Tag Archives: rune

I is for Runes


Isa is the rune of Ice and cold. Ice, perfectly frozen with very very air bubbles can look like precious stones, so much so that people once believed that clear quartz was in fact a kind of ice that could not be melted.
Ice, the power of cold, to freeze things and lock them into a state where they are well preserved for as long as they stay frozen. That is part of the power of Isa. Whether it is to cool a situation down or you want to put someone “on ice” Isa is the rune to turn to. While heat is a very popular and widely used tool, from “hot footing” to melting wax dolls in order to soften someone’s heart, or even in the form of candle burning (which bring heat and light to the spiritual and magical work) cold can play a useful role, one that is often overlooked. As soon as methods of cooling things became available with items like iceboxes and then later freezer and refrigerators, people started using them to work cooling freezing magic.
Another useful parallel is language found in African diaspora groups of spirits that are “hot” and “cool” The cool spirits are often the main ones that people have allegiance to, like the Orishas, although they can turn hot when needed (or offended) but often the desire is to cool them down and to keep your spiritual essence cool. The practice of rogacion is about cooling the head and the spirit of the head to help bring clarity, insight and wisdom. A cool intellect often literally sees things much better then a raging hot head, something that is actually scientifically true.

Inguz/Ing/Yngvi is name that Sweden and seems to be a later addition to the Futhorc. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem refers it to the the leader of Ynglings, but it also seems connected to Freyr, usually in the form Ingvifreyr, which suggests that while Freyr was his title, Ingvi may actually be his real name. But the truth of that is lost to time. However connection to the god Freyr remains, and this rune seems to resonate with some of the powers of Freyr, the shining brother of Freya. He is the lord of seasons, and by some he is the compared to the Horned God of Wicca, believing that the rituals of which Wicca was seeking to revive was the older rituals of Vanir, the tribe and gods who predated the arrival of the Aesir and the establishment of Asgard. So, like the Horned God, he is through to rise anew each year, only to be sacrificed again with each harvest, that his sacrifice may give renewal to the ground in gratitude for the gifts of food that it has given. The Vanir might have even been the Gaelic people who inhabited Europe for a much longer time until the arrival of the nomadic and conquering Aesir.
The magic and mystery of Inguz is the masculine birth/death/rebirth cycle expressed by seasons. It is the masculine complement to the Beorc. It’s various shapes always remind me of a seed, which one might compare to the seed of sperm, the tiny activator that starts the process of pregnancy once it reaches and fertilizes the egg, but in doing so, it is gone, as the egg begins a new process, catalyzed by the sperm to start cell division and create a new life.
To some ancient cultures that saw this present in nature as well. Noticing that areas of land struck by lightning would produce more abundant crops (as the lightning would fix the nitrogen in the soil) they equated lightning with fertilizing force of the gods. The same with rain as well, as it brings growth to plants and food crops, which without it, they would lay fallow in the ground until sufficient water is brought to help the plants to grow.
A similar metaphor can be found internally. Sometime the formative idea or concept is there, working on itself until a catalyst, the lightning flash of insight, inseminates it and it starts to grow and form itself into the new work that you are creating.

Ior is the rune of the World Serpent, that beast born of Loki and Angrboda, a giantess who gave Loki three children, one of which was the Midgard Serpent, Jormungandr. As it is one of the much later Anglo-Saxon runes, and it’s rune poem is odd, describing a river fish that lives in both land and water. To older cultures, they readily identified anything that lived in water as being a fish, whether it is actually a fish or not by today’s scientific classification. The “river fish” that they indentified may have been an otter or a beaver, or some other kind of amphibious mammal that lives in and surrounded by water.
Part of the mystery of Ior is the dual natured, or polymorphous nature of this river fish. Something that inhabits both land and water, but is not tied to both. Some have seen this as a fitting description for Jormungandr, the world serpent, as it was born on land, and lives in the sea, mainly because it is so huge that is the only place with room for it. But the coils of Jormungandr are seem to identify what is within Midgard and what is outside of it, the serpentine “hedge” of in-lying and out-lying on a cosmic scale. Being able to cross those boundaries is usually part of the tool kit of the spiritual practitioner, being able to leave the physical world behind and enter in the other worlds, but also being able to think outside the limits of place, time and culture to see things differently and recognize beneficial change but also harmful change. Working with Ior can cause you to experience that boundary, and being able to cross it, but also to affirm it, and somehow to become it. Making yourself polymorphous and no longer locked into one state of being, thinking or doing. No longer a person who is something or is not something, but simple a person.

