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 Rune Galdr

The Rune Galdr


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.

What Is A Rune?

What is a rune?

by: Donald Tyson
The runes are a set of symbols that concisely embody the most potent magical system of the ancient world. Because rune magic was rarely described in written records, persecution by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages succeeded in obliterating almost the entire tradition of rune use from the memories of the peoples of northern Europe, the indigenous home of the runes. Runes became the recreation of antiquarian scholars, known only as an obscure and obsolete alphabet preserved in crumbling parchment manuscripts and on leaning stone monuments erected by the vanished Vikings.
Runic characters are letters that can be used for writing. This is their exoteric function. But in pagan times they were used for much more. The undivided forest wilderness in which the wandering Germanic tribes hunted and made war upon each other was ruled by elemental forces – Water, Sun, storm, the seasons, trees, necessary beasts such as the bull and the horse, fire on the hearthstones, the cleared camp circle, the human virtues of cunning speech, courage, battle skill, the mysteries of birth, growth and deathóall of which combined together to determine the life of frail human beings.
The German god Donar, called by the Norsemen Thor, can be traced back to the Sun. Woden, or Odin, was originally the fury of the storm. Ing , the deity who gives England its name, sprang from the fertility of the Earth. All the major Teutonic gods are based upon a limited number of natural potencies. Although they were later refined and made more human in poetry and art, in earliest days they were different masks of the ever-changing face of Nature.
The Germanic tribes embodied these same elemental forces in simple symbols that were used for works of magic and divination by the shamans, who served the combined function of magician-physician-priest. By making symbols to represent the most important powers of the world, these powers could be manipulated for conscious human purposes. The symbols formed the magical link between men and the blind gods of Nature and allowed the shamans to control the destiny of their tribes.
Runes are the descendants of these shamanic power symbols, whose origin extends deep into the past before the beginnings of writing. Each rune is both a letter and a vessel of natural potency. There is a rune for water and a rune for earth, a rune for hail and a rune for ice, a rune for horse and a rune for man. There are also runes that name some of the Teutonic gods. Ing has his own rune, as does Woden (Os) and Tiw (Tyr). These runes represent both the gods and the natural potencies upon which the gods are based. For example, the rune for Tiw is both the god Tiw and the human virtues of honor and courage.



In the modern world witchcraft is a form of nature religion that emphasizes
the healing arts. The term is also applied to various kinds of MAGIC practiced
in Asian, African, and Latin American communities. Little is known about the
history of witchcraft in Europe, and what is known comes from hostile sources. In traditional European society witchcraft was believed to be a kind of harmful sorcery associated with the worship of SATAN, or the devil (a spirit hostile to God). The European doctrine of witchcraft was formulated in the late Middle Ages. Just how many of the beliefs about witches were based on reality and how many on delusion will never be known. The punishment of supposed witches by the death penalty did not become common until the 15th century. The first major witch-hunt occurred in Switzerland in 1427, and the first important book on the subject, the Malleus maleficarum (Hammer of Sorceresses), appeared in Germany in 1486. The persecution of witches reached its height between 1580 and 1660, when witch trials became almost universal throughout western Europe.

Geographically, the center of witch-burning lay in Germany, Austria, and
Switzerland, but few areas were left untouched by it. No one knows the total
number of victims. In southwestern Germany alone, however, more than 3,000 witches were executed between 1560 and 1680. Not all witch trials ended in deaths. In England, where torture was prohibited, only about 20 percent of accused witches were executed (by hanging); in Scotland, where torture was used, nearly half of all those put on trial were burned at the stake, and almost three times as many witches (1,350) were killed as in England. Some places had fewer trials than others. In the Dutch republic, no witches were executed after 1600, and none were tried after 1610. In Spain and Italy accusations of witchcraft were handled by the INQUISITION, and although torture was legal, only a dozen witches were burned out of 5,000 put on trial. Ireland apparently escaped witch trials altogether. Many witch trials were provoked, not by hysterical authorities or fanatical clergy, but by village quarrels among neighbors. About 80% of all accused witches were women. Traditional theology assumed that womenwere weaker than men and more likely to succumb to the devil. It may in fact be true that, having few legal rights, they were more inclined to settle quarrels by resorting to magic rather than law. All these aspects of witchcraft crossed over to the Americas with European colonists. In the Spanish and French territories cases of witchcraft were under the jurisdiction of church courts, and no one suffered death on this charge. In the English colonies about 40 people were executed for witchcraft between 1650 and 1710, half of them in the famous SALEM WITCH TRIALS of 1692. Witch trials declined in most parts of Europe after 1680; in England the death penalty for witchcraft was abolished in 1736. In the late 17th and 18th centuries one last wave of witch persecution afflicted Poland and other areas of eastern Europe, but that ended by about 1740. The last legal execution of a witch occurred in Switzerland in 1782.

