How to make a Rune Set
So, why would you want to make your own rune set vs. say buying one? Well, there are many answers to this seemingly simple question. When dealing with things such as rune sets, which are (or should be personal and in some way connected to you) it i s best to have them of yourself. To have put your time, effort, sometimes even blood into them to give them that special “oomph”. Rune readings, when done by yourself, will give much more accurate answers if the runes are connected to you in some way. IE if you made them. You simply will not get this connection with a set of runes that you bought. Now, do not get me wrong. Buying a set of runes is just perfectly fine. It does not mean that they will be wrong, etc. There just is not that special connection. One thing of course, is you could buy a set of runes, and then dedicate them, hallow them, consecrate them, etc. But we will go over how to do that in a later “How-To“. So as I am sure many of you would agree, having runes that are personally connected to you, on some level, are the best. Thus, there is plenty of reason for you to make your own set!
So, how do you actually make a set of runes?
Step One: You will need to find a fitting material! “When making your runes the material that you use is up to you. You could use stones that you have gathered along a lake front, cut small wooden tiles from a fallen tree branch, or use clay and then bake them to harden them. The choice is up to you.” (1) Each material will have its pros and cons, which you will have to decide for yourself. Some will be easier to work with, while some will have a great spiritual meaning. it all will depend on the person making the runes.
According to sunnyway.com wood is the medium of choice because
“A tree is the most perfect of spiritual beings, with its roots buried alive in Mother Earth and its limbs alive and growing in Father Sky.
According to the Song of the Sybil, when the earth was young, Odin and his two brothers found two trees: an ash tree and an elm, faint, feeble, with no fate assigned to them. Breath they had not, nor blood, nor senses, nor language possessed, nor life-hue. Odin gave them breath. Hoenir gave them senses (shape). Blood and life-hue was given by Lothur.
We are the forbears of the trees. One does not just carve runes, one recreates this ritual. By chanting the name of the the rune, one give the rune breath, the energy of its name. By carving it, one gives the rune senses (shape). By coloring the rune red (blood is optional), one gives it life’s hue.
When you carve runes you create life.” (2)
Once again, it shall be up to you, and what materials you have available.
Step Two: Once you have decided what type of medium you shall be using to make your runes, you will need to gather it! For stones, try to get rounded stones, (Or round them yourself) but the most important part is that they are similar to each other in size. The more similar, the better.
“If you prefer to use a material other than stone, wood is probably your next best choice. It’s easy to work with so you can make the tiles into just about any shape that you’d like. Probably the easiest way to make runes from wood is to take a fallen tree branch and cut some circular disks. Then you have the choice to mark the runes anyway you’d like. You could use paint, ink, burn them in the wood, or even carve them out. Once you’re done putting the runes on the wood, you can stain the wood to decorate it more. I suggest that if you paint the rune symbols on the wood that you do it after you have stained the wood. If you carve, burn or use ink to make the rune symbols you should do that before you stain the wood. Of course there’s no rule that you have to stain the wood, you can leave it natural.” (1)
I have come to find that cutting the branches to an inch in diameter is the best, gives enough room to draw out the runes without them being to large. The thickness will have to depend on you. Any type of wood will do, some are preferred over others, whether for their level of workability, or spiritual meaning, I am not sure. As with most things, it all depends on you.
This is one way that I have not yet tried. The reason is that I’m not too sure just how to “fire” the clay once I have made the runes. If you know someone that does ceramic work then you could ask them to “fire” your runes in a kiln. That or find out how to “fire” the runes on your own.
Clay will be very easy to work with. Buy some clay at a hobby shop and mold it into the shapes that you will be using for your runes. Then simply carve the rune symbols into the clay and then “fire” them in a kiln or over a fire. Like I said I have not tried this method, and I do not work with clay so I’m sure there are more ways to decorate the runes that you are making than I’ve listed here.
If you hunt, know someone who does, or can get your hands on some animal bone, this is another option for your runes. I know some people who would never use bone because of the way they feel about animals. The choice, however, is up to you.
