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Introduction

Runic Magic is the practice of using Nordic Runes, otherwise known as Futhark, for mystical purposes. The practice is divided into two categories: Runecasting, used for divination, and Runescribing, used for magical practices. Both of these require at least a passing knowledge of one, or all, of the Futhark rune sets, and a deep faith in the Nordic religion of Asatru.

Thus, before proceeding, the reading of the following is necessary to grasp the concepts of Runic Magic:

A Brief History of Runic Magic

Runic Magic stems all the way back to the Stone Age. Here it first began as a few simple carvings in stone walls, this system was developed and finally adopted by the Nordic tribes as a system of magic, not as an alphabet as commonly misconcepted. This was known as Elder Futhark. By the time of Rome, the Nordic tribes had developed a newer runic system known as Younger Futhark, but this was mainly developed for the purpose of a language and alphabet, and the Elder Futhark system was still largely used for Runic Magic at this time. Up until this point, Runic Magic was used as a universal practice of mystics. Divination, healing, nature, summoning, harming, cursing, religion... anything mystical you could name.

Around 1st Century AD, the Gothic Futhark had pretty much become what it is known as today. The Goths had always used Elder Futhark, though over the years, as they wandered futher and futher from the Norselands, their system began to change subtly. Runic Magic was still a very important aspect of it, but it began to develop as the basis of their language. It remained largely unchanged from Elder Futhark, with only a few runes changed, and a few meanings modified. There was one entirely new rune added, but its practice in Runic Magic was virtually the same as Elder Futhark.

The next system developed was Anglo-Saxon Futhark, developed late 7th Century/early 8th Century, and initially this was used as much for Runic Magic as it was for language. Anglo-Saxon Futhark, while using the same system as Elder Futhark, incorporated new runes that brought aspects of Druidism to Runic Magic, making it a rather interesting system. The universality of Elder Futhark was retained, but the Celts had impinged on this set, making a stronger focus on nature magic.

Following the introduction of Christianity to the Germanic and Nordic lands, Runic Magic largely dissipated. It managed to hold on by a bare thread during the Medieval period with a small system of runes used for healing in the Holy Roman Empire. This set was unrelated to most other systems, and it's universality in mystics was completely lost, it had no religious conotations, and only held power in healing. It was largely considered an heretic practice, and was firmly stamped out by the beginning of the Renaissance period.

Apart from the perverted system developed by Guido List around 1900 A.D., no more rune systems were made after this, and the practice of Runic Magic was entirely lost until very recent times. Today, with the rise of Asatru once more, Runic Magic has been revived and is regularly and seriously practiced as it was in old times. Unfortuneately, it has also fallen prey to the growing popularity of mysticism and neopaganism. Runic Magic is commonly misconceived as something to the likes of Tarot, palm reading and other practices such as this. This is entirely incorrect however, as a deep faith in Asatru is required to be able to utilise the practice.

Making a Rune Set

Making a rune set is a very personal process that must be done slowly and carefully. Whatever you do, do not buy a premade set, as this completely destroys the personalization created by this process. Besides, many of the kits out there are made out of cardboard, plastic and other cheap, non-magical mediums that have been chosen only so a corporation with no knowledge or faith in Asatru can turn a dollar. That said, the process can be divided into the following sections:

Note: When making these decisions always keep in mind your God(s).

Choosing a System

First things first, you're going to need a rune set before you can begin practising Runic Magic. First order of business is choosing which rune system to use. This is very important, and it is the first choice that you must make carefully, as once you have made it, it will forever change your experience with Runic Magic. Although there are five systems, in my opinion there are only four viable choices, as I shall explain below.

