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Rune Ceremonials


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Copyright 1984 - 1998 by Karl Hans Welz
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Published by Magitech Press P.O. Box 1298, Woodstock, GA 30188

A Correspondence Course - Lesson IV
By Karl Hans Welz - Grand Rune Master - The Knights of Rune

About Rune Readings

Most people who know about Runes think immediately of readings, when hearing about them. There is no doubt that Rune readings are the best known application of Runic practice. Many metaphysical books concerning Runes are devoted almost entirely to Rune readings. In fact, some recent books are concerned with no other aspect of Runes at all.

The type of readings dealt with in these books is usually very materialistic, or what could be best described as worldly. When this kind of reading is the goal, it is of little importance that the Runes used constitute a symbolism rather than an array of symbols. Indeed, almost any set of symbols that describe life situations would suffice.

Since this is so, a word of advice is called for. The 18 Sacred Futhork Runes are operating on the levels of the realms of creation. The symbolism of the Sacred Futhork does not lend itself easily to merely worldly readings. When you eventually perform Rune readings with the help of the Sacred Futhork, you should not forget what seem to be statements about worldly situations are coming in fact from deeper, and more spiritual realms, the realms of creation eternal.

Rune readings, when properly performed, are a voice from the realms of creation. Hence the need to be familiar with some aspects of Runic practice before you are ready to perform a Rune reading. You must be capable at least of properly establishing your Rune realms as learned in the second lesson.

Rune readings tell you of the energies from the realms of creation that are at the roots of trends, or events, in the past, present, and future. Rune readings then tell you what energies you may use to deal with the situation effectively. Such a Rune reading emphasizes the spiritual background of everything. The worldly outcome is merely a side effect of a deeper spiritual development. It is never the real crux of the matter.

About Rune Staves

Rune staves can be made of many materials. One ancient method of reading the Runes was within the framework of a sacred ritual to explore the will of the gods. In this ritual, the Rune master, sometimes the father of the family, threw little twigs on the ground. In the pattern that was formed from the fallen twigs, the reader then found several Runes showing, which he or she interpreted. Later, twigs were split in two, and Runes were cut on the surface. Therefore, wooden Rune staves were the tradition. Oak and ash seemed to have been the favored trees. In our days a wide variety of materials are used. The material that you use for the staves is totally your choice and preference. Some advanced Rune Masters have several sets of Runes available that are made of different materials. For each Runic practice, they choose one or more sets following their intuition. In the following, I am going to describe some of your possible choices.

Wooden Staves

Wood is the traditional material for Rune staves. In our days, oak is preferred, because many Rune masters connect oak with Teutonic traditions.

Ash, too, is given a high preference. The world tree of the Germanic mythology, Yggdrasil, was thought to be an ash.

In general, hardwoods make good Runes. Each Rune connects with one or more specific trees. Rosewood, ebony, and other tropical woods make also excellent sets. You may decide for one set in which each Rune is made of a wood to which you see a correspondence with the Rune. Many experienced Rune Masters have several sets of wooden staves. As you advance in your practice, you may do the following: Collect your own twigs of 1/2 to 3/4 inch's diameter, or branches of 1 1/2 to 2 inches diameter. Then you may intuitively decide which Rune connects best with what twig, or branch. Then, if branches are your choice, cut discs of equal thickness, 3/8/ to 1/2 inches. When working with twigs, cut sections of 2 inches which you split in two. This provides you with nice surfaces on which the Runes may be carved or burned.

The sets made available by the Knights of Runes are kits of ash or oak. The staves are measuring 1 1/8 in. X 1 5/8 in. X 3/8 in. The Runes are burned on the staves. You will do the final sanding and polishing of the staves before you go on to charge them. You may also order Rune staves which are already finished. In this case, all you need to do is charge the staves.

Crystal Staves

Crystals are excellent materials for Runes. As you know already, the 18 Sacred Futhork Runes represent the 18 facets of the World Crystal. The "ideal" quartz crystal has 18 facets. If you look at such a crystal from above, you the HAGAL RUNE within the HEXAGON. This is the figure from with the Runes are derived.

Considering the quality of quartzes, using the crystal in its original shapes is preferable to using the bauble.

You may also decide to use other semi precious (or precious) stones for Runes. In this case it is of importance that you consider astrological factors pertaining to your chart in combination with your personal Runes. Consult your Rune Master for advice.

The Knights of Runes are offering sets of Rune crystals. Each individual crystal measures between 1 1/4 in. and 2 in.

Quartz crystal Runes are universal. They may be used by any person. Rune sets that use a variety of gemstones are custom tailored to the person who is going to use it. They may be special ordered after you have received the appropriate advice from your Rune master.

Metal Runes

You may special order metal Runes. Those Runes are brass, copper, or silver. Metal runes have very special energies that may be preferred in some situation. Unless you are drawn very much to the idea of having a set of metal Runes, you should prefer wooden staves for the beginning.

Rune Cards

Rune cards are a fairly recent development. However, they have been around much longer than some people who are bragging about "being the first ever on the planet who published Rune cards" would like to be true.

