The goal of runic working is to control the power of the runes so as to create the effect you want. For this purpose, it is first necessary to have a deep knowledge of the runes themselves and secondly it is necessary to understand the ways in which the runes may be used and the reasons why they work as they do.
The runes may be thought of as forces which come forth into being and are shaped. Collectively, they embody the entire THAT-WHICH-IS/BECOMING/SHOULD-BECOME. There are many different ways of coming to know and use their might, but all of these come down to the drawing fo these forces into yourself and guiding them forth to work your will. Some forms of runic magick require no tools other than the trained mind and will. The most durable and complex, however, call for an earthly vessel into which the runes may be carved so that their might continues to flow from it until the streams of power are acrtively broken by the destruction of the "body". The advantage of these practices is sometimes offset by the fact that it is more difficult to carve and color runes unnoticed than it is to shape and send their force out to your target; but something which is properly charged with runic force and bound can hold the charge as long as is needed for most purposes, though it cannot renew its flow as a carved talisman (taufr) does.
In learning the runes you will find that there are two ways by which you must approach them: the way of the mind and the way of the soul. The way of the mind is that of research, logic, numerical calculation and experimental evalution; the way of the soul is that of meditation, feeling and practice. These two ways shoudl be fairly balanced if one wants to know the runes and their workings. It is also important to keep a magickal diary in which one´s records and experiences along the path should be written down and reflected upon.
Meditation is the first step in understanding the runes in one´s own soul. It is best to begin meditating on each rune on your own. This can be done in many ways. One can begin by staring at the shape of the rune and intoning either its name or galdr-sound (mantra) associated with it. Erdred Thorsson suggests that each rune be painted in read on an index card, and this is likely the easiest way to set them into one´s awareness. Try and do one rune each time.
Meditation may also be done by simply sitting and concentrating one´s entire self on a single rune to see what one can feel or find within it. The key to successful meditation of any sort is the ability to concentrate on one´s object in all ways. To do this, it is necessary first to clear the mind and body of what is unwanted, and then to fill them with what is wanted, in this case, lore and symbolist related to each rune which is being studied. In practice, the aim of full concentration can best be reached by good meditative breath control, such as is used in yoga and some martial arts. For each rune in this website, a guided visualisation/meditation will be included exploring the symbolism of each rune. The visualisations are intended to aid in the focus and spiritual attunement to the force of each rune. To perform them, read the visualisations a couple of times. When you are ready, close your eyes and try to follow the story picturing yourself in it, living and enacting the visualisation/meditation. At the end of the process, it is very important to picture yourself in your own body again, with your feet firmly gounded on earth. This is called grounding and is done to prevent the psychic and metal disorientation which occurs when your awareness, having functioned outside of your earthly body, is not fully brought back into it; or when you have brought a great deal of magickal energy into yourself, which, unless it is directed to some purpose at once or settled by by the act of grounding, may cause some physical or mental inconvenience, ex. headaches, which may be severe sometimes.
In Norse texts, runic magick is often described as garldr magick, as opposed to the more shamanistic forms of spae and seidhr-magick. The word galdr comes from a root meaning "to sing or chant", which shows the needfulness of vibrating rune-sounds and magickal songs on all levels in order to bring their power into full being. As a meditative means, the chanting of galdr-sounds will cause your very body, as well as the world around you, to vibrate with the might of the rune upon which you are calling.
You should begin training yourself by practicing meditative breathing for some
time until it feels quite natural. When you are able to control your breath
and establish a strong regular rhythm, you should start singing the galdr-song
(given individually with each rune) on the outward breath and subvocalizing
it on the inward breath, being sure to continue to breathe from the diaphragm.
The sound should, at least at first, be sung on a single tone. This should be
as low and loud as comfortable for your voice in order to create the maximum
resonance within and around your own body. You should be able to feel the resonance
within and around you growing in power as you sing the galdr-sounds on the outward
of each cycle, while the subvocalized songs of the inward breath intensify the runic might in your spirit so that you can bring it forth more mightily on the exhalation. After a while, you may find alterations of tone to be more powerful; once you have mastered the basic skill of galdr-singing, this is a worthwhile path of experiment.
If the full rune name is used, each of the sounds should be prolonged as long as possible, so that one complete exhalation is required to sing the name once. This should hold true in magickal rites when one is using runic sounds or names as well as in meditation.
The use of galdr-sounds in meditation is also a good way to vibrate one´s galdrar (magickal songs - vocal part of the enchantment) in active magick so that the words resonate through your body and all the levels of being, bringing the silent and hidden form of the runes on which you call and of the words which shape and guide their might forth into earthly being. The resonance of the song is one of the major gateways through which the power is brought between the worlds.
When you have worked your way through the Futhark in one, or all if possible,
of these manners, you will be ready to begin using the runes outside of yourself.
Of course, the study and experience of a spiritual system as the runes is a
The best way to start bringing the runes forth is simply by sitting in a dark room with your eyes open. Choose a rune with which you have doen well in meditation and begin to breathe, singing the name of that rune until you can feel its might within. Slowly stretch out your strong hand, index finger out, and trace the stave-shape in the air. The shining power, in red or a fitting colour, should flow through your hand and eyes in a brilliant beam so that you can in some manner see the rune you have written there. Should this not be easy for you, close
your eyes and visualize its bright lines before you, looking through the eyes of your soul. When you can see it in this manner, open your eyes again. This may take some practice but in time you should be able to see at least the shining ghost of the lines of power you have written. Once you have finished your practice, you should either draw the rune´s energy into yourself or dissipate it back into the universe. It is bad practice to leave about any sort of magickal energy which is not clearly bound to a specific goal, and done over a period of time it can be dangerous.
This should be practiced until you are able to do the Circle Rite easily and comfortably. When you are comfortable with the basic internalization and theoretical function to the point that you can use this simple ritual to ward yourself, you will be ready to begin performing active runic magick.
"Know how to write, know´st how to read,
Know´st how to slain, how to understand,
Know´st how to ask, know´st how to offer
Know´st how to supplicate, know´st how to sacrifice?"
The most traditional means of putting runic magick into effect is the carving
and colouring of a runic inscription. This may be done on any suitable material,
i.e. wood, bone, stone and metal were the most common material in the early
days, but this should not limit you as a modern magician (vitki). Synthetic
material, although lacking hamingja-force (personal power, mana, luck) of their
own, are suitable for taking any sort of charge which you want to impress upon
them. Anything which can be carved, engraved and/painted can be made into a
When carving the runes, you shoud sing the name or galdr-sound of each as long as you work on it, prolonging the initial sound as long as possible. This should be done in a slow rhythm of deep, regulated breathing from the center of your body, as should all galdr-singing. As you inhale, you should feel the streams of power flowing into your body, filling you with brilliant, tingling might; as you carve and sing you probably should be able to see the power flowing forth into the grooves you cut, shining brightly in the runes and feel it thrumming through the sax-knife in your hand.
The colouring of the runes is the most important part of the process, as it is through te colouring that they are brought to life. Runes are almost always coloured red. The blood of the vitki is the most taditional payment for the runes, as it fills them with her/his life and haminja-force. Red ochre is also a traditional pigment for the runes.
The blood or ochre shuld be laid into the runes with the point of the sax, if you prefer, with a special tool. While doing this you should sing the lines of galdr for each rune by which you are guiding the sphere of its workings, feeling the runic might flow ever more powerfully through your body to grow in the newly livened runes. It is best in every way to have te entire ritual thoroughly memorized so that you can concentrate fully on the might under which you summon and guide into the runes written on the taufr.
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