Beginning in the 1920s, witchcraft was revived in Europe and America by groups that considered it a survival of pre-Christian religious practices. This
phenomenon was partly inspired by such books as Margaret Murray’s The Witch Cult in Western Europe (1921). Some forms of modern witchcraft follow the traditions of medieval herbalists and lay healers. The term witch-hunt is used today to describe a drive to punish political criminals or dissidents without regard for the normal legal rules. E. William Monter

Bibliography: Baroja, Julio C., The World of Witches (1964); Guiley, Rosemary,The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (1990); Levack, Brian, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (1987); Luhrmann, T.M., Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (1989); Monter, E. W., ed., European Witchcraft (1969).

Today’s Runes for July 8 is Wunjo

Stone Runes are most commonly used for questions about the natural world and things beyond human control. Wunjo is the rune of Joy. Since joy is least frequently a solitary emotion, this rune often represents mutual or communal bliss. Wunjo is also seen as a rune of the gods and a rune of perfection, carrying with it the elation that blazes from the creation of a perfect work – perhaps this is the true joy of the gods, that they can create perfection. That aside, this rune does not focus on the struggle for perfection or on our inevitable imperfections, but rather on a job well done and the satisfaction that comes from it.

Today’s Runes for July 7th is Algiz

Algiz can be easily recognized as the antlers of the elk that it represents. The elk can represent victory, but is much more appropriately associated with the thrill of the hunt itself. This rune therefore can portend vigor and success in active endeavors. Also, this rune seems symbolic of a hand with outstretched fingers – a protective hand. This hand may suggest that you will be shielded from things negative – the problems still exist, you are spared the brunt of their force.

Today’s Runes for Sunday, July 1 is Ger

Ice Runes are most commonly used for questions about struggle, conflict, and achievement. Ger is one of the runes that touches on the cycles of the year, in this case the fall harvest. These cycles are eternal, which is represented in the rune by the fact that it is unchanged by reversal. Ger can represent pregnancy or other forms of fruitfulness, and is especially indicative of the cycles of providence and karma – that which has been sown is now being reaped. This rune can also represent the cycles of wealth, for crops were frequently a sign of wealth.

Secret, Ancient Rites of Stress

by Tostito Tramp

I am so stressed from my friend Earthbeam stressing out my friend Uberwurm that I think I need some relief. It occurred to me that others may be in the same boat — to be specific, the S.S. Stress, which sails out of Shit Happens Harbor. There is new research that points strongly to this being the very boat that carried Amun Re through the underworld — and why not? What could be more stressful than that whole Egyptian afterlife fooferah? For those of you experiencing stress, I offer this ancient yet timely ritual to propitiate that god of modern life, Stress.

I would like to take a moment to stress (ha, ha) the utmost antiquity and lineage of the occult methods that you are about to read. The ancient Sunkurians knew the unpleasant tension of their lives by the name Nekhurt. Nekhurt Nekhurt Bibastos Nekatut translates to “shit that fucking shit deity screwed me again.” Doctors Pesty and Moreseau question this and have suggested the alternative “damn me, damn him, we screw it up,” which contains intriguing hints at modern philosophy concerning responsibility for one’s own circumstances, as well as divinity lying within ourselves. The Sunkurians conducted special weekly and biannual ceremonies to appease Nekhurt, so that he might take pity upon them and make their lives a little less miserable.

We find a less well-known ritual influence among the Vikings, who despite being a freewheeling and uninhibited people still offered up votive gold goat figurines to the great goat GnashJaw, sometimes referred to as Toothgrinder, the infamous third goat who always pulled Odin’s cart the other way. Even today, we find the expression “third wheel” to designate someone as a source of stress for those around them.

For etymologists, it is interesting to consider the similarity between GnashJaw (originally spelled Gnashja) and the name of the Indian god Ganesha, known as the Lord of Obstacles! Many insights can be gleaned by dwelling upon the mystical truths embodied in Ganesha’s characteristic creature, the elephant. Consider the notoriously long memory of the elephant (hint: what more stress relieving phrase is there than “just forget about it”?). Consider the deep wrinkles covering elephants, demonstrating in the very flesh a lifetime of anxiety. This secret stressful characteristic of memory is also expressed by the Greeks in the story of Odysseus. What an easy time of it he could have had if he had just stayed with Calypso, or with Circe, or even just been a happy little piggy chomping on Circe’s garbage!

