Category Archives: rune magic

H is for Hagalaz

Hagalaz is the rune that marks the beginning of the second aettir of Elder and Anglo-Saxon Futharks. It’s name is usually translated as Hail. That frozen precipitation that falls from the sky in some parts of the world. I have been in a few hail storms, and usually very small pellets of hail, about the size of BB gun pellets. Mostly I have been inside, where it does make quite the din, but apparently being caught outside in such a storm is unpleasant, although only mildly as the tine stones beat against your face, head and exposed skin, as their descent from the sky causes them to be moving at very high rate of speed as they accelerate towards the earth.
There is the other hail storms, where hail stones can be as big as baseballs or softballs, and these hail storm can do significant damage to property, people and animals, as they are also moving quite fast, and being larger, can pack particularly more destructive power when they do so. If you have been fortunate enough to not live through one, here is a google image search link to help you.

For me at least, that is the lesson of Hagalaz. Destruction. Destruction that leaves only things that can barely be salvaged in it’s wake. What is left after the Hagalaz storm? Well, apparently ice that melts down into water, which can be beneficial to any crops that survive of the beating, and not much else. It is after the storm passes that is the important time to rebuild though, because what is left, is strong. It is durable. It has withstood the storm and can continue forward. The weakness has been cast away and it leaves only room for the strong to grow, prosper and move forward. If you were to use Hagalaz against a foe, and that foe manages to walk away at the end, you better hope is lesson in survival taught him to think better then messing with you ever again, and perhaps to follow a new path. Otherwise, he won’t be so easy to eliminate if there is a next time.

G is for Runes

In the Anglo Saxon Futhorc there are two G runes. One is pretty well known, as it is part of the re-created Elder Futhark, whereas the other one, whose inclusion as part of the Northumbrian extension, is a bit of am mystery of it’s presence.
The first one, appearing in the First aettir is Gebo or Gyfu. The gift. Part of my understanding behind this rune is the idea of exchange that creates connections. By exchanging gifts, you become friends, family, lovers, business partners, Governments and people that are governed. Connections are made. Contracts are agreed to. To be human, is to participate in the exchange of creating a social unit, a social unit which can be varied, diverse and complex, as you try to understand the exchange that you have with everyone, who all have different exchanges with each other. When the exchange fails to happen, when the gifts are not shared, is when that connection falls apart, and the social order separates. Sometimes this leads to divorce, or ending of friendships. Other times it creates wars between nations, or revolutions between people and their government. Thinking that you are independent, self made, or not reliant on other people is a mistake, because we all, in fact, rely on others all the time, and in this day and age, sometimes that exchange is so assumed or expected that it has become invisible, and thus forgotten and disrespected. Respect the exchange. Share your gifts. Only be sharing will betterment of yourself and others come about.


The second G rune, that of Gar, which means Spear. The spear was the oldest and most widely used weapon among Northern peoples. Lacking widespread availability of iron, swords were rare and usually reserved for the wealthy, and typically made of other metals. When Iron and steel swords became available, it was usually through trade with other cultures. But spears were easier to have and produce. Only the spearhead needed to be metal, and depending upon the length of the staff, it could be a weapon for close combat, or useful and dealing with distant foes or even keeping foes as a distance.
Yet, at the same time, the spear could be a metaphor for many other things. It could be a symbol of the world tree, a pillar around which all of creation is upheld and revolves. It could also be the spear that marks the turning point of the heavens, now days identified with the star Polaris. The axis of the sky and creation, which everything either revolves around, or is turned by. The point of the spear is the center of all creation, the source and end, the beginning and ending. All potential and all realization exist there, and can be found. But it is also a blank slate, a tabula rasa. Nothing is written, but could be. There is only possibility and potential that can be formed and realized. So what will you do? Where will you go? What shapes and forms will you give release to and how will it change and affect you? Now you can create anew, just be sure of what you are creating.

F is for Feoh


Feoh or Fehu is the first rune of the runic alphabet. It is from this letter that begins the general name of the runic sequence Futhark or Futhorc. The meaning attributed to Feoh is that of wealth, gold, valuables and by association from older cultures, cattle, the medium of understanding how wealthy a person or household might be. I mainly think of it as just wealth or gold as the best representation for modern day understandings. The name of this rune is see as the foundation for many modern words like finances, fees, fiscal and other words that relate to money and wealth that start with a similar sound.

