Mystic Uses
of the Runes

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A discussion group that focuses on occult and mysticism. Runes are a frequent topic.


A discussion group that revolves around the mystic. Runes are a frequent discussion topic.


A discussion group that focuses both on the mystic and historical origins of mythology. The discussion often involves runes.


A discussion group on pagan activities, of which the mystic study of runes is included.


A discussion group that focuses on Norse and Germanic Pagan religions and their modern revival. The discussions frequently centre around runes, in both an academic and a mystical context.

Leaves of Yggdrasil
by Freya Aswynn
Llewellyn, 1990

One of the better books in Llewellyn's rune/Norse series. Very well researched with a unique perspective. The book focuses on the connection between the runes and mythological cycles, and takes a more female-oriented approach by including chapters on the Norse Goddesses and sedhr magic

The Book of Runes
by Ralph Blum
St. Martin's Press, New York, 1982

Most serious students of the runes, scholarly and otherwise, dismiss Blum's work as fantasy. Ceratinly he takes considerable license with the order, forms and interpretations of the runes (which he readily admits), and several have complained that his interpretations are far too vague to be of any use in divination. However, it cannot be denied that The Book of Runes, with it's enclosed set of mass-produced ceramic runes, is possibly the best selling book on the subject ever, and many, many people have been introduced to the runes through his work, although most abandon it later. It's worth a look if only to understand the 'New Age' perspective on the runes.

From Sun to Moon, Hear the Rune
by Alanit Byreln
Uric Inc., London, U.K., 1923

"A dive into the depths of Rune magik. Come one and all you believe and explore the soul of the matter"

The Rites of Odin
by Ed Fitch
Llewellyn, 1993

Generally dismissed as "Wicca-tru", or Norse Wicca, by most. However, some people like it: "An excellent addition to a runecasters library. Complements Thorsson's work and gives a new and enlightening twist to same."

Fire and Ice
by Stephen Flowers
Llewellyn, 1990

"A book which casts a Germanic air over what should be understood to be a Norse system. Not a bad book but not totally up to Thorsson's normal standards although, it was a predecessor to his modern work."

The Secret of the Runes
by Guido von List (trans. with commentary by Stephen Flowers)
Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont 1988

The contraversial classic of the German 'Armanen' runic tradition. A somewhat bizarre little book, it is nonetheless important from a historical point of view.

Helrunar: a Manual of Rune Magick
by Jan Fries
Mandrake of Oxford, 1993

This book is filled with great ideas. Very loaded, [too loaded?], with historical and practical info. "Quite frankly if you get this book and [Rune Power], you won't need any more."

Teutonic Magic: The Magical and Spiritual Practices of the Germanic People
by Kveldulf Gundarsson
Llewellyn, 1990

Comes recommended as good background for a study of runes from several Usenet discussion groups.

The Runes and Other Magical Alphabets
by Michael Howard
Thorsons Publishers Ltd., Wellingborough, United Kingdom, 1978

Although it also contains chapters on the Ogham and the Enochian script the book is mainly about the history of rune magic from the beginning to the present. But it is much too thin to be comprehensive. Besides it gives some false data and strange theories. Not very recommendable. /P>

The Elements of the Runes
by Bernard King
Element Books Ltd., Shaftesbury, United Kingdom, 1993

A good look not only to the runes and their history but also shortly to Norse religion and society, all historically correct. But concentration lies on the meaning of the runes and their use in divination and magic. Although it hardly contains anything really new it can be regarded as a very recommendable introduction to the subject for any beginner.

Rune Power: the Secret Knowledge of the Wise Ones
by Kenneth Meadows
Element Books, 1996

Covers the runes from a practical shamanistic perspective. Great excerises in developing a personal runic system.

The Middle Earth Page

This is a site devoted to The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring series of books by J.R.R. Tolkien. The author meticulously created a magical world for the characters that was complete with believable languages for the differing species. Tolkien, who was himself a philiologist, wrote appendices for the books detailing the linguistic values of the languages he created. Among those created were types of runes, the Angerthas rune system, and the Moon rune system. This Web site has charts of the translation of these rune systems, presumably taken from Tolkien's own writings.

Rune Games
by Marijane Osborn & Stella Longland
Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London, United Kingdom, 1982

The book gives a good introduction to the Old-English rune poem and presents some unusual methods of divination in order to gain self-knowledge and self-development. A rather unique and individualistic approach which may not appeal to everybody, though, because the authors strictly refer to the Anglo-Frisian Futhorc. But definitely a useful and pioneering work since it clearly predates the latest runic revival of the late 80s.

Rune Magic: the History and Practice of Ancient Runic Traditions
by Nigel Pennick
Aquarian, 1992

Another book filled with a lot of historical info oriented towards the advanced beginner.

