Find a suitable place to do the reading. You do not want
to be disturbed. Try to sit facing North if possible, the
direction of the Gods in Norse mythology. Place a small
white cloth on the surface in front of you. You work with
the runes on this cloth. This cloth protects them from getting
dirty and also forms the boundry for the casting.
Carefully form a question in your mind. Take your time doing
this, as it is very important that you do not change the
question midway through the reading. Once you have the question
firmly fixed in your mind begin to gently mix the runes
in their bag or holder. Continue to mix the runes until
you feel compelled to take up certain rune lots. (This is
why it is important that the rune lots be of the same shape
and size: so that you can't identify each rune by shape.)
Continue to stir and select lots until you have the correct
number of runes in front of you for the layout you will
be using. Keep track of the order in which the runes were
pulled, laying them in their proper position in the layout
as you pull them. You can use any Tarot layout, or one of
the methods described below.
Runes are oracles, and oracles are often obscure. Each rune
can mean many different things. It is up to the runecaster
to decide how these meanings apply to the question at hand.
You may get even deeper interpretations through your own
instinctual reactions to the rune's definition. However,
don't delude yourself in thinking that you have a completely
different understanding of the cast than indicated by the
traditional interpretations. Stick to the recognized interpretations,
but learn to expand on their meanings through insight and
The Norns are the Norse goddesses of fate. Urdh was the
goddess of the past, or what has been. Verdhandi is the
goddess of the present, what is. Skuld is the goddess of
the future, or what shall be. Fate or wyrd was a very important
factor in the psychology of the ancients.
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
This method will give a detailed overview of a person's
situation, providing insight into where they are in terms
of their spiritual path, and clarifying the options and
possible outcomes available to them. Nine is a magical number
in Norse mythology. 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 centre 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. Rune-tines
(such as twigs on which the rune symbols are inscribed)
work best for casting on the ground. I use these simply
by tossing all 24 onto the ground and read the runes which
land upright, in the positions in which they land. Their
relative positions give their relations. For example, if
two upright runes are close or touching and lying nearly
parallel, then the runes are related. If they cross, then
they are in opposition. There are obviously many degrees
of this, and you also have to consider groups of runes,
and ones which are far away, and the general direction.
This technique relies heavily on intuition, since it doesn't
have a spread to lay the runes in, like tarot would use.
Between 4 and 8 runes generally land upright, which is about
right for most inquiries.
Select five runes one at a time and lay them face down on
the runecloth. [Three runes are placed side by side. One
is placed above the center and the final one is placed below
The three horizontal runes represent your past, present,
and future. It is usually best to turn over the center rune
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
querent) are of a very troubled and agitated state of mind.
The rune in position to left of the center 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. 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 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 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.
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
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.
GERMANIC RUNE CHARACTERS
(The Elder Futhark)
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