Runes are magic symbols, each possessing its own esoteric power which may be evoked and directed to accomplish ritual purposes. The occult power of each rune can express itself as a basic force, an intelligent spirit, or as an astral environment (Tyson)

The runes, a sequence of literal and symbolic letters, are the ancient sacred alphabet of the Germanic peoples of norther Europe. As Germanic languages developed, so did the runes, resulting in variations of letter formation and the number of runes in the set or Futhark. Futhark is an acronym after the first six letters of the runic alphabet: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, and Kaunaz (Dean)

People wrote prayers, charms, curses, and blessings using runes. Runic healing charms were popular. Even the act of writing them was believed to be healing. Unlike our alphabet, every letter in the runic alphabet has a meaning. For instance, the first letter in the runic alphabet is fehu, which means “cattle” (Webster)

Mastery of runes was one of the most important skills an Anglo-Saxon wizard could possess. Runes were used as charms or spells to attract luck or ward off evil. In ritual magic, runes can be used as sigils–magical signs to attract or repel certain conditions. Runes carved on talismans, swords, or rings could act as charms to protect their owner and ward off evil. Runes cast in lots could be read for signs and omens. Runes were used as charms or spells to attract luck or ward of evil, to encourage healing and invoke protection. Rune magicians believe that combining two or more runes into one glyph can create a symbol that will attract specific energies, love, financial success, harmony, protection or health to the person who carries the symbol, perhaps as a talisman or even as a tattoo. These glyphs are known as bind runes. (Carr-Gomm and Heygate).

Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

Carr-Gomm, Philip and Richard Heygate, The Book of English Magic, The Overlook Press, 2009.

Dean, Liz, The Divination Handbook: The Modern Seer’s Guide to Using Tarot, Crystals, Palmistry and More, Fair Winds Press, 2019.

Tyson, Donald, Rune Magic (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick), Llewellyn Publications, 1988.

Webster, Richard, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Divination: Your Definitive Source for Learning Predictive & Prophetic Techniques (Llewellyn’s Complete Book Series (11)), Llewellyn Publications, 2017.

Categories: Glossary

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