Find a peaceful area to read and begin with a moment of silence to clear your mind and concentrate on the reading you’re about to accomplish. Consider the issue or question you’re considering, and if you’d like, make a prayer or invoke higher spirits to help you with your reading.
The rune cloth, a table cloth used to cast runes, should be laid out on the tabletop in front of you, ready to receive the runes. You can conduct a variety of rune castings, which are similar to tarot layouts in concept, but on your first try, you might want to start by picking one rune and understanding its meaning. This is also a good approach to employ if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsure about anything – selecting out a single rune will help you focus. When you’re ready to move on, try your hand at all the other rune layouts and casts.
The Three Rune Cast
The three-rune arrangement is a simple cast that is appropriate for beginners. For this cast, choose three runes at randomly from your rune bag and place them on the tabletop next to you. The first rune should be placed on the right, the second in the center, and the third on the left, so they should be in the order 3, 2, 1. The perspective, or your circumstance or inquiry, is represented by Rune 1. The center rune, Rune 2, signifies difficulty. And, rune 3 depicts a line of action that could be pursued.
The Five Rune Cast
The goal of the five rune cast, also known as the five rune layout, is to select five runes one at a time and place them on the cloth in particular areas. The first rune should be placed in the center, with the remaining runes creating a cross around it. Rune two should be placed to the left of the center (west), rune three to the top (north), rune four to the bottom (south), and rune five to the right of the center (east). You can both put them face down and turn them over while you read, or you can immediately turn them over.
The theory behind this layout is that three runes (runes 2, 1, and 5) in a horizontal orientation reflect your history, present, and future. The rune below the center rune (4) indicates which aspects of the problem or issue must be accepted, whereas the rune to the right of the central rune (1) indicates what assistance you may be able to acquire in regard to your problem or issue.
The Nine Rune Cast
Nine is a mystical number in Norse mythology, therefore having a nine rune cast is suitable. This cast is best used if you’re attempting to figure out where you are on your spiritual journey and what the next steps or possibilities might be, and it’s one where you can use your instincts to their full potential. When using this casting method, think about your spiritual desires, then pick nine runes at random from your rune bag and hold them for a few moments. After that, strew them across your rune cloth.
The runes closest to the center are thought to be the most essential, while those on the outskirts are considered less vital. When runes are near each other or are in contact, complementary effects can be detected, and when runes are on different sides of the material, opposing influences can be identified.
The runes that have settled face up must grab your attention first; it may be beneficial to jot them down so you can return to them all later and inspect them thoroughly. Then, maintaining the ones that fell upside down in the same place, turn them around, and examine them. Outside or external influences are thought to be represented by the latter runes, which could indicate new opportunities. Make good use of your instincts while analyzing the runes and what they might imply. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to rune casting, and you must rely on your own understanding.
From this article we’ve seen 3 (4 if you include the ‘1 cast’ rune layout, which isn’t really a layout is it?) of the most common rune layouts. We’ve deliberately not looked at what each Rune might mean as we’ll discuss that in another article, because it would make this article far too big.
The key point from this article to remember is that most of reading the runes is intuition. The runes can point to different eventualities and challenges or opportunities depending on where they fall. It’s also worth remembering that the future is not set – reading the runes can help you understand the challenges and pitfalls you might encounter in the future. But forewarned is forearmed and you can change your future with the insight the runes can help you see.
We go into a bit more detail about that in our Introduction to Runes, which is worth a quick read because the future being fluid is an important concept to grasp.