The Runes

	A. Mannaz	B. Gebo		C. Ansuz
	D. Othila	E. Uruz		F. Perth
	G. Nauthiz	H. Inguz	I. Eihwaz
	J. Algiz	K. Fehu		L. Wunjo
	M. Jera		N. Kano 	O. Teiwaz
	P. Berkana	Q. Ehwaz	R. Laguz
	S. Hagalaz	T. Raido	U. Thurisaz
	V. Dagaz	W. Isa		X. Sowelu
	Y. Odin
IV. Layouts used for divination
	A. Odin's Rune
	B. Three Rune Spread
	C. Runic Cross
	D. Three Life Spread

I Overview
Runes are a method of divination similar to the Tarot
or the I Ching.  The difference is that Runes are a set
of 25 stones instead of 78 cards or a set of sticks
with patterns.  As with the Tarot, most of the Runes
may be rightside up, or up side down, the meaning
differing with the case.  There are also some Runes
that can not appear up side down.  In practice, the
Runes may be made of any material; ceramic, stones,
sticks, or drawn on cards.66

II. History
Before the Germanic peoples of ancient Western Europe
possessed a true alphabet, they used pictorial symbols
to carve into stones their ideas and thoughts.  The
earliest of these pictorial writings date from about
1300 BC. They were probably linked to Sun and Fertility
cults.  Among the signs were parts of the human body,
weapons, animals and variations on the circle, square,
and swastika.  These pictoglyphs later evolved into the
more abstract glyphs that were composed of lines
resembling no particular objects.  That there was power
endowed to those who were adept at the use of these
glyphs is indicated by the name given to the glyphs
themselves.  These glyphs were called Runes, from the
Gothic Runa, meaning 'a secret thing, a mystery.'  The
Runic letter or Runastafr was use to foretell the
future by Runemal, or the casting of the Runes.  The
Runes were inscribed into tools, weapons, rocks,
alters, and other personal items.  Runes were also used
by the clergy as an alternative to the Latin alphabet.
It is believed that Runes were derived from a northern
Etruscan alphabet used among Italic tribes in the
Eastern Alps.  They may have been developed by people
living in the area of Bohemia.  From the beginning
Runes were used for the casting of lots, for divination
and to evoke higher powers that might influence the
'luck' of man. There were Runes that influenced the
weather, the harvest, curses, the tides, love, and
healing.  The Practicianer of Runemal was easily
recognizable by the very clothing they wore.  As the
13th century author of the 'Saga of Erik the Red' said,
"She wore a cloak set with stones along the hem.
Around her neck and covering her head she wore a hood
lined with white catskins.  In one hand she carried a
staff with a knob on the end and her belt, holding
together her long dress, hung a charm pouch."  As you
can also see from this passage, many of the Rune
Masters were women.  As time wore on, the Runes
themselves became standardized through out Europe.
Although in some places the Runes numbered as many as
36 or as few as 16.  Twenty-four of these were the
basic Runes, or futhark.  The name futhark comes from
the first 6 Runes.  There were 3 families of 8 Runes
each, named after the Norse Gods Freyr, Hagal and Tyr.
These three aettir, as they were called were:

Freyr's Eight: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido,
	       Kano, Gebo, Wunjo 
Hagal's Eight: Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera,
	       Eihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowelu 
Tyr's Eight:   Teiwaz, Berkana, Ehwaz,
  	       Mannaz, Laguz, Inguz, Othila, Dagaz. 

The Anglo-Saxons are credited with spreading Runes and
Runecraft through out Europe.  It is unfortunate that
more than 300 years ago the last of the Rune Masters
died taking with them the true art of Rune casting. In
recent years people such as Ralph Blum have tired to
revive the ancient art of Rune Casting through books,
casting Runes, and through research into ancient books
and manuscripts for references to Runes.

III Descriptions and Meanings
A. Mannaz: Two vertical lines with a horizontal 'X'
connecting the top of the two lines so that it appears
like a golf flag and its mirror image.

		|  |

Normal: Essence is water.  Clarity, willingness to
change is effective now.  Become right with yourself,
then you can be right with others.  Be yielding,
devoted and moderate.  Only then will you have a true
Inverted: If there is blockage now, it comes from
within.  Look to yourself, not to others at this time.
Stop and reconsider.  The outer enemy is but a
reflection of yourself.

