Tangle Saxon Runes Again

Part of a continuing personal challenge; see the previous entries here, here, and here

12. ᛄ Ger [j], “year, harvest”

Tangle Saxon Rune Ger

I admit I’m cheating on this one a bit phonetically. The “ger” rune represents the sound [j], represented in English by the consonant “y.” But there isn’t a “j” rune, or at least not one representing the “j” sound [dʒ]. The sound itself is relatively common in Old English, but it is typically represented with the combination “cg.” Interestingly, many of the words containing this cluster have survived into modern English basically unchanged other than in spelling, with “dge” taking the place of “cg” — ecg/edge, ricg/ridge, hecg/hedge. In the Anglo-Saxon alphabet, “g” was usually used to represent [j], although it also could be the same “g” we use now as well as a horrible voiced velar spirant which I have mentioned previously and that fortunately evolved into a “w”, which is why we say “own” and not “o[horrible Gollum-like sound]n.”

TL;DR, there are a lot of good “J” tangles and it’s my challenge so I get to do what I want.

Tangles used:






Jujubeedze It’s funny how the little beads in this ended up making eyeballs for weird little faces in the Jajazz…

13. ᛇ Eoh [eo], “Yew”


Tangle Saxon Runes E:oh

This is a bad picture and I realize now that the ZIA itself isn’t really complete — I should have shaded it. Oh well, I can always update it later.

There should really be a line over the “E” in “eoh” here, since it’s a long e — that’s long in quantity, not quality: think of the difference in the vowel of “mate” (short) and “made” (long). This is important since there is also an “eoh” rune with a short “e.” Confused? Well, you’re not alone. The original Germanic rune from which this is descended is “Eihwaz,”  and if that sounds familiar, maybe you’ve read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

I mistranslated ‘ehwaz,’” said Hermione furiously. “It means ‘partnership,’ not ‘defense,’ I mixed it up with ‘eihwaz.’

In this case it means “Yew,” not partnership or defense. And it represents the diphthong “eo,” the vowel in the first syllable of “Beowulf” as well as “mayonnaise” depending on how you pronounce it (I’ve always pronounced it “MAN-aze” or “MAY-oh” though really I try to avoid pronouncing it at all since I detest the stuff.) Regardless, there aren’t any “Eo” tangles that I know of, and since there is an “E” rune that I’ll be posting eventually, I went with “Y” as in “yew” as in the letter I should have used for “ger.”

Tangles yew-sed (see what I did there?)

Y-Ful Power


Yew Dee which is just a great grid tangle. There are a lot of ways you can vary it, too, and I’ve used the grid seed as a string. I might do a monotangle of it at some point.

Yincut The grid’s kind of wonky on this, but I like it.

14. ᛈ Peorth [p], meaning unknown

Tangle Saxon Runes: Peorth

The name of this rune is “peorth” which is not, so far as anyone can tell, a word in Old English. Per Wikipedia:

The name is not comprehensible from Old English, i.e. no word similar to peorð is known in this language. According to a 9th-century manuscript of Alcuin (Codex Vindobonensis 795), written in Britain, in the Gothic alphabet, the letters 𐍀p (based on a Greek Π) and 𐌵q (an inverted Π) are called “pairþra” and “qairþra”, respectively. One of these names clearly is derived from the other. However, the names are not comprehensible in Gothic either, and it is not clear which is derived from which, except that we know that the Elder Futhark had a p, but no q rune. In any case, it seems evident that peorð is related to pairþra. The Anglo-Saxonfuthorc adopted exactly the same approach for the addition of a labiovelar rune, cweorð, in both shape and name based on peorð, but unfortunately, we do not know if the Gothic runes already had a similar variant rune of p, or if the labiovelar letter was a 4th-century creation of Ulfilas.

So it appears that what we have here is rune representing an unknown word in a dead West Germanic language that may or may not have been derived from a rune representing an unknown word in a dead East Germanic language, both of which had similarly unknown variants. Good times! Really, a “p” rune” wouldn’t have been all that useful to the Anglo-Saxons, as the sound “p” was fairly uncommon and rarely if ever appeared at the beginning of the word. One possible meaning is “pear.” I like pears, and I can draw a pear shape, so that influenced my framing of this.

Tangles used:

Palrevo: It took me a long time to figure this one out, both its design and its name, which Linda Farmer insists is so funny (by the way, you should hear my kids say “so funny!” It’s so… uh, humorous). It wasn’t until I put the clues together that I realized what was so special about the name and the pattern both. I don’t want to spoil it though…

Pand: This is another wonderfully versatile grid patterns. If you haven’t used it, you really should.

Paradox or should I say Pear-adox? No I shouldn’t. This is absolutely my favorite tangle ever. What I love is how it can make the original frame you put it in disappear completely. My only problem is that I like to alternate clockwise/counterclockwise Paradox shapes, only I forget which way I went last. The last time I did this, I actually drew faint arrows in each shape to remind me of which way I’d be going.