After love magic, I would say that most people coming looking for magic to help make them prosperous, wealthy, rich, or at least financially stable, free from the upsets of unexpected losses, bills, fines and complications. Considering that the major cause of so much stress for many people, couples, and life in general in the modern US is based around wealth, including some of the biggest issues of economics, jobs, employment, social security, the costs of healthcare and so many other things, it can really get a person or a family down.

Wealth and prosperity magic is probably more practiced in some ways then love magic. While some people have various ethical reservations about getting someone to love them through magic, most people do not feel as complicated as doing spells to get themselves to get jobs, find money, or ensure financial favor and support. I know that I myself certainly have no problems with it, and work it often enough. Yet, so much of our culture has this divide between “materialism” and “spirituality”. When you meet a spiritual teacher or practitioner who is rich, people often look askance at them, seeing something questionable and perhaps fraudulent in what they are doing. Yet at the same time, some of these same people might completely ignore long standing spiritual and religious institutions who have more wealth then most of the developing countries in the world.

Yet, I myself find it particularly valuable in seeing the spiritual side of wealth, as well as the spiritual benefit of being enlightened, and applying that wisdom and gaining and managing my wealth, but also the wealth of states and nations. I think it would be much better to have someone who has compassionate enlightenment and reason to be thinking about how to best serve the management of the wealth of a nation then the greed and corruption which clearly plagues the economic systems of the world now.

To meditate and contemplate wealth, prosperity, and abundance not only of spiritual things, but of how it can serve to turn material things into their true spiritual natures is something that can be gained through working with Feoh. Carve it into a candle, or write it on a paper which you then dab with some kind of money related condition oil. Draw the rune from your rune bag and sit with it, either before you, or held in your hands. Chant the name, or draw it in the air with energy and intent and press it into your etheric and astral bodies. What does Feoh tell you about your relationship with Wealth? What would be enough? What do you really want and need to be prosperous?

Runes and reversals 2

In my work with bindrunes, using runecasting as the means for selecting runes to use in creating a bindrune, in some of my work I have been given the reversed forms to incorporate. The first time this happened, my initial inclination was to turn the rune right side up. After a several minutes contemplating this, I changed my mind and turn the rune back the way it had come up in the reading, and proceeded with creating the bindrune into the aesthetically pleasing sigil I wanted. Since then, many of my bindrunes have incorporated reversed runes in thier makeup. At first I wasn’t sure what it may indicate, but as time and experience progressed, I slowly came to realization. It has to do with the action of the rune and where it is being activated. This is different from in a reading, although understanding it might help make some things more clear in a reading.

This first became clear to me when I was creating a bindrune to find hidden treasure. Finding hidden treasure is of great interest in much European and American folklore. Long before banks were common and established as mostly trustworthy institutions… People protected their money and valuables through concealment, often through burying them where only they would find it, so long as their secret was not revealed. The problem is that sometimes before they could recover their valuables, the person might die from various circumstances, or without documentation they also forgot where they concealed their wealth. It seemed interesting to me that something like this exists, and yet there is no real modern day interest in this action, except for various treasure hunters who seek out a multitude of technological toys to assist them. Of course, in this day and age, hidden treasure might take on a different meaning. From family bank accounts that were forgotten or lost because of bank foreclosures, to finding out that grandpa’s old clock is a $5,000 art piece to the right collector, to the right bit of information that suddenly puts laws and regulations in your favor, hidden treasure can take many forms.

I thought I would try this out, so I created a bindrune to work with in finding “hidden treasure.” In the process of casting the runes for this, one of the runes that came up was Feoh reversed, the rune of wealth upside down. That is when it dawned on me, “Duh, of course, Hidden Wealth, would be Feoh reversed.” From that insight, the rest of the pieces fell into place for other reversed runes in the bindrunes. They can point to an interior aspect, of the magic of changing the energies within you or a situation. It can also point to powers that are acting discretely, cause sometimes charging in head first, guns blazing is quick way to get your request denied, whereas choosing to grease the palm of the bouncer to get in the back can be more successful. It is something that I have happily embraced with my rune magic, but it has also been a great boon in readings to, as sometimes the layout of runes in the reading indicates that hidden aspect of a reversed rune, instead of a misfortunate meaning.

Traditions: Hyberborean Go­­­­ēs, Mediterranean Galdrmadhr, Runic Conjureman

I find myself working in three traditions of magic and spirituality, which seem to have a unique relationship as the come together, and then separate. The main traditions I work from are Mediterranean focused Wiccan Tradition, the many disparate elements of Northern European magic, and Southern US conjure. I really enjoy all three, and when I am working away at setting lights, calling to the Anemoi, or singing galdr, and sometimes all three, it’s really wonderful, but at the same time, it’s a lot of hard work.

