Skáldskapr: Interpreting the runes based on the Age

This episode I explain the misunderstandings and the major differences between the reading of runes. In addition we will cover the evolution of these practices to the modern-day tarot cards used today. However, understanding that the underlying principles of mystical powers which has eluded the modern church. While some may interpret the runes themselves, and the practice of reading the runes, as evil or satanic in nature. I am here to say that those descriptions could be no further from the truth. The practice of reading and interpreting the runes are a cosmic connection offered to us here on Midgard by the Norns (or fates). So, let us discuss the usage, and interpretation of the runes, but first, let us seek the guidance and wisdom from the all father.

{Ódinn invocation chant}

In addition to my master’s guidance we ask for the additional help of the Landvætti. 

Oh, here our call. Calling the spirits of the lands beneath us, hear our calls. To the spirits within the trees hear our call, within the rocks hear our call, we call to you. To the spirit clan of the lands. The Landvætti of our ancestors. All living things upon Midgard who have a spirit or soul who wish to help us, or who have knowledge of our path. We ask that you come to our aid and hear our call. Hail Ódinn.

The Landvætti are the spirits within all living things that can communicate with us to help provide precision to the steps we take along our path of life. They bring forth the message of spiritual intervention that we have, and need to successfully traverse the entire journey of life.

One of the first pieces of knowledge to pass on to you about the rune-stones is that they, nor anything can pre-tell the future. They know not the finality of our life times, because we are writing it as we go. In the studies we find that the only reason that Skáld can determine you eternal hall is by reviewing the tapestry that your actions were recorded on the tapestry sewn by her sister Verdandi. As you are born to your physical body you are given a defined amount of time by Úrd. What you chose to do with the time rests solely upon your shoulders. For if you do not like what the rune-stones tell you, then you are free to change your path. However, there may be consequences for the change, but ultimately that choice is yours to make.

This is a major paradigm shift for many new-comers to the pagan form of spirituality. Most of the major religious sects teach of a destined path that ultimately, lands them at the feet of their god. Although their speak about living honorably, there is always that moment during their weekly event that one has the opportunity to clear up any misdeeds during the week. In addition, their underlying core value of “gold is good” where níðingar can pay their way out of dishonor. The Norse, and many pagan worships don’t see the life of the dashes the same way. The dash represents the horizontal line on your tombstone between your birth, and your death. This dash is completely dictated and driven by you. You set the course and speed in alignment with what the fates have planned for humankind at that time. Our gods accept token offerings in exchange for favors, however, your tapestry dictates where you’ll spend your time before Ragnoråk. In the big picture of life, gold means almost nothing, and it certainly cannot buy your honor.

Ah, the rune stones. Those special trinkets that allow the knowledgeable to peer into the abyss of infinity to return the wisdom that can only be obtained there. While many may discredit the use of the runes, or tarot cards, they are no different than that quiet voice in your head that directs you from remaining standing in traffic. While some may have the discipline to enter a trance to visualize potential wisdom offered, others may use physical tools, such as the rune-stones, or tarot cards which in some ways can assist our eternal vision. I think, while there have always been charlatans throughout history, however, there have been scores more who were given the gift of eternal sight. In today’s discussion we are going to look at the physical toolset of the rune-stones.

For clarification, I personally use the elder futhark stones with 24 stones that have been consecrated in human blood (my own) and dedicated honey mead. This is the set I’ll be using during this discussion. In much the same way that the (came along afterwards of the stones), the tarot cards as well as other tools, leave much up to the interpretation of the reader, or the individual’s personal intuition. Learning to read the stones is an exercise in learning to listen to the quiet voices within one’s heart and soul.

Throughout this discussion I will be using my stones, initially breaking them into three groups of eight stones each, these groups we’ll call Aett, each ætt represents a clan, or family grouping.

