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Of the different tools and items used by psychics in history, runes are perhaps one of the  most intriguing materials utilized. Runes have been used for centuries, by the ancient Germans; however, they still continue to be used by New Age adherents up to this day. Let's take a brief but interesting look at the evolution (and symbolism) of runes.

What Are Runes?

The Runes, to everyone’s misconception, have always been associated with mystery and the occult, but from an intellectual’s point of view, there is nothing mysterious or occult about them. They are merely letter symbols of an ancient alphabet that originated two or three centuries before the dawning of Christianity, from the Nomadic people of Europe.

According to psychic researchers, runes are actually characters used in  ancient German writing systems, and are inscribed in stone, wood, clay or metal. Each rune stands for, or represents, a sound or a word that begins with a sound, and these are used to spell out words, as well as symbols which stand for certain words.

The word 'rune' has its root from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word that meant 'secret' or 'mystery'; it is certainly an apt word, as even until today, they are still an enigma to the world. The use of runes date back to over 1500 years ago. They were mostly used by the East Goths, and were later adopted and found throughout England and Scandinavia.

Within the past thirty years, runes have seen unprecedented adoption and welcome throughout the world, as compared to being popular only to the wiccans and modern pagans, when it was first introduced.

Where did the Runic Alphabet evolve from?

Remember the Vikings? The so-called violent, blonde, erratic men of long ago? I am sure we all have the same impression of them, the indomitable warriors. But did you know that they and other Germanic people were the initial people who divined the future by the symbols of the Runic Alphabet

Ancient times saw that the use of the letters of the Runic Alphabet was associated with mysterious secret techniques entwined with magic and fortune telling. Of course if you undertake the literal meaning, the word ‘rune’ comes from and old root word meaning ‘hidden’ so is ‘mysterious’ and so is the German verb raunen, to whisper, is taken from the same source.

Runes were used centuries ago, on the tombstones of the honoured bones of what was once a life. They were used to carve cursing inscriptions, designed to keep the tricks of the tomb robbers at bay. Craving cursing inscriptions were not the only power they possessed; they were also credited with the ability to reinstate the dead back into life.

According to historians,   runes were crafted or developed somewhere during the 1st and 2nd centuries, with the adoption of the North Italian dialect to the Germanic language, as well as with the fusion of ancient German symbols. Because runes were generally inscribed on hard surfaces like stone, metal and wood, they were not used to record or write very lengthy texts. Often times, runes were used to indicate who owned an item, or who made it. They were also utilized to commemorate the dead, and were inscribed on memorial stones. In both Anglo-Saxon as well as ancient Norse traditions, people often carved brief messages or texts in runes, often on wooden tablets or blocks, and were delivered by couriers to other people (like regular mail). This means that runes were also used for personal, as well as for business correspondence. 

Another ability of the Runes is to foretell what the future may have in store for people, and in his Germania, Tactus, the Roman Historian described how it was performed.

What do the Runes actually mean?

The most composite of the Runic Alphabet would have to be the ‘Elder Futhark’, which is the most commonly used version of the runic symbols in Northern Europe. As with the languages of today, there are many variations to it, in names, shapes, obscure meanings and magical uses. To avoid any confusion, one must not mix futharks. The most widespread runic alphabets used today are the Elder Futhark, The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and the Younger (Scandinavian) Futhark.

Rune readings are the interpretation of the arrangements of the 24 letters (runes) of the Elder Futhark alphabet. The alphabet is named after the phonetic value of the first six runes in the series. F(heu), U(ruz), TH(urisaz), A(nsuz), R(aido) and K(enaz). This layout is also known as a spread and would determine what each letter refers to. An example would be in a 'three norns' spread, the three cards would represent the past, present and the future respectively. The twenty-four runes are also broken into three groups of eight. Each group is known as an aettir, they all have an interrelation that binds them to a common theme.


  1. The FIRST aettir:
    The first aett of runes represents the coming together of fire, ice, chaos and order to bring on the gift of the gods.
  2. The SECOND aeetir:
    The second aett of runes represents the evolution of consciousness ranging from the basic up to maturity and more complex thought patterns. This progression does not only apply to consciousness, but it also applies to anything that is capable of making itself better and evolving towards perfection.
  3. The THIRD aeetir:
    The third aett of runes represents transition. It shows the progression of humanity dating back to humanity's first days until the end of the world; at the Ragnarok,, which is also known as the Twilight of the Gods.

Each letter of the runic alphabet has a meaning, besides that, the material on which the alphabets are carved can also affect the readings. Hence, psychics have developed a code which would assist them, with different materials for different situations, in the best possible way.