Working with bone will be a hard thing to do. If you know someone with a bone-saw you can have them cut the tiles for you. Otherwise you may have to go to a hardware store and buy a hacksaw and blade that can cut bone. You may have to ask for help on this one, and you might get a few odd looks from people when you tell them you need a saw to cut bone. When you paint on the rune symbols you may want to coat/seal the bone so that the paint will not chip off, much like with the rock. Carving may difficult to do on bone, and to be honest I can’t even begin to tell you how to go about it.” (1)
Step Three: Time to make the runes! You now have your medium, it is now ready for the runes! Depending on which material you chose, you will either burn in the runes, carve them, paint them, or draw them. In my opinion, it does not matter. It all depends on the material, and what shall actually work! For example you can’t burn the runes into stone! So, all up to you!
Step Four: Consecration, here I will give a few methods. It is important to note however, that not all people agree that once a set of runes has been made, should it be consecrated. As I have said many times, and will say many times more, it is up to you! I know that when I make a rune set, I do concentrate them.
Now, this method is…a but iffy…but there is good information here…whether I agree with all of it or not, I try to present it all, so here it is!
“This is a ritual which takes place in two parts. In the first part, you are erecting sacred space for blooding or painting the rune staves. After a period of time waiting for them to dry, you will come into sacred space again to seal and do the final consecration of the runes.
1. Again, set aside sacred space in whatever way you feel comfortable using the Hammarsettning to sain and seal the space.
2. Invite into your space the Gods and Goddesses of the Runes, your lineal ancestors and any other wights you may wish to have present. Dedicate the space and the time to the consecration of your rune set. Lay your runes on a cloth that you don’t mind getting soiled with your own blood or ink. (This cloth will later be ritually burned) Pour a tot of milk, apple juice or wine in offering to the Gods and ask them to lend you their powers of purification for the consecration to follow.
3. Wash your runes lightly in clean, consecrated water. The Icelandic spring water or Glacier water that is currently on the market is perfect for this application. The purer, the better. Don’t soak them as you want them to absorb the pain or blood later in the process. Light a recel or smudging blend made of purifying herbs like oakmoss, cedar, Thor’s beard (house leek), vervain, clary sage and perhaps a smidgen of amber perfume resin. (Refer to the “Nine Worts Galdr” in the Lacnunga for ritually appropriate herbs.) Dedicate the recel to the Purifying forces and pass each rune through the smoke, saying a formula like “By Oak and Sage, by Fire, Water, Air and Earth, in the name of Odin, purified be this Rune, clear be its purpose and great be its Power. Ahhhluuu! ” Then intone the name of each Rune and blow the vibrations into the disk. Repeat with all twenty-four runes and return them to the cloth.
4. For a Man or Non-Menstruating Woman: Have an altar space set aside upon which is your bottled blood (several drops from pricking your finger, in a quantity of red ochre acrylic paint or red India ink is just fine as is a whole lavender-topped tube from a professionally done venipuncture), the completed Runeset and a quill, or small brush.
For Menstruating Women: If you intend to insert the Runes vaginally (the most effective way, in my experience), conduct the ritual nude, or have no underclothes on and wear a loose skirt which you are easily able to raise and lower during the ritual. Have tissues and a sanitary napkin available and sit on a folded towel to contain any spills. Have on your altar a small brush and bowl next to the Runeset. If you are able to extract any of your blood (this is most easily done with the fingers) and prefer not to insert the Runes, put the blood into the bowl and mix it with red ochre acrylic paint or red India ink. You will need enough to color the staves of all twenty-four Runes.
5. For a Man or Non-Menstruating Woman: Take up each Rune disk and paint each component part of the stave downwards, drawing the power of the energies you are raising into the rune. Chant three times “Fehu, Fehu, Fehu!” while you are painting, or as many times as it takes you to feel that the energies are present in the rune. After which you seal the energies into the Rune by again vibrating “ALU!” into the wood. You have repeated this process four times before and will repeat it once more before your set is consecrated, for a total of six times. The repetition is necessary as it gets the energies well worked into the physical structure of the wood and carved staves. Repeat with each rune until all twenty-four are stained. Take down the sacred space and wait for your Runes to dry.
