Runic astrology works on the basis that, when Odin sang the runes into manifestation, they were set in a great circle around Midgard (Middle Earth, the realm of man).  Each rune has its own resonance and, as the Earth, Sun, Moon and planets orbit they bring their own resonant frequencies to the harmony of the runes.  At any given point   a unique song flows around us creating a powerful current of wyrd.

Birth runes and runic astrology - illustration of the planets

What started out as a journey of curiousity for me has become a major part of my personal practice.  I always enjoyed reading about the zodiac and understanding my astrological chart but when I began to read the movements of the planets using the runic wheel I found a new way into myth, story and seership.  I’m so exicted to be sharing this with you.

Runic astrology is one of the most powerful ways in which we can interpret and work with collective and personal wyrd  (the flow of that which was, that which is and that which must be).   

Here’s how you can get started:   

  • Join me over in the Hearthspace community for Magic in Mind on the Monday nearest the New Moon for tips on the major planetary movements coming up   
  • If you’re on Instagram follow me for posts letting you know the key planetary movements that day (you can see the most recent ones in the sidebar)
  • Pop into my Events & Goodies page to purchase the latest issue of the Sunna’s Starwheel runic astrology journal. 
  • Start your journey with birth runes on my dedicated birth runes pages

Our ancestors were great believers in destiny (örlög and wyrd) and luck  (hamingja).  Runic astrology is the practice of listening and responding to the harmony of the universe: a continually evolving, complex ‘song’ created by the interaction of the earth, moon, planets and Sun within the runic wheel.  This song is the energetic field in which we exist and in which our destiny and luck unfold.    

Imagine that the universe is extending its hand to you. It’s saying “Dance with me.” You start to move in time. You sit with the energy of the runes that are present right now. You raise their energies, sing their song, trace them on your body, create their shapes with your hands, channel them within and without.  You experiment with how your birth runes, and the runes of the moment interact together.  

To my mind runic astrology is unique in that we are not just passive ‘listeners’.  Runes are magical energies so we can work with them actively to maximise the impact of times when there is harmony and minimise impact when there is discord. 

 The concepts of time, the cycles of nature, and the stars themselves are embedded deep within the runes.  Every aspect of northern tradition culture, language, craftsmanship and husbandry speaks of a highly sophisticated understanding of the interplay between the seen and unseen world.  The Eddas, Old Icelandic tales and other sources of our knowledge about the ancient mystery traditions of the north give tantalising hints at the existence of an astrological system unique to the northern peoples.  

The system I use draws heavily on the work of Nigel Pennick.  His approach is thoughtful, well-considered and substantive. It treats the source material with respect and creativity.  He drew on a huge variety of Germanic sources to arrive at his system which assigns the northern deities to the planets in our solar system and places the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark around the ecliptic.  I have provided a short guide to the planets at the bottom of this page.  

The fabulous rune mistress Freya Aswynn has intuitively and sensitively assigned the zodiac signs to the Halls of the northern Gods.  I don’t use this system for present-moment runic astrology as the runes and planets alone provide such a rich field for interpretation.  The Halls of the Gods do, however, provide a wonderful layer of meaning and connection within birth rune readings.  The additional feature you will find in my birth runes work is the Halls of the Asyniur (the Handmaidens of Odin).  This was gifted to me from Frigg during a series of rituals.  

Connection and mindfulness

Working with runic astrology provides you with a beautiful framework for daily connection to the runes and the rich mythology of the northern tradition.  Spiritual traditions across the  world teach us the power of presence to the Earth and Heavens.  As we race to meet the daily human pressures of our lives mindful attention to that slower but ultimately more powerful rhythm of the universe provides perspective, grace and ease.  Raidho, the rune of the road is also the rune of divine order, right action and rhythm.         

Power and purpose 

At this stage in our evolution humans have pushed our science, invention and productive capability to its limits.  Many of us have personally enjoyed huge benefits, but at what cost?  We have never been closer to our own Ragnarok.  Yes you can use astrology to read the currents of Wyrd for personal gain and comfort – and there is no law saying you shouldn’t.  But I believe Odin gifted us the runes because he viewed us as participants and partners in the battle for survival and evolution of consciousness.  When you tune into your birth runes you are listening to your own song; you are in alignment and flow with yourself.  When you tune into the song of the universe you are acting for the greater purpose and dancing in the flow of Wyrd.  This is the pathway back into soulful, spiritual power.

I have always been curious about astrology.  Lying on the ground looking at the stars I felt more deeply connected to who I was .  The miracle of their light travelling through time and space to touch each one of us – what a gift from the universe.  Through my teens and twenties I followed the well-known wheel of the zodiac year, performed rituals, did paintings and (I admit it) devoured Linda Goodman’s sun signs eagerly. 

It was curiosity that led me to try the runic system laid out in Nigel Pennick’s work.  Unknown, reconstructed, re-imagined and complex to interpret though it was I found within it a more authentic, powerful and magically potent system than I could possible have dreamt of.