Originally Posted by Bob A
I'll readily grant the "personal" aspect of markings such as these, but "secret" doesn't fill the cognitive bill. After all, they're readily visible.
I could go with "occult" insofar as the actual meanings are hidden, except to those whose knowledge encompasses them. Of course, those who know will not openly discuss such things.
Well Bob, the word "occult" literally means "hidden". And the very first definition of the word in Webster's dictionary is : not revealed : SECRET.
While i certain accept the word occult as applicable here i believe "secret" also fits the cognitive bill just fine. One could just as equally argue that these symbols aren't "hidden" either as they are in plain view.
As for those who knowledge encompasses such things, we will never know. Magickal talismans are often quite personal in design. Yes, they may use some more generally understood magickal symbols, but the entire "spell" for lack of a better work, may very well only be completely understood by the person who created it. The power of such things can be greatly diminished if they are understood by anyone other than the one creating the action.
Though we can guess that in general it was probably put in place to protect the warrior from harm and give him to power to overcome his enemies. However, the actual specifics of these markings probably can't be fully understood by any living person.