Your Ultimate Guide to Using Rune Stones

Posted on October 18, 2020

A woman does a rune reading.

Are there times of your life where you wish you could simply find the answers to your most pressing questions? Do you ever think about how much better you would feel with a direct line to the wisdom of the cosmos?

Life can feel overwhelming, especially when we feel lost or confused. But if you learn how to work with rune stones, you’ll soon find out that the answers are just a stone’s throw away.

Used as a divination tool, rune stones are an ancient tool that features Germanic writing, and they can answer some of the questions that have been burning in your heart lately. They are a set of small pieces of stone, wood, or other materials that utilize 24 ancient alphabetic symbols, each with its own unique meaning.

While astrology is accurate, combining it with the magic of other divination tools can help you uncover any mysteries or hidden answers to the questions in your life. The energies of each tool feed off of one another and amplify the connection to the celestial, mystical realms beyond our own.

The history of rune stones is a mysterious one, which only adds to the magical nature of this popular divination tool. It is known that rune stones date back to well before the Iron Age.

In fact, the English word for rune stems from the Norse word, runa, which means “secret.” Perhaps it is the secretive or mysterious nature of rune stones that allows them to open up our minds and hearts to hidden information.

Rune stones are powerful and enlightening, and like the Tarot, working with your set of runes on a regular basis will create a special bond between yourself and the all-knowing stones. Enigmatic and magical, runes will help you connect more deeply to the energy of the Universe.

So, are you ready to learn everything you need to know about rune stones?

A Brief Overview of Runes

While runes have been used since as far back as 150 AD, they have not always been used as tools of divination.

Runic systems began as runic alphabets in the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon German regions of the world; however, they have also been spotted in other cultures – especially during medieval times.

Runes were originally used as an interesting alphabet that would read from right to left when written – as opposed to the left-to-right system that English currently employs. Eventually, this alphabet transitioned into a system of divination used by the casting and reading of mystical stones to find the answers to a certain question.

Each letter of this alphabet is inscribed on one stone in the set, and each stone and accompanying letter of the alphabet hold a special, individual meaning, similar to the system of the Tarot. To use the runes, you simply focus on a question, draw one or multiple stones, and interpret their meaning to find your answers.

How to Use Rune Stones

Each stone contains its own message or meaning, and the stones that you choose – or perhaps, the stones that choose you – during a reading represent the answers to your most immediate questions.

The inscriptions on each stone represent sacred symbols from the Elder Futhark – the oldest form of the runic alphabet.

Not only do the stones represent answers to your biggest, most pressing questions, they can also be used as a cleansing tool, releasing negativity from the body and allowing a deeper connection to the Universe.

While many forms of divination require more than one tool, all you need to become a rune caster – a person that casts and interprets runes – is a set of rune stones. With your stones and a flat surface to work on, you’re ready to answer any questions that might come to mind.

Read this next: 5 Easy Ways to Use Runes You Can Start Today

How to Ask the Rune Stones a Question

rune-stones-on-a-table

To use your rune stones, you simply cast them: Ask your question in your mind, toss your runes onto a cloth of your choosing from either East to West or towards the Sun, and pay attention to the runes that land face-up.

Research the meaning or message behind any of the runes that have landed face-up to find the answers to your question.

The question you ask the runes is important; however, after you spend time with your runes, you’ll be able to use them without having to focus on your question. Your rune stones will begin to pick up on your energy the more you work with them. Sooner than later, you’ll be able to simply reach for your set and perform a quick reading for fast and easy guidance.

When you do feel like asking questions, it’s important to be specific about your inquiry. Vague questions – such as “Does he love me?” – will typically result in vague answers. Similar to the Tarot, asking open-ended questions will always yield better, more meaningful results from a rune casting.

Yes or no questions should be avoided to get more explanatory answers. Act like your rune set is a close friend, someone with whom you wish to share a deep conversation full of respect and understanding.

Single Stone Question

While you can use each and every stone in a set for a reading, you may choose a single stone reading when you’re short on time or need quick guidance.

Try asking a question, reaching into your bag of runes, and picking the one that seems to be giving off the most energy. Whatever your hand is attracted to, grab that stone. Interpret the meaning of the stone to answer your question.

For less specific advice, you can also use this technique for daily guidance.

Ask yourself what energy you need to focus on for the day or what lessons you need to learn. Then, using the same technique, feel for the stone that seems to be calling your name and draw it out. Interpret that stone and try to take that wisdom or message with you throughout the day.

Three-Stone Reading

A three-stone reading is more involved and takes a bit longer to interpret, but it can also give you a more insightful answer to your questions.

