- 1. The One-Rune Quicky.
- As you might imagine, this method is designed to provide a quick, concise
answer to a specific question. It can also be used daily as a subject for
meditation, or as a general overview of the day before you go to bed. Think of a
Pull a rune out of the pouch and look at it. The answer may be an obvious yes or no, or the rune might provide a more conditional response. If the rune you picked seems to make no sense at all as a response to your question, ask another question or try again later.
- 2. The Norns (or, The Three-Rune Quicky).
- This method is helpful in getting an overall fix on a given situation, and
providing some idea about a future outcome. How much information you get out of
it will depend on how much time you spend analyzing the reading and how well you
understand the runes.
Pull one rune and lay it down face up. This rune represents the first Norn - those events in the past which affect the current situation. Pull another rune and lay it next to the first. This is the second Norn - the present situation, which frequently refers to a choice that needs to be made. Pull a third and lay it down. This is the third Norn, and the most difficult rune to interpret. In some cases it might represent the person's inevitable fate. In others, it might simply be the end result if the current situation remains unchanged, or even just one of several results. You must rely on your instincts to decide which is the case.
- 3. The Roman Method.
- This is the method described by Tacitus in 'Germania'. The method itself is
really another variation of the Three-Rune Quickie, with a few ritual details to
lend it authenticity. If you really want to do it right, go out and find a
fruit-bearing tree and use the wood to carve your runes fresh each time.
Lay out a white cloth on the floor. Take all of the runes in your hands and scatter them. Invoking the aid of Odin, and without looking at the runes, pick three at random. You may look at them as a group, without considering them in any particular order, or you can pick them one at a time, using the 'Norns' method described above to interpret them.
- 4. The Nine-Rune Cast.
- This method will give a detailed overview of a person's situation, providing
insight into where they are in terms of their spiritual path, and clarifying the
options and possible outcomes available to them. Nine is a somewhat arbitrary
number - you may use any number that feels comfortable to you. I have chosen
nine because a) three and its multiples were magically significant numbers to
the Norse, and b) it is a large enough number to provide a detailed reading, but
not so large that it over-complicates things. It is also easy for most people to
hold nine runes in their hands.
Pick nine runes from the pouch. Hold them between your hands for a moment, and focus on your question (if you have one). Then scatter the runes on the table, floor, or cloth if you have one. Read the runes which land face up first. These will relate to the current situation and the circumstances which led to it. How the runes are read is largely subjective, but in general, runes lying in the centre are the most immediately relevant, while those lying around the edges are less important, or represent more general influences. Runes that are close together or even touching often compliment each other, or may even represent a single thing, while runes which fall on opposite sides of the pattern frequently represent opposing influences. Occasionally, a rune will land completely off the cloth or fall off the table. Some people consider such runes to be particularly significant, while others ignore them completely.
Once you have looked at the runes which landed face up (and remembered which ones they are), turn over the rest of the runes without moving them from their positions. These represent outside or future influences, and will point to possible outcomes. It is up to you to decide what the various positions and patterns in a reading mean, but once you have come up with a few general rules, try to stick with them. As I have said before, consistency is very important. However, rune readings by their nature are very fluid, subjective things. Try not to impose too much order on your readings by inventing set meanings for every triangle, square and tetrahedron. Runes are like people - you never know how they will get along together until you introduce them. Just look at the patterns and relationships that appear in each reading and see what interpretations make sense to you.
Once the reading is done, I usually like to pull one more rune out of the pouch. This helps to confirm (or sometimes dispute) the conclusions drawn from the reading, and may provide a focus or centre to an otherwise scattered and complicated cast.