Through this last week I’ve been preparing training for the current Runic Awakening cohort on making their own runes. It’s also the half month of Thurisaz and it got me thinking about the way in which objects can hold on to negative energy. If you’ve ever done psychometry you’ve probably practiced handing round bits of old jewellery to see what vibes you pick up from them. Some things can give you one cracker of a headache if you’re not careful!
We’ve been looking at how to safely destroy a rune if it’s been created incorrectly and perhaps this led me to think about an experience I had which led me to make my second rune set.
I was visiting a friend who had started university a year ahead of me. I had, of course, taken my trusty rune set with me and had done readings for my friends and a couple of her closer friends. While I was doing one reading a girl walked into the room. She saw what I was doing and asked for a reading. Something told me I didn’t want to but I was a shy 19-year old staying with people I didn’t know that well so I agreed. Her reading was very clear that she was holding on to something that didn’t belong to her and that she needed to let go of. When I finished explaining this she looked me right in the eye, scooped up my runes in her hands and threw them at me! Then she stormed out of the room shouting that her friends had set her up for the reading. It turned out that her boyfriend at university had split up with her a few months back but she was refusing to accept it and acting like they were still together.
I emerged from this experience an older and a wiser reader but my runes were less fortunate. They felt awful every time I picked them up. No amount of ‘clearing the bag’ was getting rid of the sense of anger and betrayal that I picked up every time I touched them. It took me a good six months to properly clear them. They were buried, passed through flames and water and covered in salt. They were laid out in sunlight and moonlight. They were sung to. They had the rune poems spoken over them. Finally they emerged but I never used that particular rune set to do readings for another person again.
Here are some of the learnings I took from this experience:
- Do your readings from a place of strength. If you don’t want to read, don’t. When you charge your runes you give them a tiny piece of you (like a parent does a child) – so if you start a reading from a place of disempowerment they start from a place of disempowerment
- Once you have named and charged a rune it’s like a little magnet. It will draw in more of its own energy. If that energy supply is cut of (e.g. because you aren’t giving your runes attention, or you agree to do a reading when you don’t feel the vibe) then they will draw in whatever other energy is available.
- Some materials make runes that a more ‘porous’ than others. Clay, metal and some stones are particularly susceptible to leaking energy and then absorbing whatever happens to be around them. Wood maintains a clearer, cleaner energy for longer. This is why I now use wood sets when I do readings for other people.
- Charge your runes up well when you make them (or after you purchase them). You want them to be brim-full of delicious energy so they are powerful and less vulnerable to taking on other energy
- If you charged your runes well when you first had them you will be able to restore their original energy – but it might take time
If you need to destroy a rune
The poem ‘Havamal’ includes a stanza about cutting, colouring, invoking , testing, reading, sending and ‘killing’ runes. So how do you kill a rune?
Creating a rune ‘wrong’ basically means making its shape incorrectly, invoking the wrong energies into it, perhaps calling on the wrong deity or spirit guardian to bless it and your work, or choosing the wrong rune for the wrong purpose. You might also inadvertently imbue it with emotion you didn’t intend. There are some excellent books out there on creating runes or you can, of course, join the Magin Rose Runic Awakening programme.
If you make a rune ‘wrong’ the most likely outcome is that it will be ineffective. It’s possible that if you’ve really gone for it with raising energy, calling forth blessings and generally putting a lot of power into your ritual that it will backfire. So do your research first and if you’re making a bind rune (i.e. a single symbol made out multiple runes) check it carefully to ensure you haven’t created any additional rune shapes in your bind rune that you don’t actually want to be there.
Intention is the purpose for which you are making a rune so is particularly important for runes spells. When you do any form of magical work you’re creating an energetic ‘contract’ with the universe so make sure you haven’t put in any hidden clauses. Most importantly, be very, very present to why you want to do the work in the first place. ‘I want a new job that is more personally and financially rewarding’ is a very different vibe to ‘I like this job but I really, really hate my boss so let’s do a job spell to fix that’; the outcomes could be quite different. For example, in the second version you’ve not said anything about a different job being better and, even more worryingly, the runes could easily assume that ‘job’ and the emotion of hatred are synonymous – so you could end up in a situation that’s even worse. Look deeply and truthfully into your intentions before you set them. Visualise the future you want – not the present you are seeking to change. I personally transfer a bit of my Wiccan training over to my rune work and add in a clause ‘to harm none’ when I’m doing spell work – just to be on the safe side.
To fix a rune that you’ve drawn, charged or instructed wrongly two things are needed. Firstly, destroy the physical manifestation of the rune. Use a tool or knife to scrape away both the colour and the indentation made from carving is required. Secondly, perform an energetic ‘unwinding’ of the intentions and energy raising you did to create your rune. For example, if you invited Odin to witness you making your rune – invite him to witness you un-making it. Don’t try and ‘edit’ or ‘reprogramme’ the energy you raised – it won’t work. I find the most helpful technique is to see it being pulled out of the rune like thread. Visualise that thread collecting on the earth and then sinking down into it and dissipating.