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Author Topic: Book Recommendations for Rune Divination?  (Read 3643 times)
Kittiann
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« Topic Start: July 04, 2009, 02:36:14 pm »

I've been exploring the runes pretty casually for the past year or so, and the only book I have is "A Handbook of Rune Magic" by Thorsson.  It's very informative, but I find it a bit too dense and it focuses on a few things I'm just not interested in (like the body rune-shapes).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, fairly academically sound guide to rune divination?  Thanks so much Smiley
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« Reply #1: July 05, 2009, 02:12:41 am »

I've been exploring the runes pretty casually for the past year or so, and the only book I have is "A Handbook of Rune Magic" by Thorsson.  It's very informative, but I find it a bit too dense and it focuses on a few things I'm just not interested in (like the body rune-shapes).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, fairly academically sound guide to rune divination?  Thanks so much Smiley
You might have to get your "academically sound" and your "divination" from different sources.  I haven't been keeping up with what's being published so it might have changed, but what I observed back in the '90s is that esoteric writers generally seemed to crib their historic info from a single academic source, presenting that academic's view as if it was known, undisputed fact.  I was (relatively) impressed by D. Jason Cooper's Using the Runes simply because, hey, this guy read both Page and Elliot (two major academics in the field) - OTOH, Cooper throws in a lot of other stuff that I'm not at all sure is historically accurate; I suspect he's not so much academically savvy, as more just really thorough about including every little bit of lore, folklore, and rumor.

So my own - possibly outdated, as I said - suggestion is to do some academic reading first (which won't have much to do with divinatory usage since we don't even know for certain whether they were used that way), and use that as a foundation from which to evaluate books that come at it from an esoteric angle.  You'll also benefit from reading primary-source material like the Eddas, which is where pretty much everything we know about the traditional significance of the runes comes from.

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« Reply #2: July 05, 2009, 07:25:30 am »

I've been exploring the runes pretty casually for the past year or so, and the only book I have is "A Handbook of Rune Magic" by Thorsson. 

I've found Diana Paxson's _Taking Up the Runes_ a good starting place: she's got a bunch of relevant academic and linguistic background, and she does a good job of summarising the takes of other major authors (so you can go further and track down the ones that you want to explore further.) Each rune has information about the historical practice (the context of the culture, how it might have been used, what we know of the various rune poems for that rune) and then has a section on modern usage.
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« Reply #3: July 05, 2009, 09:10:17 am »

I've found Diana Paxson's _Taking Up the Runes_ a good starting place: she's got a bunch of relevant academic and linguistic background, and she does a good job of summarising the takes of other major authors (so you can go further and track down the ones that you want to explore further.) Each rune has information about the historical practice (the context of the culture, how it might have been used, what we know of the various rune poems for that rune) and then has a section on modern usage.
I agree. It is nice how she summarizes other major authors, and she's got some cool guided meditations. That said, she is VERY Wiccatru, and not generally well-respected in the actual Asatru community because of it. But if you're not worried about that, then it should be a good place to start as Jennett said. It's easy to read, and covers basic Heathen subjects in connection with the runes, which is kind of cool too.
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« Reply #4: July 06, 2009, 03:04:28 am »

I've been exploring the runes pretty casually for the past year or so, and the only book I have is "A Handbook of Rune Magic" by Thorsson.  It's very informative, but I find it a bit too dense and it focuses on a few things I'm just not interested in (like the body rune-shapes).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, fairly academically sound guide to rune divination?  Thanks so much Smiley

HI, Kittiann,
I liked Diana Paxson's "Taking Up the Runes," and Freya Aswynn's "Leaves of Yggdrasil." (I have the old version. It was republished as "Northern Mysteries and Magic"). I just found out that Galina Krasskova is coming out with a rune book too very soon called "Runes: Theory and Practice" (according to amazon). I'd probably start there for the divination part of your question.

For academic rune stuff, I think R.I. Page "A Introduction to English Runes" and Stephen Pollington's book on Runes (I can't remember the name right now) might be good places to start.

Thank you,
Aliceanna
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« Reply #5: July 06, 2009, 10:36:26 am »

I've been exploring the runes pretty casually for the past year or so, and the only book I have is "A Handbook of Rune Magic" by Thorsson.  It's very informative, but I find it a bit too dense and it focuses on a few things I'm just not interested in (like the body rune-shapes).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, fairly academically sound guide to rune divination?  Thanks so much Smiley

Well, the first thing you have to realize is that there are no historical or academic sources for runic divination. There is ONE mention in Tacitus' Germania, but he does not refer to the symbols as runes nor does he describe the symbols. So really anything you find on runic divination specifically is going to mainly be modern speculation. Sorry. Runic magic in general, on the other hand, you can find tons of references to in historical material.
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« Reply #6: July 06, 2009, 12:45:16 pm »

Stephen Pollington's book on Runes (I can't remember the name right now) might be good places to start.

Thank you,
Aliceanna
I definitely second the Pollington suggestion. It's 'Rudiments of Runelore'.
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« Reply #7: July 07, 2009, 12:15:28 am »

I definitely second the Pollington suggestion. It's 'Rudiments of Runelore'.

Thank you, Impqueen. I couldn't find my copy.
Aliceanna
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« Reply #8: July 10, 2009, 01:56:28 am »


Thank you to everyone in this thread!  I'l have to take my credit card on a trip through the internet and check out a these suggestions Smiley
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