What are Runes?
What can I expect from a Rune reading?
How To Best Prepare for a Rune Reading
Types of Rune Spreads
Some Things to Keep in Mind
The Meaning of Oracle
My Personal Experience with Runes
The Runic Alphabet
What are Runes?
In ancient times, Runes were an alphabetic script, each of whose letters had a name, a sound, and a meaning. They were used in legal documents, for poetry, for inscriptions, and for divination. The Runes were consulted as an Oracle for guided insight, not as direct instructions of what to do next, nor as predicting the future, nor telling a fortune. Mystery and grace were evoked.
The historical existence of Runes and their influence on their times, which predate the New Testament and have been traced from Yugoslavia and Greece to Iceland, is incontestable. Strange symbols scratched on tools and weapons, engraved on coins and stones, carved into door lintels and the prows of ships symbolized the invocation of a higher power. Kings and emperors regularly consulted the Oracle of Runes before engaging in battle.
Most commonly, Runes were smooth, flat pebbles with glyphs, or symbols painted on one side. Shamans who were skilled in the art of intuiting the meanings of the symbols were honored in tribal circles; historically, many were women. The Runes were never a commonly spoken language. The original interpretations of the Runes are lost to us. The Runes and their accompanying words and meanings that I use are contained in The Book of Runes by Ralph H. Blum, who has composed an inspired and masterful collection of contemporary sacred knowledge, a handbook for today’s Spiritual Warrior whose battle is only with the self, and whose goal is transformation.
The consulting of Runes may be thought of as a tool for seeking Divine guidance as well as for cultivating intuition (which is an overlap, really: how often the will of Spirit is downloaded intuitively, when mind and ego step out of the way!)
What Can I Expect from a Rune Reading?
At this time I do not do “in-person” Rune readings, the main reason being the impracticality of needing to coordinate schedules for appointment times, as well as the time that I spend in meditation before and while working with the Runes. The way I currently offer Rune Readings is this: you contact me, either by phone or email, or tell me in person if we happen to be in the same place at the same time. You will choose what type of reading you want (see Types of Rune Spreads, below).
It is not necessary that I be told the nature of the issue that is on your mind, although you are welcome to divulge that information to me if you so choose. It is only necessary that you yourself have a clear idea of the issue for which you are seeking guidance. Remember that it is not to be a “yes” or “no” question, rather it is good to phrase the request like this: “The issue is __________.”
You will commit to steadily focusing on your issue for at least two minutes on whatever day we plan for the reading. On that same day, I will focus on you for at least two minutes, in prayer and meditation, and ask for guidance for you about your issue through the Runes. I will then draw or cast the Runes, study their symbolism in the book of Runes, prayerfully record the information for you and send it to you via email within one or two days. If you choose to receive a Rune Art interpretation of your reading, I will send that to you via US Mail, most likely within two weeks.
How To Best Prepare for a Rune Reading
To best prepare for a Rune reading, please read “Types of Rune Spreads” below, and also the section entitled “Some Things to Keep in Mind.”
Types of Rune Spreads
Here are the various ways and purposes of casting Runes that I use.
One Rune: Practical and simple, one Rune gives an overview of the situation, a clearer focus on the issue. It may provide a fresh perspective or direction, it may provide helpful information. One Rune can be sufficient in itself for this purpose. Or it may be drawn when this single question is prayerfully asked: “Show me what I need to know for my life right now.”
Three Runes: A three-Rune spread provides 1) an overview of the situation, 2) the challenge involved, and 3) the action called for.
Five Runes: This spread may be useful when asking for more detail, or for situations that are complex. The Runes indicate: 1) the overview of the situation, 2) the challenge, 3) the course of action called for, 4) the sacrifice that may be entailed (something given up or let go of) and 5) the new situation evolving.
Six Rune, or Runic Cross: In this spread the Runes represent 1) your past, what is behind you, 2) You Now, 3) the future, what lies ahead of you, what is coming into being, 4) the foundation of the matter under consideration, 5) the challenge, or the nature of what appears to be obstacles in your pathway, 6) the new situation that will evolve as you meet the challenge. Sometimes, after reflection of the Runes drawn, if there is still a distinct lack of clarity, you might either consider the possibility of a Runic Override (see below) or you may draw one single Rune, called a Rune of Resolution, which may help you to recognize the essence of the situation.
Three Lifetimes Spread: This is an informative spread for those who are considering the idea of reincarnation. Five Runes are drawn, and represent 1) your birth and childhood, 2) the present, 3) your future in this life, 4) your past incarnation, and 5) your future incarnation. This reading may help you to recognize unresolved aspects of your past, which may inform the way you live your present, which will naturally affect your future in this life as well as in the next.
