So what do they mean? And how do you use them? Some people like to lay them out flat face down and laying their hand over them and 'feeling' which one is the right one to pick up. The left hand is to receive (in right handed people). There are different layouts similar to laying out the tarot cards. You pick three runes and the first one is your past situation, the second is your present situation and the third one is the future. Some people like to randomly take one rune out of the bag; it is really down to personal choice
Runes should be kept inside a bag and most sets of runes do come in a draw string pouch, as for colour that really is down to you, myself personally I use either red or purple it really doesn’t make any difference which colour you choose. Some people refuse to allow others to touch their runes and I confess I am one of those people! They are very personal to you and your energies but again it is your choice there is no right or wrong way.
So how do you know which rune to choose when either taking it from its bag or if laid out in front of you? Well with your receiving hand it could feel warm or tingly or whatever feeling is right for you as you grow and learn the runes your feelings will be more intone and you will ‘just know’.
You may ask a question before ‘choosing’ your rune as you place your hand in the bag or if you have lain out your runes face down either mentally or out loud ask your question. Read the symbol inscribed on the stone. If you need further clarification, take another stone from the bag and interpret its symbol. If you find that you need yet another stone for clarification, you may want to return all the stones to the bag and rephrase your question.
To do a four stone readingClear and focus your mind. Hold the bag of stones in your receptive hand and concentrate on your intent. With the fingers of your receptive hand, "shuffle" the stones in the bag to mix them up. Either mentally or aloud, ask your question. Remove four stones, one at a time, from the bag. Read each stone's inscription before you place it on the flat surface where you are working.
From left to right, lay out the stones that you have chosen. The first stone represents past influences, second stone represents current influences, third stone represents future influences and the fourth represents the overall energies/lessons if all behaviours remain unchanged. if you are taking notes on the reading, be sure to write down the date, time, place and type of reading (ie: four stone reading).
So what do the Runes actually mean?
Fehu ~ the rune of wealth ~ cash is making you stressed ~ pronounced ‘fay-who’ ~ cattle
Fehu means cattle, a measure of wealth to the ancients. Today Fehu means movable wealth, such as money and possessions. It also implies the energy and hard work that leads to wealth. Fehu can mean emotional and spiritual riches, as well as money. This rune means cash is making you stressed, this isn’t the time to hoard money or guard your skills you need to keep things flowing so the energy doesn’t stagnate. Resolve arguments over money and maybe sell something to keep your cash flow energy moving.
Uruz ~ the rune of strength ~ time to be positive ~ prounced ‘ooo-rooze’ ~ UR
Terminations, new beginnings. An opportunity disguised as a threat. Mental agility. Physical development, mental and bodily health. Power. Are you on the defensive? You can’t change everything but changing your approach to them will make you happier. Exercise each day even if it is only a stroll and hang a horseshoe with points facing down over your door so luck pous in.
Thurisaz ~ the rune of chaos, evil and temptation ~ pronounced ‘thoor-ee-saws’ ~ thorn
Magical power, the forces of chaos or of evil.. Temptation. A Warning. Threats from persons of power or position. Resist temptations which offer reward through dishonesty or trickery. Heed the omen of dishonour or physical harm. The energy of Thurisaz can be used for good or for chaos. It represents the forces of the human psyche, including anger and lust. The thorn is a symbolic weapon. It can pierce, stab or tear. But it can also be protective, like a thorny hedge. Thurisaz may also signify a stroke of luck, but is more often a warning that your luck is running out. This rune tells us to fear not, and take a moment before making any decisions. It counsels us to look within, to find the lesson we need to learn, and allow the experience to give us strength.
Ansuz ~ the rune of Knowledge. Wisdom. Communication. A message ~ prounced ‘Ahn-zoo’ ~ ASA
Ansuz is primarily Odin's rune and represents communication, creativity, controlled and divine power. Spiritually, it is the rune of prophecy and revelation. It also encompasses the ideas of wisdom, knowledge, reason, and therefore of instruction and good advice.
