Mention runes to anyone offhand, and the first thing they think of is one of two things; divination and writing. And while these are both very valid uses for the runes, there are two other aspects to them that are not commonly discussed, those being for Magickal purposes, and as a roadmap of creation and evolution.
In this file I am going to discuss a bit about using runes for magickal purposes. The first thing I would like to stress is the importance of intent when working with the runes in this way. The Norse believed that the runes are the matrix on which the universe was formed. As a matrix, the runes hold an inherent power in themselves. When using the runes for magick, you are attempting to awaken that power, and to focus it on the intent you place upon them. Without the proper intent, the power in the runes will at best be scattered to no effect, and at worst will manifest in ways that are not desirable to you. So be careful that if you are going to work with the runes in a magickal way. You must have your intent firmly in mind.
There are several ways in which to use runes in magick: singly, in groups of three, as a magickal language, or in a construct called a "bind rune". The first and third are the easiest ways to use the runes to create magickal ends. As with any of these choices, you choose your rune carefully, so that as many of the rune's different meanings apply to your desired effect as possible. As well, with any of these methods, you can cast effect in one of two ways, by actually writing the rune using ink, by carving, or by other medium on a surface. You also have a choice to purely visualize the rune. This last method is very useful when working magick directly on a subject where drawing on them is inappropriate, or upon items that will not hold an inscription, such as any kind of liquid.
The single rune is the first way to use runes. You will choose your rune carefully, to maximize its effect. Form your intent firmly in mind, holding firmly to how each aspect of the chosen rune relates to your desire. Then, inscribe your chosen rune. Whether you use the physical inscription, or the visualization, keep the runes coloured in red at first, preferably a bright, fiery, blood red. Later, you might wish to experiment with different colours, if you do, please let me know what effects you have, as I've only ever really found success using red. Now that you've inscribed the rune, voice your desire. If you wish, write a "spell" around your wish, including the aspects of the rune you wish to invoke.
At this point the initial casting is complete; however you should repeat this process on a regular basis until your desired result occurs. You do not need to inscribe the rune again if you did the physical rune, but you should trace the rune and visualize the energy radiating from it and restate your purpose. When your desired result occurs, and the rune is no longer needed it is traditional to burn the physical object you inscribed the rune on, and give thanks for its blessings.
The other easy way to use the runes in magick, as I said already, is as a magickal language. This method, of course, is best done with physical inscription. Use the runes to write out your desire, holding firmly in mind your intent the entire time you are writing. It is also best to actually speak what you wrote out loud. I feel I should note at this point that simply saying the words is not sufficient. You must speak with feeling, with belief. If you have ever been to a church service, and have seen the Minister preach his sermon with all the intensity of a thunderclap, this is what you are aiming for. Don't misunderstand me, I am not talking about yelling, I am talking about forcefulness. Again, as with the first method, you should go back to your writing on a regular basis and again recite your desire. The traditional burning again should be done after you have obtained your desire.
The more involved methods, that of the three-rune spread, and the bind rune, I will discuss another time.