Reading the Runes

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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 meditation.

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 path.

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 center.]
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 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.

(The Elder Futhark)



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