Introduction: How to Make Rune Staves

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Making your own rune staves or stones was traditionally part of getting acquainted with the runes. Usually wood or stones were used, which may be part of why there isn't much physical records left of the ancient runes. Historically, such well respected trees like birch were used. In the Northern mythology, Ask and Embla were the first humans and they were trees that were given life. I really like the idea of trees as our ancestors. Fruit-bearing trees were also frequently used, such as apple, cherry, apricot, pear or peach.

The branches used here are cherry. They were brought down in a storm. They are a little less than 1/2 an inch in diameter. If it is too thick or too thin it could make it difficult to work with. You have to have enough space to carve a rune into the wood.

I have used yarrow stalks and tarot cards for years, and just recently have started using runes. I have found them to be very clear and helpful, perhaps they resonate with me because I have Swedish , German and English blood!

I use the Elder Futhark which consists of 24 runes. I don't use the 'blank' rune. I recommend Freya Aswynn's book Northern Mysteries and Magick: Runes, Gods and Feminine powers for people getting started with the runes. I also recommend to be very respectful when working with them as they can be very powerful, and should be used with care.

Once you have made your rune staves and are wondering what to do with them, I recommend checking out this instructable: How to Read Runes.

Step 1: Cut and Remove Bark

Cut the cherry branches into about 4 inch (10cm) lengths. You will need 24 staves. Using a pocket-knife peel off the bark and shave the stave smooth if necessary. I had to whittle down some of the knots.

Step 2: Carve and Stain

Carve the each stave with an individual rune. As you are carving it, repeat the name of the rune, resonating it through your body. The action of cutting the rune into the wood, when done with intensity is equated with carving your intention into the ethers and can be very powerful when done with wisdom and integrity.

The stain was traditionally blood and was painted into the cut rune to help the engraving to stand out as well as creating a bond between you and your divination tools.

Step 3: Elder Futhark

These are the runes of the Elder Futhark which is the oldest version of the runes. Odin was given the runes after hanging upside down on Yggdrasil for 9 days and nights. Most of us have to go through many varied initiation processes before we begin to understand the runes, so it is best to treat them with respect.

They are shown in the photos in order. I will give the names and modern letter below.

1.   Fehu (F)
2.   Uruz (U,V)
3.   Thurisaz (Th)
4.   Ansuz (A)
5.   Raido (R)
6.   Kenaz (C,K)
7.   Gebo (X)
8.   Wunjo (W)
9.   Hagalaz (H)
10. Nauthiz (N)
11. Isa (I)
12. Jera (J)
13. Eihwas (E)
14. Pertho (P)
15. Algiz (Z)
16. Sowulo (S)
17. Teiwas (T)
18. Berkana (B)
19. Ehwaz (E)
20. Mannuz (M)
21. Laguz (L)
22. Inguz (Ng)
23. Othila (O)
24. Dagz (D)