This is an article I had published in PROMISE Magazine
Rune, the word means 'secret' or 'mystery.' Those who would follow the Teutonic way is to unlock this secret. They were practiced among most of northern Europe, consisting of Scandinavia, Germans and Goths. What most people know of runes is that they are used for divination. Their divination or "rune-casting" as it is properly called, is only a small part of their true essence. One must understand them individually before one can give a true rune-reading.
There is magick in runes. Each one is not only a number and a letter but each one can correspond to ones emotions, the different levels of consciousness, and most importantly the projection of the will. The runes are a way to awaken the soul. Much like that in the practice of Buddhism where you awaken the Buddha within, the Teutonic tradition teaches us to awaken the Odhinn (Odin) within. The Nordic mythology tells us that the race of gods known as the AEsir were the practitioners of runes. Odhinn was there chief god. Odhinn was the first rune-master. He discovered the runes (not invented) after hanging on the tree of Yggdrasil for nine days and nights. Odhinn's mythology teaches us that in order to gain, one must sacrifice ones self. Such as the old philosophy of "give and take." You can not take without giving. The more you give your self or 'sacrifice' your self to the universe, the more it gives back. For example, the more you sacrifice your time to the divine nature through prayer, meditation, and awareness, the more your life is filled with joy, understanding, and abundance.
In order to awaken the runic energies within your being, the first step is to meditate on each of the 24 runes individually. This gives you a feel for each one , but a more detailed program of this is available in the book "The 9 Doors Of Midgard" by Edred Thorsson.
As a way of magickal lore, the runes can be used in a number of ways, from binding different runes together in talismanic fashion, to a magickal projection of the mind, and even a way to control your own fears and bad habits. When you start working them and build them into the psyche you can even use them in your dreams, but once you reach this level you become more conscious in your dreams.
For the purpose of divination, store bought runes should only be used for practice. A true rune set is hand made from either wood, bone or cards. The most traditional being wood from the yew tree but ash and oak work quite nicely as well. After the medium in which the lots will be put on, they are to carved in a ritualistic way. When one carves a rune, you sing a poem for that rune. Then it is colored, with a form of red ink. If you can find it, red ocher mixed with linseed oil is the most traditional, unless you wish to follow the ancient rune teachings. Those teachings being that you use your own blood to color the runes. But that is for the most devoted and it would truly give your rune set a more personal might. The preference is entirely up to individual.
The runes are very symbolic, In ancient times these symbols were religious and held mysticism for the inscriber. Symbols, be it as they are, are a way that our subconscious perceives something that words can not. When one looks at a image or some religious symbol, a whole meaning builds up into the psyche. Symbols are a way that the subconscious mind expresses itself. This is one way that give the runes very specific power. There are many great things beyond the range of human understanding, so we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we can not fully define. On this understanding, the runes must be felt to be understood.
The lore of the runes hold a key to the great mysteries. They are part of the frame-work that builds up the cosmos. That frame-work starts from within and is built up, strengthened, then released by the will so that it expands outward. This is the process in which the runes are projected. But you must first awaken them with yourself were they lie hidden and a sleep as secret.
-By Brian S. Morgan