  • Elder Futhark: Elder Futhark is an excellent choice for beginners. It has a moderate number of runes, it is easy to understand and memorise, and it is possibly the strongest system for magic, as it was developed purely for it.
  • Younger Futhark: Younger Futhark is generally a poor choice. Even at the time it was developed it was usually not used for Runic Magic, and I don't see any reason why it should be used more commonly now. I have known people to use it for its simplicity, however, and if you choose to do so, it may work well for you.
  • Gothic Futhark: Gothic Futhark is an excellent choice for beginners and intermediates. It only has one more rune than Elder Futhark, and uses almost the exact same runes and meaning as Elder Futhark, although it is a bit more complex than Elder Futhark. Even though it was not developed with the sole purpose of magic, it is still a strong system, if not as strong as Elder Futhark, and is my personal choice.
  • Anglo-Saxon Futhark: Anglo-Saxon Futhark is a good choice for the more experienced only. It is complex and difficult to memorise, and also introduces Druidic aspects that may conflict and confuse even the most learned Asatruar. It is strong in its magic, although it is difficult to control, and perhaps not as strong as Elder or Gothic Futhark.
  • Armanen Futhark: This is the system developed by Guido List, and in my opinion is a horrid choice that should be avoided like the plague. It is barely magical, is a perversion of the ancient rune systems, and intertwines Aryan ideals into its meanings. Although I would not discriminate against anyone choosing this, for many reasons, including its weak magical properties, I would strongly discourage choosing this system.

Take your time choosing, mull over it as long as you need to. If you are an experienced Asatruar, it should be easier, if you are a novice, it may be a bit more difficult. You need to choose the system that appeals to you, logically, emotionally and spiritually. Do not just base your choice on how complex or simple it is, because then you are ignoring other aspects of Runic Magic. Logicality is a large part of it, but so is spirituality etc. In the end, settle on the system that just feels right. For me, it was Gothic Futhark. Once you have made your choice you need to go about acquiring your medium.

Choosing a Medium

Depending on what country you live in, what variation of Asatru you follow and who taught you what you know, you will here many different opinions on what medium you should use, and how you should go about inscribing the runes. Which one should you listen to? Well, once again, this is up to you. Just as when choosing your rune system, you need to take time to carefully think about each medium and method, and choose the one that feels right to you. That said, here are the following mediums that I have heard to be used for rune sets (in my experience with people, and in Nordic Sagas):

More considerations come into choosing your medium than choosing your system. First and foremost, you should consider the viability of each option. Bone is easily the most difficult and controversial, especially Human bone which is bordering on the side of evil. You must ask yourself: Can I acquire my medium? Will it be too much trouble?, and in the case of bones: Can I morally do this? How will people react to these? With Human bone it will be very difficult to get, you may have a legal way of obtaining it, but it may suggest grave robbing at best, which is illegal. With whale and dog/wolf bone also, you are going to need to do something illegal (kill an animal), most likely, to get them. Who knows, maybe you have some old dog (or whale?) bones lying around with a reasonable explanation, but for most of us bone is going to be out of the question.

That leaves wood and stone for the majority, but it's still not easy to choose. I find that Anglo-Saxon Futhark, with its stronger emphasis on nature, feels more natural with wood than it does stone, although I have known people who still use stone. Personally, it is my belief that a rune set is meant to be set in stone as it was from its beginnings, but again, it's what feels right to you. If you feel that wood is the right path to take, then take it. The next question you need to ask yourself is how are you going to go about getting it, and what type. It is sometimes believed that you need to collect these things yourself to personalise it, although it is perfectly acceptable to buy these things (such as gem stones, planks of wood etc.) from stores.

Once you have decided whether to buy them or gather them yourself, you must decide what types you are going to use. I will begin with wood. If you choose tree branches, you must decide what trees, all the same or different ones, and whether to break off live ones or dead ones. It is generally believed that dead wood provides for dead runes, but this view differs. If you choose fruit trees, you must now decide what fruit tree (apple, orange etc.) and whether to take it while the tree is still bearing fruit or not. The same applies to tree trunks (same or different; dead or alive), and bark. Obviously, if you choose to buy wood, you won't be able to use branches, or choose to get the wood from a fruit tree. Considerations with stone are whether to get all the same types or different types, whether to make sure they are all the same size and shape or different shapes and sizes, and where to gather them from (if you decide to gather them). Buying them from a store has one other consideration, and that is that they may be unnaturally polished or varnished.

Choosing a Method

You're almost ready to get started, you just need to choose how to go about making them now. There three ways to do this:

This is really just personal preference here, carving them makes it no stronger or better than painting them, just as carving and painting makes it no stronger than doing one or the other. If you've chosen stone, carving may be difficult. The best method there is using an engraving drill with a diamond bit, but even with that it may be blunted, and diamond bits are expensive. Wood and bone is a whole lot easier, so it may be better off choosing both methods.