  • Freyr’s Ætt. Freyr’s is probably one of the most commonly referred to gods with the Vanir. As the god of Prosperity and Virility, he brings a aura of hard work from his hall in Ālfheimr. His stones for interpretative purposes typically refer to the emotional connection, or matters of the heart. His rune-stones are:
    • Fehu 
    • Uruz 
    • Thurisaz 
    • Ansuz
    • Raidho 
    • Kenaz 
    • Gebo 
    • Wunjo 
  • Hagal’s Ætt. By the old Norse, this translated into “cold grain”. However, based on the information I have been taught by the spirits of the Landvætti, this Ætt is more about the environment, or surroundings when it comes to its interpretations.
    • Hagalaz 
    • Nauthiz 
    • Isa 
    • Jera 
    • Eihawaz or Ihwaz 
    • Perthro 
    • Algiz 
    • Sowilo 
  • Tyr’s Ætt. Tyr was a very courageous member of the Aesir tribe of the Norse god clan. His bravery allowed him to be victorious in many battles, even allowing his hand to be bitten off by a secured Fenrir as a demonstration of this courage. His stone ætt can be interpreted as action scenarios. Both, actions by us, or actions to us.
    • Tiwaz 
    • Berkano 
    • Ehwaz 
    • Mannaz 
    • Laguz 
    • Inguz 
    • Dagaz 
    • Othala 

With a basic understanding of what the stones translate to, let’s take a minute to explain about the casts we make. If you are just starting, or have a simplistic question, the one and three stone readings are the best. As you gain experience and wisdom, gathering larger groups of necessary vision, you will continue to elevate all the way to a nine stone cast.

  • One stone reading
  • Three stone reading
  • Four stone reading
  • Five stone reading
  • Nine stone reading

Advanced layouts are used for complex situations, or scenarios that involve many different possibilities. These are typically reserved for the very advanced readers.

  • Midgard Serpent
  • Egil’s Whalebone
  • Ódinn’s Nine

We must have a detailed question in mind when making our cast. Clearing ones mind takes practice, as does ensuring that we remain engaged in one question at a time. Especially as we learn the path of being a rune reader. So, in previous discussions we’ve had, we have spoken of ways to clear your mind. This is going to be critical to gaining the answer to what we want to know.  

When first starting out, possibly writing the question in such a way that we can focus on it visually, helping to minimize or eliminate all the transient thoughts that may pass through our brain while we are trying to focus. Again, we need to ensure that we employ mental discipline to control our thoughts. I am reminded about the 1984 movie Ghostbusters where we find the hero’s having to manage their thoughts about the worse enemy, or greatest fear. Ultimately, the actor Dan Ackroyd’s character thinks of the “Stay Puff marshmallow man”. He states that the idea “just popped in there”, meaning as hard as he tried, that transient thought occurred. This is what I mean about controlling one’s thoughts as you are asking a question. Sometimes it may take several times asking the same question, to get one clear enough for the Landvætti to provide the correct answer for what you really want to know.

A word of caution for those who interact with those of the monotheistic practices, working with the rune stones, or the later tarot cards was condemned by the church and taught as an invitation to evil. This stigma remains, and therefore be cautious as to whom you inform. Not that it’s bad at all, as it’s really no different than the quiet voice of experience that warns you of an electric fence. However, because many church followers embraced the banishment of the practice, many bible thumpers may persecute you, possibly unknowingly.

With all that said, let’s talk about our first cast. In our example, I have chosen a simple question. “Will my mother be able to acclimatize to southern Alaska easily?” This is all based on my mother moving here to Alaska in last week. I reach into my bag and retrieve three stone independently. I place them in a straight line from right to left. Stone one is Jera, stone two is Berkano, and stone three is Algiz. In proper form, having Jera as the first stone it shows an overview to my question, and speaks about “proper timing”, so it would seem that the Landvætti understand my question clearly. Because of the letter Jera cannot be turned upside down, it’s the same each direction. It is safe to understand the reading is accurate. The connection with the Landvætti is good. Our second stone speaks to the recognized challenge. Berkano speaks about the “safe haven”, which was why I invited her to come live near us here in Alaska. So, can we keep her safe? The spirits are perfectly aligned with my question. The third stone represents what actions I must take to ensure success. In this cast, I chose Algiz as the third stone. The rune Algiz speaks about protection, higher life, or awakenings. I am absolutely standing at the ready to physically protect her from here out. Ensuring that she can retire happily, with good friends and family around her. Good news for me here is that Algiz is one of the most powerful energies of the Ruth ark, therefore I am confident that I have the full support of the gods.

There are many books published about reading the runes, however, a big part is to listen to that very quiet voice in your head. At the same time you will need to listen with your heart as to what feels right. Be careful over-extending one’s emotion here, which can become blurry between what you’re told, and what you want. No one likes to give bad news, but ultimately as we strive to live honorably, so too must the information we pass along regarding the readings.


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