Rune Chains

 

A recently found and really good way to use the magick of runes is to create something called a rune chain. These are a string of around 5-9 runes hung together on a string or rope which help compliment and enhance an outcome. Now what I find great about these are they work with all sets of runes and I imagine the same can be said for sigils and seals although I have not attempted this yet. First off what are runes?

 

The Runic alphabet or futhark is a form of writing system thought to be used by the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe, Britain, Iceland and of course Scandinavia. The term Rune means secret and they are thought to have derived from symbols of the Etruscan (Northern Italy) alphabet with Latin Influences. we know that the oldest set of runes are called the Elder Futhark, which were used between the the 4th and 9th centuries The earliest known carving of the entire futhark (alphabet), in order, is that on the Kylver stone from Gotland, Sweden, which dates to roughly 5th century, and had 24 runes representing not only letters of the alphabet but different aspects for instance the rune Fehu was used as a representation of the letter F and for the aspects of Cattle or Wealth (cattle at this time were highly prized and so used as wealth). Even today the Elder Futhark is the most commonly used Runic alphabet, especially in Magickal and Heathen practices, due mainly to its simplicity. The Vikings used a 16 letter system called the Younger Futhark or the Scandinavian Futhark but there is many more different alphabets the preference is yours for the purpose of this article I will use Elder futhark

 

Before we continue however I should briefly mention Bind runes. These are usually 3-5 runes combined together to form a new rune which has a specific intention, the best way to use these is to create your own, and linking bind runes in a chain like this would work well but for now we will talk about single runes.

 

Ok so now we know what runes actually are we need to do a little bit of research or magickal work to gain an understanding of the runes. Firstly you need to decide on a set that you will use and then either research the knowledge around your rune sets and the interpretations or like me spend a lot of time working with each rune learning their secrets and intents. If you want to try this long process this is the ritual and method I use…

 

Ok so first before starting you will need

 

A quiet place to perform the ritual, if outside somewhere private or off any main tracks or land where you can be disturbed, a garden is preferable and is where I like the most. If inside use your magick space or somewhere personal to you, free from distractions. Once there set up a Ve or Altar dedicated to your chosen Deity, I prefer Odin but Bragi is a good choice as are a general one to the whole Aesir. Face it North or East. You will need an offering of water taken from either a stream or river or even rainwater, any natural source of water is preferable but if you can’t get it then ordinary tap water is acceptable. You will also need an offering of Bread and mead or if you cant get mead beer or wine is also acceptable. Upon the Ve place an offering bowl (if Inside), a bundle of Mugwort incense or a fruit based incense like citronella, a notebook and pen and an elder futhark rune set with each rune on its own or each rune drawn on a square of paper and all of your offerings. Finally building a small cairn near the Ve in honour of the land wights but only if outside.  

 

 The Ritual

Sit facing your Ve and perform a 5 - 10 minute meditation to get you in a relaxed state. The next thing to do is if your outside offer thanks to the land wights for using the area, this is best done at a small cairn. Sit or kneel at your cairn and offer a prayer to the Landvaettr.

 

 

 

“I CALL UPON THE SPIRITS OF THIS LAND,

 

HAIL WIGHTS AND GUARDIANS ALL,

 

PROTECTORS OF THIS BOUNTIFUL LAND

I OFFER THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS SACRED SPACE

AND IN RETURN I OFFER THIS BREAD AND WATER

 

(place some bread and pour some water on the cairn)

 

HAIL SPIRITS OF THIS LAND, HAIL THE LANDVAETTR.”

 

 

 

Light the Mugwort incense and sit in front of your Ve, Recite Sigrdrifa’s Prayer

 

 

 

“HAIL DAY, HAIL SONS OF DAY;

 

HAIL NIGHT AND HER DAUGHTERS;

 

LOOK UPON US WITH FAVOR,

 

AND GRANT US VICTORY.

 

 

 

HAIL TO THE GODS!

 

HAIL TO THE GODDESSES!

 

HAIL THE ALL-GIVING EARTH!

 

BLESS US WITH WISDOM,

 

WITH AN HONORABLE TONGUE,

 

AND HEALING HANDS,

 

FOR THE REST OF OUR DAYS.”

 

 

 

(If you can do the prayers in Old Norse)

 

 Now perform a Hammer Rite or any hallowing and protection ritual depending on your magick path to defend and hallow the area. Before continuing it is also good to thank and make offering to Jord for using the earth and area for your needs. Face your Ve and make a prayer and offering

 

 “HAIL JORD

 

MOTHER EARTH

GODDESS OF THIS LAND

 

DAUGHTER OF ANNAR AND NOTT

YOU WHO RESIDES IN THE 9 REALMS

 

ODIN’S FIRST

 

WILD AND FREE

 

PROTECTOR OF NATURE

 

I THANK YOU FOR THE USE OF THIS HALLOWED AREA

 

AND IN RETURN OFFER THANKS WITH THIS WATER

 

(pour water on the ground next to the Ve)

 

HAIL JORD.”