If you choose painting, you must choose what you are going to use:

  • Type: Will it stick to my medium? Will it last?
  • Colour: Do I want to use traditional ochre red? What colour feels right?
  • Bond: Do I mix my blood in with it to bond it to me?

Making the Set

  1. First take your medium. If it needs cutting, cut it into as many segments as there are runes in your system. You should have already made up your mind as to whether or not they will be equal segments by now. It is best to cut them into small pieces (about 3cm high, 2cm wide is perfect, but it is up to you).
  2. Spread your medium out across the table and have a sheet with your rune system nearby (the best site to print a reliable list from is http://hunter.apana.org.au/~gallae/hecate/reference/runes/elder_futhark.htm). Clear your mind, mutter thanks to your God(s), pray to them, toast them, whatever - so long as you acknowledge their workings in this process.
  3. Look at the first rune in your system, then carefully choose your first medium. It doesn't have to be the left most one, the right most one, the upper or lower, just choose the one you feel is right for it (this matter less if all your mediums are the same).
    a. If you not carving skip to 3b. Carve the rune into your medium. Repeat step 3 until all runes in your set have been carved.
    b. If you are not painting skip to 4. Depending on the size of your mediums, it is best to use a thin brush. Paint the rune on your medium. Repeat step 3 until all runes in your set have been painted.
  4. If you did not paint, skip to step 5. Leave the runes to dry (time will vary depending what you used to paint them).
  5. Put your runes in a pouch and carry them around with you for the next week. Don't allow them to be too far away from you at any time during this week. After the week they will be sufficiently bonded to you, and ready for use.

Practicing Runic Magic

As I mentioned earlier, there are two ways to practice Runic Magic, Runecasting and Runescribing. The two go hand in hand, but that does not mean you cannot specialize in one or the other. I shall now describe the practices of these seperately.

Runecasting

Runecasting is the practice of using runes for divination. This does not mean fortune telling, clairvoyance or seeing the future in any way. According to our religion, such a thing is impossible. However, we can analyse the occurances of the past, the happenings of the present and the possibilites of the future. This works on a deep psychological and mystical level, using religious and metaphysical concepts. The best way to explain this is with the Asatru concept of the universe and the actions we take within it.

Wyrd

Wyrd, roughly translated, means universe. In Asatru, the Wyrd is like a huge spider web, and we are all spiders on this web, crawling across it. Even the Gods are spiders on this web, and each movement we make - each action - send a ripple across the spider web, not only affecting us, but others around us. Yes: this does mean that we mortal men can affect the Gods, just as they can affect us. Why then do the Gods affect us so much? Well, they are much bigger spiders, and send off much bigger ripples than us.

Fate

In Asatru, fate is not a simple pre-determined destiny; fate is the path that we choose to take. Sometimes our fate will be altered as we catch the ripple of another's action, but we can always regain control of our fate and steer it back on the path that we choose. We are never in bondage, we are never controlled by anyone else, we are where we want to be. Why then, you may ask, is Ragnarok all pre-determined? Because the Gods know their fate, and they choose not to stop walking that path.

Using Runecasting with Wyrd and Fate

We cannot see the future, because the future is muteable. If someone were to tell you that tomorrow you would win a million dollars off the lottery, what happens if you choose not to buy that ticket? Do you still win? Of course not. You cannot see the future, but you can see where your path, your fate, is leading you at a given time. This is what Runecasting is about, it allows you to see what path you have taken to this point in life, what path you are currently walking, and what may happen in the future if you remain on this path. If this is a negative thing, you may choose to alter your path, alter your fate.

Thus, if you were to Runecast on a subject today, and it told you that this would lead to unhappiness, you may choose to alter your fate. If you do so choose, the next day, were you to Runecast on the same subject, it would tell you that your fate would lead to something new. Runecasting is not about seeing the future, it is about understanding your fate and guiding your fate. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, others, especially Gods, can alter your fate, but with Runecasting you can identify these changes and correct it. It may not be simple, it may not be easy, but our religion is not for the weak. You must persevere to reach your goals. Now that you understand the concepts, you may begin Runecasting.

