The Big Book of Runes and Rune Magic: How to Interpret Runes, Rune Lore, and the Art of Runecasting - Edred Thorsson 2018


When I first encountered the runes in a magical way back in 1974, little to nothing was known of them in esoteric circles in the English-speaking world. Knowledge of the runes has come a long way since then. Much more is known about them, yet they remain as mysterious as ever. This is the nature and character of the runes themselves. They were that way at the dawn of their discovery and first use around two thousand years ago, and they will remain that way forever. That is the proof of their genuine substance.

This book represents a comprehensive introduction to the practical use of runes. Much discussion was dedicated to the history and use of the runes in historical times because the development of deep context for magical lore is essential. Such context is the soil in which the seeds of wisdom can grow and eventually bear fruit. The more context one develops and acquires, the deeper one's work will be. A good resource for continuing your studies in operative runology is my book Alu:An Advanced Guide to Operant Runology and perhaps even The Nine Doors of Midgard, which provides a detailed curriculum for only the most serious kind of student. Formal entry into the Rune-Gild may be in your future, and if so you may contact the organization at As one advances in runic studies and delves deeper into their meanings, one will discover that they will begin to teach directly, through the agency of the god of the Runes, Odin.

To this conclusion is appended a poem I wrote when I finished the first manuscript for Futhark. It was then intended to act as a sort of rune-spell to cast the runes as they really are into the world. Those familiar with the history of the runic revival will know that this, like most magical spells cast by a vitki, worked powerfully, but not always as expected or hoped for. In a way this and all my other books on runes have been an adjustment on that casting.

Galdr for the Runic Revival

Wide stands the door

to the rune-worlds' winds

loud ring their songs' sounds

through the northern night:

the wise wend their way

toward might and main,

again to learn that holy lore.

The sun-born sisters

and brothers bright

call in their night of need:

staves strong and holy

in rune-might standing

enkindle the craft

and cunning ways

to win weal and wisdom.

On a shining plain

runers ply their skill

in a Gard of the Gods

in the northern light—

the runes bloom forth,

roaring their songs,

through a house all whole,

again as aye anon.

Edred Thorsson

Midsummer, 1979