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.

D is for Dagaz


In the Elder Futhark Dagaz is the typically either the last rune, or the second to last rune (some orderings switch it with Aethel). In the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, it is only the last rune in the 3rd aettir, as a 4th aettir soon takes it’s place. The name means “day” as in the time period when the sun is passing across the sky, and it’s bright light covers that side of the Earth.
I personally find that this is a rune of light, and of Light. While other runes that indicate light are perhaps more personal (Cenaz) or the object which sheds light (Sowilo, Qweorth) Dagaz refers to that special quality of light, seemingly in abudance, surrounding, filling, maybe even penetrating. This is light is also benevolent generally. As in many folklores, when the sun rises is when all the unpleasant things that humans fear retreat back for a while. Life resumes it’s normal pace, and the whispers of harmful beings and unwanted influences fade away, at least for another time span of light.
While it’s nature is benevolent, the results of it’s actions working people, both yourselves and others, is not always. Humans are to a certain degree, hardwired to be blind. Things that don’t meet our sense of self are rejected, either casually and wantonly, or sometimes with anger and potential violence. It takes a lot of work to make yourself into someone who can accept everything, and even if you have done a lot of it, there is probably still something, hiding, secret, laying the darkness, that when it has the light of day shined upon it, the revelation will be challenging, if not outright unpleasant and undesirable. That is part of the human condition, but it doesn’t mean you have to be bound by it.

The revelation, the awakening, letting in the light, seeing things in the light, can be very difficult, and it only gets harder when we fight it. Better to let the light shine, and sit with our discomfort, or sensitivity, our pain, and let it shine through us. It is only trying to help us to shine brighter ourselves, or to be clearer so that our light can shine through, unobstructed.

Let the light shine.