Methods of Runecasting

There is no one way to Runecast, and Runecasters usually don't learn one and stick with it. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses; some are better for a certain subject than others; some you will find yourself more comfortable with than others. Regardless, all should be learnt and practiced if you wish to get the most of of Runecasting. There are two types (unordered {Cast} and ordered {Layout}) and a total of eight methods.

Simple Cast

This is the simplest method, and can be used for moderately broad or simple questions. Think of a question, keep it in your mind and reach into your pouch and grab a handful of runes, then cast them onto a small white cloth. Ignore any that lay on their side or land outside of the cloth. Those facing towards you are working with you, or are currently in effect, those facing down are working against you, or are no longer in effect/not yet in effect. You must interpret these runes yourself, it is completely subjective. The meanings of the runes are important, and you must learn them well, but their meaning in relation to the question you asked must be discovered for yourself.

Norns Cast

This method calls specifically on the Norns, the three minor Godesses Urdh, Godess of the Past, Verdhandi, Godess of the Present, and Skuld, Godess of the Future (these Goddesses are not Aesir or Vanir, and are relatively obscure). This is a fairly simple method also and can only answer fairly simple questions. Close your eyes and hold your question in your mind, then draw a rune from your pouch. Do not open your eyes, and place the rune on your white cloth. Repeat another two times, then, leaving your eyes closed, choose a rune and place it to the left of your cloth, choose another and place it next to the first, then place the last next to this.

Open your eyes and look at the order you placed them in. The first rune is Urdh's, it relates to the past, the second is Verdhandi, it relates to the present, the third is Skuld's, it relates to the future. In other words, the first rune relates to the path you have taken, the second relates to the path you are taking, and the third relates to how your path will be if you do not alter it. The meanings of the runes are more important in this one than the last, but it is still subjective, and it is still up to you to decide how they relate to the question you asked.

Nine-Runes Cast

This is a more complex Cast and can consequently answer more complex questions. Shut your eyes and choose nine runes from your pouch(this is where having Runes all the same shape really helps, although it's not necessary; I have mine different shapes). As you pick each rune, place it in your other hand. Once you have all nine, hold them in your hand while you focus on your question, then open your eyes and cast them onto the cloth. How the runes land is very important; runes near the centre of the cloth are the most immediate and pertinent, while runes near the edge of the cloth are less important. Runes that fall outside of the cloth may be fading from consideration, or may have already done so, but are still important for you to understand your current situation.

Look at the runes facing up first, they relate to the present and past. Runes that are facing down relate to the future and can mean either they are yet to come in to play, or that they are an outside influence. You need to know the meanings of the runes to understand this, but this is very much up to you to comprehend which is which, what is working for you and what is working against you. Finally, the positions of the runes are important. Do not spend time trying to draw geometric shapes and divine meanings from them, this is useless, but pay attention to runes that are close by or touching. This means that these two are closely related, or may even be working as a combined entity. Runes which are at (roughly) opposite sides of the cloth may be causing conflict or ruling each other out, so that if you eliminate one or the other, the remaining one will begin to effect you.

Ground Cast

This does not neccessarily have to be cast on the ground, so long as it involves no boundaries. It is the most complex Cast, and can answer all but the broadest, most complex questions. You simply take your pouch, mix it up, and then cast all the runes at once. Ignore any facing down or on their side, only pay attention to those facing up. These are currently, or have already, affected you. Those that lay parallel (or close to) one another are working in concurrence, while those that lay perpendicular (or close to) one another are working in opposition. Take note to how close to parallel of perpendicular they are, as this shows the varying degrees that they work in concurrence/opposition.

Five Rune Layout

This is a specific question layout. Hold your question in mind and take five runes, one at a time, from your pouch, without looking at them. Place them face down on your cloth in the following order:

       |-|
       |3|        
       |-|
   
   |-| |-| |-|
   |2| |1| |5|
   |-| |-| |-|
       
       |-|
       |4|
       |-|

Now turn the runes over, one at a time, in the same order as before. The first represents the present, it shows you your current difficulty pertaining to your question. If it is positive, then you are in a positive state of mind towards; if it is negative then you may be terribly agitated or troubled. The second represents the past, it shows you what lead you to be in this current position. The third represents the help or advice you can expect to receive; if it is negative it may mean you are unwilling to accept it, and it will result in the given negative meaning. The fourth indicates the unchangable aspects of this position; if it is negative, it means you will face these obstacales no matter what in your current fate; if positive, it means you will have fewer obstacles, and it may even be easy. The fifth is the final result, the outcomes according to the other runes.

