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~ A Rune Ritual ~



It may be difficult for someone not used to magical practice to translate the general instructions given in a the preceding pages into specific techniques. Here is a complete ritual of rune magic as a guide, not to be followed rigidly, but to be used as a starting point for more personal rituals.
Before beginning, undergo a period of purification and focusing. Memorize the ritual and prepare all the necessary materials. Make ready the ritual place. This ritual is designed to open communication between the Higher Self and the ego. For maximum benefit it should be worked regularly, perhaps once a week for several months.
 
An hour or so before the ritual, bathe, drain the water from the tub and rifill it with fresh water. Kneel before the tub and speak a prayer of cleansing over the water. As you pray, drop several grains of salt that have been previously consecrated into the water and bathe again. Dry yourself and don the ritual robe-a plain white garment that allows comfort and ease of movement. Go to the ritual place.
 
In the center of the place is the altar which is about two feet square and waist high, its top cover3ed with white linen cloth. Place upon the altar the materials and instruments that have previously been prepared and consecrated. A candle in a short holder is set in the center of the altar top. Around it are arrayed a square of thin paper, a dip pen with a medium width nib, a bottle of red ink, a small chalice, a pitcher of clean water, an earthenware plate, and a sharp knife. The rune amulet of protection is not needed in this ritual but may be worn about the neck if desired. Because the ritual invokes only the higher forces and is conducted within a magic circle, its dangers are minimal.
 
Enter the place from the North, or if this is impossible, enter and proceed around the outer edge sunwise until you reach the North, then approach ther altar and kneel. Light the candle. Close your eyes and try to empty your mind of thoughts and your heart of emotions. Strive for tranquility. Passively contemplate ther task you are about to perform.
 
Clap your hands shaply together three times and lift them heavenward. Look past the flame into infinity. Speak the declaration of intent, which should go something like:
 
This ritual for the opening of the path of Light is well and truly commenced.
 
Stand up and cross your body, touching with your right index finger your forehead, your groin, your left shoulder and your right shoulder. Touch your heart, then point directly at the flame on the altar. As you perform these gestures speak this prayer:
 
Thine is the Crown (forehead) And the Kingdom (groin) The Power (left shoulder) And the Glory, (right shoulder) The Law everlasting; (heart) Amen. (flame)
 
Pivot sunwise to face North. As you walk once sunwise around the altar, draw a circle with your extended index finger in the air at the level of your heart. The circle should be nine feet in diameter. Visualize it strongly as a blazing ring of white fire. It may previously be drawn on the floor with chalk or charcoal to aid in visualization. Take care to join the beginning with the end in your mind when you return to the North.
 
Inscribe int he air to the North with large gestures the Invoking Pentagram of Air. This is drawn from the point of Air clockwise with a continuous line. Visualize the pentagram in yellow flame. Point to its center and draw the Ger rune, which stands for Air, with downward strokes:
 
 
Invoking Pentagram of Air
 
Again pointing at the center of the pentagram, speak an invocation to the spirits of Air:
 
Spirits and powers of the wind, Attend and witness this ritual, Bear my wishes to the Nameless One, Open to me the path of Light. Go in a sunwise arc to the South and stand with your back ot the altar. In the air to the South inscribe a large Invoking Pentagram of Fire. Visualize it in red flame. Point to its center and draw the Sigel rune, which stands for Fire, with downward strokes:
 
Invoking Pentagram of Fire
 
 
 
Pointing to the center of the Pentagam, speak an invocation to the Spirits of Fire:
 
Spirits and powers of the flame, Attend and witness this ritual, Bear my wishes to the Nameless One, Open to me the path of Light. Go sunwise around the altar to the East and draw in the air a image invoking Pentagram of Earth. Visualize the pentagram in dark green flame. Point to its center and draw the Ethel rune, which is a symbol of Earth, with downward strokes:
 
Invoking Pentagram of Earth
 
 
Pointing to the center of the Pentagram, speak an invocation to the spirits of Earth:
 
Spirits and powers of the furrow, Attend and witness this ritual, Bear my wishes to the Nameless One, Open to me the path of Light. Go in a sunwise are to the West and draw outwardly in the air Invoking Pentagram of Water. Visualize it of blue flame. Point to its center and draw the Lagu rune, symbol of Water, with downward strokes:
 
Invoking Pentagram of Water
 
 
Pointing to the center of the pentagram, speak an invocation to the spirits of Water:
 
Spirits and powers of the wave, Attend and witness this ritual, Bear my wishes to the Nameless One, Open to me the path of Light. Go sunwise in an arc to the North and face the altar. Draw in the air over the altar the Invoking Pentagram of Light, and within it the Ken rune, symbol of Light. The pentagram should be visualized as standing upright over the altar top and blazing with white flame:
 
Invoking Pentagram of Light
 
 
Pointing to the center of the pentagram, speak an invocation to the spirits of Light: Spirits and powers of the light, Attend and witness this ritual, Bear my wishes to the Nameless One, Open to me the path of Light.
 