The Wiccan tradition of which I am iniated is known as the Minoan Brotherhood. It was founded in the early 70’s in New York City, by a gay man. At that time, Wicca was rather homophobic, but yet it seems, many gay men were strongly attracted to it, and sought it out, some choosing to conceal their proclivities from covens, or being told that they had to act “in accordance with nature” and play a heterosexual role. The founder of the Minoan brotherhood had enough of this, and established this tradition, to create a space for men who wished to engage in Wicca/Witchcraft and also honor their sexual identities and Love. If you want to know more, google it (We are all modern and all) and that pretty much sums up what I can tell people, due to oaths of secrecy. Suffice to say, I read a lot about Ancient Greek gods, myths, and bronze age Mediterranean cultures, and it helps to inform my magical practice. I think defixiones are great and should really be brought back to.

When I first began my studies into magic and the occult, I began with the Runes, the alphabet of Northern Europe and Scandinavian cultures, which has been given various esoteric and magical attributes, both in myth, but also in modern times and scholars. One of my goals is to have one of the largest book collection dedicated to the esoteric subject, and I honestly think I may have achieved that goal, as most people seem to only have a few books. I can sign galdr, make bindrunes and taufr (runic talismans) and one of my spirit allies and teachers is most definitely old one-eyed Odhinn, who seems fond of Stella Artois. Magic, meditation, divination all seem to flow with from the runes for me, and I have found ways to integrate them into a lot of what I do.

The final tradition is Southern US folk magic, also called Hoodoo, Conjure, Rootwork, Witchcraft – which developed in the mixing pot of the United States, with a good strong dose of African magic and spirituality, mixed with European and Native American currents, and as time progressed a little bit of Asian got mixed in two, (just a little, very small amount, and most in the early twentieth century). I first learned about Conjure online, when I found Lucky Mojo in college. and it’s websites, and put a spark into my mind that I has not cooled down yet. A decade later, I found Lucky Mojo again, and became a student, then graduate of Catherine yronwode’s Hoodoo and Rootwork course, which was really educational, and continues to be so. It also connected me with other people who also practice Conjure, from folk whose family goes back to the Southern US, and family practices Conjure, to new people who are keen in learning what is a very uniquely US style, but which has become an almost universal style from the way magic became popular in the US. Considering how much of contemporary books about methods of spell casting and steeped in Hoodoo methods and traditions, it makes perfect sense that so many people are drawn to it.
Of course, it leaves me wondering and my head spinning when I get caught in the seeming fray between traditionalists and innovators within all these traditions. Using secrets of the Psalms in wiccan circles, while drawing runes on petitions for mojo bags, and working with Greek gods to aid my setting of lights, it just about makes my head go “boom!” But then I spend enough time working to get familiar with everything on their own terms, then I end up seeing the places where they can overlap. Yet I can see where I am doing my own thing, and yet also where I am following tradition. Yet, it also comes to the boundary where you realize, there is no tradition, no set way of doing some things because what exists now, didn’t exist back then, even if it was only 100 years ago. That is when the gift and genius and being worker of wonders comes in.

Reclaiming the Taboo

A symbol that I am currently contemplating deeply is commonly known as the swastika. It is a symbol that has a long history, mostly good, until the 20th century, where in the hands of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party, it became associated with horrors and atrocities enacted in Nazi Germany. For that reason, many countries have banned the symbol outside of restricted usage for certain religions (primarily eastern, where the swastika has a much richer usage and benevolent symbolism that is much stronger then anything in Nazi Germany).

There are many variants on the swastika, mostly in stylistic depictions, and also vary depending upon the culture. It also has many names. Fylfot, Hooked Cross, Gammadion, Tetraskelion, Tursaansydan, manji, Mjolnir, thorshammr, Mundilfari, sun wheel, At one time, a Buddhist version of the Red Cross was called Red Swastika, and performed in actions similar to Red Cross of western countries.

One of the mistaken lore about the swastika, is that there is a reversed version, which symbolize evil. That is untrue however, as artifacts and usage up until mid 20th century used the swastika with it’s bent legs facing in both directions. Whatever way the legs are turned, the symbolism of the swastika, as a symbol of good fortune and luck, holds true. It was for the beneficial association that Hitler decided to use it, along with pseudo-philosophies about being Aryan, and the connection made by German nationalists both before and current with Adolf Hitler, which encourage him to use that symbol for the Nazi party.

Some of the two best sources I have found about the Swastika and it’s attributes are from Wikipedia, which had a detailed entry, with fascinating links at the bottom leading to other variants.