Seven Rune Layout

This is a broader question layout. Hold your question in mind and take out seven runes, one at a time, from your pouch, without looking at them. Place them face down on your cloth in the following order:

|-| |-| |-| |-| |-| |-|
|1| |2| |3| |4| |5| |6|
|-| |-| |-| |-| |-| |-|
          
          |-|
          |7|
          |-|

Now turn the first two runes over, these must be interpreted together, and represent the problem. Next turn over the third and fourth, interpreting together again, these represent what has lead to the problem in the past. Now turn over the fifth and sixth, these two represent the advice the runes are giving you. These two are the most important and the most difficult to interpret, as they may mean many things. They may mean you need to act immediately, or bide your time. They may mean you need to start implementing the aspects they represent, or decease. They may also represent aspects completely unrelated to your problem, and this may mean these will come into play later, or that you need to bring them into play. It is up to you to discover the meaning.

The final rune represents the outcome, but it is ambiguous. Whether it is positive or negative, it is neutral unless the other runes are in concord with it, and it is left to you to decide whether they are. If it is negative and they are not, it means you are on your way to solving it, but still need to work, and if positive, that you have missed solving it. In either case, you can still work towards rectifying it. If they are in concordence and it is negative, this may mean you will fail, if positive it may mean you will succeed.

Futhark Layout

This is the most ambiguous of the lot, but can be asked virtually any question; just don't always expect to get a cohesive answer, especially if you are inexperienced. Simply lay out the runes in order, and divide them into their aetts (three rows of eight, more or less depending on your Futhark, in a square). Now concentrate on the runes and ask your question, then choose one from each aett, the ones that call to you. Now interpret their meaning in the context of your question.

Worldstead Layout

The very most complex method, but can be asked absolutely any question. This method is so difficult that inexperienced Runecasters will be utterly confused by it, but even very experienced Runecasters may find that they cannot initially interpret this one, and instead have to sketch out the results and contemplate it for weeks, perhaps even months, before coming to a conclusion of its meaning. This is, consequently, also the most powerful method, and well worth spending the time to decipher it, as its answers are very profound and meaningful.

This Layout is also a Cast. It involves laying out the world as we Asatruar believe in it. The best way to do this is to either have another cloth and draw on that, or alternatively draw on one side on a cloth, and use the clean side when you do not wish to do this method. You will need to draw the following sections:

                 Niflheim


         Ljosalfheim      Asgard


Vanaheim          Midgard          Jotunheim


           Hel         Svartalfheim


                Nidavellir   

This is hard to explain, so bare with me. First, draw a circle in the centre, inside that wrte Midgard. Next, draw a larger circle around that (it has to contain Ljosalfheim, Asgard, Hel and Svartalfheim, so keep in mind how large to make it), then draw two horizontal lines, and two vertical lines to the left, right, top and bottom of the circle around Midgard so that it looks a little like a target (as if seen through a gun scope). In each of the four segments created by this, write the respective realms as shown in the above diagram. Next, draw four diagonal lines, from the corners of your cloth to the edge of the outer circle. Finally, write Niflheim, Jotunheim, Nidavellir and Vanaheim in their respective segments in the outlaying area, as shown in the above diagram. The resulting sectors would look a little like this:

 _____________________
|\                  /|
| \                / |
|  \ ____________ /  |
|   |   ___|__   |   |
|   |  |      |  |   |
|   |--|      |--|   |
|   |  |______|  |   |
|   |______|_____|   |
|  /              \  |
| /                \ |
|/__________________\|

Note: The inner two "squares" would actually be circles, and ignore the uneveness. They should all the equal segments, or as close to equal as possible.

