Wunjo denotes joy and shared bliss. It may also represent a job well done and the satisfaction one feels from completing such a task. Wunjo brings good fortune and harmony.
READING THE RUNES
Runes, along with many other forms of divination can be valuable allies. In preparing to do a runecast you are preparing to ask your higher self for answers and assistance. There are many factors to take into account when interpreting a runecast, it takes practice. So, don’t be discouraged if you come up with a few “duds” in your first readings. Because of divinations’ similarity to counceling, I highly recomend that you practice readings on yourself before doing spreads for anyone else. You should prepare yourself before you begin to read or cast the runes. Start by relaxing. Find somewhere free of distractions, and then clear your mind of any unrelated thoughts. It is important to concentrate on your specific question or issue while drawing and casting the runes. Focusing your mind and having a clear intent will greatly enhance the accuracy of your readings. Interpreting a runecast is like telling a story. Your job is to find the characters, themes, events, and advice of the reading. Take as much time as you need to interpret a spread, and pay close attention to all the connections. The times I am most satisfied in the accuracy of my readings are when each rune clearly plays a part in the runecast, or rather when the runecast itself becomes a comprehensable story.
Sometimes the runes will clearly answer your question, and sometimes they will ignore it completely, choosing to focus on other issues instead. Often times these are issues that you knew existed but didn’t want to face. Look within to see if the runes haven’t met the mark. Runes (in divination) work by connecting you to that part of you that is in touch with your subconcious, higher self or that part of you that is in tune with the all. However you want to look at it. Even the most accurate of runecasts can not tell you what is destined to be. They only predict what is likely to happen based on current information. A negative runecast should never be taken as irreversable, you always have the choice to change your situation in life. In divination, runes are used to tell you what path you are currently on. Remember, it is always within your power to keep with or alter that path.
You may use these, or other techniques and rune spreads that you come across. There are an abundance of tarot spreads available, for example, tarot spreads adapt very well to rune divination. You could certainly form your own spreads and techniques for a reading, or maybe incorporate methods from various spreads. Generally, the more runes used in a runecast or spread, the more involved, the reading.
Runes are read either upright or reversed. When casting the runes, it is helpful to have a system of deciding which runes you will consider upright, and which you will consider reversed. I usually interpret all the runes with their top pointing up or to the left, upright; and all the runes that have their top pointing down or to the right, reversed.
THE ELDER FUTHARK
This is the oldest Futhark – the European common heritage. We don’t know for sure when or by who it is originated, but it might be among Germanic tribes in the beginning of our era.
The Elder Futhark has 24 runes. This “runic alphabet” got its name after the sound of what is traditionally held to be the six first runes in this “alphabet”:
F – U – Þ – A – R – K
by: Donald Tyson
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination , they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through regular meditation upon the individual rune symbols. Meditation gives the runes reality in the astral world, where magical forces and actions manifest themselves most clearly to the awareness.
When you carve a rune materially for a magical purpose, you must also be able to cut it into the astral with your will so that it glows and shimmers on the material where you made the physical rune. When you draw a rune in the air with your right index finger or magic wand, you must be able to see it sustaining itself with the eye of your imagination. This does not mean that you pretend to yourself that the rune exists on the astral level, or picture it there in the way you would imagine the face of your cat. Magical visualization is more intense and real than regular images in the imagination. The magical image persists and can be so real that it appears material.
Meditation on the runes serves the dual purpose of expanding an understanding of their meanings, both conscious and unconscious (this is needed in divination) and allowing the clear formation of the runes on the astral level (this is necessary in ritual magic).
There are many ways to actively meditate upon the runes. One is to contemplate the forms of the runes visually. Rune cards are an excellent way of keeping images of the runes before the sight during meditation, where they impress themselves through the eye upon the mind, when the mind reaches a receptive state. Here I will describe a second technique that I find effective in bringing the meanings and forms of the runes alive.
In preparation you must be familiar with the shapes of the runes, their names and short meanings, their order, the place of each rune in its aett, and its pair rune. This can be done by playing with a set of rune wands, or ideally with the rune cards, which are excellent for this purpose. Once you have a general knowledge of the futhark, you are ready to begin considering the runes individually.
To be most effective, meditations should be done in a series at regular times, one per day. It is possible to do two meditations a day if they are separated in timeófor example, one at noon and one at midnight. If this is done, a pair of runes should be considered each day. However, until you have had some experience in meditating upon the individual runes, you should not attempt to consider two or more runes in combination at the same time.
