Note from Apythia:
There have been some changes to the original content here. That is because Lady Phoenix MoonFlame is in the process of publishing a book on runes. She will be updating this section with new material to replace that which we removed. We wish her the best of luck with her book and are certain it will be one that everyone interested in runes will have on their shelves.
Runes: An Introduction
Welcome to the runes,
a fascinating divinatory system that has its roots in ancient Norse
history and mythology. It is an alphabet, a series of divinatory
marks, and a magickal method. If you have Germanic/Norse ancestry,
you will probably discover that you have a natural affinity and/or
affection for the runes as opposed to other divinatory methods.
But that doesn't mean that you can't learn to use and enjoy the
runes if you are not Germanic. They are equal-opportunity stones.
Legend says that
Odin, one of the old Norse gods, hung for nine nights on Yggdrasil,
the Tree of the World, and grabbed the runes just before he
fell from the tree (take a look at the Hanged Man card in
the Tarot deck, and you will see Odin there). This sacrifice
was what brought the runes to humankind.
Runes lost favor
after World War II, when the Nazi party adopted several runes,
most notably the swastika. It has taken many years for the
Nazi taint to wear off.
Runic alphabets are called
futharks, so named because the first six letters of any version
spell out the very word. There are three main futharks: Elder, Younger,
and Anglo-Saxon. Chances are that the set of runes you have bought
(or made) is an Elder Futhark. Regardless, the pages that follow
assume that you are working with Elder Futhark.
Usually, runes are inscribed
on stones or wood. Depending on which set you have bought, or made,
you will have either 24 or 25 runes. Modern-day rune sets that you
buy at the local bookstore will more than likely have the Blank
Rune, or Wyrd, as it is sometimes called; rune masters who deplore
the Blank Rune will not add it to the set. That debate is explained
on the Blank Rune's page.
Some books that you can
get at the store have futzed with the order of the runes. After
some experimentation, I have decided that I am a traditionalist;
I like to stick to the accepted, traditional alphabetical order.
(After all, we wouldn't take too kindly to someone reordering OUR
alphabet, would we?) The chart below reads left to right. Click
on the rune name to find out its meaning, its indication in a reading,
and other interesting correspondence information.
Although most of what
is written here in the rune pages comes from my direct work with
the runes, some of it (particularly the correspondence
information) also comes from research I did (and continue to do)
divination system. The two books that I feel are the best are "Discover
Runes" by Tony Willis, and "Northern
Mysteries and Magick" by Freya
Aswynn. There are others, but I always suggest starting with
those two books.
Guide to Freya Aswynn's Magickal Meanings of Runes
Aswynn's Web stie
Your Own Runes
alphabets/writing with runes (links to outside source)
(This section is the work of our
resident Rune expert, Lady
Phoenix MoonFlame, please address any questions or comments
you have to her.)
a Rune Reading from Lady Phoenix MoonFlame