Making your own Runes

The runes you make yourself are always going to be more powerful and more attuned to you than the runes that you buy at a store. Not that there's anything wrong with store-bought runes-my first set of runes is a rocking collection of stones, but that's mostly because I have used them and kept them with me for ten years.

You can make your runes out of wood either by cutting 25 (or 24 if you're not using a Blank Rune) same-size squares from a board (remembering to sand the edges of each piece smooth) or getting a wooden dowel about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter, and cutting the dowel into 25 (or 24) disks about ½ to ¾ of an inch thick. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of saws and cutting and sanding (and who could blame you?), most arts and crafts stores, like A.C. Moore and Michael's, have precut wood in various sizes and shapes that are relatively inexpensive and perfectly cool to use. If you want to get more au naturel, go for a walk in the woods, find a tree with which you have a connection, and ask it for an appropriately sized branch that you can cut the runes from. Always ask permission, and always leave an offering behind as thanks.

Wooden runes are cool, but so are stone ones (plus, you get that fun clicking sound!), and with stone, you can use your favorite gemstone. Or you can just go on another walk, down to a river or creek, and find your stones that way. As always, ask for permission and leave an offering.

If you're using stones, try to get each one as close to the same size as possible, and make sure that at least one of the stone's sides is nice and flat (I find it difficult to draw or inscribe on a round, bumpy, hilly surface!).
Once you have all your stones, or all your wooden pieces, it's time to inscribe them with the runes. If you are using wood, you can use a wood-burning tool to inscribe each one. Or you can use paint. I suggest using paint for your stones, although if you have stone that is soft enough, you may be able to use a dremel tool or something similar to inscribe the stones (this is not always possible, however-when I made my hematite runes, even the diamond-tip dremel couldn't cut those puppies). If you use paint on the stones, be sure to clear-coat each rune with some shellac to preserve the paint.

What color paint you use is entirely up to you, although I find red to be an all-around good color for runes.

Once the runes are dry, you are ready to cleanse and consecrate them. My ritual for this follows. It's a great ritual, if I do say so myself-very powerful. Saying each rune's name aloud during the ritual gives each rune its identity. Placing the runes in the cauldron is transforming them from mere stones/wooden disks to divinatory tools. Blowing on them further attunes them to your energies and use.

Once you've completed the ritual, the runes are ready for you to use. Keep your runes with you; carry them in a pouch in your purse or briefcase, sleep with them at night, give them a designated spot on your altar during rituals. Meditate with them-hold Fehu and meditate on its meanings, and work through the set. You may discover different interpretations as you work with the runes. Practice working with them, and they will become a part of you. And they will never let you down.

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