It might also refer to a test, examination, or perhaps an interview. It can mean a letter, book, paper, message or other information. Because Loki was a renowned trickster. The answers to questions are available but not yet recognized. Look for signs and confirmations which are all around. Everything has significance and appreciation of this will lead to understanding. Ensure you don't ignore the message because you don't like the content. All experience is a lesson that teaches by acknowledging the truth knowledge and wisdom will increase.
Raido ~ the travellers rune ~ A journey, arrival, departure. Union or re-union. Events concerning travel or vehicles ~ pronounced ‘Rye-though’ ~
Travel is indicated. New friends or old friends return. Jobs connected with transport or overseas locations. Raido can mean wheel, ride, or travel. Raido represents both a physical and spiritual journey. It may signify a straightforward trip or some kind, of travel or relocation to a different place, or perhaps a warning that yours is a stagnant situation, and the need for new experience or ideas is necessary. This rune also speaks of our spiritual journey, which is constantly evolving, changing and offering new possibility at every turn. Raido can therefore refer to the journey of life (the wheel of life), or to a spiritual quest. Raido might also mean transport or communication, such as delivering or receiving a message.
Kauno ~ the rune of fire ~ a source of light enlightenment ~ prounced ‘Cow-noh’ ~ CEN
Kauno's main significance is related to fire, light, warmth, enlightenment and knowledge. It sheds light on the path, dispels the dark shadows of ignorance, and helps us to see with true discernment. It suggests that understanding must lead to action, and light in the darkness implies spiritual illumination. Kauno also represents the natural warmth and companionship of the home fire and thus, good health. You are coming into a new understanding of life and its meaning. New insights await, but don’t be complacent. Use this new understanding or it will be worthless. Look for ways to use your insights for the good of yourself and others. Enlightenment is replenish able. The more you use, the more knowledge you gain. Enlightenment itself is not the goal, it is just the starting point of a great adventure that will show you great wisdom and understanding if you proceed with truth and honesty.
Gebo ~ the rune of love and forgiveness ~ prounced ‘yee-boe’
Ask forgiveness and it will be given. A gift, present or windfall is foretold. Discovery or development of a skill or talent. Artistic or musical ability. Show compassion. Be not afraid to declare love. Good fortune in partnerships. A gift presents you with the choice of acceptance or rejection. If you accept you must be prepared to give in return. Everything has its price, but with spiritual gifts the cost is always worth it in the end.
You must find the balance between giving and receiving and learn to give responsibly. This means deciding when to give and who to give to as it is not appropriate to give to everyone indiscriminately.
Wunjo ~ the rune of joy ~ Happiness, light, emotional satisfaction ~ pronounced ‘woon-yo’
Wunjo is linked to a reward, a feeling of goodness and satisfaction, peaceful winning, and ultimate achievement. It contains the idea of everything going well because you are in total harmony with life. Wunjo also implies close co-operation and companionship with other people, because joy is not usually a solitary emotion. When so much of life can be negative, it is important to allow Wunjo’s joy to reach into every part of your life. Happiness is yours if you are willing to work for it. You must strive for balance and harmony in your life. Always look for solutions rather than dwell on problems. For happiness to last, it must be founded on truth and honesty. Hide from the truth and you hide from true happiness. Seek only what is good and right, and good fortune cannot fail to follow.
Hagalaz ~ the rune of disruption ~ Weather, damaging natural forces. Disruption. Interference ~ pronounced ‘haw-gaw-laws’
Representing both an ending and a new beginning, and the challenge that lies in weathering the storm that will occur between the two points. Like the “Tower” card in the Tarot, although it is primarily a negative force, it is a necessary one to bring about decisive change, to break old patterns or relations that were impeding our growth. This rune helps us realize that no matter how tough things seem at the moment, it is merely a ‘wake up call’ that offers progression, one that will lead us closer to our goals. Face any challenges head-on knowing they are just stepping stones on the way to your goal. The greater the challenge, the more you gain by overcoming it.