If these invocations to the elements are properly performed, the air around the circle will seem to pulsate and flicker, not so much visually as inwardly. You will feel a sense of watchfulness and waiting. Still facing the altar, bring you legs together and spread wide your arms so that your body forms a great cross. Speak a prayer for centering yourself in the universe:
 
Weave a circle round me thrice, Lift me from this earthly place, Show me Thy holy face.
 
The dizziness created by the spiral dance must penetrate the depths of your being. Visualize yourself upon a high place in the wilderness, a stone altar rising from the crown of the hill, trees stretching all around in a dark, unbroken carpet below, the stars of the night sky sparkling above.
 
Pivot and face the North with the altar behind you. Open your arms in a gesture of invitation. Visualize the god Tiw approaching the circle through the night air, his armor of silver and gold glinting with starlight, his blond hair streaming behind him, a sword in his single left hand, Speak his invocation:
 
Great and noble Tiw, the One-Handed, Lord of Justice, Lord of Oaths, God of airy reason and true speech; By thy sword I summon thee, By Fenrir's steel jaw I summon thee, By the Nameless One I summon thee, By the Nameless One I summon thee, Descend into this circle and serve me.
 
Go in a sunwise arc to the South and stand with the altar at your back. Open your arms in a gesture of invitation. Visualize the god Thor approaching through the night sky, his eyes showering sparks and his black hair writhing about his bluff, bearded face. He wears a bearskin, his magic girdle and magic gloves, and carries his great stone hammer in his right hand. Speak his invocation:
 
Strong and fierce Thor, the Thunderer, Lord of Battle, Lord of Works, God of mighty oaths and valiant deeds; By Thy hammer I summon thee, By Skrymir's glove I summon thee, Descend into this circle and serve me.
 
Go sunwise to the East and face outward, the altar at your back. Make the gesture of invitation. Visualize the god Frey approaching through the night sky, his body stong and well-proportioned, his long auburn hair tied in back of his head, his eyes a deep umber. He bears a wooden shield on his left arm. Speak his invocation:
 
Virle and potent Frey, the Renewer, Lord of Crops, Lord of Cattle, God of the green earth and the golden grain; By thy golden boar I summon thee, By Surt's stolen blade I summon thee, By the nameless One I summon thee, Descend into this circle and serve me.
 
Go to the West in a sunwise arc and face outward. Make the gesture of invitation. Visualize the approach of Balder through the night sky, his light brown hair flowing in the breeze, his green eyes gentle and mild, his features delicate and his body slender. He wears embroidered robes and carries a golden horn. Speak his invocation:
 
Fair and beautiful Balder, the Beloved, Lord of Laughter, Lord of Cheer, God of clear light and loving heart, By thy prancing steed I summon thee, By Hod's cruel dart I summon thee, By the Nameless One I summon thee, Descend into this circle and serve me.
 
Return to the North sunwise and face the altar. Make the gesture of invitation in the air over it. Look upward and visualize Odin descending from the sky, his great travel cloak billowing, his grey beard and long grey hair flying wildly behind him, his single grey eye glittering like ice. In his hand he carries his spear. Speak his invocation:
 
Wise and knowing Odin, the One-Eyed, Lord of Victory, Lord of Rule, God of magic and secret signs; By thy spear I summon thee, By Mirmir's awful pledge I summon thee, By the Nameless One I summon thee, Descend into this circle and serve me.
 
Kneel befor the altar. Under the watchful eyes of the five great northern gods, write upon the paper with the pen and red ink these runes:
 
 
In brief, they signify: man, horse, hardship, sacrifice, change, realization, sun, day, sun, glory, glory, glory.
 
Man and horse are the motive and the medium of seeking. Need is the suffering encountered on the quest. Gift is the voluntary letting go of care and the surrender to the higher will. Cycle is th change of fortune that then occurs. Torch is the light of awareness that dispels shadows. Sun is the light swollen to a powerful active energy for transormation. Day indicatis the steadiness and completeness of the light.-the two Sigel runes bless or chastise. Glory is the blessing that follows the attainment of Light. It is threefold and thus perfectly balanced, divine, incorruptible.
 
After you have written the runes, vibrate them on your breath and cause the altar flame to flutter. You must hold the awareness of the total meaning of the combined runes clearly in your mind or the ritual will lack potency. Take the knife in your left hand and pass its blade through the flame, then prick yourself on the ball of your right index finger until a drop of blood wessl forth. Your feelings must be calm and joyful. You must welcome the twinge of pain and transmit it psychically to the gathered gods. Draw your finger across the runes from left to right. Allow a second drop of blood to fall into the chalice. If necessary, bandage the finger, but the cut should be so small it will soon stop of its own accord.
 
Lift the paper hight over the altar and speak an invocation to the rune powers something like this:
 
Darkness into Light, Vice into Virtue, Lies into Truth, Pain into Joy, Weakness into Strength, By these runes transform me, Open my eyes and let me see.
 
Lower the paper to the candle flame and light t\it on the corner, then place it on the earthenware plate. As the paper burns, put your hands close to it and lean over the altar so that its smoke rises to your face/ Your hands should feel the heat of the flames. Inhale the rising smoke deeply without coughing.
 
