So, let's begin - RUNES!
Firstly, runes are used much in the same way as Tarot. They are tools from the Divine that can be used to help answer questions and seek guidance. There are traditionally 24 runes, but in the 80's a blank rune was added to help the seeker know if their question should be answered currently or not. There are different futharks, or sets, of runes. The most common from what I've seen is the elder futhark. The runes originate from the ancient Germanic alphabet and each symbol has a phonetic meaning and a spiritual one that has been applied to it.
The runes also have reversed meanings, most of which aren't very good. However, like Tarot, it's important for the person reading to realize that they might not mean something completely negative.
How do I use them?
There are many different readings, just like with Tarot! The one I've been using is a three rune draw. The rune on the left is the past, the middle is the present (what you should do now to help with the question) and the right is the future (what may happen if you choose to follow the advice in the present). Personally, I've made my runes very seeker oriented and I read for other people a lot. I dump the runes out of the bag, and turn them clockwise with both hands to mix them around while the other person thinks of their question or puts the intention into my runes via whatever visualization they'd like. Then, I flip them over and ask the other person to choose their runes and the order in which they'd like to go in.
There are daily readings a person can do, such as asking the question "what should I focus on today?" and pulling the rune that feels right out of the bag, or a weekly reading which I haven't done but I believe is generally done with one rune. I'm sure other runes could be added, though.
What can I use to make runes?
Do I need to consecrate my runes?
If you get your materials outside from nature, then probably not. Since the Earth is the God and Goddess, naturally made runes already have a charge in them that is good. If you buy your runes from someone else, then the act of consecration may be more likely since you're not sure what intention the other person may have accidentally or on purpose put in them from handling them. If you get them from a material that is not naturally made, like from a company manufacturer, then yes do consecrate them to reset their natural energies!
I didn't consecrate my runes, but it is important to get their consent as with anything you put on your altar or use for spellwork, herbalism, or whatever else. If you do choose to consecrate them, I personally would pass them through incense and above the flame of a white candle. Depending on whatever rock you use, BE CAREFUL if you put them in water! Some rocks and minerals will be TOXIC to the environment if mixed with water then poured down the drain!!
Runes are fairly easy to read and there are much less of them than Tarot decks. Because many are made from natural materials, they are already fairly blessed and ready to go. They take much less work to consecrate than Tarot and require less upkeep. The meanings, while complex, aren't as complex as tarot and there is no card or element symbolism to factor in when reading. They are easier to use, in my opinion, and they take less preparation to consecrate - with Tarot cards many people sleep with them under their pillow, carry them around etc for a few days before the actual consecration. They are less time-consuming and give shorter readings. They "warm up" to the reader faster than Tarot and are very direct.
There are less of them! Some people believe that the reader might have to search a little bit deeper for the meaning within the runes, although I disagree. I find that runes are straightforward and uncomplicated, although some people might consider that a con. The meanings can also vary from futhark to futhark so the person finding the definition for the runes may be faced with varying explanations for the same rune. Reading can also be difficult and require much intuition because it can be hard to tell which way the runes should be facing because sometimes they land with the opposite meaning even if it doesn't apply to the reading.
I like both of these divinatory methods, but I started out with runes and they hold a special place in my heart. Tarot takes much more time to learn but it is worth it once the reader starts and it can also help develop intuition as sometimes we need to go with our thoughts as to how they may apply to a reading. Runes are standardized and it definitely makes it easier to pick a design! The runes seem to warm up to people a little more easily than tarot, and I have never had a problem with the runes reading for other people. Tarot is a little more fickle and takes a while to warm up to others. Both are easy enough, although I would suggest starting with runes for a beginner.
So there you have it! Comment if I forgot to add anything, as I said I am very tired! What else would you like to see me review??
Next up: Pendulums!