B. Gebo:  An 'X'.

		\ /
		/ \

Normal: A union is at hand. However, do not make this a
total union, keep yourself.  Let the winds of Heaven
blow between you and your partner.
Inverted: This rune is impossible to invert due to its

C. Ansuz:  An 'F' with the arms pointing downward.


Normal: There is a new life unfolding.  Be aware during
meetings with others.  A connection with the Divine may
be at hand.  Draw from the well for yourself first,
then you will have the strength to draw from the well
for others.
Inverted: Failed communication may seem to be a block.
Remember, what happens now is timely to your
development.  If the well is clogged, then clean it

D.  Othila: A diamond shape with the two lower sides
extended beyond the point at which they meet to form


Normal: A shedding of old skins is called for.  You may
receive benefits, but it may require you to give up
something else.  This may be difficult to do because
part of what you may have to give up is a portion of
your background.
Inverted: Do not be bound by old conditionings.  You
may be called upon to take a radical departure from old
ways.  Be totally honest with yourself now.  Flow is
the proper attitude at this time.

E.  Uruz: A tall vertical line on the left, a shorter
vertical line on the right, connected on top by
diagonal line.  Similar to a 'squared' small letter

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Normal: The life you have been living is at an end.
However, this is not a Rune of ending, it is instead a
Rune of new beginnings.  There may be darkness of a
tunnel leading to the new life, but the light will
bebrighter at the end.  Prepare for the opportunity
disguised as a loss.
Inverted: You may fail to take dvantage of the moment.
It is possible that your strength may seem to be used
against you.  The seeming failure may come as a minor
or major jolt depending on your awareness.  Remember,
life is a cycle and you will again reach this point to
again have this choice.

F.  Perth: A vertical line on the left with an
elongated 'v' connected to the top from the right, and
an elongated inverted 'V' connected to the bottom from
the right.


Normal: Inner changes are taking place.  Surprises may
be in store.  Nothing external matters here, except as
it shows you your inner self.
Inverted: Do not expect too much now.  If you repeat
the old, expect to suffer.  Do not focus on the past or
you will neglect the true now.  You may have 'bad luck'
or recognize a specific block, or challenge.  It
depends on your point of view.

G.  Nauthiz: A vertical line with a diagonal line
crossing it.  The diagonal line runs from the upper
left to the lower right.


Normal: There is a definite need for restraint.  There
will be holdups, and the need to reconsider your plans
carefully.  If you can not restore harmony at this
time, restore balance at least.  consider the uses of
Inverted: Here is the great teacher disguised as the
bringer of pain and limitation.  Only at the darkest
hour do we see just how bright the light is within
ourselves.  Cleansing is needed to strengthen the
character.  Only after great darkness will we know and
see the true light.

H. Inguz: Two 'X's stacked on top of each other and


Normal: Now is the time of great strength when
completions can be finished and as a result new
beginnings started.  Difficulties can be resolved and
clarified.  The butterfly now emerges from the cocoon.
Movement may cause you to free yourself from a rut in
your life.  There is danger, but like the King on a
chess board, the movement takes you out of check and
Inverted: This rune is impossible to invert due to its

I.  Eihwaz: A vertical line with a short diagonal line
running from the top towards the lower right, and a
short diagonal line running from the bottom towards the
upper left.


Normal: There maybe blockages, but even they help our
progress.  You may seem to be powerless at this point
in time.  Patience and waiting are called for.  Growth
is promoted through inconvenience and discomfort.  Wait
on the will of the Heavens.

J. Algiz: A cross with both ends of the horizontal bar
pointing upward.


Normal: Control of the emotions is called for.  Correct
actions are the only true protection you have.  If you
are in pain, or turbulence, do not try to hide from it,
for it is only the pain and turbulence of progress.
Inverted: Health and associations are to be examined
now.  If persons are 'using' you, and you know it in
your heart, then know that you are the one responsible
for the outcome, not them.  Only then will you benefit
from it.  Winning may not be possible, but in losing
there is a form of winning through learning and the
progress takes place.

K. Fehu: An 'F' with the horizontal lines pointing


Normal: Clearly define what it is that you desire.  Is
it wealth and possessions, or self-rule and growth of
will?  Enjoy the good fortune of now but remember to
share it, for the mark of a well nourished self is the
ability to nourish others.
Inverted: Your arrows repeatedly miss the target either
by an inch or a mile.  Your ship has come in, but you
are at the stable awaiting a good horse.  Observe the
situation, and ask, "What do I need to learn to further
my progress?"  You now have the opportunity to see
where your true nourishment lies.

