Although many kind of of us first encountered runes in J.R.R. Tolkien"s Lord of the Rings, this spiritual alphabet is by no means a fabrication for books or movies. Similar to Hebrew letters in the sense that each symbol contains a definition that transcends its original feature as a letter, the runes are practical, versatile, and also efficient icons via a variety of provides. Today, the ideal known application of rune lore is divination: chips or stones marked with runes are attracted, cast, or lassist out in fads favor tarot cards. In Taking Up the Runes, Paxkid delves right into the prehistoric historical interpretation of each rune and also defines their contemporary uses and also definitions. We uncover that the actual power of runes comes from inside ourselves when we discover the wisdom and also power within each symbol and internalize them.

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About the Author

Diana L. Paxson has actually been teaching classes and leading rituals on trance work for even more than 20 years. She is the cowriter, along with Marion Zimmer Bradley, of Priestess of Avalon and also has actually continued the immensely famous Mists of Avalon series on her very own.

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THE FIRST MEETING OF A RUNE STUDY GROUP, or the first time you set apart to formally begin your study of the runes, must be used for company and orientation.

A feasible initially meeting outline is as follows:

1. Introductions, in which each perboy summarizes his/her background and factors for wanting to research the runes.

2. Identify what sources are obtainable and also decide exactly how to acquire extra materials.

3. Decide on how your examine will be arranged.

4. Summarize the background of the runes.

5. Discuss means of functioning via the runes in between meetings.

6. Ritual: Meditation, "Taking Up the Runes."

7. Celebration and grounding.


If you are working alone, use this time to write down your expertise of what the runes are and also your objectives in researching them. You will uncover it extremely amazing to compare this description through your perceptions at the finish of the course of examine. In a group, everyone have to be given the opportunity to (briefly) state what they are hoping to gain out of the course.


The team needs to uncover out what resources it has currently and which publications or various other materials it have to get. Clat an early stage, everyone will certainly need a copy of Taking Up the Runes and also some of the other rune books. A bibliography that contains recommended products on the runes appears at the end of this book. Some people might already very own advantageous items that are not in the bibliography. If you are functioning via a team, the reresource problem can be eased if each member buys some of the books and reports on pertinent content at each meeting. I would, but, recommend that anyone seriously examining Germanic society get duplicates of Ellis-Davidson"s Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (reissued as Gods and Myths of the Viking Age) and the Elder and Younger Eddas. Everyone should likewise have a notebook in which to take notes on discussions, collect handouts, record the outcomes of individual work, and also so on.


Decide the adhering to concerns now:

1. In what order will certainly you work-related with the futhark?

2. When will you have your meetings or research times?

3. What will certainly you do throughout meetings or examine sessions? (Discussion, ritual, both, etc.)

4. Will one perchild lead the group, or should a various member take obligation each time?

5. Do you want to encourage civilization to wear any type of distinctive clothing?


Our rune research teams have found it most convenient to begin at the beginning of the futhark and resolve two runes each at a monthly meeting, hence extending all twenty-4, with introduction and also graduation, in fourteenager months. This area is organized right into "meetings" on that presumption, with suggestions for discussion and messages for group rituals, and tasks and rites for a student working alone.

Tbelow is something to be shelp for both approaches. The solo student deserve to collection his or her own pace; yet, functioning through a group, also a tiny one, helps save you focused and also urged. Working alone, you are complimentary to concentprice on the facets of the runes you find a lot of exciting. On the other hand, having actually to accommodate everyone"s interests might result in a more balanced coverage of the subjects, and also the insights of various other group members have the right to be illuminating.

Obviously this is not the only way to go about it. The indevelopment have the right to be used by an individual as a guide to meditation and reflection, and also with some adaptations, the group rituals, and the solo rites, have the right to be worked alone. Without a doubt, anyone intending to lead a rune examine group must work through the book ahead of time. If you are researching alone, you might uncover it feasible to go via the course more quickly—at the rate of one rune a week, for circumstances. You will likewise derive some advantage from ssuggest analysis the book.

Some may favor to have a separate meeting to talk about each rune and also develop a routine for each one, or perform the rituals presented here eextremely various other meeting. Others may decide to usage Thorsson"s concentric diagram of the runes (on p. 74 of Futhark) as a overview and job-related from the inside of the circle out, or from the external of the circle in. Any 2 runes attracted at random will illuminate each various other. You might decide to occupational with the futhark from FEHU to OTHALA the first time, and also choose some various other plan for a 2nd round. If you carry out choose one more approach, the rituals included in this section have the right to be offered for motivation.

Obviously the many proper day for such meetings or for rune job-related in basic is Wednesday (Wodan"s Day), however weekfinish meetings will certainly enable you more time.


