The runes hold huge potential for magical practitioners. Odin is the rune master par excellence; he is patron of Galdr – the practice of rune spells and magic. Traditionally runes are cut and carved for magical purposes but modern day practitioners also use rune chanting, rune yoga and runic calendars to creating powerful magical workings.
My bind rune for magical practitioners combines the Fehu and Ansuz runes to make a double Wunjo rune. Fehu epitomises magical power and Ansuz magical knowledge – together they bring joy, fulfilment and completion.
Fehu is an excellent rune for magical practitioners. Draw its energy up from the earth and down from the sun to fill yourself with magical charge. Look to it for wealth magic and work to transform your inner and outer world. Read about the legends of the goddess Freyja for inspiration and insight into the magical qualities of Fehu.
The energy of Ansuz can blow the head off the unsuspecting so be warned. As Odin’s rune Ansuz enhances spell work and is an excellent ‘sending’ rune to ensure your intention manifests. Use Ansuz for spells to improve communication, speed up a chain of events or release unwanted shackles in your life. Read the legends of Odin for inspiration and insight into the magical qualities of Ansuz.
Kenaz is a very magical rune. Although it is seen as a ‘feminine’ rune it has strong associations with the Smith who has traditionally been said to posses magical powers. Its feminine qualities perhaps stem from its transformative, generative nature – it is the rune of creativity in manifestation (following on naturally from the inspiration of Ansuz and the ordering quality of Raidho which the skilled artist must possess if e/ she is to turn inspiration into manifestation).
The power of the dragon is associated with Kenaz and the rune can be combined with Fehu to help you connect with dragon. While Fehu evokes the magical, living power of the dragon (and the qualities of avarice and jealousy personified by the dragon on his hoard), Kenaz is the destructive and creative power of dragon fire which, when properly channelled can be a creative as well as a destructive power.
Some practitioners couple Kenaz and Laguz to cleanse a space (drawing on the cleansing and purifying qualities of the runes of fire and water). Try making a Kenaz talisman by burning its shape into wood or leather; metal will also work well due to its connections with the forge and Smith. Kenaz will bring you skill in the creative arts, the power to make your dreams manifest (note Jera, the rune of successful harvest is made of two Kenaz runes), and connection to your magical skill and abilities.
Wunjo is a lovely rune to work with. Use it to attract happiness and fulfilment or to bring harmony within a group. Wunjo is commonly used as a greeting or sign-off by Asatru, Heathens and other followers of the northern religions; used at the end of a spell or rite it will bless the work.
Perthro is a rune of magic and gifts us with the ability not only to interpret the flow of Wyrd but also to work with it. It will work well with Fehu to increase your magical abilities and attract good luck. Work with the correspondences to draw the power of Perthro to you: charge a piece of aquamarine with the energy of Perthro; decorate your altar in its colours; charge an apple or pear with its power before you eat it. Fill spaces of seership, birthing and transformation with its energy.
Algiz is commonly used alone or in combination with Othala to protect the home. You will often see it worn as a personal pendant or tattoo. Creating your own Algiz talisman/amulet (it is both as it attracts allies and repels enemies), will make it extra powerful; even better is one gifted to you by someone who knows the art of creating runes. Re-charge your Algiz rune by chanting and/ or connecting to the power source of the rainbow, the World Tree linking earth and sky, or the power of swan or elk.
Sowilo is a victory rune and is thought to partner well with Teiwaz in matters of battle. In a modern context you might partner these two runes in matters of justice and Sowilo and Mannaz in matters of business and your career. I have found that a sneaky Sowilo rune added to a bind rune can augment the effectiveness of the spell; its solar nature can be channelled by seeing the rune as a rotating wheel (e.g. through a symmetrical bind rune incorporating Sowilo at the centre) while its stellar aspects (the guiding star) can be denoted through a small Sowilo rune riding just above your bind rune.
When casting a magic circle I have also found that Sowilo works well as a seal at the very top of the circle, set it spinning above you like the sun to guard your space as you work.
Teiwaz is well known as a ‘victory rune’ and is commonly used in spells to bring about victory relating to legal matters. It is thought to be one of the runes used by warriors as its shape can be interpreted as a sword, spear or arrow. It is therefore excellent for people in the military or those participating in combative sport and can be worn or inscribed on equipment. For me Teiwaz is the rune of divine truth. The rune can therefore be combined effectively with the Dagaz rune to reveal the truth of a situation when the way forward is unclear. Put on your Dagaz spectacles (i.e create an energetic Dagaz rune in front of your eyes and wear it like a pair of glasses) and ask the Teiwaz rune for guidance and revelation. You may find that you receive a simple vision of the rune pointing at the source of the problem but while many practitioners report that the pleasure of working with the runes is how direct and straightforward the information they give is, you will sometimes get more complex or confusing visions which require time and interpretation – divine truth is after all not always straight forward. Please make sure you take the Dagaz spectacles off afterwards as they alter your perception, you will not feel good or operate effectively if you forget to take them off.
Northern tradition magical practice
The northern tradition has a rich magical heritage including: sigilisation and spell work practiced by rune masters; shape-shifting warriors and witches; the magical arts of the dwarves and elves; the Seidr practices for which the goddess Freyja is famous; and spinning and weaving techniques presided over by Frigg and the Nornir. Soul aspects such as the hamingja (luck and power) and Willa (personal will) can be honed by the magical practitioner. Ultimately, the powerful magical practitioner will want to combine the arts of the seer, sage, healer and mystic to perform the deepest work of transformation in alignment with orlog and wyrd.