For Menstruating Women: Obviously, inserting the Runes vaginally colors them all over. Women who do this must be totally comfortable with touching themselves intimately. This method is usually preferred by more serious magickal workers and “galdarkonas” (literally: magick-wives) but is not necessary to consecrate your Runes for everyday use. If you prefer to paint on your own blood with a paintbrush, follow the directions above. I prefer to insert the Runes a pair at a time in order in twelve separate sessions. Sometimes you will not be able to complete this at one sitting due to the availability of your blood and the thirstiness of the wood. As you insert each pair of Runes, galdr three times the name of each Rune or as many times as it takes you to feel that the energies are present in the rune. Seal the energies into each Rune by vibrating “ALU!” into it internally. Remove the pair of Runes from your vagina and set the wet Runes on the stainable cloth to dry. Repeat in pairs until all twenty-four are stained. Take down the sacred space and wait for your Runes to dry.
6. Until your Runes are dry, keep in a dust free environment. Pets will be attracted to the blood as will ants; keep the drying Runes in an inaccessible place, under a bowl, large strainer or other cover that will not touch their surface. When the Runes are dry, erect the sacred space once more and seal the paint or blood in by rubbing the wood with a quarter cup of olive oil with ten drops of lemon oil in it. You can further this recipe by adding a teaspoon of melted beeswax and beating until incorporated. This is a basic old furniture polish recipe and works well to seal handmade wood products. Furthermore, add a few drops of the oils of the plants that are known to provoke visions such as mugwort, vervain, viper’s bugloss, buckthorn, house leek, parsley root, sage and others. Add these oils to the olive oil base prior to adding the beeswax and stir (don’t shake) them into the mix. I have a lovely polish made with the addition of amber perfume resin and a bit of a melted brown crayon which added a slight, lovely walnut color to the wood. Work the polish into the wood of each rune with a cloth. As you do so, mentally galdr each rune and think about its meaning as you rub. The finished runes should have no trace of polish on their surfaces, but should be buffed to a satin finish.
7. After sealing, hold each Rune over your heart and vibrate the sound of each through your heart chakra and into the individual Rune. Finish with “ALU ”. When you have done this with all of your runes, they are ready to use. Dedicate them to the main purpose you wish to use them for e.g.: “By Iaer and Urdh, I dedicate these Runes to acts of Healing and Divination!” or “By Odin and Freya, I dedicate these Runes to the learning of Deep Magick!”. Whatever God/desses you invoke will be sealed to the Runes for their lifetime, so make sure you know what you want before you speak. Spend some time thinking about it before you dedicate the set. Go and do your first Rune reading for yourself; your Runes are now irrevocably and personally sealed to you and their energies will never run higher – you have earned the right of first usage.” (2)
And the Second Method:
“After you have made your runes, the next thing that you may want to do is to consecrate them. This is like a small dedication that will add your personal power to your runes. If you’re using these runes for religious purposes then design a small ritual and consecrate them the same way you have with other tools that you may have consecrated before. If you’re just using these runes for casting – non-religiously, then you may want to do something like the following.
Gather your runes, a small bowl of water and a candle. Light the candle and place all of your runes on the left side of the candle. Take each rune and dab a little water on it with your finger as you say the name of the rune. If you don’t have the names of the runes memorized have a sheet next to you with the names on it. Then pass the rune over the candle flame and say it’s name again. Then place the rune down on the table on the right side of the candle and say the rune name one last time. Repeat this with each rune until you have completed consecrating each rune. You are now ready to use your runes.” (1)
Of course there are many, many other ways, there are just a few!
Guess what? You now have your very own rune set which you made yourself! So now, what do you do with them? You can divine with them, ( meditate with them, galdr, ( There are infinite possibilities with the power of the runes! its all up to you!
Well I truly hope that this guide helped you in some way! I would love to see the rune sets that you have made! Good luck! If you think I am missing any info, please let me know! Thanks
May the Holy Powers guard and guide you!