Skip to Main Content

Rune Casting: About

Rune Casting

What is Rune Casting?

In some modern Pagan traditions, divination is done by casting runes. Much like reading Tarot cards, rune casting isn't fortune-telling or predicting the future. Instead, it's a guidance tool that works with your subconscious to help solve problems by looking at potential outcomes. Although their meanings are occasionally obscure—at least for modern readers—most people who cast runes find that the best way to incorporate them into divination is to ask specific questions based upon the current situation. Rune casting is simply an oracular divination method in which runes are laid out, or cast, either in a specific pattern or randomly, as a form of guidance through problems or situations in which you need help making a decision.

The runes are an ancient alphabet, referred to as the Futhark, which was found in Germanic and Scandinavian countries prior to the adoption of the Latin alphabet in the late Middle Ages. In Norse legend, the runic alphabet was discovered by Odin himself, and so the runes are more than just a collection of handy symbols one could carve on a stick. Instead, they are symbols of great universal forces, and of the gods themselves.  Dan McCoy, of Norse Mythology for Smart People, says that from the perspective of the Germanic people, the runes weren't merely some mundane alphabet. McCoy writes, "The runes were never 'invented,' but are instead eternal, pre-existent forces that Odin himself discovered by undergoing a tremendous ordeal."

To cast the runes, the first thing you'll need—obviously—is a set of runes to work with. You can purchase a set of pre-made runes commercially, but for many practitioners of Norse Paganism, there is a custom of risting, or making, your own runes. Tacitus wrote that the Runes were typically made from the wood of any nut bearing tree, but many practitioners use oak, hazel, pine, or cedar. You can carve, wood burn, or paint the symbols on your staves. Some people like to use stones—use acrylic paint with a clear coating on top of it to keep it from rubbing off with use. For many people who work closely with runes, the creation is part of the magical process, and shouldn't be done lightly or without preparation and knowledge. Continue reading from Learn Religions

Watch Videos

From the Collection

Link to A Little Bit of Runes by Cassandra Eason in Freading
Link to Rune Elements by Lliam S.Herneson in Freading
Link to Runes by Anders Andersson in Freading
Link to Odin by Diana L.Paxson  in Freading
Link to Rune Power : the secret knowledge of the wise ones by Kenneth Meadows in the catalog
Link to Runes by Martin Findell in the catalog
Link to The Ultimate Guide to Divination: The Beginner's Guide to Using Cards, Crystals, Runes, Palmistry, and More for Insight and Predicting the Future by Liz Dean in Freading

Return to Divination 101