The most common material used by people in rune reading would be runes made of ceramic, stone or wood. However, there are also different runic materials. Examples of some of them: --

Gold Runes -- for a reading on business, career or property
Jade Runes -- for a reading on love, friendship or relationships
Ice Runes -- for a reading on struggle, conflict or achievement
Spirit Runes -- for a reading on mysticism, spirituality or religion
Stone Runes -- for a reading on the natural world and things beyond human control.

Are Runes Truly Magical?

While runes were also used for creating personal, and business correspondence or letters, these were also famed for possessing some magical traits. According to scripts derived from ancient Nordic and Anglo-Saxon literature, people were known to carve runes into stone, wood, metal and clay, as well as in weapons, helmets, drinking horns and even body parts, because these were believed to possess or bring forth some magical effect. Runes were also believed to offer protection from sickness, curses and bodily harm/Archeologists have actually unearthed amulets and weapons that had runes carved out among their edges.    

Are Runes Still Used Today?

While runes have been extensively used for magical (as well as practical) purposes in the ancient times, they still remain useful even up to the present times. They gained prominence (as well as notoriety) during the 1930's and 1940's, because they were used by the Nazis in Germany, for their insignia and other official symbols.   In New Age and Neo-pagan cultures, runes continue to be extensively used, both for their symbolism and purported magical benefits. In books and movies, runes continue to play an influential role. JRR Tolkien's novel “The Hobbit”, runes were used in maps. They were also extensively featured in the “Lord Of The Rings”, as well as in the Harry Potter series. These were also common features in modern fantasy literature, as well as in video games, where they were used a magical symbols against supernatural enemies.

To this day, many psychics still use runes, both for their symbolism, as well as for casting  spells. Usually, the magical spells are inscribed on a piece of paper, in runic letters, and were delivered to the recipient (or intended beneficiary or victim).

Among the different divination tools used, runes are perhaps one of the most intriguing, and the toughest ones to decipher, or understand (especially if you're a newbie to the world of psychic research). Well, runes have been used for centuries, especially by the ancient Germans, Swedes, English, Danes and Norwegians. These items or tools are utilized for opening up, or unleashing psychic awareness, and for other general divination purposes. 

The Early Origins Of Runes

Just like the popular Tarot card, runes can be used to gain spiritual insight, and can also be utilized as a tool for communicating with the universe, or with your subconscious/higher self. According to divination experts, runes were believed to have originated from the ancient German alphabet, and a number of northern European nations have used them long before the Latin alphabet was adopted. The word "rune" is also noted to have been derived from the old European word "ru", which means "secret" or clandestine.

Common Uses For Runes

Originally, runes were utilized for writing in ancient northern Europe. However, they were used by more and more people for divination. They are also used for introspection, as well as to  sharpen focus, improve self-discipline, and help clear out a bad situation or issue. They are also used to assess a person's fortune, especially when it comes to his or her vitality, energy, passion, rationality, and even sexuality/fertility.  

Reading Runes – How It's Done

Although runes are certainly very popular divination tools, reading them however (especially for the newbie) can truly be a challenging one. Depending on which type you choose to follow, there are different types of rune stones used, from the Gothic to Hungarian, Turkic, Anglo-Saxon, Cirth, Futhark and more. Well, here are a couple of common methods for rune-reading. For Method # 1, close your eyes (with the runes in your pouch), and focus on the answers that you're looking for, whether it's about something in the past or future. Next,  choose a rune from the pouch, and this would be your answer. For Method # 2, slowly toss the runes into a soft surface, while thinking of your question in mind.  The rune that stands out the most will be your answer.

In Method # 3, carefully lay out the runes and allow your hands to slowly pass over the runes, while you focus or concentrate on your question. By using your left and right hand in passing over the runes, you will slowly sense the rune which holds the answer to your question. In method 4, close your eyes, draw three runes from the pouch or bag, and line them up. The first rune will most likely be the answer to a question about the past, while the 2nd one will answer a question about the present, and the 3rd one will answer a question about the future. 

Rune reading, like reading Tarot cards, also has its own sets of spreads. According to experts, the most common or popular rune spreads are The Norns (which look at the past, present and future), the Diamond, the Cross, the Circle, the Well of Wyrd, and the Single Rune.  The Single Rune reading is best at helping answers to quite simple questions, while the Norns can focus on both questions about the past, present and future. The Diamond reading or spread can help you gain insight or intuition about immediate outcomes.

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