Another interesting source was ms Catherine Yronwode and her Lucky Mojo website

It was from studying these websites that I decided to work with the swastika a little bit, embracing the it’s attribution of Good Fortune, and using it in a spell for myself to encourage and stimulate good luck. Not in any specific area of influence, but in the sense of any event moving odds in my favor.

To that end, I seek to reclaim this taboo symbol that has been rejected, at least for myself. While I don’t plan on showing it openly in any large way, because it seems like too much effort to explain to every person I see that I am not a Nazi, or Anti-Semetic, and it has nothing to with that, it is unfortunate that this symbols has been so tarnished by the misuse. I think with time and exposure, the idea can be taken back, and the symbol can be reclaimed and used openly again in the Western World, without misinterpretation.

Last moment addition
a blog devoted to images of the swastika

Song of Spells

The last section of the Havamal (the sayings of the High One, a wisdom poem attributed to Odhinn) is a section that describes the various spells known to the mysterious singer of the poem. While in many translations they are called runes, the effects and methods are various, from him signing words, to carving runes, to affecting the world simply through will and perception. Other of the runes he knows are descriptive of unique knowledge that singer has possessed or perhaps even heard.

After completing the work of many months of meditating on the Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian runes, I felt it was a time to move forward into a seemingly unexplored area. While it often seems that many people may be familiar with the Havamal, none seem to seek it as an opportunity to understand and explore the magic of the runes, galdr and other aspects of Northern Tradition practical magic.

While contemplating the section of the poem, and reading the various runes, spells and purposes, it is also my intent to reach out through trance techniques and gain further instruction and understanding from spirit mentors with home I have alliances for instruction and education.

The translation that I have chosen for my main contemplation comes from the following website:

Here is a copy of the complete song of spells. I have placed numbers preceding each stanza which according to the spell given.

Those songs I know, which nor sons of men nor queen in a king’s court knows;

1the first is Help which will bring thee helpin all woes and in sorrow and strife.
2A second I know, which the son of menmust sing, who would heal the sick.
3A third I know: if sore need should comeof a spell to stay my foes;when I sing that song, which shall blunt their swords,nor their weapons nor staves can wound.
4A fourth I know: if men make fastin chains the joints of my limbs, when I sing that song which shall set me free,spring the fetters from hands and feet.
5A fifth I know: when I see, by foes shot,speeding a shaft through the host,flies it never so strongly I still can stay it,if I get but a glimpse of its flight.
6A sixth I know: when some thane would harm mein runes on a moist tree’s root,on his head alone shall light the illsof the curse that he called upon mine.
7A seventh I know: if I see a hallhigh o’er the bench-mates blazing,flame it ne’er so fiercely I still can save it, –I know how to sing that song.
8An eighth I know: which all can singfor their weal if they learn it well;where hate shall wax ‘mid the warrior sons,I can calm it soon with that song.
9A ninth I know: when need befalls meto save my vessel afloat,I hush the wind on the stormy wave,and soothe all the sea to rest.
10A tenth I know: when at night the witches ride and sport in the air,such spells I weave that they wander homeout of skins and wits bewildered.
11An eleventh I know: if haply I leadmy old comrades out to war,I sing ‘neath the shields, and they fare forth mightilysafe into battle,safe out of battle,and safe return from the strife.
12A twelfth I know: if I see in a treea corpse from a halter hanging,such spells I write, and paint in runes,that the being descends and speaks.
13A thirteenth I know: if the new-born sonof a warrior I sprinkle with water,that youth will not fail when he fares to war,never slain shall he bow before sword.
14A fourteenth I know: if I needs must numberthe Powers to the people of men,I know all the nature of gods and of elveswhich none can know untaught.
15A fifteenth I know, which Folk-stirrer sang,the dwarf, at the gates of Dawn;he sang strength to the gods, and skill to the elves,and wisdom to Odin who utters.
16A sixteenth I know: when all sweetness and loveI would win from some artful wench,her heart I turn, and the whole mind changeof that fair-armed lady I love.
17A seventeenth I know: so that e’en the shy maidenis slow to shun my love.
These songs, Stray-Singer, which man’s son knows not,long shalt thou lack in life,though thy weal if thou win’st them, thy boon if thou obey’st themthy good if haply thou gain’st them.
18An eighteenth I know: which I ne’er shall tellto maiden or wife of mansave alone to my sister, or haply to herwho folds me fast in her arms;most safe are secrets known to but one-the songs are sung to an end.