L.  Wunjo: Shaped like the letter 'P' with the rounded
upper portion being made from two straight lines like
the 'greater than' sign >.


Normal: The shifts that were due are completed, the
branch now bears fruit, and you can now reap the
harvest.  Knowledge transforms itself into
understanding.  Through new clarity existing ambitions,
goal, or plans may be seen for the limited undesirables
they are.
Inverted: The harvest is slow to mature.  A difficult
passage is at hand.  As seen in its true light,
everything is a test.  There is light mixed with the
dark, but of clarity there is none now. Examine
yourself and your motives.

M. Jera: A 'greater than' sign (>) above a 'less than'
sign (<).

		/ /

Normal: Beneficial outcomes apply to what ever endeavor
you have undertaken. It may take time for no quick
results can be expected.  A span of time is always
involved.  Not even the farmer can speed the harvest by
tugging on the young shoots.  At the end of the season,
rejoice in abundance.

N. Kano:  A 'less than' sign (<).  


Normal: This is the Rune of the opening.  Light now
breaks through and dispells the clouds.  Through
awareness of the light, understanding is now available
to you and you may be able to spread the light and
understanding to others.  You are now the center where
harmonic and beneficent forces meet.
Inverted: Clouds are now beginning to cover the sun.  A
partnership may be passing away.  If so, remember that
it is then no longer appropriate or valid for you in
this stage of development.  Remember however that
failure to notice this passing away will result in a
missed opportunity.  Give up gladly the old so that the
new can be received.

O. Teiwaz:  An upward pointing arrow. 

		/ \

Normal: Look within and delve down to the foundations
of your being.  Here you will find your deepest needs,
and most powerful resources.  Examine newly formed
partnerships, for there may be great works for you both
to perform together.  This is a Rune of dedication and
perseverance.  Patience may be called for now.  Your
real enemy just might be yourself.
Inverted: Danger may arise from hasty or illtimed
actions.  Associations may be short lived, but remember
that they have served their purpose.  Are outcomes your
goal, or are you focused on the task for its own sake?
Look within for the answer.

P.  Berkana: Shaped like the letter 'B', except the the
two rounded portions are made from straight lines, like
the 'greater than' sign >.


Normal: Delve into things deeply, with care and
awareness.  Resistance must be dispersed first, then
work may be begun.  If you have dark corners, clean
them out now.  If you need help to cleanse the corners,
seek an expert.  Only then can the harvest ripen.
Inverted: There is interference with growth now.  If
you feel disheartened for not taking the right action,
relax. You may have the chance to act again.  Examine
your motives.  Are you putting your wants before the
wants of others?

Q. Ehwaz:  A large capital letter 'M'.

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Normal: Transitions and physical shifts are occurring
now.  Steady growth and development slowly accumulate.
"As I cultivate my own nature, all else follows.  "Face
the future with assurance.
Inverted: If movement is blocked, be sure that what you
are doing is correct action.  There are no missed
opportunities; we have to recognize that not all
opportunities are not for us.  What is yours will come
to you.

R. Laguz: The right half of an upward pointing arrow.


Normal: Reorganize and re-align.  Contact your
intuitive self, and success will follow.  Relate to
yourself correctly.  Immerse yourself in the experience
of living without evaluating or understanding.
Inverted: Do not over reach yourself.  Excessive
striving can be damaging.  Are you really drawing upon
your wisdom of instinct?  Go within yourself and honor
your receptive side.

S.  Hagalaz: Shaped like the letter 'H', with the
horizontal bar at a slight angle slopping to the right.

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Normal: There is a need to break free from constricting
circumstances.  There are some things beyond your
control.  Though this Rune has only an upright
position, it operates through reversal.  You may feel
as though you are waking from a long sleep and take
some time to come to your full senses.  There may be a
loss before there is a great gain.

T.  Raido: Shaped like the letter 'R' with the rounded
upper portions made of two straight lines like the
'greater than' sign >.


Normal: Communication is addressed by this Rune,
especially when it has two sides.  Inner worth
increases, but we must remember that we are not
intended to rely on our power alone.  Ask guidance from
the Powers above, and know that in so doing, you will
be doing the right action.  Waiting may be just the
right action to take.  If you wait, remove resistance
while waiting.
Inverted: Personal relationships are accented now.
Break-ups may be more plentiful than unions now.  Keep
a sense of good humor no matter what happens.  Even
failures may be re-routed opportunities.