Now that we've got that straight, it's time to do some casting. Take your pouch and cast all the runes onto the cloth. Runes that land off of the cloth are meaningless and to be disregarded, but runes that land face down are important. They are not to be read with the other runes, but should be set aside to be read seperately, and a meaning interpreted as to why they landed face down. All others are to be read as they lie in their respective segments. You must interpret each rune's meaning, combine this with previous methods of interpretation (such as touching runes, opposite runes, parallel and perpendicular runes) as well as inerpret them in the meaning of the segment they are in. The meanings of each segment are as follows:

Niflheim: Nordhr (North). That which resists you. Passive or restrictive influences from the outside. Things tending toward dormancy. The deepest part of the shadow in the unconscious. Nifelhel of Niflheim means literally "fog world". Fog is an intangible, insidious state between water and air. All the rejects of the conscious get deposited here. It is the place from which conflicts originate.

Jotunheim: Austr (East). That which confuses you. That which may be left to chance. Forces pressing for change. Realm of crisis. Disruptive, raw masculine forces of the unconscious; the destructive male urge; the chaotic part of the self.

Asgard: Landnordhr (Northeast). Higher influences. Nature of relationships with the divinities. The veiled branches of the question. Matters of honor, positive (active) influence from past states of existence. Individuality. Highest plane. Higher self. Spirituality.

Vanaheim: Vestr (West). Promotes growth. Erotic relationships. Persons of the opposite sex. Balancing influences. Forces of continuity, structure, and well being. Feeling (Water).

Ljosalfheim: Utnordhr (Northwest). Mental influences. Family matters. Messages of Huginn; directions in which you should plan. What will help you. Paths to help you realize influences from Àsgardhr. (Air). Plants, elves, tree spirits and birds are ruled over by Freyr, Lord of the Vanir.

Midgard: Center. The way people come together to manifest themselves in life. The outcome in life. Ego consciousness. The Personality, Ego Consciousness or Lower self.

Hel: Utsudhr (Southwest). Hidden or suppressed instinctual desires. Nature of automatic functions or behaviors. The hidden route of the question. Negative (passive, restrictive) influence from pasts states of existence. Destructive part of the Feminine, hidden fourth aspect of the moon; the devouring part of the mother; the half-alive half-dead daughter of Loki, half black, half white.

Svartálfheim: Landsudhr (Southeast). Creative emotional influences. Money matters. Messages from Muninn; things you should reflect on. Paths to realize influence from Hel. Sensation (Earth). The Dark Elves are smiths, like Volund, working with minerals, taking base materials from the earth and transmuting them into higher materials.

Nidavellir: Sudhr (South). State of vial energies, that which vitalizes you. Active influences from outside. Things tending toward activity.

Inverted Runes

This is a fairly important aspect, so it deserves a heading of its own. What should happen if a rune is inverted? Well, simple answer is that its meaning is reversed. This means, that a traditionally positive or negative rune can mean just the reverse if it lands inverted. In Layouts, this is not a consideration (and that includes the Worldstead method), but in Castings, this is. Basically, if a Rune is inverted, one should take the opposite meaning. Ex. Fertility - Infertility.

Religion in Runecasting

You might be thinking by this stage: ok, he's detailed the process, but apart from the few references to Asatru, there's not much that shows you need a deep faith to use it. Well, you're right, there isn't too much that shows it, but the simple thing is that this process doesn't work without the faith. We need to call on our Gods to be able to succesfully read the runes, it does not work as Tarot and other such divination practices do. Runecasting is based upon the religion of Asatru and the faith in the Gods of Asatru, thus cannot be performed by people not of the faith.

Personalization in Runecasting

As I briefly mentioned before, it is sometimes reccommended to mix your blood with the paint you use, and it is necessary to carry the runes with you for a week, to bond you to them. As I also mentioned earlier, creating a rune set is personal, and the entire process of Runecasting is inherently personal too. Just what does this mean? Well, that's up to you to decide for yourself. Some people will never let others touch their runes, and for people who believe that their runes won't work for others. People who are more open minded often will find that their runes do work for others. Which one is right or better? Both.

Similarly, some people are more private and only ever Runecast questions about themselves or their immediate family, while others will Runecast about whoever they wish. If you don't let others use your runes, does that mean you can't Runecast about others? Not at all, it is all about your decisions. Therefore, you may wonder, just what is the personalization process about? Well, even if you allow others to use your runes, it doesn't mean that it will work as it should. Only you, with your special bond to your set of runes, can succesfully use your runes and trust that they will be correct.