Whether you are working alone or with a group, you may uncover that dressing accordingly helps you to transition right into a Norse mode of consciousness. The psychology of costume is well known. We dress up for an evening out, or put on running shoes to go hiking, and also uncover ourselves already acquiring right into the mood of the point sindicate by gaining all set. The association of a offered activity via a details mode of dress or also a piece of jewelry can aid condition the mind and also rate up the process of moving gears to start your job. You will certainly find that if you always put on, for circumstances, a copper disk engraved about the edge via the futhark when you are about to job-related via the runes, simply slipping the necklace over your head will certainly aid you to concentprice. Some groups go a little bit farther and create Norse-style tunics to wear at rituals, while others favor a pendant or necklace through an correct T-shirt.

If you would like to perform some sewing, my book Germanic Costume includes background, illustration, and also fads. It is available from The Troth, Box 472, Berkeley, CA 94701 for $10.


The team leader have to summarize the history and also advancement of the runes found in the "Origins" section on page 4 of the Overview to this book. Add product from any other sources you might have, especially Runes, by Page, and also Thorsson"s Runelore. Read them yourself if you are working alone.

At the end of the conversation, or in the time of the potluck that follows the routine, remind everyone that the runes to be stupassed away next month are FEHU and also URUZ. Each person will certainly have to bring a bank deposit slip to class for the ritual. They have to prepare by analysis the discussions of these runes in their rune books and also adhering to up as many of the suggestions for additionally analysis and endure as they deserve to. If you are working alone, you may begin reading the study area for FEHU/URUZ as quickly as you have finiburned the ritual in this chapter.


Rune-associated tasks to be done in between meetings include reading, establishing up an altar, meditation, making and also consecrating your very own rune staves, and also seeking experiences that relate to the runes. Keep a record or notebook in which you document your experiences after each exercise.


A rune altar have the right to be as straightforward as a area of dresser or shelf spanned with a ordinary fabric on which you set a candle or votive light, cards on which you have attracted the runes you are functioning through, the disks or staves of those runes, and also any type of appropriate pictures or various other items, such as a head of grain or statuette of a cow for FEHU, a photo of an aurochs for URUZ, and so on. Norse god imperiods are coming to be easily accessible from companies such as Mythic Images and also JBL, and also photos can be photoduplicated from books of mythology or from the libretto of Wagner"s Ring of the Nibelungs, portrayed by Arthur Rackham (These are currently in the public domain. Copies can be downloaded from the Troth Internet site,


The runes need to not only be studied, however internalized. Before start meditation through the runes, you must learn to relax and also focus your attention. To relax, sit in a well balanced place which have the right to be kept without muscular anxiety or any kind of initiative of will. A good option is a comfortable right chair in which you can sit with your palms relaxing upon your knees. Those that are versatile or have actually suffer in Eastern develops of meditation might find that sitting cross-legged works too. Before sitting dvery own, stretch to loosen your muscles.

Deepen your emphasis by counting your breaths. With practice, you deserve to condition yourself to enter a concentrated state via a certain breathing pattern. I have actually uncovered that breapoint in to a sluggish count of four, holding for 2 beats, letting the breath out to the count of 4 and pamaking use of for 2 even more beats functions well.

Anvarious other technique is to usage the runic yoga system referred to as stadhagaldr, arisen by Thorskid and based on the theories of Kummer and also Marby, in which the runester forms the rune shapes with his or her body. This system is completely explained in Thorsson"s first book, Futhark.


One method to internalize the runes is to physically inscribe them on your body. This is a good method to start a runic meditation. You have the right to scrape the rune on your skin through a fingernail or inscribe runes through consecrated oil (something favor oil of wintergreen or cinnamon that leaves a tingle on the skin), via water, or with saliva. When functioning with the runes one at a time, you can draw them on your forehead over the "3rd eye," at the base of the throat, over the solar plexus, or on the palms of your hands. Take a moment to feel the shape of the rune upon your skin. As the sensation fades, draw it inward and absorb the rune form into your very own essence.


As you examine each rune, attract or paint it (generally in red on a white background) big sufficient to be watched plainly from a couple of feet away, and collection it up wright here you have the right to condesign template it. This rune card deserve to be provided as the beginning allude for a variety of visual exercises.

1. Stare at the rune card intently; then cover it through a empty item of paper and wait for its complementary photo to appear tright here.

2. Stare at the rune card for a few moments; then shut your eyes and visualize it against a empty background.

3. Once you can keep the photo internally, imagine it pulsing with light and then transforming color. Practice transcreating it from one shade to another until you deserve to perform this at will certainly.

4. Hold the image of the rune in your mind. Visualize it first pulsing, then broadening, until it becomes a doorway. At first you might execute no even more than look through the door and note what you watch, then shrink the rune to close it aget. As you look via this door, quiet your mind and also allow imeras to show up. Do not try to pressure the vision, or problem about whether you are seeing the "right" points.

