How to do a Rune Reading — Part 10

We’re definitely in the homestretch-phase of the Rune reading process.  We’ve looked at the size and shape of the Rune-cast, examined all of the Runes individually (both the ones that landed face-up and the ones that ended up face-down), analyzed the ways in which their meanings joined up to form a whole, studied the orientations of the Runes to assess the sense of “flow” running through the scatter, and we even looked a bit to see if the specific Runes that appeared were evenly drawn from among the three Aettir (as we discussed in the last post, the Aettir are three sub-groupings of eight Runes each).

So what next?

I have an odd sort of brain exercise that I like to throw into the mix at this point.  It’s something that, as far as I know, I incorporated myself, as I don’t remember any of the Rune-centric books or websites I’ve studied making use of it, and it certainly doesn’t appear in the ancient Icelandic texts that we look to today as sort of twin “Rune bibles.”

Example of anagram play.  This is a good one, as
Example of anagram play. This is a good one, as “The Alias Men” serves as an anagram for “Alan Smithee,” which is a false name — i.e., an actual alias! — used by Hollywood directors who don’t want their real names associated with especially poor films…

The exercise involves anagrams.  An anagram is what happens when you take the letters of a word or phrase and then rearrange them so as to form new words or phrases.  For example, you can rearrange the letters of “Arrow In Flight” to arrive at “Parlor Whiting.”  A whiting is a fish belonging to the cod family, and it’s commonly found in Europe.  We could therefore be looking at a new phrase here that describes what you might have encountered had one of the old, Rune-using Germanic tribespeople mounted an especially impressive catch of whiting on the wall of their home.  If we agree to call that part of the home in question a parlor…then we’re getting agreeably Viking here!

A big round of applause, please, for Ansuz, the
Rune-cast, revisited!

And how does this anagram business help us in our quest to extract meaning from a scattering of Runes?  Well, in all honesty, sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes playing the anagram game won’t yield up any new words or phrases that have any relevant meaning to what you’re investigating.  Other times, the process won’t result in any usable new words or phrases at all, depending on the letters you have to work with.  If this is what happens with a given sampling of Runes, then it’s not a big deal — you can just cross this step off of your Rune-reading checklist, and move on…  But sometimes you’ll end up hitting upon a new layer of additional meaning that you might not have seen before.  Sometimes the new words/phrases will actually seem like they have an uncanny amount of helpful and on-point meaning to contribute, and had you not played the word-scrambling anagram game, you might have missed this entirely.

So let’s take a last look at the Rune-cast we’ve been working with in this series…

As a reminder, we looked at — in order — the Runes that are the equivalents to our own letters N, T, E, G, and A.  Now, in modern English, there is no such word as “NTEGA.”  So far, the Runes/letters aren’t telling us much.  But what if we do a bit of scrambling…?

When you use the Runes, you're acting as an agent!  Cool artwork by Ben Crowder, used with permission...
When you use the Runes, you’re acting as an agent! Cool artwork by Ben Crowder, used with permission…

Five letters is a pretty small amount when working with anagrams, so this shouldn’t take too long.  Almost immediately, it will become apparent that “NTEGA” is an anagram for…”AGENT.”

And if you remember what we’ve been pondering in this example reading so far, the idea was to probe into those traits that the excellent Rune reader will bring into play when working with the Runes.  So here, we actually do hit upon a sort of reinforcement of that concept: the Rune reader is an agent of sorts of the Runes, and of any Powers That Be that work though and associate Themselves with the Runes!  An agent is someone who acts on behalf of another or who causes something to happen.  So here, this nifty little anagram quite arguably tells us to remember that when performing any Runic work, we’re acting on behalf of the Runes, on behalf of any Runic Powers that might be swirling around the process, and on behalf of those people receiving the readings.  We’re also definitely causing things to happen when we get into Runic work.  We are agents in a couple of very major senses of that word!

