What Are Runes?
The runes are a combination of letters from first-century Germanic alphabets, although their exact history remains unknown. In recent years, seers, Norse pagans, and other practitioners have adopted the use of rune casting for divination, spellwork, and meditation.
Divination runes are typically based on the Elder Futhark alphabet. These runes often come in sets of 24 stones or tiles bearing the 23 runes of the alphabet and one blank tile.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate runes into your practice! Runes may be used differently depending on the practitioner, so read on for a few ideas.
Runes are often used for divination in a similar method to tarot or oracle cards. Much like tarot, runes can be utilized by asking them questions and casting them in an appropriate layout. These may range from simple three-tile spreads – like a past, present, and future reading – or a more complicated spread with several runes cast on an altar.
In another striking similarity to tarot, these runes take on an entirely new meaning when reversed, often representing blockages within the querent’s life. It’s important to note that not every person will read reversals with their runes. Some runic diviners don’t read reversed, or murk-stave, runes as anything more than the upright, or bright-stave, rune meaning.
If you’re still new to runes or are trying to memorize the intricate meanings of the various runes, you can draw one per day and meditate on what that rune means to you. Consider how this rune appears in your life or how its meaning dawns on you throughout your day.
Runes can be incorporated into your spellwork in a variety of ways! Try painting a rune onto a pendant to create an amulet of strength, carving a rune into a candle, drawing them onto your fingernails before painting, or using a divination rune tile to harness in a spell to harness its effects.
There are several runes associated with Strength in the Elder Futhark. Choose one or more of the following runes for your strength needs!
Perhaps the rune that most greatly embodies the values of traditional physical strength, Uruz represents the horn of the bull in all its tenacity, durability, and defense. A muscular creature at the peak of physical form, the bull persists through challenges thick and thin. Uruz calls to you a strong offense, an unrelenting defense, and a sense of uninhibited potential.
This strength and potential is not to be misused, however. Uruz is called upon to harness emotional fortitude, stand up to those abusing power, and remain valiant and responsible on your personal path to greatness.
While Uruz is the rune representing physical strength and tenacity, Thurisaz – or the Thorn – is a natural defender which helps to heal and rebuild from conflict.
Thurisaz grants the inner strength needed to overcome harmful situations and react in more healthy, mature ways. Utilize the Thurisaz rune to help solve conflicts, to heal after trauma, and to help reflect so that we may move past any pain that follows us through life.
Hagalaz reminds us that the difficult times in our lives are merely cyclical. These moments of hardship are meant to remind us that life is not always easy, but it always comes with a lesson to be learned.
Utilizing Hagalaz, the rune representing hail, grants us the relentlessness to overcome obstacles and take down anything that stands in our way. Call upon Hagalaz when it feels like the universe is testing you, when you feel like you’re in survival mode and need some time to heal, or when you need to combat the struggles of nature and the outdoors.
Isaz is the rune of ice, stasis, introspection, and inner clarity. Harnessing the energy of Isaz means waiting for the right time to move forward in the most rational and considerate way. Utilizing Isa means taking time to think, meditate, and ask the universe or the gods for guidance and clarity.
Harnessing the greatness of the Sun, Sowilo is a powerful rune of success, victory, and vitality. While once an honorable symbol, the Sowilo rune has unfortunately been co-opted by white supremacist groups and used as a hate symbol.
Tiwaz is the rune of Tyr, a valiant god of war, justice, and self-sacrifice. Tiwaz is invoked for spiritual strength, so use this rune to aid you as you stand up for what’s right, ask for protection for soldiers (or anyone facing life’s battles), or to help you analyze a situation with a sharper mind.
The Dagaz rune represents the dawn. Appropriately, this rune is like a shining light in the darkness that can be used to invoke strength during difficult times. Dagaz eases us through transitional periods, helping us to emerge transformed like the butterfly that this rune resembles. Call upon Dagaz for strength during your time of metamorphosis and it will lead you to the dawn.
Learn More About Runes!
In modern times, runes have been used for divination, spellwork, and so much more. Explore the topics below or take our Rune Casting course!
Rune for Fertility
Fertility rituals are a type of ancient magickal practice to ensure the fertility of the soil, but also to represent in a physical or symbolic way, sexual acts and other elements of the reproductive process. The oldest rituals associated with fertility involved natural elements such as stones, water, and trees.
All About Runes – Weekly Witchy Challenge!
There are many ways for a witch to use and incorporate runes in their practice- this challenge calls on you to explore, study, and enjoy the wonderful world of runes in a way that interests you!
Casting Runes: The Sacred Alphabet of Wisdom & Magic
The runic alphabet, which is truly ancient, has an implicit perfect order that allows us to dive into its sacred symbolism to obtain wisdom, advice, confirmation, or indicators of change.