New Dumbledore Wand: Unboxing and Ancient Runes Lesson
Dumbledore’s wand, meaning the “new” twisted root designed wand we are introduced to in Crimes of Grindelwald, is not only beautiful but also covered with interesting little details. This is the first wand I have purchased from the new line of CoG wands and I am excited to present my first unboxing video. Enjoy!
One of the most intriguing features of this wand is the choice of runes selected as decoration. This is not the first time a wand has been decorated with runes; Sirius Black, Gregorovitch, Xenophilius Lovegood, Trelawney, Cedric, and other wands feature runes and mystical patterns from cultures around the world. While perhaps each of those deserve a deep dive like I am doing here, Dumbledore’s wand is an excellent starting place.
Dumbledore’s wand features four unique runes from the Germanic tradition of writing that predates the Latin alphabet. While the runes can be used to write out words and sentences, each rune itself has its own name and meaning standing alone. While there are several iterations of each rune (they have been used for almost 2000 years and have changed along the way just like the English alphabet) the runes on this wand tend to keep to the styles established by the ISO Rune Project in 1997.
Interestingly, in sticking with the timeline of the films, if this wand was made by Ollivander in the 1800s when Dumbledore first went to Hogwarts, some of the runes of this wand should probably have looked differently. My guess is that the wand designer was working with a rune dictionary from more modern times.
The more I learn about runes, the more fascinating they become. I have always said that I would have picked the same third year electives as Harry, but now I think Ancient Runes would be a very interesting subject to study. Here in the Muggle world I have learned that the runes-for-divination and the esoteric meanings of each rune are really more modern than ancient, popping up in Germanic neo-paganism in the 1980s. While this needs further research, I think I fell pray to the images from modern television shows and books of old and wizened soothsayers, casting the runes and interpreting the future from where they fell. While runes may have been used for such purposes, the current interpretations, and the ones used in this post, are not as ancient as I once thought. With that being said, I think they still merit discussion as the wand was designed for a modern film. For those of you in your N.E.W.T. level Ancient Runes courses, please share your wisdom with this humble third year.
Before we begin the rune discussion, I want to thank @archiescamander on Instagram who sent me a message about the runes on this wand and shared some of his interpretations with me. I will be using the same website he used, Rune Secrets, for the neo-pagan meanings of the runes on the wand.
Pronounced “Yehr-ah”, Jera represents the harvest and the year. It has to do with right timing, patience, a good harvest, cycles, right effort, waiting, reward for positive action, popper timing, and the realization of the cyclical nature of time. On the less positive end it can also represent bad timing, repetition, poverty, conflict, and regression.
Dumbledore is a planner. He plays the long game when it comes to his schemes and machinations. Sometimes his plots take years and years to play out fully, and this rune represents the reward that comes from that patience. He carefully manipulates each situation to develop the way he wants, so this rune represents that careful planning and the reward that he knows will come with time.
Pronounced “Anne-suhz”, Ansuz represents the transmission of intelligence, communication, reason, inspiration, mental stability, listening, order, answers, compelling and magnetic speech and writing, suggestion, listening to one’s inner self and the inner voice.
This rune speaks to Dumbledore as a teacher. This rune, unique to the rest, actually features twice on the wand, unlike any of the rest which only show up once. This could perhaps mean that Dumbledore’s teaching means the most to him of anything else, or perhaps it was just an oversight. Either way, where Jera can represent keeping knowledge to oneself, Ansuz speaks to the giving of away knowledge. Teaching is such an important act to Dumbledore, especially at this time in his life before he ascends to headmastership.
Pronounced “Oo-ruse”, Uruz represents life force, physical health, courage, healing, vigor, edurance, determination, persistence, freedom, will, independence, raw primal power, luck, and pragmatic knowledge.
Reading through these features this calls to me as the Gryffindor rune. Dumbledore was in Gryffindor house and seems to have a (slight) bias towards the house from time to time. Dumbledore is certainly courageous and takes bold action when needed, though tempered with the other runes of patience and careful planning, Dumbledore is able to bring this courage into play when it is needed most.
Pronounced “Day-gahz”, Dagaz represents awakening. It speaks to hyper-consciousness, the process of concept becoming realized, paradoxical truth, incompatible incompatible experiences, enlightenment, polarity, non-dual reality, unity, synthesis, transformation. No one single belief of viewpoint is sufficient, right and wrong exist together at the center of two extremes, creating equilibrium.
This rune is at the base of the wand, the largest, and the most stylized. Perhaps this serves Dumbledore as a reminder to look at things from every possible perspective; to realize that two opposing ideas can both be true at the same time. More viewpoints than one have to be considered. People like Grindelwald and Voldemort can only see the world from their own narrow point of view. Dumbledore needs the reminder that just because he might see something one way, not all people see it the same way.
And that’s all! Thank you for reading. Please comment below with your thoughts on the runes on Dumbledore wand, and any other meanings or connections you draw from them. I am really looking forward to seeing this wand in action when Hayley and I go to the AMC Fan Event for Crimes of Grindelwald on November 13th!