Rune Stones usually come in a set of 24 ancient alphabetic symbols, along with a book of instructions defining the symbols. They can be made of different materials – wood or glass are the most common – and usually kept in a pouch or box.
There are many versions of the Runic alphabets. Each has variations in names, shapes, esoteric meanings and magical uses. One should not mix futharks, if you do, the intent or meaning becomes confused. The Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and the Younger (or Scandinavian) Futhark are the most frequently seen versions of the Runic alphabets in use today.
The Runes are broken into three sections or groups of eight, called aett (aettir, plural). This helps one to remember their order, and may have significance in magickal uses.
Ideally Runes are cast on an East-West axis or facing the sun. A white cloth is laid down and used to determine the direction of the casting. From here the focus should lie with the pressing question.
After casting the stones onto the cloth the ones which have fallen the right side up are read and depending upon whether the Rune is reversed or not will have a bearing on its meaning and the reading as a whole.
An alternative to casting the Rune stones …
Pick a Rune stone randomly for a day reading; you can also do what is known as a 3 Rune spread. Some feel that the day Rune is a good way to get an answer to a single question. The 3 Rune Spread is used for asking broader questions whereas the single Rune can be drawn on a daily basis.
- Note: The “traditional meanings of Runes should not be regarded as absolute. They are helpful indications to layers of meaning – nothing more.
Runic divination, “runecasting”, is not “fortune telling”. Runecasting works deeply with the subconscious. The rune pouch with its runic symbols represents the entire universe. As one poses a question, one’s entire conscious and unconscious mind is focused toward that question, so that the runelots selected are not truly random selections, but rather choices made by the subconscious.
Runecraft operates on an ancient form of psychology. Even back in Viking times, there was a remarkable understanding of the human psyche. They recognized cause and effect, and the interconnectedness of all things. The word to describe this interconnectedness was “wyrd”, which was eventually perverted into the modern meaning of “weird”. It did not originally mean something unusual or strange. Rather, it referred to the far-reaching effects of that which one does.
The concept of “fate” was also not as we know it now. Instead of a helpless predestination, “fate” meant a destiny created by one’s earlier actions. Wyrd was pictured as a web, like that of a spider. The symbology is excellent. When the spider steps onto a thread (a path) the vibrations affect the entire web and that which is contained within the web, just as our actions affect our immediate world and those around us, and the actions of others affect our lives.
When one does a runic reading, one usually addresses a particular issue, and examines the past, the present and the “future”, or rather “what will be if one follows the path one appears to be on”. The future is always perceived as mutable, changeable. The runic reading is done as an evaluation process, not as fortunetelling. One has an opportunity to look at what has occurred in the past (regarding the issue being questioned), what is occurring right now, and what direction one is headed.
A runecaster does not see the future. He/she examines cause and effect and points out a likely outcome.
- Rune Power