Audhruna – Runes of Wealth

Lately, I have been focusing a lot on wealth, money and prosperity and financial magic. Most people seem to have been affected by that economic shift that has affected the United States over the past year. While it seems the low point has passed, we have not yet a satisfying middle for most people. This of course has many people scrambling, and a lot of magical folk that I know are often turning to some kind of money magic to help them out. Being of a practical bent, this is something I have been working on for a while, and while I am not the Donald Trump of Occultism, I do have some opinions and experience of it.
Two of the books that I have read recently that focused on financial magic are “The Sorcerer’s Secrets” by Jason Miller, and “The Witch’s Coin” by Christopher Penzcak I have to say, in some ways these two books represent very different ends of the magical spectrum about magic and money. Jason Miller’s work I would have to say is the more “practical sorcery” side of the financial magic spectrum. Christopher Penzcak is more representative of the “spiritual relationship” with money. Both have useful ideas, and techniques, and I think people of all sorts would be benefited by reading both, and doing the exercises they find within, and utilizing the spells and techniques.
One of my first comments, when it comes to money magic, is that almost absolute necessity of creating a “money altar.” I put that in quotation marks, because it doesn’t even necessarily have to look like an altar, but you should have a special place where you do money magic, whether you are a professional with clients (where you could also work money spells for them at the same location) or a amateur or hobbyist of some kind (which means you don’t necessarily market your magical skills to others, but you do practice magic). I say this because dealing with finances and money is something you are going to do for all of your life, in some way shape or form, and by creating a relationship with it that is inclusive of spirituality, it gives you a center and focus for dealing with finances. This altar will be the where you work your money magic of all kinds; keep most of your curios and items for money magic.
There are several types of money magic. The most basic and familiar kind can be called “Money-drawing.” This type of magic is about bringing money to you, however that may occur. The next type can be called “Money Protection.” This type of magic is about savings, long term investments, protection from theft, scams and fraud, and managing finances. The next type of money magic can be called “job magic” (although I think the word “job” is a dirty three letter word. I usually prefer employment or work.) This magic is about finding, getting, and keeping a job, with some work place related spells aimed at influencing co-workers, management and work environments. The final area of money magic can be called “gambling magic” and is aimed at magic to influence risky endeavors, which can cover everything from slot machines and poker games, to high-risk investing, and investment in new ventures, like film and television. At least the first three should be represented on your money altar, with the fourth one (gambling) maybe being present, if that is something you do, or are good at. I myself have no ability at gambling, and so I don’t pursue it. There is one other area of related to money magic, which can be called “debt collecting.” It is about money, but more so about influencing people to pay their debts to you, and to give you what they owe you, but if the other three are going well, this one isn’t really a major consideration.
Of course there are runes that relate too many of these areas of magic. With bindrunes, any rune can be combined together to make an audh-stafir (or rune of riches). There are specific runes that deserve mention that are good for money magic. Looking at these, some people may disagree with me, and other works may also present different runes. The ones I am presenting are the one that through my work, have made it clear to me that they are more related to financial magics then anything else.
The first one is Feoh/Fehu. Feoh means Gold in most academic translation of the various Rune poems. Somehow, some people decided that meant “cattle”, but gold seems to be the basic meaning. Just about every book out there most rune types will point you to this rune for wealth. It’s true. This rune does seem to draw wealth to you. However, easy come, easy go is the saying. Feoh doesn’t keep the money with you. It seems part of the nature of this rune is that one you have the money, you will start spending it, and using it. So don’t stop with it, if you have bigger plans then just being everyone’s best friend at the bar.
The second financial rune is Gebo. The name of this rune means “gift” and that is exactly what it is. But it ain’t a free gift. That is, there are certain obligations and responsibilities that come with that gift. I, personally, don’t use this rune much because of it. In this day and age, Gebo is more like contracts, agreements, and business deals. There is an exchange between two parties, and so long as the agreement is kept, it will work out. The breaking that contract made with Gebo can have serious consequences. It is a good way to get people to keep their work, or follow through with a contract, whatever it maybe.
The next financial rune is Jera. Jera means “year” or “Harvest” usually a good year and good harvest. This rune is about Long term financial magic. It definitely means work, but it is work that pays in the end, if you were keeping at it, much in a sense, like a farmer tending his fields and reaping a good harvest for his efforts. If you do work Jera, it should be worked within a defined time period, generally more then a month. At the end of that period, if you want to continue with Jera, you need to examine your previous spell, and make changes. Don’t work the same spell twice, although an on going spell can be worked, so long as the elements that need to be renewed are simple, like candles or offerings.
The next rune is Peorth. “Peorth!” I can already here some people saying. Yes, Peorth. This is, of course, the rune for gambling and high risk financial magic. The Anglo-saxon poem strongly associates it with games of chance, and so it can be used to help with those risky investments. Often, its best purpose is to knowledge about which investment will pay off, but it can also be used to work chance and gambling luck in your favor. Another way to use this rune is also in the locating of hidden treasure. To me, part of the meaning of Peorth is that it actually refers to the dead, who are living it up in their afterlife. Sometimes they can be petitioned to give up their wealth, and so, hidden treasures, and buried valuables might be revealed. By the way, this is for the dead that you are not related. For your ancestors wealth look to Ethel.
The following rune is Berkana. Berkana is the rune of Growth and nurturing of things to help them grow. While most people think of plants, babies, animals and pregnant women, this growing and nurturing can also be about your finances, savings and money. Berkana clearly belongs to the area of money protection, as it is more about money you already have, and are trying to improve. It grows the money, while also protecting it. It is not fast to act, and it does need “a seed” to start with. So, once you get the money from Feoh, start working Berkana to see it grow.

The next rune for money magic is Ehwaz. Ehwaz isn’t completely a money rune. Its name means horse, and while horses are often the mark of the wealthy, and also gambling related, one of its most common uses is to speed things up. This rune, when combined with others, is for emergencies, or Fast Money. Sometimes, Shit Happens. When you need it, and you need it NOW!!! Ehwaz is the rune to use.