Of course the Hermetic magicians and alchemists of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries regularly made sacrifice and propitiation to the great power Inhibitus Obsessus. It is in their rituals that the forms we know today first come into focus. According to Goutish Cornish of the Flemish Museum of the Scottish Gnomish, stress (in other words the inexorable workings of Inhibitus Obsessus) is credited as the object of over 86.3 different traditional sayings, rituals and superstitions among the Scottish Gnomish people of the Middle Ages. And why not, eh? Middle age is extremely stressful. At least we in modern times only spend a brief time in middle age. Imagine generations of people living there for their entire lives! Going to the dentist before anesthesia!

This century has witnessed both the rise of stress and the rediscovery of these ancient ways of appeasing it. It starts in Britain during the twenties, where Dr. Poodle from Helsinki met the charismatic and thoroughly repressed Madame Tourniquette. Together, they founded a secret society dedicated to research into the occult causes of stress and perspiration. Although they eventually had a falling out over the inclusion of perspiration in their research agenda, their original findings and work were made public in 1952 under the magickal names Sphincter (Tourniquette) and Retention Od Avicus (Poodle). Note the interesting connections implicit in the second name, dealing as it does with the modern concept of anal retentiveness (also echoed in Touniquette’s own magickal sobriquet), as well as the traditional mental retention of Ganesha’s elephants, seen herein to be so debilitating to them.

In the self-published Gnasherbitnail, Poodle and Tourniquette first revealed the ritual presented in this article. At the time, its readership consisted of a small occult splinter group hungry for enlightenment. Now I bring it to a broader readership no less in need. I have consulted some of the premier occult minds of the Meadowbrook neighborhood as well as sparing no trouble to retranslate the ritual from the language in which it was first published. So, from the ancient Sunkurians to you, my readers, behold the authentic Secret Rites of Stress. (Disclaimer: This translation of the original Sunkurian has not been evaluated by any individual attached to an accredited scholastic institution.)

The Ritual

First you need some salt. Don’t waste it by scattering it in a circle, dropping it into water or throwing it over your shoulder. These actions are far too cavalier and messy. To appease Stress, we must pile it all into a small perfectly proportioned pyramid and then eat it. Don’t forget to align the corner of your pyramid with Sirius — and if you don’t know which corner to align, what are you even doing reading this article?

Eat the salt, and lots of it, to increase your blood pressure, get a nasty taste in your mouth and cause you to purse your lips, which is part of the Stress Mudra (more about that later on).

Water is also involved. You may drink some to alleviate your parched throat and cracking lips after the salt. But do not spill a drop on the floor or on your ritual attire. Robes, you say? What robes? This is a stress ritual! It is to be conducted in a suit and tie or a corset and three-inch heels. (Notice I made no indication of criteria to choose which outfit to wear, so if you bridled at my sexism, then you have only your own straitjacketing and chauvinistic presumptions to blame.)

You are allowed 1.2 ounces of water. It must be perfectly pure. Read those labels carefully; contact the bottler if necessary; you may even have to distill it further a few times yourself. If you use too much, then Stress will be displeased, because by association and correspondence and all that uptight magickal twaddle you are allocating your emotions more than their acceptable time and energy. So drink your 1.2 ounces of water with great care and deliberation. Keep those emotions in check!

I can see that you traditional ritualists are just itching to light up some incense about now. Yes, the rolling eyes and urgent, furtive glances toward the altar give you away. Well, you know what? No. N-O. There will be no incense in the Stress ritual. It is just far too hippie dippy earthy crunchy touchy feelie. Suck it in and push on! That is the way to the Stress Deity’s heart.

Now we cast the circle. This is where that 9-foot cord comes in handy. Get a pencil or pen and tie it to the end of the cord. Do not use up too much of the cord tying it to the pencil. You can make up for some lost length by angling the pencil out as you draw the circle, but it will only make up for a little. Next, find the center of your ritual area. This will require some measurement and possibly mathematics. If you can’t cope with that, then your best bet is to postpone the ritual until you feel sufficiently stressed to be motivated to find the center of your ritual area properly. `Nuff said!

Once you find the center, pound a nail into the floor. No outdoors Stress rituals allowed. If you attempt it, the godhead will smite you with agonizing inner accusations of “cheater, cheater” for a very long time. Tie the other end of your cord to the nail. Watch out now! You are really starting to lose some length here. Then slowly and carefully draw the circle on your floor using your cord like a compass. Do not let the cord go slack! Do not change the angle of the pencil! Do not stop and redraw that bit that you missed! If you foul up, you should again wait until you have sufficient incentive to get it right.

