In an iron vessel burn
St. Johnswort fresh,
Wild lettuce green,
Red cedar new:
While the living smoke ascends,
Let it wind about your hands
And shape it thus:
Breath and substance
Death and issue,
Fly and flower
Set it free and watch it rise:
Discover fate in this disguise.
From: A Crone’s Book of Magickal Words
The Norns are the Norse goddesses of fate. Urdh was the goddess of the past, or what has been. Verdhandi is the goddess of the present, what is. Skuld is the goddess of the future, or what shall be. Fate or wyrd was a very important factor in the psychology of the ancients.
A Norns cast is very simple, consisting of three runes, drawn one at a time from the rune pouch and laid in a row. If face down, flip them over as if turning the pages of a book.
The first rune represents the past of the situation in question. The second indicates the present, the path that the querier is currently on. The third suggests the future, a likely outcome if one continues on the present path.
Find a suitable place to do the reading. You do not want to be disturbed. Try to sit facing North if possible, the direction of the Gods in Norse mythology. Place a small white cloth on the surface in front of you. You work with the runes on this cloth. This cloth protects them from getting dirty and also forms the boundary for the casting.
Carefully form a question in your mind. Take your time doing this, as it is very important that you do not change the question midway through the reading. Once you have the question firmly fixed in your mind begin to gently mix the runes in their bag or container. Continue to mix the runes until you feel compelled to take up a small handful.
Cast them onto a white cloth, and see how the symbols land. Some will be face down – ignore them. If a rune is upright, it has a certain meaning. If a rune is upside down, it has a different meaning. The combination of the visible runes affects the interpretation. Sometimes the runes might “sing” to you and the answer to the question is instantly clear. Other times, not so much.
Runes are oracles, and oracles are often obscure. Each rune can mean many different things. It is up to the runecaster to decide how these meanings apply to the question at hand. You may get even deeper interpretations through your own “gut” reactions to the rune’s definition. However, don’t delude yourself in thinking that you have a completely different understanding of the cast than indicated by the traditional interpretations. Stick to the recognized interpretations, but learn to expand on their meanings through insight and meditation.
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