A Practical Guide to the Runes
by Lisa Peschel
Llewellyn Publications, St.Paul, MN; 1989

A rather thin paperback, but quite accurate and well written for someone who just wants a brief introduction to the mystical aspects of the runes.

RuneCaster for Win95
by Garry Archer
A rune casting program


The Runecaster site is a unique way of casting rune stones online. The user is able to cast runes using Odin's Rune, Three Rune Spread, Runic Cross, and Three-Life Spread. Once the throw has been submitted via a form, the results are displayed in the correct patterns. The user can then click on individual stones to bring up information on its particular meaning and history.

maintained by Sweyn

The page of the Gild in the South Pacific Region.

The Runes

A detailed description of runes accompanied by short history of their uses. This site, written by a person called Amthyst, is referenced on almost every Web site containing information on runes. Also contains good ascii versions of runes.

The Runic Journey

A site which explores the history, meaning and magic of the runes, presented by Jennifer Smith. Contains detailed interpretations of the runes, discusses their practical use for divination and magic, and a link to a page devoted to the lore of trees.

Raido: The Runic Journey
by Jennifer Smith
Milton, Ontario: Tara Hill Designs, 1984

A small, self-published book which interprets the runes as a 'journey' in which each rune in the traditional 'futhark' sequence is seen as a step in a mythological and personal process of development. Not widely distributed, but well received by those who have read it.

Runic States - The Shamanic Perception of Quantum Realities
by Kevin Steffen
Eshcaton Books, Chicago, 1996

The elder futhark examined as a modern world view and language for the subconscious.

At the Well of the Wyrd
by Edred Thorsson
York Beach, Me: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1988

A third book from Thorsson that comes recommended but was unavailable for preview.

Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic
by Edred Thorsson
York Beach, Me: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1984

Another of Thorsson's books that comes highly recommended from the mystic-oriented Usenet discussion groups. Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology was intended as a supplement to this book. It was unavailable for preview.

The Nine Doors of Midgard
by Edred Thorsson
Llewellyn, 1991

Presented and organized as a home-study course in runes and related mysticism, this document was formerly only available to members of the Rune Guild, an initiatory organization founded and run by Thorsson. The primary focus is on practical exercises and meditations, with chapters on 'soul-lore', vocalic breathing, runic cosmology, talismanic magick and seith work. Includes an extensive bibliography / reading list, but like most Llewellyn books, no index.

Northern Magic
by Edred Thorsson
Llewellyn, 1992

Northern Magic is a paperback sized over-view of the magical traditions of Norse, German and English pagan cultures. Individual chapters include explorations of runes, seith and hexology. A good introduction to the many facets of the Northern tradition.

Rune Might. Secret Practices of the German Rune Magicians
by Edred Thorsson
Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A., 1990

Although it strictly refers to the highly controversial Armanic Futhorc the value of this book lies in its historical overview of an important period of rune magic's modern reception which took place in Germany in the beginning of the 20th century. Thorsson points out the eclecticism of those German rune magicians (List, Marby, Kummer, Spiesberger and others) who basically attempted to fuse Eastern theosophy with the Western runes but also gives a fair amount of their teachings. This includes rune yoga, rune mantras, runic mudras and even rune tantra. Those practices, however, are not quite as "secret" as the title is trying to make believe since they are all drawn from German books published in the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s (something that the author frankly admits). Much has been made of the supposed occult connections of National Socialism's leading members and their associations with the runes. The book reduces this subject to the clear facts which are not as sensational as many people tend to believe. Nevertheless this point could have deserved a little more examination than the book is able to give.

Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology
by Edred Thorsson
York Beach, Me: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1987

Thorsson claims in the introduction to this book that it is dedicated to the "intellectual realms" of rune study, but it is clear he appeals to the spiritual: ". . .runework is used for personal transformation, building wider consciousness, psychic development, healing, investigation of the Wyrd, and shaping the environment according to inner will."

Rune Magic
by Donald Tyson
Lewellyn, MN, 1988

System of runework, history, and uses of the runes. Includes stones, sticks, rituals, amulets, skrying, etc. Very well developed, according to some - others are less impressed with the scholarship.

The Whitney Pages
maintained by Dr. Barry L. Whitney

"My pages are being set up for individual rune interpretations and rune-casting. I have links to most of the Rune sites on the Web. I also have related pages, growing dozens of links to ICELAND, the VIKINGS, NORSE RELIGION, ODINISM, and ICELANDIC MUSIC from Bjork to Jon Leifs. The page is maintained by a Western Icelander who is a scholar in theology and philosophy."

The Runic Workbook
by Tony Willis
Sterling Publishing Co., NY, 1986

"This book deals with runic interpretations, planetary rulerships for each rune. Numerological factors for each rune and a host of rune spreads that you will find very useful. All of this, mixed with a smattering of Norse Mythology, makes for a useful addition to any one working the Runa."

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Site last updated: Tuesday, October 14, 1997

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