Reading the runes

A rune reading is an oracle helping you understand your present situation and the choices available to you.  It include that which is fixed ‘orlog’ and that which is flowing ‘wyrd’.   

Runes can be thrown down on a cloth and interpreted free-form or they can be set down in a pre-determined ‘spread’ in a similar way to tarot.  The free form method is known as rune ‘casting’.  If you are new to rune casting you can start off with a pre-marked cloth that provides a happy medium between the constraints of a spread and the freedoms of casting; you’ll see some example in my articles.

If you are an absolute beginner then I suggest you spend some time working on ‘Rune of the Day‘ to help you get to know each one intimately.

The beauty of the runes is that because they are a magical system as well as a divinatory tool.  You can therefore work with them to shape your destiny as well as interpret it  Experienced readers sometimes work with two rune sets.  The first is used to do the initial reading and the second is used by asking the question ‘What runes can I work with to influence xxx’ and laying down additional runes next to the first casting/ spread.

Rune spreads series

Posts marked with an asterisk are from my archived site, some links may be broken which I will fix as I re-publish.  Thank you for your patience

Rune Casting Archive

The following links take you to a series of articles on rune spreads.  These currently link to old web archives and some may be broken.  I will be re-publishing the full series over the coming year.


Loosely translated as ‘Fate’.  Wyrd is very bound up with the concept of time; after the Gods name the phases of the moon and the stations of the day, the Poetic Edda describes  a ‘Golden Age’ which precedes the arrival of three women (normally interpreted as being the Fates):

On Itha Plain met | the mighty gods:
shrines and temples | they timbered high,
they founded forges | to fashion gold,
tongs they did shape | and tools they made.

Played at draughts in the garth: right glad they were,
nor aught lacked they | of lustrous gold-
till maidens three | from the thurses came,
awful in might, | from etin-home.  (The Poetic Edda)

These stanzas describe the first stirrings of ‘doom’ – 0nce the maidens arrive the Gods will know ‘lack’, for they are also subject to Fate.  Immediately after this, the Gods breathe life into Ask and Embla (the first man and woman) who are described as ‘unfated’ before the Gods gave them being.  Imagine a short story as follows : ‘They lived happily ever after’.  To me this is what a world without Wyrd might look like – no substance, no narrative, no sense of who ‘they’ are, of adventure or excitement, of love or loss.  The beginning of the Poetic Edda is lika an unfolding, each new phase of creation demanding the realisation of the next phase; a pattern has been set into motion and that pattern is Wyrd.

Wyrd is sometimes described as being like water (as in the Well of Wyrd), new souls are believed to be born from the Well and naming ceremonies in many cultures include a blessing with water.  Wyrd is also the name of one of the Fates in Anglo-Saxon mythology (corresponding with the Norse Urd), she is the Norn of the ‘past’ from which the present and future flow forth.  The Fates spin, weave and cut the threads of Fate, and Wyrd is often characterised as a web or woven cloth.  The important thing to remember is that Wyrd is a dynamic force, it is always in motion, continuously present as it flows from the past and into the future.