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Additional steps for Rune Reading. Because I end up having to explain a lot of this over and over and over again…

The first throw is always the question, phrased in the runes. Pay attention to the first throw. Is there a subject you want to know about? The noun is going to end up attached to one of the runes. This is very important. The rest of the runes become other parts of speech to describe an action or set of circumstances. It is more important to pay attention to your question at this time than it is to pay attention to the runes, because the runes are simply going to repeat the question or acknowledge the current set of circumstances. Take a lot of time to poke around in that first reading and get your vocabulary straight for the next reading.

Runes don’t have positional bias, except face up, face down, and “on edge”. There’s no left or right or reversed rune, because the runes are supposed to be carved on a slice of a branch, so they theoretically have 360 degrees of interpretation if we start getting into “reversed” runes. They’re either face down, face up, or on edge.

Runes which are on edge are screaming “look at me”. Pretty straightforward stuff. Runes which are on edge are begging for your attention. They count as “face up”, they are supposed to be interpreted with a special consideration to the overall weight of the reading. Get serious about runes, and it will happen way more often than chance.

Runes are supposed to be printed in red ink. Yes, it’s blood. Its better if it’s your blood. My runes are filled with blood. Considerations to my woodworking skills aside, just prick your finger. You only have to do it once. Then they’re your runes. Don’t let anyone touch them unless you’ve had sex with them. (This is great fun at parties).

Take your blank rune and toss it. This seriously comes up once a month I have a discussion about the blank rune. If we don’t read runes which are face down, can the blank rune ever be face up?

So now let’s try to take the rune-reading page and the praxis presented here and work through a rune reading someone mailed me.


The ubiquitous Lo Scarabeo rune set, famous for having several runes with slightly goofy lines (hagalaz, thurisaz/radhio/wunjo all are really hard to tell apart due to sloppy printing on the new sets). Perfectly serviceable, I just wish they were round. And I have become a rune hipster.

Reading top left and down, Mannaz over Hagalaz. The center sees Uruz. Bottom left is Berkano, Sowilo, Tyr, and standing up(!) is Wunjo. This person is going to get what they want! Just reading this cold, I see two runes counter balanced (usually what happens when Tyr shows up). We could read it as Berkano balanced against or with Sowilo, but that doesn’t really make much sense. I backtracked and felt that the person was enduring something they weren’t entirely in control of. On the left hand side is some sort of nonfamiliar partnership which really wasn’t paying off (usually this means career) and on the right hand side was the possibility of making the decision (tyr) to start something new (berkano) and it would either be refreshing or happen in a short time.

Turns out the person asking had a career choice to make and was offered a new job and really didn’t know how they felt about it. They were leaving a position they had been at for a few years but were largely feeling burnt out and uninterested in the work. Hardly the wild energy of the aurochs like I read it, but I can certainly see the “oxen” idea in the runes. What freaked them out was wunjo standing up and they thought it would indicate “maybe”. Standing up runes in my personal reading aren’t “maybe”, they’re whatever the meaning is – doubled. More on the point, the rest of the runes seem to agree that there’s a chance for a new beginning, and if we read the sun as the final conquest, that’s a positive thing. However it turns out that they had asked how soon it would be prudent to leave their old career and drawing the sun rune means “like tomorrow”. (Jera is the rune for “a long time”).