Inguz is the next financial rune. Its name refers to one of the epithets of Freyr. In most descriptions, they talk about an image of him being paraded around the lands of Northern Europe, and how he brings fertility to the land. That Fertility is often the quickening of growth of fields, so that food for people and for livestock can be provided. Money magic wise, Inguz is the “active” counterpart to Berkana. Savings, investments, Trusts, where money is placed and is secure, but it is also actively being used, often with higher interests that are paid. This can also be about money that is used for endeavors that will pay off. Education is one very clear example. Enchant your tuition checks, for investing in your future, so that when it ripens, you can be ready to reap the benefit.

Ethel is the rune of ancestral property. This rune is about inheritance, and property. This rune can also be about calling up the skills of ancestors, which are inherent in you, to aid you in your work, if they are related. I might also suggest that you have a good relationship with your ancestors if you are going to do this. It is also a way, that by working with ones ancestors, and giving thanks and veneration for their aid, they can help you directly, by helping you in your work, financial management, and income. After all, if you are pursuing a relationship with them, it will benefit them, to benefit you. Make sure you show gratitude. On the other hand, when it comes to property, this rune is also invaluable, as it helps with real estate investments, and development. It also works well in your personal real estate, your home, whatever that may be.

This pretty much covers most of the runes that deal directly with money and magic. There are some other runes that deserve mention. While not money related per se, they can be worked with financial magic for particular situations or gain. Os the rune of Gods and of the mouth, is really great for those who work in environments where what they say helps them to make their money and succeed. It is also good for any other situation where speaking might be needed (interviews, asking for that raise or promotion etc…). Wunjo(Joy) is good for influencing work environment, to help it be productive, peaceful and pleasant. Eohlx (elk-sedge) and combined with other runes are well suited for money protection, as this is the main protective rune. Protect your wallet, savings, job, reputation, home, investments, you name it, it can be protected. Sowelo(sun) is a great rune to spur on success, aiding you in a number ways to excel. It can also make you “shine” more and let prospective and current employers see you in a more beneficial light. When it comes to money management Teiwaz(a god of justice and judgment) and Mannaz(man) excel in helping one to make decisions. They are also beneficial in seeing through scams, fraud, and pyramid schemes as well. Yr(bow) is the rune to use if you are involved with a craft or skilled trade. It will help you in your skills, and also help to gain respect for abilities. Kalc(chalice) helps one to assess ones skills and desires, and in doing so, seek the best vocation and career, as many people go through life, working, but doing so without direction. It can also bring about the glamour of desirability, helping you to gain employment, particularly if it is your chosen career field.

The previous are all runes that work well within the area of money magic. They might also be runes that are worth paying attention to when receiving a reading, and asking questions related to finances, money and employment, as their presence might indicate benefits or problems.

Of course, when it comes to financial magic, one should also be working practically with financial actions and management. What real world actions are you taking to gain money? If you are doing magic to get work, are you following through with sending out resumes, asking about opportunities from people, and checking the classifieds? Are you checking your investments, reading about changes in Wall Street, and knowing you are handling your money and how? If you are using magic to put a favorable wind at your back, you still need to open the sail, and steer the ship.

Cup of Runes

One of my favorite tricks is to place runes on a drinking cup, disposable or reusable, as way to incorporate helpful magic into a daily action. I actually came up with this trick during my college years, as a way to help with study, research, and paper writing. It is a great way to turn any liquid into the mead of inspiration.

Items you will need:

A cup or mug (in college mine was solid insulated large plastic mug, with a snap on lid)
A red marker or sharpie

clear adhesive tape
red enamel or paint
paint brush
home made stencil

I highly recommend that you choose the runes you wish to place on the mug. You can choose based upon meaning or symbolism, or by asking the runes for their suggestions. If you can write directly on the cup, just take the marker and write directly on the cup. If you decide to repeat the rune combination, traditional numbers of 3, 8, or 9 are recommended, but you can use any number combination you want. You can also write out each rune separately, or create a bind rune incorporating all of runes, which also be placed singly or in repetition across the mug.

If the mug you choose is not one you can write directly on (finished ceramic, glass, horn, finished wood etc…) you do have options on how to get the runes on there. You could place the runes on a piece of paper, which you affix to the bottom of the cup (at least, that is where I would put it) using clear tape, which you could use to cover the paper completely, thus sealing pretty well to the mug. You could also paint the runes on, using a paint that would be difficult to remove from the item, like long lasting enamel, or creating a stencil of the runes; you could even spray paint them on, very carefully if you wanted.

You may notice that I indicate red as the color to use. This is a historical shade (in the ancient past it would have been blood or red ochre). You can use other shades, but from my experience, using red produces the best results.

As far as suggestions for what runes to use, there are a lot of possibilities. From a certain perspective, you could use the ALU formula, often considered to be alerunes or olruna. Ale-runes are often considered to be runes of spiritual power and protection, and potentially also for inspiration. This is a formula that appears often in runic inscriptions and is often considered to be magical. If you consider the runes of the formula A – Aesc L – Laguz and U – Uruz, it is a formula with great potential, as well as the word together ALU, suggesting ale (a type of alcohol, comparable to beer or mead) it also ties to the mead of inspiration. I also think you could use a variant OLU (Oss, Laguz, and Uruz) for similar purpose.

Runic Categories

In the mythic lore of the Runes, there are three main sources that people look to. The most often quoted is the Havamal “The Words of the High One” which is often seen as the sayings of Odhinn. The next popular one is Sigrdrifumal “The Words of Sigridrifa” which comes from the saying of the Valkyrie Sigrdrifa to Sigurd, the dragon slayer, where she educated him in runes and magic, so that he might win. The third source, although read by some, by seeming often over looked it the Grogaldr “The Spell of Groa” in which Svipdagr goes to the gates of Hel, to meet his mother Groa, who was a seeress, so that he might learn what magical aid he can get in wooing Mengloth, an etin-maid. In the course of these writings, the speakers (Odhinn, Sigridrifa, and Groa) describe various runes to their audience that they know, or should learn, or use to reach their goals. These runes have a variety of names, and they number listed has never really reached anything close to the length of the alphabets, or the types of runes mentioned, except by the intellectual reaching of authors on the subject.

In other books, you come across various names of runes, signs, and staves for other purposes as well. Some seem to be inspired by the mythic lore, some from sagas, and others existing in Icelandic galdrboks that have been preserved. I made it a point to compile a little list of some of these types of runes, just to give the readers a look at what is present. I have to apologize for lack of accent marks; I just don’t know how to make that happen.

Malrunar- speech runes

Blodhgar runar – bloody runes or blood runes

Leo-runa – song rune (also used to refer to witches, sorcerers and such)

Brimrunar – sea runes (typically for calming the sea)

Bjargrunar – birth runes (for helping in childbirth)

Wyrdstaef – Staff of Wyrd or Urd

Likn-stafir – health stave

Gaman runa – Joy runes

Audh-stafir – Staves of Riches

Sig-Runar – Victory Runes

Myrkirstafir “Murk staves” or “Murk” Runes
Myrkrunar (a lot of writers have used this term to refer to the inverted meanings of runes in a reading, I personally think it refers to runes that deal with visibility

Bol-stafir – Evil staves

Beadu-run – conflict rune

Flaerdh stafir – Deception stave

Valrunar – death runes

Nidhstang – ok, this doesn’t really refer only to runes, but to a certain type of curse spell, where a pole, carved with certain runes, and mounted with the head of animal (typically a horse) is the anchor for a curse spell, used in saga lore to drive a king and queen from the land. I have also seen this spell nydstand or nythstang, which often connected the curse to the rune Nyth or Nauthiz ( Need or Necessity is often how it is translated). It is or was a popular thing for many European northern traditionalists to have on their websites, cursing neo fascist groups who use runes.

