Runes, yes, no? Dunno yet!

Posted in Runes tagged , at 14:10 by maggyann

For a long time, in an on and off sort of way, I have thought about trying a set of Runes to see how, or even if, I could connect with them. The thing that always makes me uncertain is the knowledge that originally the alphabets which are used on Runes were simply that, alphabets, not a method of divination but for communication. The characters are straight lines, easy to scratch or carve, and were used to leave messages on graves for example. How they got from this to becoming a tool for casting has fascinated me and I have read as much as I could find on the subject from Romans to Vikings and all points along the way.

I still, to be honest, have not decided one way or the other but many people do swear by them so I have decided to experiment a bit before committing myself to the purchase of a set or the more interesting idea of actually creating a unique set from scratch.

I have the notion of actually making a very basic set to start me off and the easiest way to do this is obviously to simply draw out the characters and see how things go. I have decided to make a deck of Runes using some thick card, draw out the characters then laminate them. I know these will be difficult to cast but as there are only twenty four units I am hoping I will find a knack for it. I am even wondering to myself why cast at all, couldn’t they be used in a similar way to a Tarot deck?

The joy of experimentation is in the trial, error and results. So I shall try and report back on what I discover, if anything. Hopefully something more interesting than ‘well that was a waste of time’.



  1. Richard McDonald said,

    I spent almost 3 years testing the Runes. I was introduced to them by my older sister who had a set of marble Runes and a book. There was only 1 book on Runes at that time, written by the fellow who had revived them.
    In his little brown book he mentioned (sorry, I don’t recall the title of it) that he did not actually know the ancient meanings of the Runes because most references to them had been lost. So he revived what he thought might be the meanings of each symbol.
    We made a set of Runes for me by making a dough, shaping the stones and baking them at low temp so they were very hard. Then we painted them and painted the etched symbols in black.
    I kept notes on the readings for the last 2 years of the test. At that time I was doing about 4 Rune readings a day. I thought they were great fun and recorded most readings. It was not until the end of the 2 years of record keeping that I sat down to calculate their accuracy. I only confirmed what I had already come to suspect: the accuracy was around 30% for simple questions. For complex questions that required compound answers, the accuracy was somewhere between 30 and 35 %. That is to say, for me, the “new Runes” were little more than fun.
    I suspect the ancient Runes were much more accurate. Sadly, their true value has been lost in antiquity.

  2. maggyann said,

    Yes I have feared something along these lines Richard.
    Not so much that the ‘meanings’ have been lost but more a sort of were there any ‘meanings’ in the first place? An alphabet is and alphabet it originates for communication.
    I have found such differing ‘meanings’ for Runes that I am really dubious but I have decided to have a bash as it were. Perhaps see if I can align the 24 with Tarot compatriots?
    If nothing else it will be an interesting exercise.

  3. The best thing to do with runes: Make words with them! FISH, JIM, TIN… etc.

  4. maggyann said,

    Certainly an idea thanks for that hollythestrange. I will think about it.

  5. skidhmor said,

    Your problem comes from your misunderstanding of magick and divination in general. The runes have always, from their very inception, been used for divination and magick. All alphabets have, at some point in their past, been used for the same. Why? Because divination and magick are, and always have been, seen as a form of communication. Divination is receptive communication with unseen, and/or spiritual realms, while magic is projective communication, i.e. communicating the will of the magus to the world around him/her.
    Btw, the earliest runic inscriptions on gravestones tended to be magical in nature, often of the sort to keep the dead from wandering around and such.

  6. maggyann said,

    I can’t really subscribe to your statement that from their very inception ‘runes’ have been used for divination and magic.
    How can you or anyone know that?
    I have no problem nor do I misunderstand the difference between divination or ‘magick’.
    Like you and of course everyone else, I have my own take on things. I do not feel it is really likely that the original runes were for any divination purpose but came about as a form of communication.
    Divination and magic came later.
    That is my take anyway.
    I am working with the ones I have made and will post on my findings later.

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