Wear loose clothing and take off your shoes, belt, watch, jewelry, and anything that irritates the skin or restricts the circulation. Even if your watch and earrings do not irritate you during your daily routine, they may be a distraction during meditation. When the mind is stilled and focused, small sounds will seem like thunder and the slightest itch will become a torment as your mind, like a restless child, seeks any escape from the task you have imposed upon it.
Do not meditate where there is noise or bustle, or where you are likely to be disturbed. Do not meditate until at least two hours after eating a meal. Do not meditate just before sleep when you are very tired, and do not meditate when you are physically ill, or when your mind is filled with worry, anger, or frustration.
Find a tranquil place and sit comfortably with your back relaxed but straight. It does not really matter how you sit. I usually sit Japanese style upon my heels, but some people find this posture hard on the knees. The important thing is that you forget about how you are sitting and concentrate on the meditation. Face a blank wall or featureless surface. If there is no flat unbroken surface, turn out the lights and the darkness will serve. If you are outside, face a wall, a distant forested hill, the ocean horizon, or lie on your back and look at the sky – but it is better not to lie down during meditation. The important thing is that you not be distracted by something in your field of view. Distractions are not necessarily fatal to meditations, but they disrupt them and delay your progress. There are bound to be distractions in any case – you want to minimize them.
Take half a dozen slow, deep breaths to clear your lungs and relax your body. When you are ready, extend your right index finger and draw the rune you have chosen for your meditation in the air at a comfortable armís length, making it a size that will fit easily into the center of your field of vision – about 18 inches tall is a good height.
Now try to actually see the rune in the air where you have drawn it. Hold the form of the rune in your imagination, and mentally retrace over and over the rune you have drawn whenever its strokes become indistinct or slip from your mind. It is not necessary to use your finger to retrace the rune. Pretend you have a blackboard in your imagination, and an imaginary piece of chalk that you use to continually redefine the rune as it fades.
Runes should always be drawn, both in the world and in the mind, with strokes that move downward and to the right. A little practice will make this second nature.
During the meditation do not actively try to consider a predetermined list of associations with the runes. These will rise in their own time and order into the stillness of your consciousness. Hold your attention upon the shape of the rune and your task of keeping it visually before your inner sight. You must not be thinking of your grocery list while you are doing this. It is inevitable that your mind will wander to other things, but when it does, gently and firmly guide it back to the purpose of the meditationóan active contemplation of the rune you have drawn in the air. When an idea about the rune itself, its nature, or its relationship with other runes comes into your mind, consider it, but do not try to force these ideas. Let them rise by themselves.
This meditation should be stopped before it begins to become physically tiring. There is no point in forcing the work. A period of 15 minutes to half an hour will be about right for most people. Take care that you remain relaxed, your breathing regular, and your eyes focused normally without strain. Strain of any kind is counterproductive. Only sustained attention is required, and you will find that this is effort enough.
Success is not marked by how many new ideas you have about the rune, not even by how clearly you are able to visualize its form in space, but rather by how sustained and effortless your awareness of the rune has been during the period set aside for the exercise.
It is a good idea to do these meditations in the same place and at the same time of day. Several meditations, even half a dozen, should be done on each rune, but these can be mixed up with other runes. You do not have to meditate upon the same rune for six days running – unless you want to, of course. It can be useful to consider the runes in groups, doing them in pairs, or in families, or even doing the complete futhark on 24 consecutive days, then repeating it several times. If the sequence of the meditations becomes tedious, mix it up. Boredom should be minimized, because your mind will seize on any excuse to stop these exercises.
You will soon discover that your mind is without disciplineónot that its discipline is low, but that it does not have any discipline at all. If you try to force it too hard, it will turn around and bite you. You will accomplish nothing. Firmness, patience, persistence, and an understanding of how your mind functions are needed to achieve the best results. Be wary of little tricks. You may suddenly find that your bowels are tumbling every time you sit down to meditate, that your ears itch, that people are constantly interrupting you, that you feel very tired and sleepy, or that the entire exercise seems pointless and stupid. These are all ways your mind will use in trying to squirm out of doing the work you have set for it.
by: Donald Tyson
Runes are the manifest symbols through which rune magic is worked. They can be employed for all of the magical purposes that other magical systems serve, but they possess unique aspects that make them superior for certain uses.
