I have to admit it, I solicited this book.  See, I'm starting to really study the Elder Futhark Runes, and I wanted something more than Blum's book.  I have a book called "The Practical Guide to Runes" that I've been using as my "default" text, my go-to book, but now I think that book has been supplanted by this one.

Galina does a wonderful job making the Runes accessible to everyone.  She shows not only the Elder Futhark, but also the Anglo-Saxon runes and talks about the differences in there, and the reasoning she uses to add in more runes to the mix.

She talks not only of how to interpret them in a rune reading, but also how to work with them magickally.  She writes on Wyrd (magick or fate) and Galdr (speech or song).  She devotes a chapter each to these topics, which are just as important as learning to do rune spreads with them.

Each rune has several pages devoted to it.  There is the rune itself, then what it means, how it is interpreted, four different entries in rune poems relating to that rune (Norse, Norwegian, Icelandic and Modern), and then an extensive discussion on the rune, its meaning and more.  Any information she has relating to that rune is included.

She spices these recitations of how the rune works with personal insights and personal stories of the rune, her working with them and more.  She includes any incidental facts that she has come across.  She does not cross-relate them to each other, she treats each rune as its own "person", distinct and different from each other person.

That was the good, now on to the bad.

Honestly the only real quibble I have is that she hasn't included pronunciations of the runes themselves.  It's well and good to know that Wunjo is spelled how it is, and what its other names are depending on the culture, but I wanted to know if it is One-jo, Woon-yo, Woon-jo or any other way that you can string those sounds together.  It would have been nice to have a quick reference table in the back, kind of a "cheat sheet" for those who are trying to learn to work with them and who need a reference for divinations.

She never really talks about bindrunes and rune scripts in the magick, or with how many runes were used in later years, as a means of writing.  So I guess those aren't that important to this book.

However, you can get the missing information (other than the pronunciations) from other works.  Therefore I give this book a really hearty 4 of 5 stars.  It is probably the best book I can remember reading on the subject of the Elder Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon runes.  It is well researched and fairly clear.  While a beginner could use just this to learn the runes, it might be wise to pick up some of the other "standards" of rune work to supplement this work.

~review by Daven

Author: Galina Krasskova

New Page Books, 2010

$14.99 US
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