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I was really surprised to find that a group like this had not yet been created. I did see that some had already been asking questions about runes and I would like to address those questions now, hopefully the answers will find their intended targets.


Q. "I want to try using runes for divination, which ones should I get?"


A. I highly recommend you make your own, it does not require much skill, they were designed to be quickly and easily crafted. It is far more rewarding to have something you made yourself and they are usually more responsive. If you are going to buy a set make sure that they are flat on the back and front, makes them easier to read. Wood is traditional, stone is okay as long as they are flat, as I said, but synthetic materials are out of the question.


Q. "How do I make my own runes for divination?"


A. They should be made from the wood of a tree which bears an edible nut or fruit. Oak (yes, acorns can be  boiled and roasted or made into flower) is favored by many, apple, hazel and hickory are also common. Cut the staves in any shape you like but make sure they have two flat sides, front and back. Cut the rune shapes into the wood with a sharp blade. Cut only against the grain and only using downward strokes. some evidence suggests that they may have been consecrated with blood, for this reason most will dye or paint them red. You could also use a branding iron or a wood burning stylus to burn the runes into the wood thus imbuing the runes with life through fire rather than blood. Some commercially available rune sets and books include a "blank rune" humorously called "wyrd" (a complex concept like destiny, but one you create as opposed to orlog- fate, which is predetermined) but the only reason to include a blank tile is if you lose one and need a spare.


Q. "How do I divine using runes?"


A. Some people like to lay them out in a "spread" like tarot cards, I personally do not feel that this is correct. It is disputed that the runes were even used in divination as we now conceive it. Some feel that those instances where the runes are used to divine the text referred to a rune spell using an indeterminate number of runes rather than a whole set. Personally, I believe that a set of runes is used, with the addition or subtraction of some characters, and that these were cast, as in tossed, and read in relation to how they fall.


Q. "How are runes used in magic"


A. Many ways. Rune magic is called "galdr" and it is performed through song, chant, intonation, scribing the runes or even just visualizing them. There are "bindrunes" which combine runes into a single shape, a sigil, which binds their energies together. The runes can also be scribed in a sort of magical "sentance" where the sequence and number of the individual runes are significant. Traditionally poems and songs were made which included the names, or kennings for their names and some of these can still be found in traditional texts.


I hope that these and more subjects will be discussed at length here. The runes are one of those things that can be studied for a lifetime and never fully unlocked. They are not just letters or symbols, they are a living codex of the culture, history and wisdom of an entire race. They were conceived in a time when written language was still uncommon and those who possessed it possessed great power. That power was preserved in the runes. It is a sad misconception that the Norse people, the Vikings as they are most well known, were a brutish and uneducated lot. The truth is they were actually a very refined and insightful people who displayed many traits of an advanced society and spiritual awareness. The runes carry all of that power and wisdom which is every bit as valid and useful today as it ever was.

Tags: FAQ, Futhark, Runes, casting, divination, galdr, how, magic, runemaster, to

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Replies to This Discussion


The Havamal asks us the following questions, they are the challenges, and the keys, to rune mastery as laid out by the ancients.

know you how to cut them?

     A. cut only using downward strokes

know you how to read them?

     A. literally refers to knowing the sounds of the letters

know you how to color them?

     A. traditionally they are stained red for blood and life. The runes are not just symbols to be interpreted, they are a living oracle, when crafted correctly.

know you how to try them?

     A. this means divination, cast them and they will tell you what you need to know, which is not always what you want to know. you may cast up to three additional times for clarification on the first reading. If a reading is inauspicious it is traditional NOT to cast again but to put them away and make offerings as needed. By divining with the runes we learn more of the many layers of meaning while also proving that the runes have been well crafted and imbued with life as they should be.

know you how to invoke them?

     A. refers to actual self empowerment through the runes, creative visualization, chanting, intonation or incantation may be used but in then end the runemaster should be able to silently conjure up the energy of the runes. Also included here is their use in rune "charms" (which is a technical misuse of the word) meaning bindrunes or lines of runes cut for magical purposes (traditionally both are called "staves")

know you how to make the sacrifice?

A. the blóta or "blot" is a formal ritual of sacrifice. It means sharing of some food or drink with the spirits. Some use their own blood, some use that of an animal which is being butchered for food, the more squeamish may poor libations of mead, wine or beer. For those who do not slaughter their own food you may simply offer some of what you have prepared. As long as the sacrifice is made sincerely the covenant is also made sincerely.

know you how to send them?

     A. literally sending off the energy of the rune spell, the "casting" part. Traditionally done through voice by song, incantation or chant. The rune itself need not be mentioned but rather kenning is traditional. It means the use of poetic names which relate to something else. Like how Ireland is also called "the emerald isle" or "roisin dubh" (meaning "the little black rose").

know you how to dispose of them?


     A. once the will is manifest all items used in the rite must be disposed of. All runes that were engraved must be scratched out. items may also be burned, buried or cast into a body of water. It is the physical act of binding the energy so as not to accidentally call up more than you can put down. as we see in the following warning, also from the Havamal


"Better not to ask than to over-sacrifice,

     The gift is always in repayment

Better not to send than to be over-burned"


The translation is a tad tricky there bit the point is clear. It is best not to use rune magic unless the need is very real because a sacrifice of equal value is always needed and to ask for a favor when it is not really needed means you have to give that much more back. Borrow $20 when you only need $5 and you still owe someone $20. The spirits will take it back one way or the other. The last line means not to send out more energy than is required. just because you learn to perform a nidstaang (a kind of killing curse) does not mean you should use it on someone who stole your parking space. Just because money is tight does not mean you need to win the lottery. Ask only as much as you can afford to give back, send out only as much as you need to get back, or perhaps better wording would be "send only as much as you are willing to have taken out of your own hide", it all depends on the circumstances really.

Thanks for creating this group.  I have just started to research runes and rune magick.  I am glad I can come here and learn and ask questions.
i will do my best to answer all questions as promptly as possible. I am working Memphis Pagan Pride Day this weekend where I will be doing readings and selling rune sets (among other things) so I will be pretty busy all week but I will try and check in daily anyway.



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