, also known as “the Ogham manuscript”, from the year 1390. This manuscript contains over 100 different examples of løncodes and glyphs.

“Isruner” are the most widely used form of lønskrift in the north. It can be seen on several historical finds. Isruner is often easy to recognize because they appear as vertical bars of different lengths.

(Seen below is an example of the word “LØN”)

When first gazing upon something containing lønruner, they don’t always appear to the unwary. Sometimes you really need to know what you’re looking for. This is due in particular to the fact, that many lønruner is hidden in the open. For example. Lønruner are often found hidden in drawings, a great example are thiese lønrunes hidden in drawings of fish. Here the lines on the back and abdomen of the fish, tells the coordinates of the lønrunes.

The way most lønruner are made, is from drawing them in a way that specify the particular rune’s coordinate in its æt. Often counting the æt’s backwards, as a simple cipher key. This means that Tyr’s Æt (tbemlngdo) is indicated as the first æt, Hagal’s Æt (hnijpërs) as the second Æt, and finally Fehu’s Æt (fuþarkgw) as the third.

Then, to get the coordinates, you would need first to count the æt, and then the individual rune in its æt. In this way, we can figure out that the coordinate to Uruz / Ur, by looking at the diagram below. The coordinate will be 3.2 – which then can be stated in many different ways.

Besides isruner, and the fish-runes I mentioned earlier, lønruner is also often depicted as træruner. Here the rune has a stem, with “tree branches” that indicates the rune’s coordinates. However, do not be fooled into thinking that you can real all lønruner with this technique. This is only the most basic method, and still today, there are lønruner that has not yet been decoded.

So, how can we use this system today?
In these modern times, where we use sophisticated RSA encryption, and is about to move into a new era of quantum encryption, is it even relevant? Could one not argue that lønruner and lønskrift is nothing more that a historical curiosity? Well .. I bet we all can agree, that the system does not have the great importance for leymen today. But one needs to keep in mind, that there are many occult circles, where “hidden messages in the obvious” still a frequently used thing. Lønskrift is still in active use, and there are countless examples of historic ciphers and cryptic texts used in various modern context. Even in totally unexpected places, as in som IT systems, where I personally have seen forms of lønskrift been used as STO (security through obscurity).

Lønskrift has also repeatedly seen encoded into the secret recruitment systems, for example, used extensively by the secret organization “Cicada 3301”. This group are thought to recruit the world’s most sought after hackers and cryptographers.

During their recruitment in 2012, a message written with the historic “Caesar code”, was found well hidden in the first bytes of a digital image. (Decipherment led people on yet another such clue – and the hunt was on) – This technique, with secret recruitment in the public space, by using hidden messages and messages are far from unheard of. Several occult organizations, who seek to avoid direct exposure, also use this technique, and also here has Ogham codes been seen in modern use.

But how can we use lønskrift, as modern practitioners of magick and witchcraft? This is the big question! Dealing with modern occultism, and in particular the underground culture within, the question would seem quite naive. In the proper context, lønskrift can be the difference between understanding and total ignorance. Additionally, it can be used, as always has been, as a way to communicate within a closed group. It can be used to write magick notes, making sure no one can read it with ease.

Can it be used for magick? Undoubtedly yes! Many practitioners of modern occult magick and witchcraft, often use forms of lønskrift in sigil magic. In addition, one of the most famous modern occult lønskrift systems and cipher languages, is known as “the Enochian Language” or “the Enochian Script”.

This is used largely in magical context, and also has a magical origin. The system was “invented” in the 1500s by the legendary John Dee, in collaboration with the notorious alchemist and angel-medium Edward Kelley.

They claimed to have received the language and characters from communication with angels, who spoke to them through various forms of scrying, often in a crystal balls, water dishes, mirrors mm.

Although the Enochian Language in not really in use in it’s original form anymore, and perhaps is more a occult curiosity today, the glyphs themselves are still used in all sorts of other modern occult context. It is also a widely used lønskrift used on occult cipher wheel.

Sidenote: A Enochian cipher-wheel is known to have been found between the well-known American evangelist Harold Egbert Camping’s belongings after his death. Camping was also known for his prophecy about the end of the world (rapture) in 2011

A page from the original Ogham manuscript from 1390:

The two images below are of rune wheel that I have made. The first one, seen here, is designed for common lønruner such as Isruner, forming a secret key from a single rune from each æt.

This next wheel is based on a Mexican military-cipher 1914, which was used up to the beginning of World War II.

A quick overview of the three most frequently used Futhark’s and the traditional Ogham script: