Runic Divination Methods

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Runic Divination Methods

Runic Divination Methods
Post # 1
Here I will present you who wish to explore runic divination or "runecasting".
These layouts are made around the Elder Futhark, but could possibly be adapted to other sets such as the Anglo-Saxon set. When runecasting, you do not have to follow the instructions to the exact point.

-Simple Casting-

Concentrate on the question or problem at hand. Stir around your runes in the bag, then grab a bunch and "cast" them onto your surface. Some will be face down, you can choose to ignore them. If a rune is upright, it has a certain meaning. If it is upside down, it has a different meaning. You then interpret the runes by their meanings.

-Casting the Norns-

The Norns are the Norse goddesses of fate.
Urdh - goddess of the past
Verdhandi - goddess of the present
Skuld - goddess of the present

A Norns cast is very simple, consisting of three runes, drawn one at a time from the rune pouch and laid in a row. If face down, flip them over as if turning the pages of a book. The first rune represents the past of the situation in question. The second indicates the present, the path that the querier is currently on. The third suggests the future, a likely outcome if one continues on the present path.

-Nine Runes Cast-

Pick nine runes at random from the pouch. Hold them between your hands for a moment, and focus on your question (if you have one). Then scatter the runes on the table, floor, or cloth if you have one. Read the runes which land face up first. These will relate to the current situation and the circumstances which led to it. How the runes are read is largely subjective, but in general, runes lying in the center are the most immediately relevant, while those lying around the edges are less important, or represent more general influences. Runes that are close together or even touching often compliment each other, or may even represent a single thing, while runes which fall on opposite sides of the pattern frequently represent opposing influences. Occasionally, a rune will land completely off the cloth or fall off the table. Some people consider such runes to be particularly significant, while others ignore them completely. "Once you have looked at the runes which landed face up (and remembered which ones they are), turn over the rest of the runes without moving them from their positions. These represent outside or future influences, and will point to possible outcomes. It is up to you to decide what the various positions and patterns in a reading mean, but once you have come up with a few general rules, try to stick with them. As I have said before, consistency is very important. However, rune readings by their nature are very fluid, subjective things. Try not to impose too much order on your readings by inventing set meanings for every triangle, square and tetrahedron. Runes are like people - you never know how they will get along together until you introduce them. Look at the patterns and relationships that appear in each reading and see what interpretations make sense to you." from Runic Journey by Jennifer Smith.

-Five-Rune Layout-

Select five runes one at a time and lay them face down on the rune cloth. [Three runes are placed side by side. One is placed above the center and the final one is placed below the center.]

The three horizontal runes represent your past, present, and future. It is usually best to turn over the center rune (1) first. This is the rune of the present and will show your problem as it is now. It can also show your state of mind. A negative rune in this position that does not seem to be in synch with the question can often show that you (or your querant) are of a very troubled and agitated state of mind.

The rune in position to left of the center (2) signifies the past and will tell you what was in the past that caused you to be in your current position.

Next read the rune laying above the center (3). This indicates the help that you can expect to receive in the problem at hand. If there is a negative rune here, it can indicate an unwillingness to accept the advice given by the runes or another person, or it can indicate delays or slight problems that may impede the speedy resolution of the matter in question.

The rune below center (4) indicates what aspects of the problem must be accepted and cannot be changed. Positive runes here show a lack of troublesome influences and oppositions, while negative runes show the obstacles to your success.

The rune to the right of center (5) is the result rune. This rune indicates the final outcome, given the other factors in the runecast.

This runecast indicates recent future happenings, usually within three months.

-Seven-Rune Layout-

This runecast gives a bit more detail with more information on how to deal with your problem and on what lead you to your present dilemma in the first place. It usually speaks of events three months into the future and into the past.

If you wish to use this layout but want information on happenings more current than three months, be certain to concentrate on your time frame as well when you are concentrating on your question.

The questions you can answer with this layout can be much broader in scope than with some other runecasts. Instead of asking "yes" or "no" or "what about my relationship?", you can ask questions like "How will my job progress if I take this new business course?" or "If I started seeing other people, how would my current lover accept it?" Through questions like these, you can certainly get enough information to solve all but the most complex problems.

Select seven runes and lay them out in a row of 6 with the final one below the row and centered as shown.

In this reading, you will have to be interpreting two runes at a time. The first two runes are the problem.

Runes 3 and 4 are read next. These show the factors in the past which have led up to the situations at present.

Runes 5 and 6 are the two most important runes in this runecast. They represent the advise the runes are giving you, and extra special care must be taken to interpret their meanings as they relate to one another. They can indicate a need to wait and not act or a need to act immediately. They also may indicate a total shift of emphasis to new realms totally unrelated to the problem in question.

The final position, rune 7, is the result position. Keep in mind that a positive rune in this place (or a negative one, for that matter) will only be truly positive (or negative) if the preceding runes indicate such an outcome.

This is a challenging runecast and certainly worth the time it takes to master it.


Peschel, A Practical Guide to the Runes
Smith, Runic Journey
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Re: Runic Divination Methods
Post # 2
So i take it rune casting was a more primative way of doin tarot
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Re: Runic Divination Methods
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

Runes are not the same as tarot, in several ways. And I would not call runes "primitive". They are highly useful and can be complex in some aspects of magic.

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Re: Runic Divination Methods
Post # 4
Tarot stems from numerology and symbolism, where as the runes gain their meanings from specific poems written in the 11th to 12th century in Scandinavia. These poems are based on peoples' UPG on the runes at that time, and derived from the Havamal, or the Lay of the High One (being Odin ;] )

You can find those poems here:

Runes and tarot are similar in the aspect of the Runic Journey, or the Journey of the Fool. Just as the tarot tells a tale of a fool making his way through life, the runes also tell a tale.

You can read that, here:

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Re: Runic Divination Methods
Post # 5
Runes are beautiful, powerful things. When you make your runes, you practically bring them to life. Saying they are primitive is a bit of rude statement.
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