Pea-nuckle My dad taught me how to play Pinochle when I was a kid, but it’s been so long ago that I have no clue how to play it now. I mostly remember that it used a weird deck (two of each face card, I think, and no cards below nine?) and that he told me he used to play it with friends in the Baptist Student Union building (yes, there are Baptists who play cards. I was raised Baptist and it was there that I learned to play Spades) and that passersby who tried to follow what they were playing would be hopelessly confused.

That has nothing to do with this tangle other than the name. It’s a good pattern.


That’s enough for now; I’ll post more later.


Weekly Challenges: High Five and Shattuck

This will be another quickie post because I really do have a lot of work to do. But I got some ZIAs scanned and I really want to post them.

Made By Joey Weekly Challenge 105

Made By Joey Challenge: High Five

I liked this one, and I appreciated the silly pun in the challenge name! I hadn’t used any of the assigned tangles before, and I liked them pretty well. They were:

Puf: This one was tough for me to figure out and I had to really, really slow myself down to do it right. The grid I ended up using was kind of wacky, but I like the effect. I discovered a cool zeppelin shape if you have a sort of rectangle in the middle of the Greek key shape and have the Xs meet at the corners instead of the middle. I also figured out that I had to do each leg of the x separately to have any hope of getting it to work right. Once I got it all figured out, I loved how the final effect looks nothing like what you start with.

Coil: This one I will definitely use again. I love how these elaborate designs can be made from such simple strokes and how much variety you can put into it. I figured out pretty quickly that I wanted to use coil for columns — a thick one in the middle and two thinner ones on the sides. In the middle one, I used the variation with a pole in the middle and striped the pole Btl Joos style. For the coiling part, I decorated it with Stricles. The outer columns have a little bit of Yincut and Knightsbridge on the orbs.

Pais: Okay, so this is one of those leafy/curly ones that I don’t really like all that much, but I feel like I’m getting better at them. I like how it looks with the bit of Tipple in between the layers and surrounding it. Also, the tangles between the columns are meant to be a sort of hybrid between this pattern and Vache 1

Diva Challenge 260:

Diva Challenge 260

The challenge here is a monotangle on Shattuck. I remember sketching this one out a while back, looking at what I got and thinking, “no, that’s not right.” So I’m glad I got challenged to attempt it again. Also, the tangle is featured in Mandala Zentangle by CZT Jane Marbaix , which I picked up at the Half-Price Books flagship store in Dallas last weekend. Her book influenced the shape of this ZIA as well, with the suggestion of using an apple corer slicer as a template for a Zendala. The shapes this creates seemed a perfect match for this tangle, and I like how it turned out.

I think I could have done a little more with the tangle, but I like what I came up with, mostly. Shattuck within a circle frame doesn’t work exactly right, but it at least makes a good background. I like the big variation going on in the wings, and I think it works well with the striping and the Tipple beads. I also like the crinkly variation that’s in the main circle. The spiral-ended thing was a good idea, but it didn’t work exactly the way I wanted it to. I’ll have to give it another go some time.

Tangle-Saxon Runes, cont.

I want to apologize for that horrible pun. No I don’t: I never apologize for puns. Read here for an introduction to this project; I want to post some runes!

Rune #4: ᚩ [o], Os, “deity”

Old English Runes #4: Os

“Os” is a peculiar rune: in its oldest form, it referred to a specific ancient Germanic deity; in other contexts it was used to represent another god, Odin. The Christian poet of the Old English Rune poem substituted “mouth” from the Latin, although the verse would make more sense if it referred to a deity.

Unlike Ur and Thorn, the transliteration of Os — o — has a lot of tangleated representation.  Starting from the bottom, you have Omen, fancied up with a number of variations including some Cadent-like touches. I’ve found that pretty much anything can be accented with S shapes.The chain of bug/eye things is Ojo, which crosses over a panel of (o) before wrapping around a bent column of Ovy. On the left is the ever-useful Onamata and some Organic, which ended up looking like cool butterfly things. Topping it all off is some Oybay, another good organic-looking one.

I know it’s not considered polite to boast, but when you spend a lot of your day combating relentless negative self-talk, you earn the right to crow a bit: I think this tangle looks damn good.

Rune #5: ᚱ [r], Rad, “ride”

Old English Runes #5: Rad

Okay, I maybe went a little overboard with this one, but it was fun. Up top is Rysa, whose name makes me think of the Fantasy Island planet from Star Trek. Inside of that, I snuck some Roscoe. To the left is Riki-Tiki and oh great, now I have that song stuck in my head, along with a bit of Ragz and some Ripple. And then for the crazy: I decided that River would be a natural fit, and I decided I could have some ink flowing out of the Ripple to feed the river. This may or may not have started to cover up some unplanned penwork in the Ripple; I honestly don’t remember. Then once I discovered how crazy easy and cool Rixty was, I went pretty wild with it and soon there were tributaries all over the place. Good times, good times.