Runes are one of the oldest forms of divination, with the markings derived from ancient Italic alphabets used in the first age of humanity. They are a primary tool of the shaman, and their symbols were used heavily in Norse mythology and practice. Runes are an excellent tool for divination for those who want to connect to Earth, as runes usually have the markings on round surfaces created with natural materials. Runes have many uses, including protection, meditation, spellwork, and numerous other magickal practices.
The runes practice of divination is known as ‘casting runes’ since, in ancient tradition, the runes were forceful but effectively thrown by the caster onto a cloth to tell a fortune. The runes give answers similar to other divination tools like tea leaves or oracle cards with broad solutions interpreted in many ways. Runes are a unique divination tool as they are just as strong and forceful as the creators of this magickal tool, the Vikings. The throwing method of divination represents the masculine energy of runes, and they are unique in this way to witchcraft. When thrown, the magick is forced into the runes, enhancing the fortune-telling process and divine answers from a strong power.
The rulers and protectors of the power of the runes are the Norse Gods Odin and Goddess Freya. These powerful deities are the ones that support rune magick as the guardians of the insight the runes conjure and myths state are the original creators of the tool. So mention their names in the casting of the circle if doing a rune reading or ritual. The higher self-power is required leverage to be called on to gain power and charge the runes. Runes are not always stones or on round tools. There are rune cards and other ways of reading the runes’ divination messages, but the round crystal and rock runes are the most used.
The first step to do a rune cast is to lay out a cloth piece to keep the runes’ power in a smaller area and protect the runes if wishing to throw them like past ancestors. Since getting to know the rune symbols can be daunting, it can be useful to use runes that you’ve already learned the message from and understand what that rune is trying to convey, especially for complicated questions. This method is more of a choice as runes are often studied while doing a reading. It just causes more time to do the full casting. Whatever amount of runes you use, makes sure to be careful of any ledges or areas the runes could fall since some can travel with just a bit of force.
If throwing the runes, the method is pretty simple that once thrown, the runes that land face up are the answers to the prophecy. The caster must keep throwing it until the spread is full. The more gentle practitioner’s next step is to place all the runes face down and shuffle them around in a clockwise direction with the palm. It is good to swirl them clockwise if you’re trying to ask questions and counterclockwise if you’re trying to banish. Rarely are runes used for banishment, so clockwise is the standard practice.
The following step is to ask your question and draw your runes. Pull them one by one and lay them flat in front of you face down. The best way to get the runes’ feeling is to slowly move your hand over them and see what emotions they invoke, similar to feeling the energy of divination cards. Once your conscious mind and energy pick a rune, lie in front of you without looking, and face down until the whole spreads in front of you.
The last part is to turn over the runes and interpret them. This part seems easy but can be a bit daunting if you’re still learning the exact rune meanings. It is best to do this rune by rune so that the spread does not become overwhelming trying to understand the larger message. Make sure you study and fully understand what one-rune means before going on to the next one. In the end, you can look at the whole message and interpret all the runes, but it will have a much simpler result if each rune is understood individually at first. Practice will increase the messages and deepen the understanding of the message the rune is trying to convey. It is a magickal language, just like other divination tools.
Runes read in spreads are just like Tarot and Oracle cards, and the three rune spread has very similar foundations to the three-card spread in Tarot. Many of the other divination spreads like the cross and star are useful in rune casting so that experimenting can be fun crossing divination methods. Understanding these spreads could help understand rune casting for the seasoned fortune teller to translate runes like a Tarot spread.
Runes are tools made of natural materials that hold a lot of energy, so they need to be cleansed and charged as often as most magickal items, if not more. Unlike paper divination tools, the power of the runes depends on how well they are maintained. The energy in crystals and stones can also hold others’ energy, so it is essential to cleanse runes after reading on others not to have energy transfer.
Some daily exercises to keep up and increase the rune-magick are drawing runes over food cooked to charge them with the energy trying to channel or protect. You can also draw runes in the sauce, directing energy through the food channeling that particular rune’s energy. Signing your name with your favorite rune keeps that energy with you always and guides it out into the universe. Runes are also influential in adding to rituals, and the best way to integrate with another form of magick is with candle magic. Runes are quickly sketched into candles turning the candles into both powerful magical allies and rune casters.
Runes are a particular divination tool, and many who enjoy using runes love the method once learned. Some witches are not drawn to runes until they find the right set since they are energy holding tools. Runes are quite an expansive divination craft, so be patient and understand that the names and meanings will come to you with time. Just like any divination method, it takes some practice. The benefit of runes is that they are such an old form of magick that there is a lot of knowledge to learn in this ancient craft.