After the paper has burnt to a fine ash, use the knife to reduce it to powder. Scrape the flakes of ash into the chalice, being careful not to miss any. Pour water from the pitcher over the ashes and the drop of your blood and stir all three together with the blade of the knife. Drink the mixture in the chalice to the last drop and turn the cup downward over the plate.
 
As you drink you should be able to feel the power of the runes coursing through your veins and causing your muscles to tremble. You may feel dizzy or lightheaded, and hear a loud rushing sound. Do not be fearful. Maintain an inner calm. This is the climax of the ritual to which all previous steps tended.
 
Do not expect to be immediatellly illuminated by this Elixir of Light. Its effect will be gradual and subtle, and may not behin to show itself for days or even weeks. Its action varies from person to person. Magic, like water, seeks the easiest route to the sea. Be assured, change will come. It is not always an easy tranformation; you cannot realize how tightly you cling to your conceits until you feel yourself in danger of losing them.
 
The ritual is closed by reversing the order of the steps that opened it. Stand and make a warding off gesture with the splayed hands toward the air over the altar, as though pushing something away. Visualize the god Odin receding upward into the starry sky. Speak the banishment:
 
Wise Odin, depart in peace; By the Nameless One I license and compel thee.
 
The banishment must be spoken in a firm and unequivocal voice with no trace of doubt in the mindor fear in the heart. Follow the departing god until he has completely vanished from your inner eye.
 
Go widdershins (against the course of the sun) to the West and banish Balder in a similar manner, using the appellation "loving" to describe him: "Loving Balder, depart in peace," ect. Go widdershins to the East and banish "Virile Frey." Go to South and banish "Fiery Thor." Go to the North and banish "Noble Tiw."
 
Dance in a circle three times around the altar widdrshins to seal the doorway open in your psyche, rotating widdershins on your body axis three times for each revolution of the altar. Speak one line of this verse for each great circle:
 
Weave a circle round me thrice, Turn from me Thy fearful face, Return me to my earthly place.
 
You have now erased the vortex that allowed you to invoke the powers of the five gods. The next step is to neutralize the elemental powers you used in the ritual as conveyors of the virtues of the runes. Draw over the altar the Banishing Pentagram of Light, which is identical with the Invoking Pentagram but made in a counterclockwise direction. Note that even the Ken rune in the center of the pentagram is drawn in reverse order with upward strokes. Since the rune was made last, it should be retraced first. As you trace each line, visualize it fading and vanishing from the air. Speak a simple banishment such as:
 
Spirits and powers of Light, depart in peace; By the Nameless One I license and compel thee.
 
Do the same for the other pentagrams of the elements, moving always in a widdrshins direction. Go to the West and facing outward, banish the spirits of Water; then go East and banish the spirits of Earth; then South to banish the spirits of Fire; and finally return North and banish the spirits of Air.
 
Facing the altar from the North, raise you hands and spread your fingers into two pentagrams. Extend your arms to the sides East and West at eye level. Speak a general banishing formula to all spirits that may be lingering outside the protective circle:
 
All spirits or entities attracted by this ritual, Depart! For you have no lawful business here, By the light of the Nameless One, go! Yet go in peace and fare thee well.
 
You must be certain that the space around the circle is empty of psychic influences before dissolving the barrier. If necessary, repeat the banishment more strongly using the gods as names of power. The circle is erased by reabsorbing it into the center of your being. Walk once widdrshins aroound the altar with your left index finger extended to touch the flaming circle. Visualize the white fire flowing into your left hand and vanishing from you perception.
 
Stand in the North facing the altar. Raise your arms to heaven. Speak this short prayer:
 
Holy art Thou, Father of All, Holy art Thou, by Nature not formed, Holy art Thou, Vast and Mighty One, Lord of the Light and of the Darkness. Cross your body as in the beginning of the ritual without reversing the direction of the gestures:
 
Who art the Crown (touch your brow) And the Kingdom, (groin) The Power, (left shoulder) And the Glory, (right shoulder) The Law everlasting; (heart) Blessed Be. (point to the flame) Speak the words of closing:
 
This rutual for opening the path of Light is hereby well and truly ended. Clap your hands shaply together four times. Blow out the candle and carefully clean and put away the instruments. Any residues of materials should be treated reverently and sealed with the sign of the circle-cross
 
 
before they are discarded. Put away the instruments in a reverse order to that in which they were taken out.
 
Do not sleep directly after a ritual. Occupy the mind with some unrelated amusement. Avoid fretting or analyzing the effects of the ritual. If your mind is troubled, the ripples on its surface may prevent the ritual from taking proper effect. Very likely there will be aftershocks-troubling dreams, hypnagogic images, auditory and tactile hallucinations- but these should not persist longer than the first night after the ritual. If they linger, a simple banishing ritual will disperse them.
Thanks so much to the enlightened words of Donald Tyson.Reprinted partially or entirely from Rune Magic.

 

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