Naudiz ~ the rune of necessity ~ Need, want, craving. Demand, deprivation, compulsion, desire ~ pronounced ‘now-these’
Control your emotions. Do not give in to cravings. Your health is at risk especially from dietary aberrations. Ensure your love is not misplaced. Beware extraordinary demands on your time or generosity. Naudiz represents need, hardship, or adversity. Luckily, it includes the perseverance to endure, and reserves of inner strength. It counsels patience. However unpleasant the hardship it is a learning experience that will ultimately benefit you. Naudiz can also warn against taking a risky path. In conjunction with other runes, Naudiz tends to have a delaying influence.
Isa ~ the ice rune ~ Ice, cold, freezing. Lack of change. Stagnation. Lack of emotion. Storing binding. Bridge across danger ~ pronounced ‘ee-saw’
Isa means ice. Although ice can be beautiful, it is also dangerous. It can be slippery or treacherously thin, or block your progress. Isa means that you may have to delay your plans until a more favourable season. But it can take the heat out of a confrontation, or protect against magical attack. Emotionally, Isa implies a cooling of affection, or frigidity. It has a freezing, delaying, or preserving effect on other runes around it. A period of non-action is indicated. Do not let yourself get into a rut. Do not take anyone for granted. Be not afraid to show your feelings. Crossing water will be beneficial. Things appear to be at a standstill and this is not a time to try to force movement. Patience and wisdom are called for. This is not the time to abandon goals, but an opportunity to reaffirm them. This is a time for contemplation and preparation, not despondency or regrets. Things will change as surely as winter changes to spring and then summer.
Jera ~ the rune of success & continuity ~ Harvest. The agricultural year. Fertility, fruition ~ pronounced ‘yare-awe’
Success in endeavours, fruition of plans. Good spirits. Just rewards for past efforts. Inventiveness, talent or skill. Great reward to those who work with their hands or on the land. his is a time of reaping rewards from seeds sown in the past. It is a time of plenty, of joy and celebration. But it is also a time to work with no time for complacency. The harvest is followed by winter so you should make sure you have stored enough wisdom to face your next challenge. This is another turning point in life, not a goal. There are greater harvests ahead, but like the farmer, you must prepare the land, sow the seed, tend the seedlings and feed the fruit.
Ihwaz ~ the rune of defence ~ Strength, Endurance, Continuity, Protection, Turning Point, Change ~ pronounced ‘eye-wawz’
Ihwaz is the symbol of rune magic. Aversive, deflective or defensive power is yours. Patience, perseverance, foresight and protection against unexpected attack. Wisdom in adversity. The Yew tree has mistakenly been linked with death because of the ancient practice of planting yew hedges around graveyards. Because Ihwaz is rune number 13, that is the origin of the "unlucky thirteen" superstition of Anglo-Saxon culture. But the real reason the Yew was planted was to keep out unwanted scavenging animals - the evergreen Yew is both poisonous and impenetrable year-round. These Yews - now grown to huge gnarled old trees - are still to be found in many early British churchyards. Ihwaz should not be feared, because it also means continuity and endurance. The best longbows were always made from yew trees. As well as being strong, long lasting, and flexible, they contained protective magic. Thus, Ihwaz also represents safety from attack and a weapon of defence.
Perthro ~ the rune of chance, mystery and science ~ Mystery, Secrets, the Unknown, A Gamble, Sexuality, Pregnancy & Birth, Hidden meanings, Fate, Destiny ~ pronounced ‘Perth-row’
A gamble, a mystery, an unknown outcome. Mathematical odds. Make the best of your lot. Employ common sense and moderation to succeed. Spiritually, Perth suggests the disclosure of a secret. It could also refer to pregnancy and birth. Perth is linked with the sensible and moderate enjoyment of sexuality. Because of the mystery surrounding it, common sense and prudence are called for in the interpretation of Perth. You always have a choice in everything. No one can upset you; you can only choose to be upset. No one can exert power over you unless you choose to subject yourself to it. Claim your right to choice. Don’t allow others to compromise your truth or prevent you from doing what you need to do. The only danger here is not to make a choice, to leave things to fate and have no say in your own future.
