Runes again

©2021 Michael Raven

Elder Futhark in ætt arrangement. Thorsson, Edred. Runecaster’s Handbook (p. 89).

I made some runes the other day, using an acrylic paint pen and pre-cut 1-in hardwood coins for a little less than buying some runestaves of imprinted on stones of dubious quality. It took me a little under an hour to write them with a mechanical pencil and then trace each run with the paint pen. I think it is worth the extra effort for no reason other than I made them my own more so than if I had picked them up manufactured. They each became infused with my spirit as a result.

I’ve since cleaned up and made the strokes broader, but here is the initial result from my rune-making

Like tarot and other forms of divination that I have investigated, I intend to treat the runestaves less as a focus for “divination” and more as a tool for personal alchemy. I understand people do take the perceived predictive nature of these tool quite seriously, casting their “fortunes” when they consult their preferred method, but I don’t have much faith in such things and tend to see these things as devices to trigger a different awareness in the user than how the caster normally perceives their world. That said, I am an animist at heart and I find spirit in everything, and the spirits do engage with us to help guide us, should we choose to listen.

While there are many arrangements and methods for the casting of runestaves, I am going to stick to a few concepts in the beginning, as I familiarize myself with the runes.

First, I plan to go back to my shamanic visualizations that I’ve been doing until recently. And, as part of that, I plan to use a new rune each evening as the theme for my visualizations — selecting a rune, reviewing it’s meaning(s), and then focusing my shamanic journeying on that particular concept. This will help me to better visualize the personal meaning of each rune, which should help enhance the daily casts I plan to perform.

Second will be those daily casts. I don’t plan to share those here, as I did with the tarot, at least not on a daily basis, although I may if the cast is an interesting result. I will be using a modified Wyrd cast, as described by Thorsson in the book I am using as a reference, not because he recommends it, but it interestingly aligns with my tarot spread from a few weeks back and follows a similar logic (independent of my own logic, interestingly enough). His cast is a triangle, but follows some of the same thought processes as my own. In this, I will cast runestaves for Urðr, Verðandi, and Skaldi with similar meanings as those found in the referenced post. I may toss in for orlæg away from the triangle, representing those things outside of my control, but Thorsson’s spread was intended to capture that scheme in Urðr.

I may wait a few days of journeying before I attempt to runecast, as I intend to consider how which questions can be done on a daily or rotating basis without so much specificity as to be tedious. Such questions might be something along the lines of:

  • What am I overlooking?
  • Where should I focus my (personal) alchemical growth for now?
  • What am I hiding in the shadows from myself and society?
  • How does society perceive me?
  • How do I perceive me?
  • Who is the real me?
  • What should I consider in dealing with X (situation, person, etc.)?
  • What is my unrealized potential?
  • etc.

If I have enough questions, I might even randomize the selection on a daily basis to mix it up.

Third — I may consider Thorsson’s recommendation to critically evaluate the relationships of the runes in their ætt (familial) arrangements, as in the first figure.

As I said before, I’m looking forward to having a better understanding of runes in general, and I also hope they enhance my shamanic practice. This should be interesting, to say the least.

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