Raido is to ride. Thor’s chariot, or that of Sol as she rides across the sky every day. This is the rune of the traveler that is used to give protection and forward motion in life and on journeys. It relates to rhythm and dance, where Ansuz was the sound, we now have a beat we can move to.
The Germanic deity of Sol is one of the few instances in the ancient world where the sun was represented as female. She rides a chariot across the sky, drawn by two horses, Arvakr and Alsvidr, pursued by the wolves Skoll and Hati in an eternal motion through the skies. Her brother Mani is her opposite, and is represented by the moon on a similar race. The Sol link personally makes the most sense to me, but Thor should also be mentioned for continuity from Thurisaz and thoroughness, whose chariot is pulled by two goats that Thor can slaughter, eat and resurrect to continue on his adventures.
One must also clarify at this point that this rune does not represent the sun itself, which is found in the rune Sowilo, but the path which it takes and the motion that carries it forward. It is also representative of the planet’s position to the sun and the perpetual motion that is part of life.
Raido also represents movement from one stage of initiation to the next, the steps in one’s journey
Raido also represents movement from one stage of initiation to the next, the steps in one’s journey. It is relevant for students and those looking for promotion, to move homes, or leave a stagnant relationship as well as for the obvious travel aspect. This rune places importance on the order and structure of things like education and ritual, and also for less obvious things like natural processes (eg. tectonic plate movement)
Here we see our hero riding forth from her place of safety, armed with nothing but her weapon (Thurs) and purpose (Ansuz). Two ravens circle the castle, representing Odin’s presence in encouraging her on her way. The road is well travelled and has been laid out and she is sure of herself and the route she is taking. Her horse is her chariot, her mount, her way forward.
This image has a lot more symbolism and elements to it than the four previous ones, despite the rather simplicit meaning. The mountain can be taken to represent a slain giant, the castle safety, the wheel motion, the chariot the vessel, the path the route, etc. The journey is often best explained not by one static symbol, but in a larger story.
The rune itself is meant to be an image of a chariot. There are two reasons I did not overlay the chariot with this rune as I plan to for most of them, one being that the chariot would need to be on its side, where the equilateral triangle overlays the wheel. The other reason is that I honestly hadn’t figured out how this image overlaid this rune until a few days into this art, partly because I hadn’t taken the time to really sit with this rune, whose meaning I had always just taken at the obvious face value (hint, don’t ever think runes are only what appears on the surface).
Merkstave, Raido represents a lack of change. Perhaps you have been in one place too long, or you haven’t been putting in the preparations you need to make the next step in whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Find where the blockage is, take the time to dismantle it and free your energy to continue moving forward.