Algiz ~ the rune of protection and opportunity ~ Protection, Divine help, Defence, Assistance, Support, Endeavour ~ pronounced ‘all-yeese’
Algiz illustrates both the antlers of the elk, and the shape of the sedge-grass herb. To some it suggests the spread fingers of a hand raised in a protective gesture. It is a powerful rune of protection and, spiritually, it symbolizes reaching up to the divine. Algiz also represents success through endeavour in a search, quest, or other enterprise. Like the fast-growing pine tree, schemes will develop quickly. Like sharp sedge, you are protected from attack. Alertness and awareness will be your guide. Wisdom, vision and clarity of mind will aid your cause. Although the path ahead is fraught with danger, you need have no fear, for you have the power of protection within you. You will be safe as long as you are not reckless. Algiz indicates a favourable time for risky ventures, although all things must be built on firm foundations. Do not become complacent.
Sowilo ~ the rune of energy and revelation ~ Wholeness, light, energy. Victory. Discovery, disclosure. ~ Pronounced ‘soe-wee-low’
The spirit of life, the energy of the sun. Completeness. Spiritual awareness. Boundless energy, strength of character. The capacity to learn, the gift of understanding. Good health and fitness. Although Sowilo is well known as a victory symbol, it can also be used as a force of attack. It is a positive force, because it is the natural power of the sun. Spiritually, Sowilo symbolizes clear vision, and the victories of light over darkness, good over evil. It admonishes one to use the powers of good to vanquish evil. You have the power to bring things to fruition. Good fortune awaits you and there is a positive feel to everything. This is not a time to rest and relax, but to examine the darker aspects of your nature. The power of the sun will enable you to face them without fear and to overcome them. Seek solutions to problems; they are all within your grasp.
Tiwaz ~ the rune of the warrior ~ Tiw, the god of battles and legislation. Protector of warriors and mariners. Courage, compassion ~ pronounced ‘’tee-wahz’
Tiwaz is named for the Norse god Tiw, after whom Tuesday is named. Tiw is the Norse equivalent of Zeus or Jupiter. He was the god of war and justice, fair law and regulation, and success through sacrifice. He was courageous, fearless, the master tactician and a consummate diplomat. He allowed a wolf to bite off his right hand in order to bind the wolf's chaotic force and thus protects warriors (both physical and spiritual), the disabled and the left-handed. Tiwaz also represents determination and male sexuality. It symbolizes new challenges and initiations into new understandings. There is a need for courage now, as your victory is already assured if your heart remains true. Make use of all the skill and wisdom you have acquired so far. Protect your faith, as it will be challenged. But truth, honesty and justice will always win through.
Berkanan ~ the rune of growth and fertility ~ Growth. Fertility. Re-birth. New life. A new broom. Physical beauty or stature ~ pronounced ‘bear-kawn-ah’
Physical or mental growth. Increased business, investment or profit. Bumper crops. Lost causes may be redeemed. New beginnings will flourish. Berkanan refers to renewal, regeneration, purification, healing, and recovery. It is the rune of the family and the home, and represents the enjoyment of sexual relations, fertility, and birth. Birth in this context can be literal or symbolic, such as the successful start of any new idea or enterprise. An exciting time for new beginnings, fresh adventures. Activity and energy. Sow seeds, but the harvest is yet to come so don’t expect immediate reward for your effort. Put the past in its place and learn from experience. A good time for spiritual renewal - clear away misconceptions and accept new ideas.
Ehwaz ~ the rune of momentum ~ Horse, Transportation, Steady Progress, Will, Movement, Partnership, Loyalty, Teamwork, Energy, Support, Restlessness ~ pronounced ‘ay-wawz’
Ehwaz represents the horse. The speed, strength, and beauty of a horse makes it much more than a means of transport. It is a sacred animal, a vehicle for material and spiritual advancement. Ehwaz implies controlled change, progress, and sometimes a journey. It also represents partnership, trust, loyalty, and faithfulness, such as that between horse and rider, brother and sister, two halves of the whole. You have the support you need to make swift progress towards your goal. But you must be loyal and supportive to those around you, as they are to you. The horse is proud, but that does not impede its purpose. So while you can be proud of your achievements, you must remain humble to ensure your journey reaches a successful conclusion.