You can again ask your stones any question you want to know the answer to, as long as it is specific. Now, randomly gather the first three stones in your bag of runes that you’re drawn to.

Since the runic alphabet moves backwards, the first stone will go on the right-hand side, the second stone in the middle, and the third stone will be on the far left.

  • Rune #1: Represents the basics or the core of the situation.
  • Rune #2: Symbolizes the challenges associated with this situation.
  • Rune #3: Represents the course of action to take or the final outcome.

Five-Stone Reading

For this rune reading, the goal is to select one rune at a time until you have five before you. The first rune is placed in the middle, and the remaining four are placed to create across the first.

The second rune should go to the left or the West of the first stone. The third stone is placed above, or North, of the center stone. The fourth stone lies to the right, or the East, of the center stone, and the fifth stone is placed at the bottom of the cross.

The three horizontal stones (2, 1, and 5) represent past, present, and future. The southern stone, rune 4, shows a challenge or a problem in the situation. And finally, rune 3 represents the help you may receive to combat those challenges.

What does each rune stone mean? Find out here: 5-Minute Overview of Rune Stone Meanings

The Placement of Your Rune Stones

As you remove the beautiful, mystical stones from their velvet pouch, try to remember that their placement is just as important as the individual stones and their messages. It’s crucial that you are in a quiet, safe space where you will not be interrupted or distracted.

The most pivotal, helpful answers will always stem from a mind full of clarity, balance, and intent. If your mind is distracted by other thoughts, it will be harder to get a clear reading.

A flat surface is important, and a beautiful cloth or scarf laid over that surface will help to keep your runes safe and in great condition. Once your energy is cleared, and your area is prepared, it’s time to cast your stones.

How to Read Your Runes

hand-holding-two-rune-stones

Just as there are many different Tarot spreads, there are myriad different ways to read and interpret your rune stones. However, one of the easiest ways to get started is by asking basic questions for the most efficient answers.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when casting and interpreting your runes, especially when using your whole set to find answers:

  • The runes that land in the center, face-up are symbolic of your current situation.
  • If runes land face-down, they may represent unseen possibilities or the future.
  • Runes that land on the edges of a casting likely represent people or situations that are just out of reach or may be out of your control.
  • Your intuition is crucial when casting – follow your heart for the most effective reading.

Don’t worry if it feels confusing at first – as you begin to spend more time learning about the meaning of each rune, and it will become easier to understand the message behind a certain casting or reading. Try to combine the meaning of a specific rune with its position in the spread you’ve chosen to get a clearer understanding of what the stones are trying to tell you.

Which rune stone does your personality match up with? Take the quiz! Which Rune Stone Are You?

A Simple 4-Rune Spread

Perhaps you have your set of runes already, and you clicked on this article to learn how to take a deeper dive into the world of rune casting. If that’s the case, this simple 4-rune spread is for you.

Start by clearing your mind and focusing on the matter at hand, the question you need answers to. It is beneficial to take a moment for activities like a mini-meditation, sage smudging, or lighting a candle to clear your energy and encourage positivity.

When you feel connected to the energies of the Universe, it’s time to shift your attention to the questions on your mind.

Ask your questions and then grab four stones, one-by-one, and lay them in a straight line on your flat surface or altar cloth. For this reading, you’ll read the stones from left to right, with the stone on the far left being number 1 and the stone on the far right being number 4.

Rune Stone #1

The first stone symbolizes the main theme of the situation that you are currently facing. It may also indicate your current thoughts about this issue, allowing you to gain more understanding of your own experience.

If the message of this stone appears vague, don’t panic or become flustered, as the rest of the reading can help you understand more about the message of this stone. A vague answer may also represent your own lack of clarity regarding your feelings about this situation.

Rune Stone #2

This rune represents your strengths or assets when it comes to this situation. Even if you get a challenging rune stone in this position, it may lead to a favorable outcome. The rune that appears in the position tells you about fate, karma, or the highest good of the matter at hand.

It will tell you how to create the most positive karma on your journey.

Rune Stone #3

The third stone symbolizes the karma that already exists within the situation. For instance, if your question surrounds a certain relationship, the stone in this position may illuminate the karmic nature of this relationship.

It also takes a look at the situation and allows you to understand more about how you got to this point. This rune gives you more insight regarding the vibrations that accompany this situation or relationship.

Rune Stone #4

This stone is connected to the outcome. However, your interpretation of this rune is crucial in its answer. It’s important that you keep your mind open when looking into the meaning of this stone and its position.

