Learning the runes

Before you begin working with the runes in any capacity you’d better have some sound knowledge of them. Going full force without a solid foundation will just lead to spinning your metaphorical wheels. So how to best get some knowledge?  Here’s a technique I use with my apprentices. It’s a pretty good technique and can be used by Runic veterans as well to gain insight. This is the way I wish someone had told me to learn the runes over two decades ago when I was a green newbie.

You will need a set of runes to provide as a meditation tool. You will want a physical representation of the staves to hold in your hands. This makes the runes more solid to you than just using your mind to recreate the stave shapes. They will also act as a grounding tool to help you stay centered.

Next get a copy of the rune poems. Many books have them reprinted as part of their information. I have found for myself the translations I prefer are found the the book Rune Primer. This book is available through Amazon as a Kindle edition as well as paperback format.

Once you have the rune poems in a translation that you respond to read them. Slowly and carefully. Try to get as much information out of them as you can. Particularly see what images occur to you as you read. Remember we’re building a foundation to place our structure on. Any time spent in this part of your learning process is time well spent.

Now meditate. Holding the rune in your hand and with the words and images of the rune poems in mind set yourself the task of discovering meanings for each stave. Write down all the meanings you can come up with. This is a discovery time. There are no right or wrong answers. The point is to find out how the runes speak to you. Again don’t rush through this.

Now turn to the meanings compiled by others. Books abound in this matter. The point is to compare and contrast your list of meanings with those of others. If you feel your meanings are just way off the mark repeat the process described above. Once you are pleased with the results you can move on to the next rune.

I have my apprentices work on this at a rate of two runes a week. That way there is nothing plenty of time spent on each rune.

And that’s how I teach the basics of rune knowledge. Try it yourselves and see what kind of results you get!

What are the gods?

One of the most basic and most baffling questions of our path must certainly be what exactly are the gods?  It’s a question I grapple with on a nearly daily basis.

There’s the camp of people who simply believe that the gods are 100 percent separate from ourselves and have independent existence. How else could we experience their hands in our lives if that were not the case?  If we admit that the gods work actions in our lives then they must be their own entities. I accept this train of thought up to a point. I have seen firsthand how the gods work in our lives. If they were not entities outside of ourselves how could we explain so many different phenomena?  Chance?  Fate?  Coincidence?  None of those answers are completely fulfilling to me. I believe there must be an entity outside of myself making certain events occur. Maybe that makes me naive or just plain simple minded. But my experiences in this multiverse leads me to this belief.


There’s another part of me that believes that the gods are merely archetypes of our own psyche. This belief contends that humans are just too multidimensional of creatures to be explained simply. That we are fully capable of creating pantheons to simply explain our human experiences. Nothing outside of ourselves. Simply a way of explaining and experiencing the human condition through our own imagination

I vacillate between these two very different ways of viewing our gods.  I believe both versions have validity.  I believe neither is totally wrong.  Or totally correct.  So I’m definitely of two minds on this issue.  Makes me a bit crazy sometimes.  But I feel it gives me a deeper experience of the gods.  What are the gods?  Maybe I’ll never have a completely satisfactory answer for that question.  But it’s a rewarding journey trying to figure it out!


A little branch

00864CB4-BE1B-427D-8206-5D6495F2AB12Today my husband brought me out to the local forest preserve. It was my intention to find a tree that spoke to me to revisit throughout the seasons of the year. This was to become my tree. For visits. For contemplation. For my own personal growth in regard to the changing seasons. I am an urban dweller and desperately seek a connection to nature. This tree will serve as a part of that Connection.

So I went to the woods and quieted my mind. I looked at trees. I touched them. Finally one of the trees spoke to me. This was my tree.

It was a swamp oak. It’s leaves were completely barren of leaves. It was quiet. It had strength. It’s roots were somewhat gnarled. It spoke to me with impressions of wisdom. And laying on the ground next to the tree was a little branch. About a foot long and an inch in thickness. It was a gift from my tree to me.

I picked up the branch and silently thanked the tree. Then it was back to home.

I cleaned off the bark from one end of the branch. I said a little prayer of thanks while I did so. This was to serve as my Druid wand.

The wand will be used for the primary task of raising energy in ritual settings. I will use it to gather energy for the additional umph it will provide. I have used wands before. They have been crystal wands. This is my first wooden wand.

My hope is that this wand’s Connection to a living thing will provide a new avenue for me to access energy previously unavailable to me. Time and experience with it will tell. For now I’m just thankful that my new friend the tree offered me such a wonderful gift. The offerings from nature abound if only we are aware of them.

Earth exercise

In my ongoing journey to put the Elements into use in my Vitki work I came across an exercise to get better in touch with earth. Here’s how it went.

First you choose a stone to work with. Stones are of the earth. They can’t help but be connected to this Element. So I choose my huge 8 inch long clear quartz crystal. It is huge and weighs about 3 pounds. It is definitely of the earth. I wanted something that was still in its raw form. Which this crystal is.

Then I sat in front of the stone and calmed and quieted my mind. I entered into a trance state. Enough to be aware but still in an altered state of consciousness. Then I took the crystal into my hands.

I was getting a buzzing feeling from the stone. I let myself experience this phenomenon. I felt the buzzing increase in intensity.

Then I aligned my consciousness with that if the crystal. I let my entire consciousness become one with the stone. I got myself to the place where I was mentally of the same energy level as the crystal. It was of a definitely slower level than I am accustomed to. Once fully immersed in this lower level of being a remarkable thing occurred.

Suddenly my consciousness was inside the stone. I was seeing and sensing the world through the viewpoint of the crystal. The things I saw around me where different colored light masses. The plants in my ritual room where green balls of energy. The other stones and crystals were white balls of energy. Everything was reduced to or perhaps elevated to balls of colored light.

And I saw or sensed the balls of energy influencing each other in subtle ways. There were places where the colors merged. Everything touched each other in this raw energy state. Even books. Everything was something more than what they appeared to be through my eyes. Through the eyes of the crystal they were all raw energy.

Once I slowly came back to ordinary consciousness I pondered what I’d experienced. It was a view of the world in its rawest form. The form of pure energy. And everything influenced everything else. We are all truly energy influencing each other. So much to think about…


Alchemy. The act of turning lead into gold. Magic indeed. But what does this mean for the Vitki?

Turning a base material into something precious is truly the heart of all Vitki work. As Vitkis I t falls upon us to be ever mindful of this task. We are the ones who through our work create transformation. Transformation of Self. Transformation of others. Whether it be through insights of a rune casting or a full blown seidr session  we are in the business of bringing about change. Transformation.

These transformations may take time. Or they may occur in a sudden blast of insight. How they occur matters less than the fact that they do indeed occur. I’ve seen it for myself. Whether in my personal life or on the lives of my apprentices changes occur. And once the transformation is complete there’s no turning back. You can only move forward. Forward to the next transformation.

That’s one of the funny things about this alchemy. It always leads to more alchemy. It’s a never ending spiral of growth. We can think we’re done. That we’ve achieved all there is to know. And suddenly a little light will flicker. A light leading us on to the next series of changes. The possibilities are endless. We can always learn and grow and change. We are continuously in a state of performing alchemy. If we’re doing the true work of a Vitki.

So I would challenge you to this task. The task of alchemy. Where and when can you change and transform into something greater? Something purer? More refined?  I say the time is now. The place is right there where you are. It’s the best time and place for magic. For alchemy.