Gods, I love alliteration. So, I couldn’t help myself with the title. But who knows? Maybe the recons will learn something when they read this.
Or probably just talk smack on Reddit. Just saying…
Anyway, I’ve decided to talk about how I do runecastings. They’re not the only way. In some heathen circles, they may not even be right. But it works for me, and if it works for me, I go with it. So, let’s go through the basic rune cast.
Equipment for Runecasters 101
I’m pretty simple when it comes to runecasting. So, when it comes to your runecasting stuff, you need the following:
- Runes (duh!) — I use Elder Futhark runes. You can use whatever runes suit you, but I know the Elder Futhark best and I know the meanings (mostly).
- A rune pouch to keep the runes in. — It can be something special or not. Most people will probably go with special. Most rune sets come with pouches anyway. If you make your own, you’re going to want to sew your own rune pouch. Or have someone who sews make it for you.
- A cloth to do your runecasting on. — It doesn’t have to be fancy. Hel, I don’t think you need it. But it is nice to have. I use a wolf bandana that is a custom design by a woman in this area.
That’s it, essentially. You can have candles, incense, offerings, whatever, if you feel it is appropriate. I don’t worry about such things.
I don’t have a particular casting method, though others may. Other people may shake runes out of the bag, or even dump the bag and pull out the runes that are face up, or select from those that are face down. I’ve heard of gythias and godhis using sticks and tossing them down. The rune patterns that they saw in the crossed sticks were the ones they read.
I don’t do that. I pull each rune from the pouch and place it in its spot where the cast will go. Other runecasters do that too. If I accidentally pull out extra stones or some other stones come out, I read them as well. I figure if the stone wants to be read, who am I to put it back? It might be an extra message. Or it might be garbage. Whatever.
I’ve had my cat suddenly take an interest in my reading occasionally and move the pieces. Apparently I had the runes in the wrong spots, or so she thought. I don’t argue. When you have a cat name Freyja, you listen to her.
I read my runes right to left, not left to right. I’ve heard that others do it that way, but I’ve seen it done left to right too. I don’t use blank runes, nor do I read reverse or merkstave. Those are obvious later inventions, one by Ralph Blum (or someone he knew) and one is too close to tarot. Runes are not tarot. Thank you.
There are plenty of patterns to cast and read your stones. I tend to stick with the simpler casts. The reason is straightforward. I don’t have to worry or pay attention to complex readings.
The pattern I tend to rely on is the three stone pattern. It’s a good pattern and on and you can decide which one works for you.
- Single Rune — This is the easiest cast of all. Basically it’s the response to the matter under consideration. Good or bad. It just is.
- Three Rune Spread — This is a cast that is flexible enough to gain insight while still simple enough to not have a lot of convoluted mumbo-jumbo. You can cast it the way I do as 1. matter under consideration 2. Problems or situations that may arise 3. Possible outcome. Or you can do the 1. Past 2. Present 3. Future
- Five Rune Layout, Seven Rune Layout, etc. This webpage seems to have the basics of these larger layouts.
- Tiwaz Shoat — There’s a pattern called the Tiwaz shoat that is in the form of an arrow. For the life of me, I can’t remember the reading directly and I need to dig out my books on it. Let’s just say it’s out there and if I find my books, I’ll try to tell you about it.
- Extra Runestones — Occasionally you’ll have some runes spill out. If this happens, look at the stones and see if they have some bearing on the situation at hand. You may find that they do.
Okay, you have your runes, your bag, your rune casting cloth, and whatever else you feel is necessary to get yourself in the right frame of mind to do a cast. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re doing a Three Rune Spread. In this case, start by pulling the first runestone out of the bag and look at it.
I pulled: ᚠ ᛒ ᚱ
Now, don’t forget I read right to left (I pulled the ᚱ first). So I start with ᚱ which is Raidho, which generally means travel, but can mean movement, journey, or a change. The matter under consideration is travel, for the sake of argument. Okay.
The problem or situation that may arise: Berkana or ᛒ. This is the rune of growth, nurturing, fertility, etc. Not necessarily a problem, unless it is growth due to pain or loss. I’m not seeing that in the runes just yet, because
Fehu or ᚠ means wealth or cattle. This rune is associated with fortune and positive outcomes. Usually requires work to achieve them, but what doesn’t?
What the Runecast Might Mean
Here comes the million dollar question: What does the runecast mean? I wasn’t really asking any questions, I just did a general cast. What it suggests is that the travel I take in the future gives me an opportunity for growth and a chance at achieving good fortune or wealth, if I choose to take advantage of it. Overall, it’s a positive spread and I’d be glad to have such outcomes.
I hope this gives you some ideas as to how you can do runecasting for yourself. Let me know about your own castings. I’d be curious to hear about them.