With even more exercise, you can step with the doormethod and explore the people to which the rune is the portal. But remember to pay attention to wbelow you are going and also memorize the landmarks. You will certainly be more comfortable if you can remap your measures specifically in reverse order. If you come to be disturbed or frightened by anything you check out, visualize the rune aacquire and also snap ago via it into your body. An extra protection is to visualize or attract the rune ELHAZ () between you and also anything disturbing.


Runes are both sounds and also signs. Intoning the runes is the first action in spellwork—galdr, or incantation. To internalize the sound of the rune, sing it. The early 20th-century Armanen legacy of runic examine emerged an approach well-known as runic yodeling, which conjures up bizarre imeras of wizard s in lederhosen perching on mountaintops as they warble runes. Nonetheless, the concept is an excellent one, although I prefer a sonorous and also continual intonation in the style of Hindu mantra singing quite than a shout. Your chanting does not have to be loud, and also unless you are working outdoors or alone in the residence, it is ideal to aim for intensity rather than volume. Hindu legacy identifies numerous levels of chanting, ranging from chanting aloud to the prayer of the heart, in which the mental vibration of the mantra unites the worshipper through the god. The runes have the right to be intoned in every one of these methods. For an exceptional demonstration of the potential in runic galdr, listen to the CDs developed by Aswynn.

To chant a rune, visualize it, take a deep belly-breath, and also let the outcirculation of the air lug the sound. Choose a note that falls comfortably within the middle selection of your voice. Normally the vowel sounds will certainly be organized longest, yet save enough breath to end up up the final consonants.

You might uncover that various runes demand also various notes, up and also dvery own the scale. You will certainly definitely find that assorted sounds vibrate in different areas in your body. You have the right to additionally learn to straight this vibration to different areas. Some runes relate naturally to particular parts of the body—ANSUZ to the mouth and also throat, for instance. This principle also has applications in healing. A rune sound deserve to become the initially part of a meditation. Continue intoning the rune, visualizing it pulsing in time to the vibrations of your voice, until the rune is all that you have the right to check out and also hear. Bring the chanting to a orgasm and also then let it fade.


A method which works well as the finish of a meditation sequence and also deserve to additionally be supplied in team routine is to inscribe the rune on something that you eat or drink. In the sagas, the usual method is to compose the runes on a piece of wood or bone and scrape them off right into a drink. Other delivery devices encompass creating the rune on a piece of paper in a water-soluble, nontoxic substance such as juice, and also washing it off right into a beverage. Writing a rune on a item of crystallized sugar is a opportunity, as is scratching it into a cake of difficult chocolate and also scraping it off. Runes can be drawn in liquid, sprinkled right into it, or inscribed in the air and projected into it via the power from the palm of the hand.

Runes deserve to be eaten as well as drunk. Aswynn reports gaining good outcomes once she initially stupassed away the runes by eating cakes with the runes inscribed on them. They deserve to be scratched right into a cookie or cracker, collection right into it with raisins, drawn on it through frosting, juice, honey, etc., or the dough can be molded into the form of the rune.

Whether you are eating or drinking, it is essential to execute so through intention and also attention. As you consume the rune-inscribed food or drink, visualize the rune and also feel its energy expanding via your system.

Crafting Runes

Rune sets made from stones, chips, or cards are now widely accessible. However before, while you are examining the runes you will uncover it advantageous to make or at least to consecprice your own. The advantage of the runes over other divinatory devices is that this is relatively basic. In fact, if you are captured somewright here without your set and also you have to carry out a reading, you have the right to quickly make some from pieces of cardboard When you make your own runes, your energy goes into them and also they will respond to your need.

According to the Roman writer Tacitus, the prehistoric Germans actors lots made of fruitlumber for divination (Germania, trans. 1942). Norwegian people tradition as reported by Jane Sibley (1989) contains divicountry with a set of rune sticks around four inches lengthy. Osborn and also Longland (1964) recommfinish making a practice set from wood tongue depressors. However before, now the many prevalent develop for runes is that of small pieces which can be attracted, laid out, or blended up conveniently, and also are of a convenient size to bring in a pouch.

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The a lot of prevalent materials for rune sets are wood and stone. They can likewise be made out of steel, clay, or bone. My first collection was made from plasticine baked in my cooktop, which kept my fingerprints in the surface. If you have actually a good witnessed, you deserve to reduced round cross-sections from a branch to make rune disks. Oak, ash, rowan, yew, beech, and also birch are all sacred trees. Fruithardwood deserve to be used too. Cross-sections of antler are an additional opportunity. If you cut the timber from a living tree, remember to describe to the tree what you are doing and ask its permission; give thanks to the tree and also market some of your blood or saliva to the stump after you have actually cut your branch. Ideally, hardwood for magical objectives have to be cut in the time of a waxing moon.