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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2007, 23:05 
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So, you're interested in using runes for divination? Well, it's not an outlandish prospect. Any number of books will give you wonderful layouts that seem to mimic the strict symbolism seen in tarot layouts.

I've read of using the runes as an I-Ching sort of yes/no/maybe answer, or of laying out three in a line (you now/ problem / outcome), or even crosses that get into the past root of the problem and other factors that influence the interpretation of the stones at other places in the layout. All of these are done in a nice, formulaic way.

And I don't find them of any real use.

The means by which I've made use of them is to undertake 'runic casting'. This is the tossing of runic items (stone, clay, wood, bone, etc.) into the air and letting them land on a prepared surface. Lots of chaos in there, and not as easy to understand from a perspective of those who don't have a fairly in-depth knowledge of the runes and their meanings.


What are runes?

Runes, most simply put, are the symbols (phonemes) for the Norse/Anglo-Saxon written language. Here, many people may recognize the 'futhark' term or the 'elder futhark'. It's no-where near as complicated as you might think - it's basically just the 'abc's' of the language.

(The 24 runes of the futhark here:)
Hidden: :
Image


Each has several attributes about it that can come into play:
    Name/Title (Reversable)
    Esoteric Attributes (Reversable)
    Occupation (Positive vs. Negative)

Taking, for example, the first rune of the futhark, fehu, Image, we get:

    Name/Title: Money, Gold, Mobile Power/Wealth, Cattle, Dynamic Power
    Esoteric Attributes (Positive): Social Success, Wealth Energy, Foresight, New Beginning, Power over Environment
    Esoteric Attributes (Negative): Greed, "Burnout", Atrophy, Poverty, Discord, Cowardliness, Dullness/Stupidity
    Occupation: A person who works with animals

And so on for all the other 23 runes. Now, some people will have a 'set' of runes with 25 tiles/nodules/staves/etc. These trace back to new-ager Ralph Blum who decided that there was a need for a 'blank rune' for 'the unknowable'. It is not traditional in the futhark.

That said, if you have one of those sets, just set the blank rune aside. The set that has consistantly given me the best results is one of the Blum sets of clay runes, sans the blank. (Ask me elsewhere about the sodalite set ...) Thus, I use an Anglo-Saxon version, the only difference being the 'horns' on the Ingwaz (ng) rune.


What about the prepared surface?

In order to use the rune's meanings to their utmost, you must figure out which of the meanings for the rune should be used for the interpretation. In casting, this is done by looking at what 'realm' the runes fall, of course, in the context of the Norse cosmogeny. Here there are, outside the world we live in (Midhgardhr), eight other planes which, in myth, the world tree connects, with it's roots in Hel and it's trunk and branches stretching through all the other realms, topping in Asgardhr.

A sort of literal, three dimensional view of this arrangement of planes, has Midhgardhr in the middle, with (on it's same horizontal plane) four planes around it at the cardinal directions, then two above and two below. While this could make a nice vision in a CAD or in lucite, it would be a tad hard to cast runes on, or to tote about. Due to that, I follow a modified version of Thorsson's to get to what is understood to be the easiest representation of all nine planes on a two dimensional surface:

Hidden: :
Image


Mine is a leather surface that I drew the lines on using a Sharpie. It's not exactly 'pretty', but it's functional.


And this means what then?

This then, means that there are nine different ways to interpret a rune, based on where it falls (in what plane), and a dual meaning if it straddles a line between two planes. And, because when you toss items about, sometimes they land 'heads-up' and sometimes 'tails-up'. The ones with the rune face visible when they fall are in the 'positive' position, and those with it hidden are in the 'reversed' position.

Now, just to add more intrigue, eight of the runes are the same shape if you rotate them 180 degrees, but all the others have an 'up' side to them. This then gives you the 'direction of influence' of the rune, and the dual-sided runes have 'directions of influence' in both the up and down directions. Why is this important? Well, once a casting has been made, you need to determine which runes 'point' to others. In here you get other influences on the interpretation, or denote factors that add into the situation in question.


Okay, what next?

Well, to undertake the divination, you should optimally have a three-legged stool to sit upon, face the north star, and be liberally drinking mead as you invoke Odin to come and help you make sense of the mysteries you are about to delve into. I have used mead, but my mead tends to not last enough to be around when I do castings, so I usually use bourbon.

I have made up for myself a 'casting sheet' upon which I'll put the date, but also allows me to record where the runes fall and in what position, also to record them by plane. With that, a clipboard, a pencil and my compilation book, I'm set. My book is a synthesis of several different sources on the meanings of the futhark runes (Thorsson and Tyson score highly here, but do not always agree - even with the same author!). I've settled on the most common elements that made sense to me conceptually, and thus, my book will vary from other peoples. (But then, variety is the spice of life, right?)

Sitting next to the casting sheet, I'll concentrate on the person who wants the reading, on a specific aspect/area of their life in question if it's given, then start pawing about in my bag of runes. I usually find that it feels like certain runes 'want' or 'don't want' to be in my hand, and after a minute or so of stirring the runes and having them accumulate in my hand, I'll pull them out and give them a toss onto the sheet. I'll usually do this from about 18"-24" height, causing some amount of bounce, spread, and chipping of the stones.