 

Next you will also need to invite and invoke your chosen deity to the ritual area be it Odin, Bragi or any of the Aesir. Stand or sit in front of the Ve and offer prayer and offering to the deity

 

 

 

“HAIL (DEITY)

 

GOD/GODDESS OF (?)

 

SON/DAUGHTER OF (?)

 

I CALL UPON YOU TO COME TO THIS HALLOWED PLACE,

 

AND WATCH OVER THIS RITUAL IN YOUR NAME

 

IN RETURN I OFFER THIS BREAD AND MEAD

 

(place bread and pour mead on the ground, not where Jord offering is, or if inside into offering bowl)

 

HAIL (DEITY).”

 

Now everything is set, sit in front of the Ve making sure the notebook and pen is in arms reach, as is the rune or rune image you are working on that week. Begin to relax and start to meditate, after a short while start to visualise the shape and look of the rune in front of you, use the rune to help with visualising the right shape but focus and concentrate on nothing else. Begin chanting the name of the rune slowly and over and over again. Take note of the Pictures, Words and Sounds, which will come through but keep the concentration going. After thirty minutes, begin to close your meditation and write down any details in your notebook, slowly come round and stand up, the notes in your notebook are your first step on the road to finding secrets of the runes.It is now time to offer thanks and close down the ritual, begin with the invoked deity, face the Ve and offer thanks

 

 

 

“HAIL (DEITY)

 

GOD/GODDESS OF (?)

 

SON/DAUGHTER OF (?)

 

I OFFER THANKS FOR YOUR PRESCENCE AT THIS HALLOWED GROUND

 

AND FOR WATCHING OVER THIS RITUAL IN YOUR NAME

 

HAIL (DEITY).”

 

 

 

Keep facing the Ve and thank Jord

 

 

 

“HAIL JORD

 

MOTHER EARTH

GODDESS OF THIS LAND

 

DAUGHTER OF ANNAR AND NOTT

YOU WHO RESIDES IN THE 9 REALMS

 

ODIN’S FIRST

 

WILD AND FREE

 

PROTECTOR OF NATURE

 

I THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING USE OF THE SACRED EARTH

 

HAIL JORD.”

 

 

 

Remove your Hammer rite and/or any other protection or hallowing ritual that has been cast and clear down the area, before totally finishing head over to your cairn, kneel or stand in front of it and offer thanks to the Landvaettr

 

 

 

“I CALL UPON THE SPIRITS OF THIS LAND,

 

HAIL WIGHTS AND GUARDIANS ALL,

 

PROTECTORS OF THIS BOUNTIFUL LAND

I OFFER THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS SACRED LAND

 

AND HONOUR YOU IN RETURN

HAIL SPIRITS OF THIS LAND, HAIL THE LANDVAETTR.”

 

 You have now completed the Ritual.

 

You will continue to do this everyday, focusing on the same rune for seven days before switching to the next. At the end of the 24th week you should have completed the whole cycle of the elder futhark and now for the next 6 weeks you will continue the rituals but focus on the Aetts. Groups of 8 runes at time of which there are three each dedicated to a ruling deity these being FREYJA’S AETT, HEIMDALLR’S AETT and TYR’S AETT of which you will do 3 cycles of, 3x3 equalling 9 the norse sacred number, and all together totalling 33 weeks. After a few cycles you will just be able to meditate on a certain rune to reveal its secrets but for now, stick with a ritual.

 

 

After all this take a month to allow your body time to attune and reset as well as gather the energy needed for the next round, take this time to read and review your now very full notebook and if you like start a rune diary to keep track of everything a little easier. All this work leads to some amazing outcomes from being able to craft your own sets to being able to cast and divine runes, further advancing your path into Norse Magick.

Ok so now we understand the runes better its time to select your runes, although you can chain as many as like, it would be more productive to choose only the runes you need in smaller numbers, my preference is between 5 and 9 but the choice is yours. Spend time with pen and paper writing down and re ordering the runes according to your intent, for example a chain for luck could be ANSUZ, GEBO, THURISAZ, JERA and TIWAZ. When thinking about your intent or outcome try to produce it and focus on it as if it has already happened , for example I wish for Luck will not be effective but I am Really Lucky will work better. When you have your design and feel ready it is time to create your runes.

 

First lets look at materials, Wood would be a great material to use but you can also use horn, bone, stone and even paper or card, for this I will use wood as I prefer it to the others and it is easy to work with. You can also choose what method to get your runes onto the material. Wood burning, Carving, Painting, Drawing, Etching are all viable methods, my preferred method is burning but choose what feels right for you.