Cycle of Initiation (Two Runes): Only thirteen Runes are used for the first drawing in this reading, each of which has a particular position in what is called the Cycle of Initiation, which supports the process of self-change. In this reading, instead of offering an issue, you are asking for direction: what in your life or in yourself do you need to attend to at this time in order to move forward in your journey toward your higher Self? The first Rune drawn tells you where you are in this current cycle, by its own position in the order of the Cycle of Initiation. The second Rune is drawn from all twenty-five Runes and may give insight on how you can best complete your current cycle and prepare for the next.
Comment on choosing which type of spread to use: For myself, I often draw a single Rune when I have almost a yes or no question to answer for myself, or just feel in need of a "word" for myself from Spirit, some encouragement, for instance. I often use the Three-Rune spread when there is a particular and important matter to be considered. I do a Five-Rune spread for myself at each solstice and equinox, as a guide for the next quarter of the year. I have personally found my Rune readings to be very helpful, and consistently spot on, both for myself and for others for whom I have consulted.
Other Helpful Information
Runic Override: Sometimes the counsel received doesn’t seem to apply at all to the issue offered. When this occurs, it may be wise to consider the possibility that the Runes are speaking to you about a more significant issue than the one you chose; perhaps something in your life that you are avoiding or are not looking at that needs to be addressed.
Upright and Reversed: Nine of the Runes are the same whether they are facing right-side up or upside-down; there is no difference. The other sixteen can be read Upright or Reversed. It is helpful to keep in mind that drawing a Rune in Reversed position is not necessarily a “bad” thing, it may indicate a need for care and attention to an issue for a correct, desired outcome; it may indicate some challenge to a particular aspect of your perspective or behavior. It is useful to take both interpretations, Reversed and Upright into account, so as to be familiarized with all aspects of the situation.
Runes Drawn or Cast: I usually select Runes in one of two ways: most often I draw Runes by allowing them to sift through my fingers within the drawstring bag in which they are kept; the Rune that sticks between two fingers or the last Rune left in my hand is the one selected. Sometimes I cast the Runes by dropping them on the floor at my feet, then looking for a pattern or at the ones directly in front of me. Often when I am doing a three Rune spread, I will find three Runes perfectly lined up somewhere on the floor together, or three Runes close to my feet. Once when I had been led to do a Runic cross reading, I dropped the Runes, and there at my feet were six Runes in the perfect pattern of a cross, while all the others were scattered farther away!
Some things to keep in mind:
The Meaning of Oracle
Runes are considered to be an oracle, and they also fall into the realm of play. An oracle is, by definition, a person or agency that is in communication with the Divine. Runes are a tool for accessing your own innermost connection with the Divine, the wisdom within.
You could say that any of the messages from any of the Runes would be of benefit to meditate on for any situation. While that may be entirely accurate, I believe in the synchronicity of specific messages appearing for you personally at just the right time for just the exact issue.
All of your own answers are ultimately to be found within yourself. Consulting the Runes may provide a map for your inner search for guidance.
My Personal History with Runes
When I first became acquainted with Runes, I was immediately drawn to their use and adopted it as a personal practice, one of several tools that I employed for my own benefit and spiritual growth. Eventually I was asked by others to do Rune readings on issues that they were dealing with. Each time I have done this for someone else, it has proven helpful and accurate.
Runes came from northern realms, of Scandinavian origin, and made their way down through the British Isles, from whence comes one fourth of my own heritage. I believe myself to have inherited this gift of Rune craft via my Cornwall ancestry: my father’s father came from Cornwall.
My experience of meditating on Runes has provided me with helpful insights countless times over the past several years and has served to focus my attention on particularly applicable higher wisdom. It is not magic so much as it is praying for guidance and receiving an answer. But the Cornish-Celtic connection adds in a bit of its own magic!
The Runes I use are a set prayerfully produced by Ralph H. Blum which are accompanied by his Book of Runes. My Runes have been blessed and commissioned at a course in shamanic training during which I was inspired to offer Rune readings and Rune art to clients.
Several times I have been inspired to draw a symbolic picture to accompany a reading, one that illustrates the message of the Runes. I do this with meditation and prayer for the recipient, asking for and trusting in Divine inspiration. The art makes a colorful reminder of the message given.
Several samples of Rune Art that I have created are viewable at the top of this page. Click on each image to view a larger version. Each piece is uniquely designed to accompany a specific Rune reading at the client’s request. The original work is sent to the client; I keep a print for my own portfolio and reserve the right to display the work in my online gallery of Rune Art at this website. (Of course the name of the client will be kept confidential.)