When using the Runes, something should always be given in exchange, preferably your undivided attention, for the search for esoteric knowledge should never be undertaken lightly. Remember.. A gift demands a gift. One never gets something for nothing, although the simplest gestures often brings the warmest rewards…
There are as many various ways to divine with the runes as there are runesters, although the most common are either tarot-like spreads or casting them upon your cloth - WHAT?!.. you don't have a cloth!? Well then, to make a casting cloth you need a piece of natural material, mine is of cow-hide with the hair still in place on the outer side, but, of course, any natural material will do. Though most folk will state that it must be white upon the side you will read upon, the exterior may be of any color or material of your choosing. You can even make the cloth into a pouch in which you hold/carry your rune-stones.
To begin with, measure out a nine inch by nine inch square, this will symbolize the Elemental Realms, which you may label accordingly when you have finished the cloth. Any runes which land outside of this area are usually ignored during a read. You then inscribe Ingwaz to symbolize a doorway for questing. Within this doorway, encompass a large portion of the remaining area with a three-fold circle to symbolize all of the cosmological aspects of the Worlds All Wide. Then section these circles off into degrees, thus you are denoting the Nine Realms, each of which will hold a significant influence over the stones within its domain during the reading.
The realms should be placed within their respective places. Starting uppermost and continuing deosil: ÄsgardR - 1st degree‹ symbolizing higher influences at work; Vanaheim - 2nd degree‹ symbolizing balancing influences of well-being; Muspellheim - 3nd degree‹ symbolizing the state of vital, active energies; Ljóssalfheim - 4th degree‹ symbolizing mental thoughts and influences; HelR - 5th degree‹ symbolizing the hidden or suppressed desires; Jötunnheim - 6th degree‹ symbolizing that which confuses; Niflheim - 7th degree‹ symbolizing the dormancy which resists; Svartalfheim - 8th degree‹ symbolizing creative emotional memories and influences; MidgardR - the inner-most of the circles, symbolizing the Ego in life. The two remaining circles then represent; the Higher spiritual Self - outer most circle, and the Lower materialistic self - inner most circle. This cloth which you have crafted using your own energies then gives you a place to focus your concentration of energies upon, all the while helping to place you within another space/realm whilst you then decipher or interpret your runes.
Now, as I was saying, there are basically two ways to divine.. one being to cast or toss the runes over your cloth and then read them closest to furthest from you, interjected with corresponding Realm interpretations, and taking into account adjacent staves including their correlation to one another. The other, more publicized way, is to lay them in tarot-like spreads and thus read them.
Of course you may simply ask an objective query, stick your hand in amongst the stones and remove the one which calls to your fingers. This method works well for a "Rune of the Day". Then there is the three stone spread, or "The Nornier State", read right to left and signifying in turn the problem, the reason, and the possible solution.
This method also works well for yes/no queries, simply figure upright for yes, reversed for no, and if you pull one of the irreversible Nine, then simply interpret it or re-draw another stave. This spread, or layout, will easily enlighten one with the so-called yes/no answers to simple questions, unless, of course, there appear to be a great many variables, where-upon no precise answer may be completely and entirely obtained.
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The spread entitled "Mimir's Head" goes one step further than the layout mentioned above, in that it is suitable for questions featuring numerous and unknown variables.
Being ideally suited to questions of this diverse type by using seven random staves, this layout covers, each in pairs, the problem in question, #1 & #2; followed by the possible reason for said situation, #3 & #4; given then is the solution to achieve in order for a resolution, #5 & #6; and the last single stone, #7; is representative of the result or out-come of the preceding council given.
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The spread entitled "The Five Elements" utilizes five stones set into a plus pattern, and is good for determining the querant's own position and situation at any given time.
Starting at the top and working around deosil, each stone signifies, in turn, the Intellect, #1; Love, #4; Desire, #2; Strength, #3; and Balance, #5; in the center. This layout tends to offer somewhat ambiguious possibilities for a general insight into the problem, and can cover several spheres of influence, especially those of the physical surroundings and the social relations of the querant. It is a good ice-breaker of a sorts.
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"The Four Quarters" spread is ideal for you if you need further investigation and a precise answer to a complicated and intricate question, or even an overall interpretation of the querant's life for the past six months and continuing on up to the possible future of the next six months. It looks something quite like this…
Each row is divided into quarters, with the eleventh stave representing the overall tone of the read, while the 1st, 2nd, & 10th staves, signifying the First Quarter, represent the querant. The 5th, 6th, & 7th staves, signifying the Second Quarter, represent the opposition or struggling issues of the querant. The Third Quarter is signified by the 3rd & 4th staves respectively, and represent what should happen next if things continue in their current direction. Finally, signifying the Fourth Quarter, and representing the overall possible future outcome of this query are the 8th & 9th staves. This type of read is known to be very useful if the question is specific and includes persons and areas from the querant's own life.
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The following is a spread for contacting one's Spirit Guides, which is purportedly from the 1998 Winter Solstice edition of the Llewellyn Catalog. It is not only an extremely well-balanced exercise, but it is also highly practical for the aspiring reader to use for furthering their understandings of the diverse interpretations of the staves.
1. Is there a spirit guide for me?
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2. How can I contact my spirit guide?
3. Will I contact my spirit guide soon?
4. Will we communicate mentally only?
5. Have I more than one spirit guide?
6. Will my guide/s grant me useful knowledge?
7. Can my guide/s help me attain other realities?
8. Will my guide/s appear in physical form?
9. What shall be the final outcome?
Finally I shall offer the highly useful "Tree of Life" spread, so named because it gives a rather clear and concise overveiw of the one for whom you are doing the reading for, whether the querant may wish to admit to the truth of the matter or not is of no real consequence. It is this particular advanced layout which has brought about the quickest, and most accurate results for me.
The first stave of this remarkable layout represents the querants highest ideals and their standards of excellence for which they are currently existing under the influence of; the second is that of their current vital forces and any other obvious energies of existance; the third stave in this spread represents the physical and mental experiences of the querant; while the fourth is that of their most ethical virtues and morals; the fifth represents the area of their most recent conquests and/or victories; the sixth is representative of health issues; and the seventh is that of love and trust issues; the eighth is within the areas of all the Arts, any crafts, and yes, even the procreational aspects; the ninth is of purly imaginative aspects of creativity; while the tenth is the state or condition of their earthly home.
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Realize that all during each individual reading and interpretation, the RuneCaster will have to recognize all potential possibilities and adjust each stave's influences accordingly. Also note that this page by no means covers my knowledge of runic castings and spreads in their entirety, but it should enlighten you as to the utter ease and sheer complexity which one has of reading the runes aright..
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