 

Now its time to create your runes and below is the method I use for creating any runes or rune sets…

 

Firstly let us take a look at the traditional method, Originally runes were carved into Wood, Bone or Stone and being even more specific the wood used was Ash, sacred to the Norse and representative of Yggdrasil, the world tree. Do not however worry if you can not acquire Ash wood, there are many great types of wood you can use and you don’t have to use wood at all, there is always the other two options of Bone and Stone. Pebbles make great alternatives to wood as long as they are smooth and uniform in size. When collecting the wood or stones it is good to first make an offering to both the Landvaettr, preferably at a cairn and Jord. Gather an offering of fresh natural water or as a second best tap water and create a small cairn near to where you will collect the material. Kneel in front of it to first make the Landvaettr an offer of thanks

 

 

 

“I CALL UPON THE SPIRITS OF THIS LAND,

 

HAIL WIGHTS AND GUARDIANS ALL,

 

PROTECTORS OF THIS BOUNTIFUL LAND

I OFFER THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS SACRED SPACE

AND IN RETURN I OFFER THIS BREAD AND WATER

 

(place some bread and pour some water on the cairn)

 

HAIL SPIRITS OF THIS LAND, HAIL THE LANDVAETTR.”

 

 

 

Next stand roughly central to the area you want to collect the wood or stone and facing north or east (both are sacred) ask and thank Jord for the material you will be taking

 

 

 

“HAIL JORD

 

MOTHER EARTH

GODDESS OF THIS LAND

 

DAUGHTER OF ANNAR AND NOTT

YOU WHO RESIDES IN THE 9 REALMS

 

ODIN’S FIRST

 

WILD AND FREE

 

PROTECTOR OF NATURE

 

I THANK YOU FOR THE USE OF THIS HALLOWED AREA

 

I ALSO OFFER THANKS FOR THE ITEMS I WILL USE

 

AND IN RETURN OFFER THANKS WITH THIS WATER

 

(pour water on the ground)

 

HAIL JORD.”

 

 You can then take the material needed either by collecting the stone or cutting a branch from the tree you want the wood from. In some magickal paths it is commonplace to ask the tree to take the wood and in some to only use wood that has already fallen, although fresh cut wood is preferable, use your own way to collect the wood and if that means fallen wood please do so, and as a side note try and take only as much as you need not 3 or 4 branches at a time. Now that you have your material cut it into 24 pieces for each rune or however many letters in your chosen rune set or get together 24 pieces of stone or bone one for each symbol of the elder futhark.

 

before you start the carving of your runes you need a quiet place to perform the ritual, if outside somewhere private or off any main tracks or land where you can be disturbed, a garden is preferable and is where I like the most. If inside use your magick space or somewhere personal to you, free from distractions. Once there set up a Ve or Altar dedicated to your chosen Deity, I prefer Odin but Bragi or Freyja are also a good choice as is a general one to the whole Aesir. Face it North or East. You will need an offering of water taken from either a stream or river or even rainwater, any natural source of water is preferable but if you can’t get it then ordinary tap water is acceptable. You will also need an offering of Bread and mead or if you cant get mead, beer or wine is also acceptable. Upon the Ve place an offering bowl (if Inside), a bundle of Mugwort incense or a fruit based incense like citronella, a candle and all of your offerings along with your rune material ready to be carved into and any tools needed for the carving or painting. In a small bowl pre mix your Tiver or blood solution. Finally building a small cairn near the Ve in honour of the land wights but only if outside.

 

 

 

Sit facing your Ve and perform a 5 - 10 minute meditation to get you in a relaxed state. The next thing to do is if your outside offer thanks to the land wights for using the area, this is best done at a small cairn. Sit or kneel at your cairn and offer a prayer to the Landvaettr.

 

 

 

“I CALL UPON THE SPIRITS OF THIS LAND,

 

HAIL WIGHTS AND GUARDIANS ALL,

 

PROTECTORS OF THIS BOUNTIFUL LAND

I OFFER THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS SACRED SPACE

AND IN RETURN I OFFER THIS BREAD AND WATER

 

(place some bread and pour some water on the cairn)

 

HAIL SPIRITS OF THIS LAND, HAIL THE LANDVAETTR.”

 

 

 

Light the Mugwort incense and candle and sit in front of your Ve, Recite Sigrdrifa’s Prayer

 

 

 

“HAIL DAY, HAIL SONS OF DAY;

 

HAIL NIGHT AND HER DAUGHTERS;

 

LOOK UPON US WITH FAVOR,

 

AND GRANT US VICTORY.

 

 

 

HAIL TO THE GODS!

 

HAIL TO THE GODDESSES!

 

HAIL THE ALL-GIVING EARTH!