Runescribing

Runescribing is much trickier and much more involved than Runecasting. It requires a very deep understanding of the religion and a strong faith, as well as much experience with runes, to be able to succesfully Runescribe. Where Runecasting is only concerned with divination, Runescribing is concerned with all things mystical and magical. This includes divination, healing, summoning etc. Runescribing, however, is not something that can be taught, but must be learnt of ones own accord, perhaps with the guiding of a more experienced Runescriber. Although, the basic principles of Runescribing can be taught.

Runescribing basically involves the scribing of runes, as you might imagine. Unlike Runecasting where the runes are premade, Runescribing involves scribing the runes fresh for each instance you wish to use them. Like in Runecasting, there are many mediums that they can be scribed in. Stone, wood and bone are all acceptable (but once again, one must consider just how to get the mediums), but each medium serves a different purpose. Depending on the Runescriber, each medium will have a different effect on his magic. Another matter to consider is that wood will be more readily available than stone or bone, and also easier to scribe.

When Runescribing, it is acceptable to paint, although it is far more common to carve (thus why it is much easier to use wood). While carving, one must concentrate on the meaning of the runes being carved, and must also channel the power of the Gods. In this case, Odin and Freyja are the prominent Gods used here, as they are the primary Gods concerned with magic. Inexperienced Runescribers will have trouble at first, and therefore should not attempt to affect people, as they may end up harming them. Instead they should focus their magic on inanimate objects before moving to beings.

The concept of Runescribing is carving a string of runes into a given medium in the effort to produce an effect. For example, using Elder Futhark:

 |\       \    /     |\  /
 | \       \  /      | \/
 |\         \/       |
 | \        /\       |
 |         /  \      | /\
 |        /    \     |/  \

Ansuz      Gebo      Perdhro

If we take the meaning of these three runes:

  • Ansuz: Divine force. The divine within humans. Consciousness, intelligence.
  • Gebo: Connections, partnerships, social relationships.
  • Perdhro: Chance. The interaction between ourselves and our environment. Memory, recollection.

Now as the runes have multiple meanings, so can we have multiple effects. Possibilities could be:

  • Ansuz: Humans; Gebo: social relationships; Perdhro: chance; Possible result: More chance in a relationship.
  • Ansuz: intelligence; Gebo: connections; Perdhro: memory; Possible result: More intelligence and memory, strengthening of both with a connection between them.

Of course, there are many more possibilities, and they are not certain to work as you plan them to. Especially with a rune such as Perdhro, it could end up working as a negative rune, rather than a positive one (giving you less chance, less intelligence) if you scribed it wrong. The order in which the runes are scribed also plays a part in whether or not it will work as you wished it to, but as everything else with Runescribing, what order to place the runes in must be discovered upon your own initiative. Of course channeling the Gods into your work will also increase your chance of success greatly.

Now, just what to carve these runes into, and how to make your medium into something magical... well, there are no specific rules for that. You might carve it into a piece of wood and then hang it from a necklace; or you could carve it into a staff, if you use one to walk, or even the handle of an umbrella. You could carve it into a tree branch and hang it above your bed - anything really. Just remember, if you start feeling negative effects from it, destroy it quick smart, before it does any real damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. There's no such thing as "magic"! You're mad aren't you?

A. I get this one a lot, and I like to relate my religion's beliefs back to Christianity, which seems to get less flak. Christians use crosses and rosary beads in prayer, and say that their God performs miracles. If he can do that, why can't my Gods answer my prayers and help me perform magic? Of course you don't have to believe it, this is just how we do things in case you were interested.

Q. If I'm not an Asatruar, does that mean I can't use Runic Magic?

A. No, but it does mean that you will need to become one if you are really interested in taking it up as a practice.

Q. Do I need to know all the runes of my chosen system off by heart to practice Runic Magic?

A. Not necessarily. It helps a great deal, but so long as you have a sheet near by so that you can find out what they mean, there's no problem. Of course, after doing that for a while, you should learn them anyway.

Q. Can I get in contact with you if I want to know more?

A. Of course you can. You can /msg me or email me at augustus@myrealbox.com

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