As you draw the circle, you must visualize a reddish black line of energy exactly corresponding to your pencil line. You should channel your personal stress into this line. While casting the circle, the following should be sung in the key of D minor (remember it is the saddest of all keys):

With this pencil I describe

The perimeter of my Stress bribe.

The perfect accomplishment of this task

Reflects the worth of my sorry ass.

You had better end a verse as you are completing the circle. Anything less shows a slapdash attitude that simply will not do. If at the end you do not meet up with your starting line… you guessed it. Try again some other time.

I must pause briefly to assure my international readers that I in no way wish to make it impossible to conduct these important mysteries accurately and correctly. So after consultation with my in-house magicians, witches, linguists and historians, we recommend the following substitutions: 35.732 milliliters of water, a 274.32-centimeter cord and 7.62-centimeter heels if that is your chosen footwear. The national baseline of meticulousness should be consulted to indicate whether you need to exert yourself additionally to propitiate Stress.

Now take your 11.6 inch (29.464 centimeter) lacquered blackthorn wand and stand facing 3 degrees north of east, as derived from true north. Your local longitude and latitude will indicate the correction to use to arrive at true north from magnetic north. It is time to assume the Stress Mudra!

Stand with your feet together, weight evenly distributed. Your knees should be locked (disclaimer: the author assumes no responsibility for any fainting resulting from spending too long in the Stress Mudra). Tuck your butt, straighten your back, pull your shoulders down and back, reach your arms behind you as far as you can, wrinkle your brow, purse your lips, clench your teeth and press your tongue against the bottom of your mouth. Now tighten every muscle in your body and bring to mind the most humiliating scolding you ever received.

Facing 3 degrees north of true east in your Stress Mudra, groan once with full energetic vibration from your fifth chakra. Simultaneously bring your wand in front of you with your projecting hand (for those who don’t know, this is the hand with which you flip people off). While slowly correcting your facing to true east, using the same reddish black stress energy as before, draw in the air the Rider-Waite Ace of Swords Tarot card. Don’t forget the border and the little yods (those are the two-ended flamy-spermy things that were probably just a leaky pen but got passed off as kabalistic truths). While you are doing all that, recite with full energetic vibration from the fourth chakra the first Stress Affirmation:

I must perfectly recall everything I ever learned, or by Obsessus I suck!

As you say suck, release all the tension in your body and fall backwards into a limp heap on the floor. Your fourth chakra must fall exactly on the center of your circle. Don’t forget to remove the nail first!

Get back up and face 2&fraq12; degrees west of true south. Assume the Stress Mudra as before. This time, draw in the air a group of hydrogen molecules fusing into a helium molecule. Simultaneously correct your facing to true south and recite the second Stress Affirmation:

If everything I want does not manifest instantly, then by Gnashja I suck!

Again, fall completely relaxed on the floor, but this time land with your third chakra on the center of the circle.

Repeat at the remaining directions, with these details: West should be 5 degrees south of true west; draw a map of the world’s oceans and recite “I must never allow my feelings to influence me or by Inhibitus I suck!” Vibrate from your second chakra and land with it on the circle’s center.

North is true north; draw your house. Recite “If I am not healthier and wealthier than anyone I know, then by Nekhurt I suck!” Vibrate from your first chakra and land with it on the circle’s center. Be careful not to injure your tailbone.

By now, you should be feeling the immense tension of your life building in your body, mind, and spirit. If you don’t, pause here to make sure that you are fully aware of the Stress in your life. Otherwise, the ritual is completely useless, and you should have known you would fail at it and never have started it in the first place!

Now assume the Stress Mudra at the center of the circle, facing the direction that corresponds best to your personal stress (this would be the one with the Stress Affirmation that you hated saying the most). Recite 19 times:

“It is all my fault!”

Now release all the stress. If the ritual has been correctly done up to this point, you will know how to do that. Otherwise, do not attempt this Great Mystery, for you may injure yourself, betray everyone you care about, anger the Stress Deity, summon by mistake the ex-lover with whom you broke up bitterly and cause all the people you hate to get raises or even better jobs.

Once Stress is released, you must ensure Stress will not return. Therefore, perform all the steps that lead up to the Great Mystery backwards. It may take you a while to practice saying the affirmations backwards, as well as springing smoothly up from the floor into the Stress Mudra. Don’t forget to include any extraneous actions you took during the course of the ritual.

Did you get through it? If you did, congratulations! Your life will now be perfect.

If you didn’t, Stress will eventually forget this botched attempt at propitiation and go back to only heaping upon you your normal daily allotment of frustration, pain, anxiety, ignominy, humiliation, boredom and illness. Better luck next time.