How to do a Rune Reading — Conclusion

Like the circle, the Runes can be deceptively simple, and yet also as complex as life itself...and if you meditate upon either, you can find real illumination!
Like the circle, the Runes can be deceptively simple, and yet also as complex as life itself…and if you meditate upon either, you can find real illumination!

We’ve now covered all of the steps that I run through when performing a Rune reading.  I figured I’d wrap up the series with a summary for use as a handy reference resource for anyone interested in traveling deeper into explorations with the Runes…

I should stress again that this is my own personal process, arrived at after several years of working with the Runes on a daily basis.  Other people will do things differently — you might choose to do things differently.  And that’s all completely fair and legit.  There are a lot of valid methodologies out there, and I only offer mine as a hopefully clear and accessible starting point for anyone who happens upon it in their own quest to learn how to use this outstanding system.

So with all that disclaimer-y language out of the way, here, again, are the major steps in my own Rune reading process:

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).

The Valknut: symbol of Odin, the All-Father, Conjuror and Master of the Runes!
The Valknut: symbol of Odin, the All-Father, Conjuror and Master of the Runes!

Once you’ve made your way through all of these steps, basically in that order…you’ve performed a bona fide Rune reading!  You should practice, practice, practice, but using this template as your guide, you should be able to gain confidence in reading the Runes, and you’ll eventually reach a level of knowledge and skill at which you can modify the process to suit your growing expertise.

I’m considering doing a series of posts in which I offer up my own take on what each individual Rune signifies, but until I get that series up and running, you can also comb the internet for Rune meanings, or you can track down any of several excellent books on the subject.  My own personal favorite is Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson.  This is an especially good book because Ms. Paxson not only offers up her own thoughtful interpretations of each of the Runes, but she also summarizes the views of many of the other authors who are regarded as luminaries in the field (in other words, you can start with her book first, and get some sense of what the other Rune authorities say, too, without also having to shell out mega-heaps of dough for all of their books…you can always get those later, if any of them pique your interest).

And there you have it — if you’ve followed this series all the way through to this point, you may not be a true vitki just yet, but you should be on course toward that end!  Please feel free to comment here, or to reach out to me with any questions.  I hope that at least some of you reading this will end up getting as much out of the Runes as I do!

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