Thus the active work is done and the tough stuff starts. First, I'll record the positions of the stones on a smaller version of the worldstead layout on the record sheet. I'll also note the stones that fell -off- the sheet, as I find that they often tend to have something remote or tangential to do with the casting overall. I'll note which runes were upright or reversed, and whether or not they point to another rune.

Often, with a casting involving 6-8 stones, I'm likely to spend 15-20 minutes making sense of the interactions (or lack thereof) of the runes in-play. As such, in describing them, sometimes I get these 'chains of events/factors' that drive multiple issues toward one single focus.

As to trying to determine time, that can be tricky. I've found that (not unreasonably) runes in the area of Midhgardhr are in the immediate, the 'here and now', and that the farther from the center one goes, the farther off the event is likely to be. That said, I've not had any readings give a relative time-span of more than 2-3 months.

One of the things that I'm not bound to here, as are some diviners, is avoiding telling people when the runes say 'bad' things are afoot. A person should be prepared for when misfortunes come along, and, arguably one can change one's orlog (something like fate/destiny) if one is armed with the right knowledge.

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Last edited by Hex on 04 Feb 2008, 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
Testing new hide tag ...


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2008, 07:20 
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Postess
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Do you use Blum's interpretations or the runes? Someone else's? Your own? There are books so many books about runes & I wonder if they're similar enough that it doesn't matter which one you use. Like, I'm checking out on amazon a book by Edred Thorsson about runes but there's always Blum or Diana Paxson or Sweyn Plowright or...the list goes on.
Or maybe the best way to go is just get some runestones without any accompanying book?




Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2008, 22:03 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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Tao of Pooh wrote:
Do you use Blum's interpretations or the runes?


:eek: NO! Absolutely not! Blum actually comes out and said that what he really did (past just a skinch of obligatory Nordic research) was to hold the stone in his hands and 'feel what it meant'.

Tao of Pooh wrote:
Someone else's? Your own?


Well ... It's some of mine and some of other folks. Since I don't know old Norse, I'm dealing with the translations and interpretations of other folks to get concepts and abstracts into English (sometimes via German or such). So, what I really went for was a synthesis of what I could find, picking out the concepts/definitions that 'matched'. Also, where there were 'outlier' data-sets (ie. occupations/personal categories that went with the runes), they were added in in separate categories. These sort of things I tend to use as ancillary to the main interpretation.

Tao of Pooh wrote:
There are books so many books about runes & I wonder if they're similar enough that it doesn't matter which one you use. Like, I'm checking out on amazon a book by Edred Thorsson about runes but there's always Blum or Diana Paxson or Sweyn Plowright or...the list goes on.


I've used a number of books to build my synthesis. The top four (that I have at my fingertips, BTW) are:


As you might guess, these are the guys that I put a bunch of weight on in terms of their actual research and knowledge of the very basics of the meanings ...

Tao of Pooh wrote:
Or maybe the best way to go is just get some runestones without any accompanying book?


Well ... It would be like picking up a tarot deck w/out knowing what any of the cards meant. I wouldn't guess that you'd get much that was meaningful in the divinatory means ...

Though it could be handy for swinging around and knocking folks out ... :violent1:


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008, 03:07 
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Postess
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Thorsson's Rune magic one was the one I was looking @. From your book list I'm guessing you like his books.


Quote:
Though it could be handy for swinging around and knocking folks out ... :violent1:


I thought that's what Thor's hammer was for :wink:




Ever notice the people who tell you to calm down are the ones who got you upset in the first place?


Last edited by Tao of Pooh on 03 Jan 2008, 03:19, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008, 11:00 
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Grand Poobah
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I think runes to a native would mean more to 'just be picked up' than they would to us. Knowing what the symbols mean and represent (like our A is an ox) may be all you really need to 'read' them.

That said, Tarot cards are real pretty pictures, and the pictures often could give you an idea of the story. I mean,

Image

gives you a strong feeling of what it entails, eh? especially vs this:

Image

In My Opinion, even a novice ought to be able to lay out a tarot set and get the gist of a reading, if the actual 'power' is in the tool and not the reader.

Which, In My Opinion, is a great discussion. How much of anything is in the tools and ritual and how much is in the person?

/derail


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008, 11:45 
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Quote:
(Ask me elsewhere about the sodalite set ...)


We don't have an ~~Elsewhere~~. How about explaining it here?


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008, 12:58 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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jess wrote:
Quote:
(Ask me elsewhere about the sodalite set ...)


We don't have an ~~Elsewhere~~. How about explaining it here?


Well, I did over here (currently the last post - I need to get that 'link to individual posts MOD' installed :oops: ), but basically summed up, even using the same techniques with the same worldview to 'decode' them, I still get widely different results when using the two different sets ...

:dontknow:


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2008, 10:19 
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okie dokie hex now I want a rune reading.

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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2008, 02:48 
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Postess
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Stand in line Otter :cheeky:





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