 

BLESS US WITH WISDOM,

 

WITH AN HONORABLE TONGUE,

 

AND HEALING HANDS,

 

FOR THE REST OF OUR DAYS.”

 

 

 

(If you can do the prayers in Old Norse)

 

 

 

 

 

 Now perform a Hammer Rite or any hallowing and protection ritual depending on your magick path to defend and hallow the area. Before continuing it is also good to thank and make offering to Jord for using the earth and area for your needs. Face your Ve and make a prayer and offering

 

 

 

“HAIL JORD

 

MOTHER EARTH

GODDESS OF THIS LAND

 

DAUGHTER OF ANNAR AND NOTT

YOU WHO RESIDES IN THE 9 REALMS

 

ODIN’S FIRST

 

WILD AND FREE

 

PROTECTOR OF NATURE

 

I THANK YOU FOR THE USE OF THIS HALLOWED AREA

 

AND IN RETURN OFFER THANKS WITH THIS WATER

 

(pour water on the ground next to the Ve)

 

HAIL JORD.”

 

 

 

 

 Next you will also need to invite and invoke your chosen deity to the ritual area be it Odin, Bragi or any of the Aesir. Stand or sit in front of the Ve and offer prayer and offering to the deity

 

 

 

“HAIL (DEITY)

 

GOD/GODDESS OF (?)

 

SON/DAUGHTER OF (?)

 

I CALL UPON YOU TO COME TO THIS HALLOWED PLACE,

 

AND WATCH OVER THIS RITUAL IN YOUR NAME

 

IN RETURN I OFFER THIS BREAD AND MEAD

 

(place bread and pour mead on the ground, not where Jord offering is, or if inside into offering bowl)

 

HAIL (DEITY).”

 

 

 

Ok we are now ready to begin, whilst standing at your Ve pick up your first piece of material and your chosen method of carving tool or painting tool. Begin to carve or paint your rune shape into the material, as you do focus on the intent of the rune so for Gebo for example focus on the words gift and joy and any other words you found during your learning of the runes. Chant the name of the rune nine times before completion of the rune and upon completion pass it very quickly through the flame of the candle to consecrate it. At this point anoint with the tiver or blood.

 

 

 

When all the runes have been completed drop them into a cloth bag and wrap the whole lot in black material ask for the invoked deity to Protect and empower the runes

 

 

 

“HAIL (DEITY)

 

GOD/GODDESS OF (?)

 

SON/DAUGHTER OF (?)

 

I OFFER THANKS FOR YOUR PRESCENCE AT THIS HALLOWED GROUND

 

AND FOR WATCHING OVER THIS RITUAL IN YOUR NAME

 

I ALSO ASK FOR YOU TO EMPOWER AND PROTECT THESE RUNES

 

HAIL (DEITY).”

 

 

 

Begin to close down the ritual as you have already thanked the deity finish by first thanking Jord, Keep facing the Ve and thank Jord

 

 

 

“HAIL JORD

 

MOTHER EARTH

GODDESS OF THIS LAND

 

DAUGHTER OF ANNAR AND NOTT

YOU WHO RESIDES IN THE 9 REALMS

 

ODIN’S FIRST

 

WILD AND FREE

 

PROTECTOR OF NATURE

 

I THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING USE OF THE SACRED EARTH

 

HAIL JORD.”

 

 

 

Remove your Hammer rite and/or any other protection or hallowing ritual that has been cast and clear down the area, before totally finishing head over to your cairn, kneel or stand in front of it and offer thanks to the Landvaettr

 

 

 

“I CALL UPON THE SPIRITS OF THIS LAND,

 

HAIL WIGHTS AND GUARDIANS ALL,

 

PROTECTORS OF THIS BOUNTIFUL LAND

I OFFER THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS SACRED LAND

 

AND HONOUR YOU IN RETURN

HAIL SPIRITS OF THIS LAND, HAIL THE LANDVAETTR.”

 

 

 

You have now completed the Ritual.

 

 

 

 

Over the next 9 days keep your runes in a safe dark place, taking them out but leaving them wrapped in the black cloth everyday to ask your deity to protect and empower them. After the nine days your runes are fully ready to be used and with a final thanks to the deity you have a usable rune set.

 

Ok so now you have use able runes we are almost complete. Take up the runes and begin to thread them along a length of string, twine, rope or leather whichever or whatever you like. Do this by drilling holes into either end of the rune so you can thread them, either with a hand drill or another preferred method. As you thread and tie the runes speak your intent and the intent of each rune in a whisper to the rune, your breath will charge it slightly. Now that you have your completed rune chain, hang it where it will be safe and influential, a good method would be on a door frame or around an altar area.

 

When your intent is complete either take down and burn or if its a long term intent you could charge your chain on your Ve once a month to keep it active.

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