Because they were forged over the centuries in the same creative fire that shaped the pagan gods of the Teutonic peoples, runes are indispensable in magical dealings that involve the northern hierarchy. They are a key that unlocks the powers of these gods, and they are a book that unfolds the secrets of their personalities. Before the rediscovery of runes, the Aesir, lords of Asgard – who number among their ranks Odin, Thor, Tiw, Heimdall, Baldar, Loki, Frija and Hel – were difficult to integrate into modern ceremonial magic. An elemental wildness distinguishes them from the more civilized gods of Greece and Rome and the abstract, almost technical natures of the angels and spirits of Hebrew occultism. It would be absurd to invoke the Aesir with Hebrew numerology or Greek words. Yet before the rebirth of runes, the magus had little option.
Because runes form the magical language of the northern gods and express the forces upon which those gods are framed, manipulating the runes gives direct control over the actions- not just of the deities but also of the spirits and lesser entities of Norse mythology, which all arose out of the same primeval crucible of mythic archetypes. They are more than just arbitrary symbols chosen to represent occult forces by the Germanic shamans; each rune contains in its structure the same essence that is in the god, spirit, or magical potential to which it corresponds. It is the magical name of that god or natural power. Anyone seeking to contact and communicate with the northern hierarchy – whether for purposes of worship, divination, or active magic – must use the runes. It is possible to invoke the Aesir without runes, but this is akin to driving a nail with a rock when a hammer is sitting within easy reach. It makes no sense. More and more, those with Teutonic roots are seeking to know the gods of their ancestors. Runes are indispensable in building this bridge to the past.
Perhaps because they rested forgotten for so many centuries, the runes remain undiluted by modem skepticism and rationalization. Of all the symbolic tools of magic, they are the most powerful for causing material change in the world. Rune magic makes things happen – often violently, sometimes unpredictably. Most potent physically, rune magic is also most dangerous to the unwary. The elemental powers contained and defined by the runes are not conscious in the human sense, but they possess a type of animation and awareness not unlike the self-awareness of animals, plants, or embodied spirits – a watchful, quick, sometimes malicious awareness that might almost be called mad in its unexpectedness. But madness is a human concept, and the runes are true to themselves and terribly sane.
All types of occult work that seek material change – or transformations on the human level of emotions and urges that are linked to the body – can be fulfilled with rune magic. Rune magic also embraces the spiritual level of the human soul, and great works of the spirit are possible using the runes. The point that should be grasped here is that runes are weighted more toward the physical, tangible end of the scale than any other ancient magical system. It may be that in their beginnings all magical systems were mainly concerned with material change, but it is only the runes that have descended through time in their pristine, primitive state.
Another unique aspect of the runes has to do with their structure. Because they are simple letters that can be carried in the head and inscribed on any surface as easily as the alphabet, they are the most compact and accessible of magical systems. Bulky temple instruments are not needed in rune magic. They can be written anywhere on virtually anything in moments when an emergency arises. No one can ever take the runes away or destroy them; they live in the mind.
In their portability runes resemble the Hebrew letters, which are combined into magical names and words of power based upon the numerical values of the letters in the system of Jewish occultism known as the Kabbalah. At one time each letter of the Hebrew alphabet also had its elemental meaning, independent of its numerical value. But in modern times, the natural powers embodied in the Hebrew letters have largely been forgotten, displaced by the number values.
As is true of the Hebrew letters, the runes can be combined both occultly in numerical and symbolic groupings and phonetically to form words and sentences. The same runes can both embody a magical desire in their combination of elemental potentials and explicitly define that desire in words. These methods complement and support each other, and are frequently encountered together on rune artifacts made for magical purposes. For example, the sixth-century Lindholm amulet of Sweden bears the intelligible inscription of its magician maker: “I am an Herulian, I am called the Cunning One.” But it also bears a string of runes that cannot be translated, because they convey only an occult, not a literal, meaning.
The galdr is probably both the most powerful and subtle way to access the magical energy of the rune. These chants have been described as being like a soft-flowing river with a powerful current underneath. Used in every phase of runic magic together with the form of the rune, the galdr is the main medium through which runic power finds expression. Everyone intones slightly differently, so feel free to experiment. By chanting and toning a rune, you can better experience and express its meaning.