Svartrunar – Black runes

Olrunar or alrunar – ale runes

Limrunar – limb runes often considered runes that heal sickness or that bring healing

Hugrunar – mind runes

Helliruna – Hell or Hel runes (helrunar is one of the names that are translated “witch”)

Burgrunan – guarantee runners (used to refer to supernatural beings, especially feminine ones)

Galdrastafir – spell stave

Heidrunar – bright runes

Ginnrunar – cosmic runes

Draumstafir – dream staves (for having prophetic dreams)

Svefnthorn – sleep thorn (a type of magical symbol that causes people to sleep, and not wake until it is removed, or in the case of Sigridrifa, until certain events occur) Interestingly enough, in German folklore that has survived, thorns are a means of delivering curses, by leaving them where people will step on them, the thorn can send a curse to the victim.

Lukkustafir – Luck staves

Thjofastafir – thief’s stave (for catching thieves)

Aegishjalmur – Helm of Awe (or terror)

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of runes, staves, signs, and marks within the body of possible rune focused magic. None of these are mentioned all together, and some come from different historical periods, or are named in the Eddas and sagas. Interestingly enough, only Odhinn ever mentions magic that can be used to draw love or lust. However, if you peruse that list, the one thing I can see in a generic way, is that a lot of what people sought to do with magic is still what is sought in this day in age. Health, Wealth, healing, power, magic, victory, respect, all possibilities are present, even the suggestion of harmful magic, made to cause conflict, to deceive, and conceal, and even working with spirits of the dead (helrunar, and often svartrunar are added to this category). Not much as changed in terms of what people want, or seek, or try to understand or do, with the strange, only once mentioned, exception of love magic. Although love magic does figure quite well into galdrboks, so it is not lost, and the sage of Egill perhaps mention some love magic gone awry (although it seems as though it could have also been healing magic also gone awry, my readings on it seem mixed).

Unlike other authors, it is my contention that all of these various names are probably more likely to be more like bindrunes, combinations of runes worked to various ends. Even in the Eddas, those runes described by the High One, by Sigridrifa, and Groa are separate spells that are formed by the coming together of runes. They might be staves or signs, which would also be empowered by a galdr that is sung or spoken over them. What those are, I don’t know. But I intend to find out. I intend to ask the runes, and to go seek audience with those who gave them, and ask them directly just what it is.

As for the other types, I will be mainly working with the runes to create the stafir. I have started working with one method, rather then intellectually using runes; I do a reading, asking for runes that I should use to create the bindrunes. I have done this a few times before, and I was very satisfied with the results. From an intellectual perspective, it is surprising what runes will come to work various magics, but when you look at it from what you are intending, what they give makes perfect sense.

The most recent bindrune I did was for a galdrastafir, which can be a term used generically for all of them, can also be used to refer to specifically magical acts that relate to magic, and not results. In this case, it was a for a general empowerment stave, that will aid me in charging my magical tools (like candles, wood pieces for charms, to more ritual tools) and the runes I was given were Eihwaz, Ethil, and Iar ( I use the Anglo-saxon runes, with the additional runes that do not have stanzas.) From a purely intellectual viewpoint in dealing with the runes, this may not make sense. If you consider the runes being used, Eihwaz (the yew tree, tied to Yggdrasil as it connects the worlds and realms together) it shows the reach of all the types of energy I could work with, and be connected to them. Ethil (the ancestral homeland) it has to do with marking it with my energy, setting it aside from other items, and focusing it into power for me. Iar (the river fish, considered by some to be tied to Jormungand, the world serpent) deals with binding the energy to the items, and securing it to the object. So, really, the runes know quite well how to aid you with your goal, if you just ask them.

Runes as Spirit Seals

It seems like it should be an obvious thing to do, in our modern occult world that someone should have sought to use the runes as seals of spirits. With so much of western ceremonial tradition being the vogue undercurrent with most occult community, it surprises me that I never find any one who has tried to publish as such, or communicate that idea. Maybe it is because of the vast majority of runesters being involved in Reconstructionists heathenism, based only on historical lore collected by Christian writers in a period when most of the old ways were dying out or forgotten, except as folklore and “superstition.” Yet, with the common eclectic community, they too seem to never think of the idea of that the each rune could be the seal of a particular spirit, tied to that rune.

