What are Runes?
This is what my own research has uncovered

The origins of the Runes lay buried in distant past, pre-dating the oldest religions. During that time those who practice this ancient system of magic and divination have been persecuted almost to the point of extinction. Runes are believed an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magic. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus.

The art of casting the Runes operates on an ancient form of psychology. Even back in Viking times, there was a remarkable understanding of the human consciousness.

The runes are strongly connected with the Viking gods and mythology, for example Fehu, the first rune in the futhark, is connected with Frey, the god of fertility.

Runes can be carved onto small bits of wood, clay or stone and scattered across the cloth or they can be cards much like the tarot types. What is important that they must be made of a natural material like wood, stone or clay and second, you must not share your runes. As with all things magical they are attuned to you. The Rune alphabet should be engraved or painted onto your choice of medium.

Colors can be red for the God aspects, green for the Goddess aspects or blue to represent the colour of Odin who rules the Runes.

Rune pieces should be carried in a pouch made of non-synthetic materials.

The Runic Alphabet

Elder Futhark Runic AlphabetElder Futhark Runic Alphabet

There are a number of different versions of the Runic alphabet including:

* Elder Futhark
* Gothic Runes
* Anglo-Saxon Futhorc
* Younger Futhork
* Hungarian Runes (Székely Rovásírás)
* Turkic (Orkhon) Runes

Elder Futhark

Elder Futhark is thought to be the oldest version of the Runic alphabet, and was used in the parts of Europe which were home to Germanic peoples, including Scandinavia. Other versions probably developed from it. The names of the letters are shown in Common Germanic, the reconstructed ancestor of all Germanic languages

The Blank Rune
You may a set of runes that includes a "blank rune", "Odin Rune" or "Wyrd Rune". There is no historical evidence that runemasters of old ever used a blank rune. It's self-evident because a rune is a symbol. Have you ever seen a blank symbol? Of course not. Regardless of the type of Rune set,  there is no evidence that anyone in the past ever used a "blank" rune.

( In the 1980's someone who it appears was a novice introduced the "blank rune". Basically if you have a blank rune,  keep it in case you lose another as that is all it is good for!).

How To Read The Runes

The fate of your question is not in the cards, it is in the choices you make. Runes does not claim to be a fortune teller, it is a method that allows you to analyze the path you are on and helps you to realize an outcome.  By far the simplest way of reading runes is to use the one rune method, after you have cleared your mind of all other thoughts ask the question in mind, concentrating on it. When you have concentrated on your question and you feel the time is right take just one rune from your bag and from this stone, you will gather information relating to the question at hand, what you make of this information is entirely up to you. If you think that more information is needed then you can take three runes instead of just the one from the bag, you will deduct information from the first rune regarding the circumstances of your question.

The second rune will give you an indication of the route you should take and the third is the likely outcome should you choose to go with the action. This of course is only a very brief glimpse of casting runes and there are several books and websites you can read should you wish to delve deeper into the magic of runes.   

Runes and Witchcraft

Runes are connected to witchcraft as they are a tool used in divination and magic. They are used as an oracle for seeking advice and are said to work best on asking a specific question once having given details of the circumstances, although the outcome is sometimes questionable and unclear.
The runes at best will point you in the right direction but you will have to conclude the answer yourself from the information they give you and figure out exact details yourself, there is never a clear cut and dry answer to your problems.

However, rune casting or runic divination as it is called is not a way of fortune telling but rather a way of analyzing the particular path you are on and what the outcome is likely to be. The word rune means mystery or secret and each rune has a special meaning and properties associated with it, each of them translates into a word or phrase that has a special meaning representing the forces of nature and the mind and each is associated with a Norse god.

The runes were also used as a method of writing and first made their appearance among German tribes in central Europe, it is thought that some of the rune symbols may have come from other languages such as Greek and early roman. Inscriptions on the runic stones have been dated as far back as the 3rd century AD though it is thought that they existed a long time before then. Runic divination, "runecasting", is not "fortune telling". Runecasting works deeply with the subconscious. The rune pouch with its runic symbols represents the entire universe. As one poses a question, one's entire conscious and unconscious mind is focused toward that question.

Rune Cards

The Power Of The Runes
This beautifully illustrated deck of cards, each inscribed with a rune and accompanying image is among the most stirring rune decks I have ever seen, the images are breath taking.
A powerful tool for divination, this card-set is wonderful for anyone who wishes to delve into mysteries with the aid of the Norse pantheon. There is also a basic booklet.

Normally runes are stones, wood carvings, and other natural materials but for a deck of cards with the runes this is a truly astounding set.

The accompanying book, though very basic, details the origins and meanings of each of the cards with the names of each of the runes spelt out in runes at the top of the card, which is a great touch leading towards deeper understanding of the rune.

It also includes an extra card with Yr which is not part of the Elder Futhark.

Check out my Power Of The Runes page.

Those who don't believe in Magic will never find it...

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