Mannaz ~ the rune of humanity ~ Mankind, humanity. The self, inner being, soul. Manhood, or womanhood ~ pronounced ‘mawn-nawz’
Mannaz represents the human race, humanity, and the shared human nature within each individual. We are all members of the human family, yet alone in life and in the final journey into death. Mannaz symbolizes creativity, intelligence, forward planning, and speech and implies co-operation between individuals for the common good. Destiny awaits you, so claim it. But to be a spiritual being, you must balance body, mind and spirit. Embrace everything, good and bad alike, with total acceptance, knowing that each new experience will teach more of life. By learning each lesson you will go onwards and upwards.
Laguz ~ the rune of water ~ Water, sea, ocean, river or lake. Cleansing, tide ~ pronounced ‘law-gooze’
Associations with water in all its forms. Cleansing action. Tidal movement - ebb and flow. Fortuitous omen for overseas travel, fishing or other aquatic activities. Laguz means water, a vital part of life, but a constant danger, just as our journey through life encounters risks. Laguz contains elements of fluidity, changeability, and a lack of control. It represents the sensual madness of sexuality, the unconscious, intuitive, and psychic abilities. It’s deceptive elements come from its variety, rather than from any menace. Traditionally, Laguz is the ultimate female rune. Only by attunement to will your life truly flow as it is meant to. Emotional balance comes from harmony with creation around you. For example, natural foods lead to natural flow, whereas unnatural foods lead to disharmony and stagnation. The sea is always fluid and moving, so it should be with your life. Embrace change itself, for it is the only true constant in life.
Ingwaz ~ the rune of peace and harmony ~ Harmony. Approval. Unity, agreement. Love. Peace ~ pronounced ‘eeeng-goowz’
symbolises peace, unity, harmony, agreement, togetherness and undying love between romantic partners. It portends completion, the certainty of a conclusion. This could include the male orgasmic force, or birth as the conclusion to pregnancy. It also symbolizes protection, and contains the idea of a beacon, a light shining in the darkness, and therefore, spiritual inspiration. On your spiritual path you may feel isolated, but within you burns the fire of inspiration urging you onward and upward. Feed the fire by perseverance. Seek answers but don't get encumbered with irrelevant questions. Live one day at a time, knowing that the past is just a memory, the future just a dream, and the here and now is what matters.
Othila ~ the rune of family, home and Success ~ Home or homeland. Hearth, family, inheritance, estate, possessions ~ pronounced ‘oath-awe-law’
Othila means the ancestral country or home, property, and fixed wealth or inheritance. This can include your inherited characteristics from past generations that you will also pass on to your children – or it can represent a united family's strength. Othila can be seen as everything that you have accumulated during your lifetime, and can also represent your spiritual home. At this time of re-focusing, fix your goal firmly in your mind and let your thoughts attract the energy you need to reach it. You must concentrate to read all the signs, but don't try to force the issues. Your objective is like a wild bird in the palm of your hand. If you grip too tightly, you risk killing it.
Dagaz ~ the rune of transformation ~ Day. Daylight. Dawn. Breakthrough. Radical change ~ pronounced ‘Daw-ghawz’
A breakthrough. A new dawn or a major change of direction. Achievement and prosperity, a successful conclusion to a passage. Darkness is behind you because a new day has begun. Dagaz is the essence of natural daylight, the new light of dawn, and the strength of the sun. Spiritually, it is the divine light, the high point of the natural cycle of darkness-light-darkness. It signifies brightness, growth, progress, development, and sometimes fundamental change. The divine light is guiding you towards your goal. Remain true, and good fortune will be with you. You are well protected by the power of the light. It will give you clear vision to avoid dangers, but don't be blinded by your ego. Remain humble and thankful for all the good things that come to you.
The blank is a concept of modern origin and has no traditional value or significance. Because it is blank, it is not really a rune at all. Some people like to use it personally I don’t. But for all of you who do this is the meaning.
Fate. Destiny. The will of the gods. The end or the beginning. Death or birth. The appearance of The Blank Rune would presumably signify that in this aspect, Fate has taken control and you have none. Must be based on the adjacent Runes in the cast.