I have in my own ways, come across two people (well, one person, and a one website whose works involve more then one person) who has suggested such a practice. One was this man in Los Angeles, who had a series of books on Lulu. I had the opportunity to preview it once, and it did not seem like there was anything there. The other one I found was Raven Kaldera, both on his website about Northern Tradition Shamanism, and in his book WyrdWalkers. I found that to be some good stuff right there. The only problem for me, I don’t operate in a “shamanic way” per se. I have, over the past year, started to come into my own in various methods of working with spirits, and I have always been interested in those techniques, but did not try them out, for a multitude of reasons, from being solitary to lacking the ability to acquire items described (like triangles, wands, etc…). It wasn’t until I began my own meditation practice, and it went from affirmations and energy work, to visit inner dimensions (inner temples as it were) and then spirit guides started popping up out of the woodwork, that I began to make contacts. Fortuitously, I also became friends with a someone who was well trained in two African Diaspora traditions, both of which focused heavily on spirit contact work, where he also learned how to conduct a séance, and then with another friend, after becoming inactive in those traditions, developed his own method of spirit contact, based upon, but using more European and “witchy” symbols, tools and means. It was during this time that I asked for a spirit mentor, to give me further education in the runes, because I had learned all that I could from books at that time. Not sure who or what I would get, I was flabbergasted to see the Rune master himself, Odhinn (the spelling I prefer). I worked out a deal with him, where in exchange for lessons, I would make offerings to him, which have changed and developed over time, as my ability, and willingness have changed. It has been a slow lesson, spending a week with each rune, and as I am currently working with the Anglo-Saxon set, with the additional Northumbrian runes, I have a long road before me.
Over the course of each lesson, I was given instruction on how to call the spirit of each rune. The method shown to me so far has been exceedingly simple, involving only a fire source, some manner of incense placed upon the fire (sometimes a mixture, sometimes a single herb, sometimes the oddest of things). This of course, has not always been the case, but for most of the runes so far, it has held true. The exceptions to this are Gebo and Isa, but I am sure others will appear as I progress. After that is done, a simple repeated chant of the runes name, starts the process. After, I have been given galdr to use for this process instead.

I can’t say more about this process, mainly because it has mostly been carried out in the other worlds, under His single, watchful eye. From this experience however, I can say, when I compare my results with the descriptions of Raven Kaldera, I get very similar, if not always the same description. I have avoided reading his descriptions before my own work was completed, but with some cases, there were a few variances, but I think that is more reflective of me, then the spirits themselves.

Working with the runes as spirits, has seem to bring some greater “connection” with them, especially as I meet each spirit, and ask for it’s aid and assistance. Readings have become easier, magical workings with them flow better, and the particular current of each rune flows smoother. Alliance with Rune Spirits is also much easier affair then with some spirits that other people might choose. While Rune spirits are particularly strong, in their own way, they are also more akin to human beings in terms of over all power. Pissing off a Rune spirit won’t ruin your life as much as pissing off a God, a major land wight, or say the Alfar or Duergar. At best, it might just stop the whole runes from working with you, at worst, it could curse that particular part of your life, and make it rather unpleasant, kind of like a well connected and respected co-worker who spreads nasty gossip, it always sending you things after the last minute, and oh happens to be the head of HR. However, like a human, you could make it up to the rune in question, but it maybe unpleasant, particular with a more vindictive rune spirit. At the same time, they are easier to connect with for this reason. If you are already reading the runes, and you like them, and they just make “sense” you are more then half way there. That means that they like you, and think you have what it takes to deal with them.
Also, just because I say they are “more akin to humans” don’t misunderstand me, and think they are “human-like.” They aren’t. They are very primal, and not terribly considerate. Their thought processes are somewhat foreign to your average 21st century human being. Their thought processes were somewhat foreign to your average 9th century human being. If you aren’t sure what I mean, go read a translation of the “Havamal” and see how Odhinn brought them into the world. They expect the same dedication from any other runecaster who works with them. If you really want something, you are going to give it your all to get it, even if that does mean some serious personal sacrifice. What more, they just expect it. They won’t tell you, unless you ask, what is needed to make something happen, to get what you want, or how to achieve your goals. They will let you use them to set things in motion, and then have you find out what it is needed after you have begun. Depending upon how you respond to that, they will open up more, or just stop you right where you are in relation to them.