The Use of Runes in Contemporary Shamanism
Runen raunen richtig Rat (F.B. Marby)
Weißt du zu ritzen?
Weißt du zu raten?
Weißt du zu färben?
Weißt du zu fragen?
Weißt du zu wünschen?
Weißt du zu weihen?
Weißt du zu schicken?
Weißt du zu schlachten?
(Felix Genzmer, "Die Edda")
The runes as a part of my european shamanic roots are part of my life for more than a quarter century now. The reception of this heritage starts to claim back its right place in european shamanism. The political prejudices, flourished by the bad experiences germans made during the third Reich, are more and more forgotten in front of the strong and never waning power of the runes. In spite of the raising quality of restored runic knowledge the shamanic approach to runes is still at the fringe of common runic practice. There is an unique possibility of achieving new shamanic knowledge and tools because of the very view sources of useable runic traditions.
Runes as shamanic helping spirits
In shamanic cultures the shaman achieves helping spirits by his cultural background and by his teachers. Many years the shamans learn about the rules and powers of the spirits and their world and how to deal with them. I consider the runes a vital part of the shamanic knowledge of europeans. They are symbolical representing the known universe and the spirits worlds.
During a shamanic journey the spirits of the runes can easily be contacted. It is a good idea to anchor the runes within yourself via runic exercises and other runic activities, before actually contacting them within journeys. The runic spirits are being encounteres in their certain runic plane of existence, which can be entered through a gate you are creating (for example) on your place of power. To give you a chance of developing your own approach to these spirits I am not describing the runic planes in detail here. Anchoring and binding of the runic spirits within a material base is a good idea. Rune staffs or rune stones with the twentyfour runes on them painted or carved and colored with your own blood serve very well (Bernhard King, a powerful runic magician stated in his book "The Runes": "If you don't dare cutting your finger to color the runes, how can you take the responsibility to conjure up the powers the runes are representing?"). The set of runes achieved in this way are talismans, divination tools, representations of the runic powers, the material base of the runic spirits — similar as a fur of a wolf, for example, which endeepens the contact to the animal spirit of wolf. Always treat the runic spirits with respect.
Runes in shamanic healings
During shamanic healing runes can be used to dissolve blockades (with Isa as an opener of channels, driven vertical through the block). Energetic gaps after the extraction of malevolent spirits or energies can be filled with runic energies. The exact location of the gap is important, of course, because depending on the location there are different runes that can be used. To fill up the spine I use Ehwaz, unless the organic soul needn´t be brought back within a soul retrieval, to give an example. To seal the treated body parts I am using Algiz or Thurisaz, sometimes Berkano. These seals are difficult to penetrate for sensitives and the parts "behind" the seal cannot be seen by sensitives for some days, until the body regenerated its auric body and integrated the seal and the runic powers. Runic seals provide protection for the weakened parts, thus preventing bad energies to attack the most vulnerable point. It is a kind of spiritual bandage over a fresh wound. Chakras can be balanced with Sowilo or the Chakra Runes (Berkano: Sahasrara, Ehwaz: Ajna, Mannaz: Vishudda, Laguz: Anahata, Ingwaz: Manipura, Dagaz: Swadhisthana, Othala: Muladhara). I draw the runes over the chakras during auric massage and balancing.
Charging Rooms and Places
Runic practitioners know this already. Runes can be used to cleanse and charge and even to create Powerplaces in the nature. Protection or charging runes are engraved or painted on rocks or trees - after asking them for allowance to do so. After consecration of the runes they emanate their power immediately. I do this during engraving: I ask the runic spirits for help and vibrate the name of the rune. Permanent engraved runes have an advantage: They are always active. To charge or cleanse rooms the runic postures can be used in combination with vibrating their runic names. In my experience, the best rune for protection after rituals or healings is Algiz.