Rune Mysteries

Companion to the Witches Runes (Rune Cards)

by Silver Raven Wolf (Author) and Nigel Jackson (Designer)

Backcover Text

In the Witches Runes, the ancient wisdom of the Old Norse, the Anglo-Saxon, Germanc, and Icelandic traditions become part of contemporary wisdom through the exquisite art of Nigel Jackson, working together with Silver Raven Wolf, teacher, scribe, and pagan leader. This ancient wisdom fits perfectly into our modern lifestyles. The twenty-four cards connect the distant past to both the present and the future.

‘The magical rock-art symbols of the Teutonic shamans and magicians lend themselves beautifully to the wonderful interpretations given in the book. The rituals and exercises are specifically designed to bring about inspiration coupled with accuracy, enabling the practitioner to communicate with the Divine within.

‘The Witches Runes cards are a refreshing change from the tarot and will surely lead to longtime, constant use for the diviner, whether part-time or professional. I very much recommend this set.’

—Raymond Buckland, Author of Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

Review

***** This is my preferred book and card set for Rune divinations. I highly recommend it and encourage the user to not be afraid of playing with reversed cards. I have years of Tarot experience, while being an I Ching expert as well. But when I started to draw only from a set of upright cards, my divinations lost clarity and clear responses to my questions. It was only when recently I was using the Rune cards again and re-introduced drawing from cards mixed so that reversed cards can appear in your hand, that my readings again had the sharpness and accuracy they used to have in the past.
—Peter Fritz Walter

Method

As it is my particular review method, I do not paraphrase the author of the book, nor further comment on the usefulness of this book and card-set. To give the potential reader and buyer guidance, I let the author himself speak instead. I assemble the quotes under the respective structure of headlines the book uses to deal extensively with the subject. I however leave out the extensive second part of the book that deals with different drawing methods. I simplify matters myself in all my divinations and use a simple heap of mixed-up and upside-down cards from which I draw three cards for each question. It is wise to use three so that readings become clearer through having either two upright cards as a result (basically positive reading) or two reversed cards (basically negative reading). This makes it much easier to get to a clear-cut result and a valid guidance in all matters you may want to divine about.

Introduction

‘The rune-card system presented here is the creative result of a period of intensive research into the ancient Northern mysteries, exploring the language, mythology, star-lore, poetry, and esoteric art forms of the pre-Christian Northlands. Thus, the rune cards are an authentic, finely-blended brew of magickal imagery drawing upon Common Germanic, Gothic, Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic wisdom-traditions. /xii

‘The runes are a method of communicating with divinity, and especially with the god/goddess within each of us, who emodies our pure consciousness and inward spirituality. /xii

‘In psychological terms, casting the rune cards is a technique for opening communication between the levels of the mind; the consciousness linked with the deep wisdom of memories of the subconscious, and with the high awareness of the superconscious. xii

‘Our culture particularly requires oracular tools, such as the runes, to heal the fragmentation of body, mind, and spirit, thus allowing us to regain wholeness as individuals. We stand urgently in need of such a traditional source of spiritual knowledge to counsel. /xii

‘Orthodox religion and evangelism have waged a long and largely ineffective war upon the use of oracles. Since the eighteenth century, our scientific-industrial civilization has attempted to dismiss such techniques of spiritual and psychic diagnosis as primitive superstition. We have paid a heavy price in alienation, discontent, and uncertainty for our narrow rationalism; but, as the millennium draws to a close, many more people are rediscovering the undying relevance and power of these ancient skills. /xii-xiii

‘The rune cards are really a mthod of expanding and illuminating our intuition, intellect, and spiritual awareness, to become fully empowered individuals, capable of altering our life-circumstances for the better. /xiii

Chapter One: Fire and Frost

‘Harmonious balance between opposite energies lies at the heart of the runic philosophy. To the ancient Northern peoples, this was seen in the intermingling of fire and frost. Fire is the power of expansion, heat, and active force; whereas ice is the element of freezing, contraction, and calm force. In the turning of the seasons, through summer warmth and winter chill, the interplay between fire and frost underlies all our life experience. /1

‘Before you read any of the interpretations, look at each card carefully. Do you like the colors? How do the images make you feel? Is there an image or two that you like better than the others? You might want to jot down any impressions you receive from this first meeting with the new deck of rune cards. /2-3

‘Before you go to bed this evening, take out your rune cards and place them on your altar or on a bedside table. Put a lighted candle on one side of the deck and a blow of ice on the other. Quietly ask that the cards bring positive messages and strength to your life. /3

Chapter Two: The Threads of Wyrd

‘At the highest and most mysterious level of runic shamanism lies the concept of Wyrd—the power of ultimate destiny—which underpins all existence through which the fates of gods, humans, and the universe are shaped. Northern peoples saw Wyrd as the inexplicable force through which all things happen, from the smallest event to the passing ages of the cosmos. This great mystery is personified in the three spinning goddesses known as teh Wyrd Sisters, or Norns. They are envisioned as dwelling by their magickal wel beneath the roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree (often called the Tree of Life). /5

‘Northern shamans saw the runes as patterns, shimmering in the threads of Wyrd, as the fabric of reality was continually women. Laying the rune cards in divinatory readings is a practical method of seeing the threads of Wyrd that run through our lives and discovering the effects they exert upon us. Through rune divination, we find ways of living creatively within the flow of Wyrd, and of successfully harmonizing ourselves with prevailing life conditions. /6

