Rune casting or Runic Divination provides means of analyzing the path that one is on and a likely outcome. Runes are an oracle from which one seeks advice.
Runes were used to write many languages including, Gothic, German, Frisian, English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Russian, Hebrew and other Semitic languages (due to trade relations with the Khazars, a Semitic tribe of traders of the Silk Road).
The Elder Futhark is thought to be the oldest version of the runic alphabet, and was used in the parts of Europe which were home to Germanic peoples, including Scandinavia. Other versions probably developed from it. The names of the letters are shown in Common Germanic, the reconstructed ancestor of all Germanic languages.
A number of extra letters were added to the runic alphabet to write Anglo-Saxon/Old English. Runes were probably bought to Britain in the 5th century by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians (collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons), and were used until about the 11th century. Runic inscriptions are mostly found on jewelry, weapons, stones and other objects.
Younger or Scandinavian Futhark was used in Scandinavia, in particular in Denmark and Sweden, until about the 17th century.
The Etruscan alphabet is thought to have been developed from the Greek alphabet by Greek colonists in Italy. The earliest known inscription dates from the middle of the 6th century BC. More than 10,000 Etruscan inscriptions have been found on tombstones, vases, statues, mirrors and jewelry. Fragments of a Etruscan book made of linen have also been found. Most Etruscan inscriptions are written in horizontal lines from left to right, but some are boustrophedon.
The Old Italic alphabets developed from the west Greek alphabet, which came to Italy via the Greek colonies on Sicily and along the west coast of Italy. The Etruscans adapted the Greek alphabet to write Etruscan sometime during the 6th century BC, or possibly earlier. Most of the other alphabets used in Italy are thought to have derived from the Etruscan alphabet.
The earliest known inscriptions in the Latin alphabet date from the 6th century BC. It was adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC. The letters Y and Z were taken from the Greek alphabet to write Greek loan words. Other letters were added from time to time as the Latin alphabet was adapted for other languages.
The Messapic alphabet is thought to have derived directly from the Greek alphabet, rather than developing from the Etruscan alphabet. The only known inscriptions in the Messapic alphabet date from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The Messapic language was not related to other languages of Italy.
The Romans used just 23 letters to write Latin. There were no lower case letters, and K, X, Y and Z used only for writing words of Greek origin. The letters J, U and W were added to the alphabet at a later stage to write languages other than Latin. J is a variant of I, U is a variant of V, and W was introduced as a 'double-v' to make a distinction between the sounds we know as 'v' and 'w' which was unnecessary in Latin.
Hungarian runes (Székely Rovásírás) are descended from the Kök Turki script used in Central Asia. They were used by the Székler Magyars in Hungary before István, the first Christian king of Hungary, ordered all pre-Christian writings to be destroyed. In remote parts of Transylvania however, the runes were still used up until the 1850s. Hungarian runes were usually written on sticks in boustrophedon style (alternating direction right to left then left to right). The runes include separate letters for all the phonemes of Hungarian and are in this respect better suited to written Hungarian than the Latin alphabet.
The Tifinagh or Tifinigh abjad is thought to have derived from the ancient Berber script. [Berbers were mountain people, who lived in northwestern Africa, in what is now Morocco.] The name Tifinagh means 'the Phoenician letters', or possibly comes from the Greek word for writing tablet, 'pínaks'. It is not taught in schools, but is still used occasionally by the Tuareg for private notes, love letters and in decoration. For public purposes, the Arabic alphabet is used.
The South Arabian alphabet is known from inscriptions found in southern Arabia dating from between 600 BC and 600 AD. Its origins are not known. The South Arabian alphabet, like Arabic and Hebrew, includes only consonants. It was written from right to left in horizontal lines. The top row of letters is written in monumental style, while the bottom row of letters is in cursive style.
The Sabaean or Sabaic alphabet is one of the south Arabian alphabets. The oldest known inscriptions in this alphabet date from about 500 BC. Its origins are not known, though one theory is that it developed from the Byblos alphabet. The Sabaean alphabet, like Arabic and Hebrew, includes only consonants. Unlike Arabic and Hebrew, Sabaean has no system for vowel indication. In most inscriptions it is written from right to left, in some it is written in boustrophedon style (alternating right to left and left to right). It was used to write Sabaean, an extinct Semitic language spoken in Saba, the biblical Sheba, in southwestern Arabia. The Sabaeans managed to unite southern Arabia into a single state by the 3rd century AD, but were conquered by the Abyssinians in 525 AD.
Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magic. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E.
The word “rune” actually means mystery, secret or whisper. Runic alphabets first appeared among German tribes in central and Eastern Europe. Some runes symbols are likely to have been acquired from other alphabets, such as the Greek, Etruscan, and the Early Roman. The runes were made of straight lines to make the characters suitable for cutting into wood or stone. The earliest runic inscriptions on stone are dated to the late 3rd century AD, although it is probable that runic alphabets had been in use for some centuries before.
The Old Germanic Runic alphabet or “Elder Futhark” contains 24 runes. The first six runes of the alphabet spell out the word “FUTHARK”. As the runes spread northwards into Scandinavia, some rune symbols were dropped and the alphabet was reduced to only 16 runes. Between 400 and 600 AD, three Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, invaded Britain. They brought the runes with them. The forms of several of the runes changed, notably the runes for A/O, C/K, H, J, S, and Ng. Also, changes in the language led to nine runes being added to the alphabet to compensate for the extra sounds, and several runes were given different corresponding letters. This alphabet, expanded to 33 symbols, has become known as the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. The rune names themselves have been passed down relatively intact. Although no manuscript exists listing the names of the older, Germanic runes, the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian rune poems agree to such an extent that their common origin can be deduced.
The One-Rune Quicky
This method is designed to provide a quick, concise answer to a specific question. It can also be used daily as a subject for meditation, or as a general overview of the day before you go to bed. Think of a specific question. Pull a rune out of the pouch and look at it. The answer may be an obvious yes or no, or the rune might provide a more conditional response. If the rune you picked seems to make no sense at all as a response to your question, ask another question or try again later.
The Norns (or, The Three-Rune Quicky
This method is helpful in getting an overall fix on a given situation, and providing some idea about a future outcome. How much information you get out of it will depend on how much time you spend analyzing the reading and how well you understand the runes. Pull one rune and lay it down face up. This rune represents the first Norn – those events in the past which affect the current situation. Pull another rune and lay it next to the first. This is the second Norn – the present situation, which frequently refers to a choice that needs to be made. Pull a third and lay it down. This is the third Norn, and the most difficult rune to interpret. In some cases it might represent the person's inevitable fate. In others, it might simply be the end result if the current situation remains unchanged, or even just one of several results. You must rely on your instincts to decide.
The Roman Method
This is the method described by Tacitus in 'Germania'. The method itself is really another variation of the Three-Rune Quickie, with a few ritual details to lend it authenticity. If you really want to do it right, go out and find a fruit-bearing tree and use the wood to carve your runes fresh each time. Lay out a white cloth on the floor. Take all of the runes in your hands and scatter them. Invoking the aid of Odin, and without looking at the runes, pick three at random. You may look at them as a group, without considering them in any particular order, or you can pick them one at a time, using the 'Norns' method described above to interpret them.
The Nine-Rune Cast
This method will give a detailed overview of a person's situation, providing insight into where they are in terms of their spiritual path, and clarifying the options and possible outcomes available to them. Nine is a somewhat arbitrary number – you may use any number that feels comfortable to you. Pick nine runes from the pouch. Hold them between your hands for a moment, and focus on your question (if you have one). Then scatter the runes on the table, floor, or cloth if you have one. Read the runes which land face up first. These will relate to the current situation and the circumstances which led to it. How the runes are read is largely subjective, but in general, runes lying in the centre are the most immediately relevant, while those lying around the edges are less important, or represent more general influences. Runes that are close together or even touching often compliment each other, or may even represent a single thing, while runes which fall on opposite sides of the pattern frequently represent opposing influences. Occasionally, a rune will land completely off the cloth or fall off the table. Some people consider such runes to be particularly significant, while others ignore them completely.
Once you have looked at the runes which landed face up (and remembered which ones they are), turn over the rest of the runes without moving them from their positions. These represent outside or future influences, and will point to possible outcomes. It is up to you to decide what the various positions and patterns in a reading mean, but once you have come up with a few general rules, try to stick with them. Try not to impose too much order on your readings by inventing set meanings for every triangle, square and tetrahedron. Runes are like people – you never know how they will get along together until you introduce them. Just look at the patterns and relationships that appear in each reading and see what interpretations make sense to you.
Once the reading is done, you can pull one more rune out of the pouch. This helps to confirm (or sometimes dispute) the conclusions drawn from the reading, and may provide a focus or centre to an otherwise scattered and complicated cast.