Before you use the runes magically, some say it’s a good idea to cleanse them so that they’re ready for you and your purposes without residual influences. There are many ways to do this. One is to pass them through running water, but this isn’t recommended if your runes are made of wood.
Another way is to cleanse them through meditation, where you visualize all the old influences leaving them and then you draw your own and any other power (for example from the earth) into the runes so that the belong to you completely.
You can also let them pass through a purifying incense (for example Sage or Frankincense), or if you prefer, make a cleansing with all of the four elements. This can, for example be done like this:
‘My galdr are bound by strengthening Earth
The Air gives wings to magic words
Glow they shall among tongues of Fire
in the depths of Water powers are born
and the Fifth shall keep the power great.’
Methods for using runes
There are many ways to use runes, and many find their own methods for learning them or using them.
How do you pick the runes? One way is to let all the runes lie with the backside up. Then you move your hand over them and pick up those you feel drawn to. Another is to keep them in a bag, stick your hand into it and feel with your fingers for the ones that are right for the situation. How should you then place them to interpret them? Below follow three methods of laying out the runes. If you’re familiar with Tarot, you might notice the similarities.
The rune cast
Casting all of the runes and interpreting them individually as well as how they end up in relation to each other.
A single rune
You can choose to pick just one rune for many reasons. Maybe you’re just looking for guidance on a single question, a single situation or event? You focus on the question while you pick the rune and interpret it as a kind of answer or a hint in the right direction. Ex. ‘I ask the runes to give me knowledge of .’
Here you pick three runes. One for the past, one for the present and one for the future, and then interpret them accordingly.
This can be good if you want an overview of a certain subject that stretches over a period of time. You can also do other combinations.
Four runes are picked and laid out in the four directions, each of them corresponds with one of the elements.
The Tree of Life
The World Tree or the Tree of Life is one of the oldest symbols in the world, and images of it are present in everything from Jewish Cabalism to Yggdrasil in the Nordic tradition.
The different positions have different meanings as you rise from the earth to the higher levels. Many say that this is a spiritual journey you can learn from. Because of this, the runes can be used as a guide on this journey.
The Celtic Cross
This is used a lot in Tarot, and can also be used here. Here the runes can give guidance on many things.
This spread was inspired by a Norse symbol.