Chapter Three: The Deities of Rune-Shamanism

‘The archetype of teh Northern God Odinn epitomizes the path of the runic shaman. He is said to have originally won the runic secrets and, in turn, whispered them to humankind. The equivalent of Odinn in the Greek world was Hermes, the lord of knowledge and guide of souls into the otherworld. (…) Odinn is the divinity who embodies occult wisdom, inspired eloquence, and magickal ecstasy beyond the rational mind. He is the way followed by the Northern shamans as ‘technicians of the sacred,’ and the runes are his language of power. /9

Chapter Four: The Lore of the Rune Cards

‘The rune-card deck contains twenty-four cards, one for each of teh ancient Germanic runes, plus one blank card that you can choose to use, or not. On each of the cards is a symbolic picture showing the major correspondences and mythic themes connected with its particular rune in the Northern mysteries. The actual runic sign is emblazoned in its symbolic color on the top of the card. /17

‘These unique, archetypal card images sum up the occult meanings of the runes, and reveal their secrets in an entirely new and direct way. The visionary imagery of the cards represents a major reformulation of ancient rune wisdom for the centuries to come. /17

Sample Card Explanation as Given in the Book

Wyn-Joy Rune Card
Wyn-Joy Rune Card

TREES: Bramble, ivy
COLORS: Purple, green
TOTEMS: Golden-bristled, boar
TREASURE: Sacred ship
DIVINITIES: Frey, Vanir
STONES: Topaz, rose quartz

Lore

The rune Wyn contains teh qualities of joy, well-being, and sensual pleasure. These are attributes of the god Frey, who is the lord of the Elves and the ancenstral peace-king. Frey is prominent among the Vanir, the gods and the goddesses of the fertile lan and the cycles of the natural world. Wyn is the rune of the Vanir deities, who manifest peace and inner growth in the material, emotional, and spiritual realms. Upright, Wyn is always a harbinger of good news. /50

This rune stands for deep affinity and friendship expressed through the joy and peace of Frey. Wyn is the principle of pleasure, governed by the Vanir and the Elves. Pleasure is a powerful energy in the universe; all creatures seek it, and it binds people together in good fellowship. Wine and fermented fruit beverages are symbolic of this state of being. /51

The rune-card design shows the clansfolk gathered around the cult standard of Frey. Upon the hillock behind them stands the god’s golden-bristled boar, Gullinbursti. This radiant boar draws Frey’s chariot and runs across the sea and sky, shining in the darkness. Notice that on his side is the Triskele, the symbol of the triple energy of harmony in body, mind, and spirit; maiden, mother, and crone; father, sage, and son; and the powers of the three Norns reigning over past, present, and future. /51

The patterned fields on the second hillock show the fruits of the clan’s labor, and the sucurity and sustenance they will derive because they have worked together in harmony toward a common goal. The dusky sky represents that pleasant time when the group mind walks between the worlds of matick and celebration. The banner waving above them denotes their unity under one goal or standard, working together as a group mind. /51

Wyn represents energized tranquillity and calm well-being leading to fruitful growth. The name Vanir comes from the Old Norse verb, meaning ‘to be contended, to enjoy,’ which precisely sums up this rune’s nature. It is the natural pleasure that we all desire as part of a balanced life. Interestingly, there is also a linguistic connection with the name of the Roman love-goddess Venus. /51

As Wyn equals the harmony of ‘the all,’ it is neither male nor female in nature, but representative of the totality of the universe. /51

Oracular Meaning

Wyn stands for harmony, pleasure, and well-being. There may be positive developments ahead, linked with social contacts and fellowship. When considering timing, think of holidays, family celebrations, or social events. In our emotional lives, it indicates the qualities of peace, security, and quiet enjoyment. /51

The Wyn card refers to the importance of family and friends at the moment. This rune could be advising a period of rest and relaxation. Abundance is prophesied; the secret of the good life lies in contentment and balance, avoiding extremes. Tread the middle way in harmony, and value tranquil happiness. /52

The Wyn card may refer to enhanced relationships with others, and affinity for people of like mind. Emotional and spiritual maturity exerts a calming influence. sometimes this rune indicates your passions, such as writing, sports, reading, or dancing. If Wyn falls with Cen, your creative venture will bring great success. /52

Wyn is also considered the ‘wish card’ for positively using your will to makes wishes to come true. Combined with other positive runes, the meaning here is absolute success. If Wyn is surrounded by negative runes, use them to find where the problem lies. If Wyn is the outcome, it will be slow going, but you will atain the desired goal. /52

If Wyn is your card for the day, look for pleasant conversations, a wish coming true, family or organizational unity, and a harmonious atmosphere. /52

Keywords

Physical: Celebration, holiday
Mental: Success
Spiritual, Fulfillment, harmony /52

Reversed

If Wyn is reversed, you may be experiencing social disharmony and conflict with others. Disruption within the family or group could be generating unhappiness and tension. There could be a failure to interact with others in a positive way, or aggressive behavior leading to the weakening of a friendship. Absence of peace may be a problem at the moment and there may be some emotional instability. Check the surrounding cards to pinpoint the trouble area. /52

Alternatively, this card might symbolize ideleness and trivial social contact that diminishes your potential. You may be flapping your gums to impress others, making you appear the fool rather than the sage. You may feel you are alone and ‘out in the cold.’ Reversal can also indicate a fear of separation that has no basis in fact. /52-53

Finally, Wyn reversed could indicate that others are out to sully your reputation, especially if coupled with Asa reversed, or with Thorn. /53

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