First Steps

in Runework


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Please do the following if you wish to begin Runic studies of your own: Get twenty-four flash cards and number them on the BACK. Then go to the "The Runic Journey"  at and write down the Rune shapes and sound values, one per card, on the FRONT. Remember the great majority of the Runes have a name whose first letter is the sound it represents. Then label them with the names (on the front): (First Aett = Row) Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz/Kaunaz, Gebo, Wunjo. (Second Aett=Row): Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Eihwaz, Perthro, Elhaz, Sowilo. (Third Aett=Row): Tiwaz, Berkano, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz/Laukaz, Ingwaz, Dagaz, Othala.  These are the names of the twenty-four Runes of the Elder Futhark. Learn the information on each card, and practice shuffling them and putting them back in the correct order.  Use the numbers on the back to check for the correct order!

When you have all this information memorized (you should be able to write the futhark from memory and in its correct order, name each Rune, and identify its phonetic value).  Add the Rune meanings (the literal meaning of the Runes' name,  which is the one given first, and then its derived meanings) to each card on the back.  You can find these in my "Rune of the Month" articles.  Learn those thoroughly, too without forgetting the information previously learned.  Keep practicing writing the futhark (Runic alphabet), reciting the names of the Runes, and writing things in Runes (you'll have to be a bit creative since they don't correspond one for one with the Latin alphabet we use to write English today) even when you have become an advanced student.  I still do!

Once you have mastered all this, you will be ready to start working through my Rune-of-the-Month Club on my main webpage, especially the introductory article, which tells how to make a Rune Set and do basic Rune Readings.  It also has some good reading suggestions, including on the history of the Runes.  I'll be adding new articles as they are written!  Don't let the prospect of some memory work discourage you; there will be plenty of opportunities for meditation, exploration, and creative work with the Runes once you have the basics firmly in mind.  It's like learning to read and write; once you've memorized the letters, learned to write them, learned spelling, etc., you can read literature of increasing complexity and even begin creative writing. If it gets too tedious, read some scholarly books at the same time for some background on the history of the Runes. Enjoy your Runic studies, and please e-mail me at with any questions, comments or suggestions.



Created by Chandonn and Jordsvin

all works used by permission of the authors

last modified 05/15/2008