This rune is not showing you what will happen, but rather it is trying to show you what could happen. This rune may also show you outcomes that you hadn’t previously considered in this situation. While the third stone tells you about the karma surrounding this situation, the fourth rune shows you what you can do about it.

You can also play around with this spread and the meaning of each rune’s position. You could try letting the four runes represent four days, weeks, months, or years. The stones could represent four people, four relationships, four seasons, or even four choices.

The choice is yours, as the casting of the runes is deeply connected to your spirit.

Once you’ve started your rune-casting process, it’s important that you don’t become distracted or insecure. Consistency is key for an illuminating reading. And try to remind yourself that the process will become easier and clearer the longer you work with your set of runes.

Runes & Love Readings

rune stones with crystals on table

Runes are nearly as ancient as love itself, and using the runes to understand more about your love life is always a good idea. That’s why we include this fantastic reading meant for lovers, whether or not you are single or attached.

Runes Lovers Reading – The Cup

Begin by thinking of your question. If you’re in a relationship, your question might be something like, “How can I create more intimacy in my partnership?” If you’re single, it might sound more like, “How can I attract the love of my life into my present?”

Once you’ve set your intention on your question, it’s time to draw your runes.

You’ll choose nine runes from your pouch. Once you have your runes selected, you’re going to shape them into the form of a cup – much like the cup suit in Tarot, which represents emotions and love. In fact, taking a look at one of the Tarot cards in the cup suit can help you visualize what your rune spread will look like.

The first three runes will form the stem of this cup, with the first rune being located at the bottom of the stem. The next two runes are located at the top of the stem and form the base of the cup. You will then form the top of the cup with the remaining four runes – two on each side, which represent each partner in this relationship.

When your runes are laid out, you may see something that looks like a “Y” shape.

Let’s take a look at the meaning of each rune for this specific love reading:

  • Rune #1 – The current state of the relationship.
  • Rune #2 – Your current or hypothetical partner’s position.
  • Rune #3 – The nature of the issue or heart of the relationship.
  • Rune #4 – Your desires.
  • Rune #5 – Your partner’s desires.
  • Rune #6 – Your challenge.
  • Rune #7 – Your partner’s challenge.
  • Rune #8 – Your future outcome.
  • Rune #9 – Your partner’s future outcome.

This reading will help you find clarity in nearly any relationship, but especially those that are romantic in nature. If you have questions about your love life, this is the reading for you!

Learn even move about runes and love: Using Rune Stones for Guidance in Love

Runes & Tarot

rune stones and tarot cards

The rune stones and the Tarot cards are two unique yet complimentary divination tools that can help you along your path, answering questions that you assumed were too mysterious to understand.

Working with both of these metaphysical tools can give you an even deeper understanding of the things that need explanation in your life. Working with them side by side can help you solidify your faith in the answers the Universe gives to you.

It might be easier for you to follow your intuition when it comes to these two tools. For instance, let’s say you perform a Tarot reading for yourself, and you’re left with a few questions. This can be a wonderful time to break out the runes and ask for clarification.

Or, imagine you’ve just finished casting and interpreting your runes. You have a good idea of what the overall message is, but you want to confirm your hunch.

Try shuffling your favorite Tarot deck, cutting the cards, and choosing one card for further clarification. This card may give you the reassurance you need, which will help you trust your intuition even more.

Both Tarot and the runes are up to interpretation, but using them in conjunction with one another can help you feel stronger and more confident about the answers you’ve been given. One divination tool can work to heighten the next.

And because each of these tools requires clarity and stillness, you’ll easily be able to transition from one to the next without breaking your concentration.

The next time you sit down to perform a rune casting, Try setting your tarot cards next to your runes or in a place where they will be easy to grab. You might find that working with these two tools hand-in-hand provides more answers than you ever thought possible!

Time to Cast Your Runes!

Casting runes is a wonderfully beneficial, enlightening practice that will help you understand more than ever about the life you’re currently living and the karma surrounding it. These ancient tools possess a mystical power that can be felt by simply holding them. If you need guidance, turning to the runes can be a quick and effective way to find the information you seek.

Treat your rune stones as your friends, caring for them, and sharing with them your deepest secrets and desires. Take time to get to know them, study them, connect with them. Connecting to and placing your faith in your rune stones only makes them more effective.

So, if you’ve got questions, just remember: The runes have the answers! If you don’t yet own your own set of runes, try using Astrology Answer’s beautiful Rune Stone Set.

Related article: How to Listen to Your Intuition to Manifest Miracles & Abundance Right Now

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Rhiannon Liselle is a nomadic Sagittarius with a passion for writing and trying to help others grow. She’s studied astrology for about 10 years, and has been writing about… Learn More About The Author »

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