Runes are the sacred symbols of the Teutonic tribes, and in the past, a whole system of philosophy and magic was based on them. Runes were used in rituals for calling on to the higher forces and to predict the future outcomes of important events, such as harvests or battles. The root of the word ‘rune’ means ‘secret’ or ‘to whisper’. Runic alphabet was a source of intuition which was accessible to those who knew the craft of rune reading. There is evidence that many women were gifted rune-readers. Playing with the runes is a great advanture which will help you avoid the limits and conditioning of the mind.
Runic divination has affinity towards all forcasting methods which rely on the symbols to stimulate latent clairvoyancy into activity. Those divinations are ‘fluid’ or ‘mutable’. For this reason, runic divination resembles the ones of Tarot, Geomancy, I Ching, or predictive astrology. All occult teachings, whether western or eastern, point to the existence of certain basic energies or cosmic forces. Pagans believed them to be Gods, and the followers of monotheistic religions – Jews, Christians and Moslems – called them archangels. Teutonic shamans postulated nine cosmic forces which were identified with Sun and Moon, five planets visible to the human eye, and North and South moon nodes.
From the total of 25 runes, 9 have the same meaning regardless of their postion. The remaining 16 may be drawn in upright or reversed position. A rune in reverse position does not have to be a bad sign, only a hint of a new challenge, or a possible warning (like a retrograde planet in astrology). It’s wise to keep in mind that the meaning of a rune in reverse position greatly depends on other runes in the reading.
THE PROCESS OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION
From the total of 25 runes, 13 tell of the important cycles of self-transformation: Ansuz, Othila, Uruz, Perth, Nauthiz, Inguz, Kano, Berkana, Ehwaz, Hagalaz, Raido, Thurisaz, and Dagaz. Together, they make energy frame of the runic alphabet. If two or more runes of the self-transformation cycle are drawn, the potential for growth and integration is greatly increased.
ASKING THE ORACLE
In ancient times, it was customary to call on to one of the Gods, guardians of the runes, Odin or Freyja, to ask that the runes give a correct answer and helpful advice. This is a useful meditation you can adjust to your belief-system. (I call upon my Higher Self). Runes will never answer you with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, so avoid such questions. Instead, just concentrate on the problem you have and ask the runes to show you to the best way out of the situation.
MAKING YOUR OWN RUNES
The first runes were engraved in stone or wood, and that’s why the symbols are so characteristically angular in shape. Runes should be made out of natural materials, such as wood, stone, clay or crystals. If you decide to paint them, that should be done with natural and traditional colors. Thoser are: red for energy (most effective for male shaman); green for growth (mostly used by female shamans and Wiccans); or blue – the color of Odin, Teutonic God of runic wisdom. You will also need a small, cloth bag in which to keep them, and a piece of cloth on which to cast them. The cloth used for rune-casting must be of one color, and traditionally, white color is used.22