When learning to galdr, focus on one rune at a time. Observe each rune’s tone, form, flow, and relationship to you and to
the other runes. Trust your intuition, and decide when to sing
each rune as a song in and of itself, complete with melody and a beginning, middle, and end, and when to sing the rune by toning only one note. There is no right or wrong way to galdr.
When you galdr, breathe from your diaphragm and really stretch out the sound of each rune, toning as many consonant/vowel combinations as possible. For example, Fehu can be sung as “Feeeeeeee,
Faaaaaaaa, Fuuuuuuuuu, Faaaaaaaayhuuuuuuuuu!” (akin to the giant’s
“fee-fi-fo-fum” as he counts his golden coins, a symbol of mobile
wealth). Draw out and expand each of the vowel sounds, exploring
all registers and resonances in your voice. Discover where each
rune fits in your vocal register, and note where you feel it in your
body. Above all, remember galdring is a lot like learning how to sing
for the first time. Relax and enjoy the process. Galdring together
with your children, in the woods or at the ocean, can be great fun. As
you become proficient, you can combine the chants of several runes into
one song. With 24 runes in the Elder Futhark, there are many possible
combinations, but generally galdr songs using one rune, three runes, or
nine runes work best in magic. Be aware of the numerical significance
of the combined runes when crafting songs.
RITUAL DEDICATING YOUR RUNES
Start with a set of 24 blank Runes of your choice from any material you are comfortable with and begin to inscribe or dedicate them. If your set is already inscribed, then you will begin the dedication ritual. Remember you can do this in a 24 hour period or over a 24 day period. Always begin with the First Aett and first Rune Feoh. Then continue with the Second Aett and then the Third Aett till you have completed either one Rune per hour or one Rune per day. The corresponding hour to begin a 24 hour dedication would be to start at 12 noon and finish 12 noon the next day. For a 24 day dedication start on a New Moon or Full Moon (After viewing Moon Calender, make sure you use “Back” to return to this page!) as the first day and continue for 24 days. During either vigil, write down your very own thoughts and feelings about each Rune as you also study many different books and versions written by other people.
Make sure you have the proper tools handy to inscribe your Runes properly. You might burn, etch, engrave, gouge, paint, hammer, draw, or cut the runes onto the appropriate material of your choice.
Whether you dedicate store bought runes or the ones you made yourself, follow this ritual or write your own to dedicate each Rune according to your very own spiritual path.
1. Center and ground yourself.
2. Thank your Higher power(s) Odin/Woden, Freja, Thor, Norns, or favorite Norse God/dess and the Nine Worlds as you light your incense, candles or smudge sticks. The Norse traditions always starts with the North, so face North! Put your shield or cone of protection up.
3. Dedicate your Rune with it’s appropriate name. Repeat the name inside your head as you inscribe your Rune. Imprint yourself with it’s name, e.g. “This Rune is Feoh.” Keep repeating the name until you are finished inscribing.
4. Once the Rune is inscribed or ready to dedicate, hold it up, look at it, and say it’s name our loud three times. Then while still holding that Rune say it’s meaning out loud three times. Then say the Rune’s name plus the meaning three times. Write this down in your journal along with the date and time. Then write down whatever comes to your mind and the research you have done on this Rune.
5. Meditate the meaning of the Rune as you write. Clear your head of undesirable junk and see the impressions of the Rune come to mind in either symbolic archetypical or spiritual images. Hold them in your head, remember them and write them down.
6. Thank your higher powers Odin/Woden, Freja, Thor, Norns, other favorite Norse God/ess and protector; thank and bless the Nine Worlds, for their protection and insight; snuff out the candles, incense and/or smudge sticks.
7. Keep this journal containing your impressions from this sacred dedication. Remember the story of how Odin received these Runes. Remember that the Norn Sisters of Wyrd were there when Odin received the Runes.
I absolutely cannot condone a fast while doing a dedication of the Runes although some people like to experience what Woden/Odin did as a Shaman. I have done both the 24 hour and 24 day rituals and I recommend the 24 day dedication ritual for most people. You will have more time to memorize the runes and get acquainted with them. Staying awake for 24 hours is difficult and must be planned when it won’t interfere with one’s work or academic schedule. The plus side to staying awake for 24 hours is that you will probably experience a Shaman experience as the result of sleep deprivation.
Courtesy of the World of Wyrd