Perspective of Rune Divination for Novice Readers
is a complex endeavor, equally as complex as reading Tarot, but harder
as there are fewer clues in a Rune stave.
They possess their individual meanings which are layered, steeped in
prehistoric mythological importance, and somewhat obscure to our modern
teaching oneself to read what is cast, it’s
best to become familiar with, and assign at least simplistic basic meanings to each stave. We
won’t go into those individual meanings here, as they are readily
available in books and on the internet. Rather, this article will deal
with the positional interpretation of casting Runes.
As with most
other divination methods, position,
relationships of the stones, and the question, are as important to a
reading as the stones or sticks themselves. Each reader establishes
those positional meanings in developing his or her own techniques.
The key is to
determine what position and
relationship will mean what, and then consistently maintain that
determination. We can only approximately agree upon meanings for
anything, as each person’s experiences color how they interpret a
there are rituals, chants, magickal
rites, or prayers that most readers choose to perform prior to the use
of their stones. Each develops his or her own spiritually satisfying
rites that may resemble those of others, but here again, they are
colored by the individuals experiences.
They need to
work for that individual. The words
of a chant or invocation are unimportant as compared to the
concentration, intent, and belief behind them. There are those who
treat the stones as if they are imbued by some power in their own
right, as is traditionally said of Runes. There are others who believe
the power is in the self, and the stones, only mirrors of that which
the reader possesses within.
they’re treated as “omen-like” in
nature. When a certain sign falls before the reader, it’s said to fall
as an omen. Where it falls matters to the omen, whether in the order a
stone is drawn from a cup or bag, or dropped upon a cloth. Most readers
will use two or three different techniques depending on the purpose and
depth of the reading they desire, or the complexity of the question.
teachers will insist there is a set
pattern, method, and technique to reading Runes, most will agree we can
draw meaning from the stones in our own ways with equal efficacy.
Again, the key is consistency within the individual reader.
a method that is open to
strengthening, deepening, and expanding, a novice reader affords him or
herself flexibility. It’s wise to start small, with only three stones,
drawing them from bag or cup, and considering what words one will
associate with their order of being drawn. Some examples of “positional
identity” taken from the writings of many teachers are as follows:
Rune: “Past”...”Things as
the are”...”Most inner core of self”...”Core of the
situation”...combinations of these, or whatever the reader wants to
assign to that drawing order.
Rune: “Having effect
upon, or being effected by the stone in the first position”...
“Challenges”... “Obstacles”... “Things coming into play”...
“Warnings”... “Surprises”... “Things to consider that might change the
progression of the matter indicated in the first Rune”... combinations
of these or whatever the reader wants to assign to that drawing order.
Rune: “Best possible
outcome”... “Outcome”... “Yes, go for it, or no, don’t go there”...
“Future”... combinations of these or whatever the reader wants to
assign to that drawing order.
It can’t be
stressed enough that the reader needs
to assign what meaning a position has, that the meaning should be
something the reader can wrap his or her mind around, and that it be
flexible enough to expand as the reader develops skill.
It does need
to be in terms that are simple enough
for the reader to maintain as the stones individual meaning is
interpreted. Keeping track of positional meaning while delving into the
layers of import the Rune omens can be difficult if the reader has over
reader can set up a couple of different
techniques with just reading three stones, by determining how to read
the position based upon the type of question asked.
question deals with a choice of actions the
querent is considering, the positions would be having to do more with
whether it’s a wise choice or not.
question were more geared toward something
the querent is worried about in their lives, the positions might be
associated with parts of the person and their circumstances, i.e.
“inner self- now”, “obstacles, challenges”, “where the querent’s
heading”, or “what the querent needs to do.”
journal to establish these early
techniques is helpful. Another choice is to make a chart or map one can
refer to, until the positional meanings are established well enough to
maintain consistency. Some readers can assign a single word or phrase
to a position and forever more be satisfied with that.
Those words or
phrases are usually referred to as
“Keys.” Some tangle their meanings up for awhile, and may despair.
That’s when some written device for reference becomes helpful. If the
thing gets too complex to be managed, the best choice is to simplify.
three-Rune readings are easy enough to
manage, the reader may choose to try drawing nine stones, and assigning
meanings to each in their order. Most create groups of three and assign
the groups a general meaning based upon those earlier individual
position interpretations. The Runes in the groups are then considered
factors within those general meanings. An example would be:
Group of Three laid out
as “Present” “Challenge” “Outcome”
Group of Three laid
beneath the first row, equal “internal, or inner self, influences on
the Rune group they are in (under.)
group of Three laid
beneath the second row, equal “external, or other people’s influences
on the Rune category they’re in.
example would be:
Arrange triangles by dealing the stones out like
cards into three categories. Read each triangle as a sort of idea. (In
our minds, ideas tend to have related elements, but not necessarily
linear progressions. They’re later put into those linear progressions
when we express them.)
The next level
of technique might be to “cast” the
stones, or literally drop them on a surface. Many sets are made of
materials that might break upon falling on a surface or each other.
This should be taken into account when choosing method and surfaces to
cast on. There can be a few runes chosen by drawing them blind, and
then dropped, or all of the stones in the set can be dropped. The more
Runes, the more tedious and complicated the reading is to perform.
Runes can be tossed onto a blank surface and read
according to their relationships of position. Generally, with this
method, lines, groups, and crossed lines are looked for. Many readers
when encountering a line, will read it from their own position out or
away, and consider it a progression, or a “journey”. When a line feeds
into the primary line from the position of the reader it’s considered
“adding” to or influencing the progress.
branches out away from the reader, it’s
considered to be describing something else that the progress affects.
are usually considered obstacles or
challenges. Groups are read in the fashion that those triangles above
Some believe that stones overlaying other stones,
are omens of blockage for the Rune they lay atop. Some read every stave
that falls, first the face up ones, as obvious signs, while the
face-down ones are hidden aspects.
consider the face-down ones as unreadable
elements that will have effect on the over all reading, or unknowns,
and they will leave them unread except for the number and positions of
If there are a lot of face down staves, it would
mean the querent is going into the situation uniformed or blind. It can
also mean that there are deceptions going on.
It’s normal to
have some things in any situation
The complexity to which a
reader is willing to go
is the only limitation as to how many staves are read, or what
positional meaning is derived from them.
use target like drawings to cast on. They can be drawn on
paper, fabric, wood, or even in the dirt as was an ancient tradition.
Different meanings can be assigned to each ring, or quadrant. This adds
a whole new level to the complexity of the reading, as there are more
positional factors to consider.
it’s best to build technique slowly,
upon a simple, sturdy foundation, adding levels or layers of
interpretation only when the foundation has been well established.
common mistake that aspiring novices make
is biting off too much at one time, which makes the task seem hopeless.
Then they despair, and the bag of Runes, so precious at first, becomes
another dusty failure on a shelf somewhere.
good for one’s mind and spirit.
Allowing for one’s tendencies, abilities, creativity, and tenaciousness
is wise. If the novice knows him or herself to be a project starter,
but not a finisher, it’s best to keep things simple and stick with what
comes easily, making a success out of the endeavor. There will be other
times, no doubt, to expand on that start.
Even for those
who do pursue the full course, time
and patience are needful. We grow in wisdom, and our techniques grow to
fit. If we’ve gone off full tilt at the reading of Runes, building in
too much structure or constriction to our meanings, they’ll lose their
flexibility to meet the growing wisdom.
intricately layered, never fully giving
up their whole being to anyone. They are limited to the mind that
grasps for them.
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