Some 35 years ago, a set of Rune cards was included with Karl Spiesberger's book "Runen Magie" that was published in 1954. Even an "expert" of the somewhat mediocre caliber (as usual) should know that classic. Don Tyson and Llewellyn Publishers are DEFINITELY NOT the first to ever have published a set of Rune cards! Since 1986, the Knights of Runes recommend the use of Rune cards as a TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTE by those who either begin Runic studies or who cannot afford Rune staves. The Rune should be the only thing showing on the card. Drawings of gods, nice looking landscapes, and other "arteestic" expressions (kitsch) are severely watering down the connection of the Runes with the Realms of creation. This is so, because Runes are DEFINING and CREATING energies. They are not CREATED and WELL DEFINED energies as is the case with the symbols of the Tarot, where pictures are useful. Pictures of gods, scenarios, and other clutter which is thought to represent Runes is robbing the Rune effectively of its original defining and creative power. The nonsense of drawing pictures could only be perpetrated by "experts" who are totally ignorant of the true power of the Runes and their functions as creative and defining energies of the universe.

Preparing The Staves

Do you know how to cut?
Do you know how to read?
Do you know how to find?
Do you know how to explore?

Do you know how to demand?
Do you know how to celebrate?
Do you know how to project?
Do you know how to redeem?
(from Havamal v. 143)

One of the best choices for the beginner is a set of oaken Rune staves which you may order from the Knights of Runes in kit form. The Runes are burnt in the face of these staves. What it needs now is some of your own charging, to make these staves powerful, personal tools to trigger Rune energies. By taking great care to do the finishing work on these staves you will be able to get in tune with each Rune, stave by stave, and end up with a fully charged set. So now you have the staves burned into the wood to start you off, and it is up to you to sand them and polish them and charge them with your own energies.

Before you begin on any Rune, read up on the meaning of it. When you are sanding and polishing, be aware of the meaning of the Rune that you are working with. Be also aware that there is much more meaning and significance yet to come, which will open up to you as you progress with your practice and study.

Ideally you should do this work in a ceremonial setting. Set your work table, or altar, EPG, and light your candle. You may use the ceremonials outlined in the book "Runic Ceremonials." If this is not possible, get as close as you can to it.

With each Rune, you proceed as follows:

[Position, or hand position, of IS]
Say: Self conscious I am antenna
For the rays and vibrations
From the Realms of Creation.

[Position or hand position, of UR]
Say: Self conscious I draw power
From the deepest depths
From the spheres of the Earth
From the womb of All Mother.

[Position or hand position of MAN]
Say: Self conscious I draw power
From the highest heights,
From the cosmic realms,
From the great universe.

[Position or hand position of the Rune you are working with]
Say: Powers of . . . (Rune name)
Come to me
Stay with me
Give me the wisdom and power
Of your Realm!

Note: If body or hand positions are not yet known, strongly visualize the Rune with which you are working, in your inner eye.

Now you can sand and polish. While doing this, project energy into the Rune. The Runes MAN and YR, KA and AR, FA and OS, need to be notched or otherwise marked at the bottom of the Rune stave, so that you know later which Rune it is.

The first step is to sand with a fairly coarse sandpaper, rounding off corners and tidying up. You can go straight to the fine sandpaper from here, or use medium before going on to wool. You can oil the Rune with a good quality oil designed for wood. Some oil polishes and stains require you to steel wool the surface when wet, or soon after drying. Check the label to ensure perfect results.

Once the Rune feels good to you, hold the stave in your right hand, look at it and say:

You became the carrier of the powers of . . . (Rune name) Tied to you is the power of the Rune.

Sing the mantra of the Rune. Murmur the song of the Rune if you are a student of the order, or recite the stanza of the magical poem, if you are not familiar with the Song. Draw the Rune in the air with your dagger, power rod, or wand. Next say:

Powers of . . . (Rune name)
Thank you for your energy.
Flow back to the Realms of Creation

Ground by chanting the Rune IS three times while visualizing all surplus energies drain in the ground, then go to the next Rune stave.

It is best to prepare on stave at a time. This takes a long time, but you will end up with a well charged set of Runes, fully tuned to you; well worth the effort you put into it.

If the set of Runes is for the group (castle or lodge), proceed similarly, but have the group present or in mind while preparing the staves. As an alternative, all members of the group can assemble and finish the Runes in a group ceremonial using group energies. In this setting it is permissible for all the members to take part simultaneously, each finishing one Rune at a time, until they are all done.

It is important however that group staves are used for group practices only and that individuals' staves are use only by the person to whom they are tuned. The only exception is where a Rune master of Knight uses his or her own personal set for the ceremonials of the castle. Similar provisions apply to the use of Thor's Hammer.

Whenever you use the staves, make sure that there is nobody around who may project negative energies or ideas, disbelief, hostility, and so forth, into your Rune staves. Should you suspect, or become aware of too much negative energy building up in your Runes, it will be necessary to de-node, i.e., purify them and then recharge them.

Purification: Fumigate in Frankincense, being aware that this action will remove all negative energy. Do this one Rune at time.