U.  Thurisaz: A vertical line with a 'greater than'
sign attached to the middle.  The line extends above
and below the > sign.


Normal: There is work to be done, both within yourself
and without.  You may be ready to contact the Divine.
You can now see that which is hidden inside, and know
that in so doing, you will be doing the right action.
Waiting may be just the right action to take. If you
wait, remove resistance while waiting.
Inverted: Personal relationships are accented now.
Break-ups may be more plentiful than unions now.  Keep
a sense of good humor no matter what happens.  Even
failures may be re-routed opportunities.

V.  Dagaz: An elongated 'X' with both the left and
right sides being close into triangles by vertical

		|\ /|
		| x |
		|/ \|

Normal: A major breakthrough is at hand.  The right
outcome is inevitable, but not predictable.  Timing is
correct.  If followed by the blank Rune, the
transformation may be so total as to portend a death, a
successful conclusion to your passage.  The dawn has
given way to full daylight.  But remember not to
collapse yourself into the future, for that would be

W. Isa:  A vertical line.


Normal: Winter has come upon you.  You seem to be
frozen in ice and can not move.  Positive
accomplishment is unlikely now.  A cold wind is
reaching you over the ice flows of outmoded habits.
Try to discover what it is that you are holding onto
that prevents the spring from arriving.  Shed the
outdated, and the thaw will follow.  It may be that you
have no control over the conditions causing the winter.
In this case remember that this is the way of Heaven
and Earth; winter follows autumn, but spring will
always follow winter.  Watch for signs of spring.

X. Sowelu: Shaped like a single vertical bolt of


Normal: What you are striving to be, you already are.
This is the time for recharging and regenerating
yourself.  You may have to retreat from pressing
situations, but make it a retreat in strength, not
weakness.  Let the Sun illuminate the secrets you hid
even from yourself.  Always remember however, that by
yourself you can do nothing.  Only when you rely on the
Divine can you accomplish anything of greatness.

Y. Odin:  This is the blank Rune.

Normal: The unknowable and unseen is active in your
life at this time.  In the beginning there was nothing,
and in the end, nothing remains.  Control can not be
used on that which does not yet exist.  As with the
Fool in the Tarot, you may have to leap over the
precipice into the void.  But do so empty-handed and
with utter faith.  What becons is the creative power of
the unknown.

IV.  Layouts Used for divinations
A.  Odins Rune.
Place the Runes into a cloth pouch, and shake them up.
Reach into the pouch and draw out a single Rune.  Make
sure when the Rune is pulled out, and you turn it over
that you do not accidentally do not invert the Rune.
This Rune will reveal the crux of your present
situation, or the basic answer to your question.

B.  Three Rune Spread.
Place the Runes into a cloth pouch.  Draw out three
Runes and place them in a horizontal line in front of
you.  Reading from the left to the right, the positions
represent; 1) You now, 2) the Challenge ahead of you,
and 3) the Best Outcome.  Read the Runes and interpret
them relative to their position.

C.  Runic Cross
Place the Runes into a cloth pouch.  Now draw out 6
Runes and place them in the following order.  Place the
first Rune in the center of your work area.  This
represents you now. The second Rune goes to the right
of the first Rune.  This represents your past.  The
third Rune goes to the right of the first Rune.  This
Rune represents the future.  The forth Rune goes below
the first Rune.  This Rune reveals the foundation of
the situation.  The fifth Rune is placed above the
first Rune.  This Rune is the challenge ahead of you.
The sixth Rune goes above the fifth Rune.  This rune
represents the best outcome.

D.  Three Life Spread
This spread is useful for exploring past incarnations.
There are five runes involved in this spread.  Place
the Runes into a cloth pouch, and remove five of them,
placing them in the following order.  The first Rune
goes on the right side of you work area.  This Rune is
your birth and childhood of this life.  The second Rune
goes to the left of the first.  This Rune represents
your present.  The third Rune goes to the left of the
second.  This Rune is your future in this life.  The
forth Rune goes below the second Rune.  This Rune
reveals your past incarnation.  The fifth Rune goes
above the second Rune.  This Rune is your future
incarnation.  Interpret the Runes relative to their
position and also relate them to what must be gained in
each incarnation.

[ed. note-- I don't agree with the majority of
interpretations presented here, but figure that someone
will find it useful.  --Amythyst]