March 3rd, 2008
Futhark Runes Series – Ideas on How to Use Them


I’ve decided to talk a little about ways to use the Futhark runes before I go into the meanings and interpretation of each one. I’ll warn you in advance, though, that I’m stating my OWN beliefs and uses and those may vary from person to person. With all tools like this, it’s important to experiment and see just how that tool or theory fits your personality and your needs as well as your own belief system.

Like many things, one size does not fit all.

One of the most popular uses of Futhark runes is for divination, using the runes to give you insight or knowledge about the potential future. I don’t, personally, think they tell me about the future but I DO use them to force myself to look at situations or problems in a new way.

All too often I will find myself stuck in a sort of endless circle when trying to decide how to solve a problem or what to do next. When this happens, I will sometimes turn to the runes to force my thinking out of that familiar path and try to think outside the box.

Runes won’t tell you when to buy lottery tickets or anything. They are used to trigger your own mind to look for insight.

  • Techniques

    • Drawing
      Drawing is where you pull one or more runes, one at a time, from your set and put them down in a pattern that gives meaning to the placement. The simplest is the single rune draw but the patterns can go up to ones that utilize the entire set.

      I stick with single or 3 rune draws (Past, Present, Future or Underlying, Visible, Overarching) when I draw runes.

      Typically, drawn runes do not use reversed meanings and is, by far, the simplest technique.

    • Casting
      Casting is a much more free-form technique. Runes are usually held in either the hands or a cup and cast out on a surface. There is no really well-defined role for any rune, both reversed and hidden (upside down) meanings are used.

      A casting is read by proximity of runes to each other and the significator, if one is used. You really have to free your mind to any and all possibilities to use a casting technique well and there will always be a lot of grey area. However, it’s an excellent technique when trying to look at the “big picture.”

In addition to Divination, runes are often used in spellwork. Some people prefer to write in runes rather than their native language to add to the special nature of the spell or even to insure it can’t be read or understood by others. Bind Runes are often used as well – these are combinations or two or more runes into a symbol that can be used to focus on what those runes represent.

I’ve also used runes to help form character personalities, to spark ideas for threat or risk in a story and even as actual parts of stories. In this case it’s completely free-form.

I tend to draw a rune and think of its meaning and how it can show up as part of this character. Maybe as a quick temper, maybe as a touch of vanity….

Next week I’ll start to delve into the meaning of the runes.

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