And this little anagram exercise actually leads to another Rune-based technique you can practice that will similarly work that old gray matter in Rune-related ways.  All through this series, we’ve been translating each Rune into its English alphabet counterparts.  For instance, I’ve noted how, say, Ehwaz is the “E”-Rune, and Ansuz is the “A”-Rune…  You can do the same in reverse.  That is, you can morph English words and phrases into their Runic forms to see which Runes might appear often, and also which might not appear at all.  I believe that through this process, you can often see which Runic energies are actually present in any word or phrase, and especially in names.  Much like we look at Zodiac Sun Signs in Astrology or Life Path Numbers in Numerology to get a sense of a given individual, you can analyze a person’s name to see which Runes are most present and powerful in it, and this can shed some real light on that person.

Einstein: say it in Runes, and then see what meanings leap forth...
Einstein: say it in Runes, and then see what meanings leap forth…

Here’s an example: take a look at Albert Einstein’s last name, which we use in our modern society as a synonym for “genius.”  As the accompanying image shows, the name Einstein is actually only made up of four separate Runes, two of which appear twice (and please note that some Runes actually stand for combinations of two of our letters, such as Thurisaz, which represents the “TH” sound, or here, Eihwaz symbolizes that long “I” vowel sound that you often get when using the “EI” combo).

So in very quick and simple fashion, the Runes that make up Einstein’s last name could suggest that here we have a person who has a powerful need (Nauthiz = “Need”) to offer up the fruits of his unique perspective (a possible manifestation of Eihwaz energy) in order to illuminate the world (Sowilo = “Sun”) for the greater good (a Tiwaz trait).

Of course, not everyone named Einstein will be a world-changing visionary, but this exercise really can offer up some surprisingly valid insights at times.  Also, translating English words, names, and phrases into their Runic equivalents is a fantastic way to further familiarize yourself with the Runes of the Elder Futhark!  I suggest starting off with your own name, and then moving onward from there…

The next post will wrap up this series with a summary of everything discussed up to this point — please do come back for that one!

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One comment

  1. […] 1)  Use your favorite method for getting yourself sufficiently centered and grounded. 2)  Focus on your question while you mix up the Runes in their bag or pouch, and then select a small handful of them. 3)  Cast them down onto your designated reading surface. 4)  Take note of how many Runes you ended up choosing: a relatively small number may mean that the issue you’re probing into has only a few primary core points, while a larger number of Runes could indicate a more complicated situation with a lot more moving parts. 5)  Examine the overall shape of the scatter of Runes.  Clues here can arise from the way in which the Runes dispersed: are they arrayed uniformly about the space, or did you end up with a few denser clumps and clusters?  And does the shape of the scatter suggest anything to you?  Does it resemble a geometric shape, or more of a free-form blob?  Do the Runes seem to converge to or from a single point, or does it all seem more purely random?  You can then apply the answers to these questions toward the underlying question that you asked at the outset of the Rune-cast. 6)  Evaluate the meanings of the Runes that landed face-up — in my view, these themes will play out in more obvious fashion in the situation that’s being assessed. 7)  Turn over and then evaluate the meanings of the Runes that landed face-down — again, in my own view, the forces symbolized by these Runes will manifest in much more subtle ways than the forces embodied by the Runes that landed with their faces already revealed. 8)  Try to tie all of the individual Rune meanings together into a more cohesive whole as you again refer back to the original question you were asking.  Can you conjure up a workable tapestry of meaning, or a linear narrative…? 9)  Consider the orientations of each of the Runes…  Are they all more or less facing in the same direction (which can signify that the things they represent will be working in a fairly unified and harmonious way), or did they land in a sort of chaotic shambles (which might mean that the underlying situation being scrutinized is also a bit of a messy affair, with component parts that are working against each other)…? 10) If the concept of merkstave Runes is one that resonates with you, locate any Runes that landed so as to be rotated 180 degrees away from you, and then adjust their meanings accordingly (see Part 8 in this series). 11) Similarly, if you find value in analyzing how each of the three Aettir are represented in the spread as compared to the others, this is an excellent juncture for working through that process (see Part 9). 12) Finally, you can translate the Runes in the scatter into their English equivalents, and then try rearranging them into anagrams, to see if you can land on some additional relevant words and phrases (see Part 10). […]

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