You have probably heard about runes. You may have a general idea about them. And you may be familiar with the fact that some people are capable of using their divinatory powers by reading them. But what exactly are they? What is their origin?
What Are Runes
Runes are a set of symbols that form an alphabet. One of their main characteristics is that they are written on stone or wood. In fact, ideally, you should draw and carve them yourself. By doing this, you will feel more connected to them.
The origin of their history lies with the Vikings of Scandinavia; they were not used for writing, but as magical signs. The Norse or Viking culture says that the Runes were given by the God Odin, the great creator who can do everything, being a way for him to communicate with his people to send them his blessings or to warn them of their enemies.
Because of this character that resembled the Greek oracles, the Runes were sacred, an almost divine character that was prosecuted centuries later, when Christianity considered them as pagan and even as a means of communication with the Devil.
“Rune” means secret and symbolizes the sound of one stone colliding with another. Runes are a legendary magical method. The Germanic peoples relied blindly on their powers to make very important decisions, primarily to know how a battle would unfold. They also had a ritual function, for fortune-telling and the invocation of higher powers that could affect the life and happiness of the tribe.
Following mythology, the future may be written but we always have the last word to transform it. Runes help us evolve and become the masters of our own destiny.
There is a wide variety of Rune alphabets, but the most renowned and used is the Futharkson alphabet, consisting of 24 symbols. Here are some examples of the Futharkson alphabet runes and their meaning. Although we will discuss how to read Runes later on.
- JERA: Harvest, fertile phase. Rune that predicts success, refers to any activity to which you dedicate effort. Seeing this rune is an encouragement to stay in a good mood.
- EHWAZ: Movement, progress. Ehwaz is a Rune of passage, transition, and movement: relocation, new attitudes, or new life.
- ISA: Stagnation, that which hinders. The winter of spiritual life has come upon you. You may find yourself stuck in a situation whose importance you cannot yet acknowledge.
Although Runes can be read in several different ways, there are some basic recommendations to follow in all cases.
Regarding the place, it should be comfortable, calm, and quiet; conducive to concentration. The clothes you wear ought to be comfortable and loose-fitting to allow the movement to flow. Outdoor places full of light and sunshine are preferred.
The reading of Runes can be done at any time, but depending on what we want to ask the time of day will favor some issues rather than others. For instance, daytime is favorable for mundane matters; nighttime is more appropriate for rituals and secrets.
Whatever cast you make, always remember that the Runes are read from right to left.
How to cast and read runes
Runes can be cast in different ways. The simplest cast that can be done is to mentally ask a question and then draw a Rune that will be the answer. That answer is the essence of what the Runes are intended to manifest.
#1 The cast of three Runes
It consists of pulling out three Runes and placing them in a row from right to left. The first one corresponds to the past, the one in the center to the present, and the one on the left to the future.
A beautifully simple cast, yet useful when we want to ask something related to the evolution of things or situations.
#2 Celtic Cross Casting
This cast is very simple and is an extension of the previous one. It consists of the extraction of 5 Runes that must be placed in the form of a cross. The reading starts from left to right on the horizontal line and then continues with the last two Runes from top to bottom.
Rune number 1 on the right represents the past, the one in the center represents the present, and the one on the left represents the future. The one below is that which sustains the situation, that is, what prolongs the situation, and the one above, that is, Rune number 4, is the one that speaks of the direction in which the situation represented by the cast could go.
#3 The cast of 7 Runes
This cast is, again, a derivation of the three Runes. First, a pair should be cast on the right to represent the past. After that, another pair should be placed in the center to represent the present. Then, another pair should be placed on the left to represent the future. Finally, one more Rune that can be placed below or above the other six and that will be the advice that the Runes are giving us for that situation.
But these are not the only ways to use runes.
Drawing runes on objects or even on the body was one of the ancient practices of the Nordic peoples. Each of them had a special meaning and function that determined its use.
Care must be taken because misapplication of runes, failure to comply with safety measures, and carelessness in such a matter can cause serious problems in several areas of our life.
Runes can be applied to the body in many different ways. The most radical procedure is through tattoos or scars. Vikings commonly used to use ochre and henna for temporary tattoos. Now henna tattoos are done much easier and faster than in ancient times. But don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be permanent either.
If you need short-term help from Runes, you can use less long-lasting options. These can be water-based paints, gouache, or watercolor. Even a permanent marker will make the cut.
It’s important to bear in mind that you should not start working with runes if you do not understand their essence. Furthermore, you should not apply runes to your own body, or anyone else’s for that matter, if you are not fully aware of all the possible effects of such a procedure.
In theory, any Rune can be applied to the body; each of them can provide a sufficient amount of tools to cope with any problems. But the use of determined Runes is not recommended for beginners in runic magic. Such dangerous Runes include Hagalaz, Isa, and Nautiz. Experts in the northern tradition also call these three “the signs of corruption“.
To know how to properly apply runes to the body, you just need to remember a few simple tips and principles embedded in the very basics of runic magic. First of all, if possible, these marks should be applied with red paint. Traditionally, a drop of your own blood is also added to this paint.
Bear in mind that the order of writing the runes and their orientation is important. The Runes should be drawn on the body so that a person looking at you from the side can read them directly. That is, your body must be the “canvas” on which you will draw the runes.
Regardless of how you apply Scandinavian holy symbols, they should be in an upright position and go from left to right when you draw them.